Bunion-Friendly Shoe Shopping: Pro Tips on How to Find a Perfect Fit

Sep 01, 2023
If you have bunions, shoe shopping can quite literally be a pain. Here are five tips to make your shoe-shopping experience more successful — and help you find well-fitting shoes that don’t worsen bunion-related pain.

Notice a bony protrusion at the base of your big toe? You might have a bunion, a common foot problem that affects people of all ages. Aside from being sometimes unsightly, bunions can cause significant discomfort, especially when you wear inappropriate footwear. 

Selecting the proper footwear to accommodate your bunion is crucial for optimal comfort and function. At South Texas Foot Surgeons, PA, in San Antonio, and Kerrville, Texas, our skilled team recognizes the challenges that having a bunion can cause.

Here, we offer tips for easy, successful shoe shopping when you have bunions. 

Understanding bunions

A bunion isn't just an unpleasant bump on your foot — it’s a complex foot malformation that can affect your daily life. The condition causes your big toe to lean inwards, forming a painful bump. 

The exact causes of bunions are various and often include a combination of genetic factors, underlying medical conditions, and wearing improper footwear.

Knowing the type of bunion you have is crucial. Some are more severe, requiring special attention and even surgical intervention. With regular podiatry visits, our team can monitor the development of your bunion and provide treatment when necessary.

Prevention is also crucial. Understanding your feet's needs and addressing them early can reduce the likelihood of bunion development, or reduce their severity when they emerge.

Getting the best shoes when you have bunions

We understand that shoe shopping with bunions can be a pain. To prevent discomfort, follow these expert tips when next you go shoe shopping.

Choose the right size

Picking the correct size ensures your shoes don't pinch or squeeze the bunion. Your feet tend to swell during the day, so trying on shoes in the afternoon provides a more accurate fit. 

We also recommend measuring both feet, not just one, as many people are slightly larger on one side of their body. If one foot measures larger, buy your shoes according to that size. 

Look for flexible materials

Flexible upper shoe materials like soft mesh both stretch and fit your foot, giving you a well-fitted shoe that doesn’t put pressure on your bunion. Testing the material by bending and twisting the shoes can give you an idea of its flexibility.

Select a wide toe box

A roomy toe box protects the toe with the bunion from excessive pressure. Look for styles with a rounded or square front rather than a pointed one. Trying different brands can also help, as some offer wider designs.

Consider specialized footwear

Some brands specifically create shoes for foot problems. Exploring these options ensures you pick the right design for your specific condition. If you’re unsure which brands might be best for you, we can give you our expert opinion following a comprehensive consultation.

Avoid high heels

Heels higher than two inches can put excess pressure on the front of the foot. Opting for low-heeled or flat shoes can ensure you're comfortable without compromising your style.

Take advantage of orthotics

Custom orthotics can offer further relief, especially if you have severe bunions. Our specialists at South Texas Foot Surgeons, PA, can evaluate your need for orthotics and customize them to provide exacting support and pressure relief. 

Consider shoe adjustments

If you already have an array of supportive shoes that you can't wear because of your bunions, consider having them adjusted before tossing them in the donation bin. 

Businesses that specialize in mending or modifying shoes may be able to alter certain pairs so they accommodate your bunions better. Custom adjustments like stretching the toe area is often all it takes to make shoes more comfortable.

Need better-fitting shoes? We can help

Choosing proper footwear can be challenging, especially with a bunion. That's where we come in. Our team of experts can assess your feet and guide you toward shoes that suit your particular needs.

At South Texas Foot Surgeons, PA, in San Antonio, and Kerrville, Texas, we understand the fundamental importance of comfortable, supportive, well-fitting shoes. To learn more, book an appointment online or give us a call today.