Bunion-friendly Footwear: Tips for Choosing Shoes That Provide Comfort

Bunions refer to bony bumps that can form/develop at the big toe's base joint. A bunion typically develops slowly but, in time, will cause pain and discomfort, plus an inability to wear certain types of footwear. If you live/work in and around Charlottesville, VA, Dr. Joseph Disabato of Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates can guide you in choosing the right footwear to alleviate discomfort and prevent further irritation from bunions.

Tips for Choosing Bunion-Friendly Footwear

Remember, no two feet are the same, so finding the footwear that provides the comfort and support you seek may require some trial and error. In addition, you can add inserts or speak with Dr. Disabato about custom orthotics that can also be used for additional support.

Consider these bunion-friendly footwear tips -

Choose Soft, Flexible, and Breathable Materials

  • Select footwear that is constructed using flexible/soft materials. This will allow you to wear the shoes without causing irritation or friction on the bunion. Stiff shoe materials are likely to exacerbate the problem.
  • Shoes made from breathable materials (or shoes with good ventilation) can help prevent excessive moisture/sweating, which often adds to pain/discomfort.  

Select Wide Toe Box/Avoid Pointed Toe Shoes

  • Look for footwear that offers a wide toe box to provide enough space for the toes. This helps prevent pressure on the bunion and allows your toes to spread out naturally.
  • Avoid shoes with pointed toes. As logic would predict, pointed-toe boxes will squeeze the toes together and worsen the pain from bunions.

Low Heel/Flat Shoes

High heels add pressure and will worsen bunion pain. Select shoes with a low heel or, ideally, choose shoes without a heel.  

Choose Footwear With Adjustable Closures

Shoes with straps or laces allow you to personalize the shoe's fit. This can be helpful for the times when your feet may swell.  

Test for Flexibility

Before making a purchase, check the shoe's flexibility. Simply see if you can bend the shoe at the ball of the foot – this provides the best support.  

Break-in Shoes Progressively

Even if a shoe is bunion-friendly, it's advisable to break it in gradually, as this slow process will give your feet the time they need to adjust.

Contact a Leading Charlottesville, VA Podiatrist Today

If you or someone you love experience persistent foot pain or suspect you may have a bunion forming, it is important to consult Dr. Disabato, who can recommend specific footwear based on your individual needs and foot structure. Contact the Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates at (434) 977-8040 for the office in Charlottesville, VA, and (540) 825-1350 for the office in Culpeper, VA, or online.

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