The Best Kinds of Footwear for Bunion Arch Support
5 min read
January 14, 2022

The Best Kinds of Footwear for Bunion Arch Support

5 min read
January 14, 2022

Having a bunion makes easy tasks more difficult than they should be. Simple activities like wearing shoes, standing, and walking can feel uncomfortable and even painful because of the bunion. To lessen or eliminate the uneasiness, you should know how to treat your bunion properly. You can do this in a lot of ways, especially by wearing appropriate footwear.

Yes, specific kinds of shoes can help support your bunion, relieve foot pain, and avoid bunion surgery. With them, you don’t have to suffer discomfort when doing things you normally do. So let’s discuss the best kinds of footwear you should use if you suffer from bunions.

What Footwear to Use for Bunion Arch Support

If you have a bony bump on your big toe, you must have heard that wearing wide shoes is crucial to avoid hurting your foot. It’s because doing that reduces the pressure of your foot caused by the shoes and helps prevent swelling and blistering.

So now you may wonder, “what are the best sandals for bunions?” However, did you know that you are allowed to wear other types of footwear aside from sandals? There are various types of bunion-friendly footwear you can choose from!

bunion arch support-1 – bunion-friendly brown sandals with front straps


Podiatrists highly recommend open-toed footwear for their sturdy footbed and arch support. They free your feet from any pressure that can cause discomfort. Additionally, sandals and wedges made of flexible, soft suede are better than leather in terms of comfort.

Thong-style sandals that help bunions are great because they don’t have any restricting parts that may irritate your bunion. Meanwhile, ankle strap sandals offer more security and foot anchor, so you won’t have to put too much effort into keeping it properly on the footwear. Furthermore, they cozily embrace the contours of your feet for a precise fit.

Low-heel sandals with a supportive foot cushion that keeps your feet stable and your weight balanced are highly recommended. In addition, they take the pressure off of your big toe joint. You can also occasionally wear open-toed heels with short wedges and wide width. Ensure that their toe box can accommodate your bunion deformity.

You can even wear platform wedges as long as they aid in foot alignment and offer proper weight distribution. As long as they have wide, flexible, and breathable uppers, they won’t irritate your feet.


When choosing closed-toed footwear, you should ensure that they have enough room for your toes to move comfortably. They should also have wide width and flexible uppers so that they won’t restrict your bunion as you walk.

Lightweight sneakers are a go-to for closed-toed footwear because they are multifunctional. You can use them whether you want to go running, walking, or other not-so-strenuous activities. They must have wide toe boxes, soft uppers, and cushioned outsoles, perfectly accommodating any bunion size.

Clogs are also very bunion-friendly because of their roomy toe boxes and superb arch support. In addition, their molded footbed and thick rubber soles provide ample cushioning to reduce pressure on your toes and prevent overworking your feet.

You can wear round-toe block heels that provide ample foot support. For instance, they should have padded soles and closed back to keep the pressure off your bunions but keep your feet in place. Meanwhile, low-heeled footwear with suede uppers, cushioned footbed, and a round toe are good at supporting foot alignment. They also prevent joint strain and over-compression.

It’s also possible to wear boots with narrow heels as long as they have wide toe boxes, cushioned soles, and arch support. They can even disguise your bunion’s appearance with their narrow tips. Additionally, oxfords are good to use as long as they have flexible leather soles and uppers. They provide good breathability and stretchability.

bunion arch support-2 – three kinds of bunion-friendly footwear and blue shoe inserts

Characteristics of Bunion-Friendly Footwear

You don’t have to get confused when choosing among the many types of footwear available on the market. Let us help you out with this list of characteristics you should look for when purchasing bunion-friendly footwear.

Arch Support

Arch support refers to different kinds of shoe inserts and features that help support your feet arches. They are very important because they provide assistance and protection for your feet

when walking on hard and flat surfaces. Furthermore, footwear with arch support helps balance the pressure distribution on your feet.

Having arch support is also beneficial for your knee, hip, and back because they aid your body’s foundation, which is your feet. They give your feet a stable surface area and improve your overall balance.

Wide-Toe Box

Your footwear should have a lot of space for your toes to move freely to maintain your joints' health. In addition, because they do not constrict your toes, they will lessen the pressure and friction that narrow toe boxes normally cause to your feet and won’t aggravate your bunion.

The toe boxes should be wide and tall, and they should be round. This is because pointed toe box tips make the footwear narrower and result in squeezing your bunion.

Stretchable Fabrics

Stretchable fabrics can conform to your foot’s shape, so they allow less room for discomfort. With soft and flexible materials, your footwear will seamlessly accommodate the contours of your feet without irritating your bunion. Thus, you must look for footwear with a slightly rigid bottom and a soft upper.

Orthotic Insoles

There are brands that offer footwear with built-in insoles for bunions, which podiatrists highly recommend. They are specially made to give your feet more stability and slow down your bunion’s progression. In addition, an orthotic insole redistributes pressure on your forefoot’s joints and alleviates foot pain.

Heel-to-Toe Drop

You should avoid wearing flat footwear when you have bunions. Thus, you should use footwear with 1-to-1.5-inch heels or platforms to reduce the pressure on your big toe joints. Nonetheless, you must remember that wearing high heels can worsen your bunions.

Having a low rearfoot to forefoot drop and a firm heel counter is the best option for bunion-friendly footwear. They should have low heels that don’t elevate your forefoot. That way, you can avoid putting too much pressure on your toe joints and avoid causing stress to your bunion.

How to Effectively Manage Your Bunions

Aside from wearing bunion-friendly shoes, here are more effective tips on proper foot care and bunion management.

  • Do daily foot exercises for 3-5 minutes.
  • Perform hot and cold therapy on your bunion for 10 minutes every day.
  • Perform bunion-friendly massage techniques to stretch and relax your feet muscles.
  • Use topical gels and creams for pain relief.
  • Take prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for bunion relief.
  • Manage your weight properly to avoid frequent bunion pain and swelling.

Final Thoughts

Finding footwear with the best insoles for bunions can be quite challenging. It is because you need to ensure that they won’t worsen your foot condition and result in the development of bunion complications. Furthermore, they should have all the qualities necessary for comfort and bunion treatment.

We hope that this article gave you all the information you need and helped you choose the most suitable footwear for your feet' condition. If so, you don’t have to be hesitant when shopping for footwear. You can go ahead and purchase sandals for bunions and arch support accessories right away!

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