The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (2024)

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The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (1)

Experiencing foot discomfort due to bunions doesn’t just disrupt your workouts; it can affect your quality of life. A bunion is a bony deformity in the foot that causes the first metatarsal bone to become more prominent, leading to discomfort and pain. Althoughbunions are usually hereditary, they can also be aggravated by improper footwear.

When selecting the best shoes for bunions, opt for wide-toe boxes, stretchy materials (like leather, mesh, or canvas), and shoes with strong arch support. All of those features will help reduce friction and rubbing that can irritate bunions and even make them worse.

After speaking with podiatrists and a physical therapist, we tested dozens of shoes for bunions by wearing them twice weekly for eight hours at a time for a six-week period. We evaluated the shoes based on fit, stability, responsiveness, cushioning, and comfort. Then, a podiatrist from our Medical Expert Board reviewed this article for medical and scientific accuracy.

Best Overall

Orthofeet Kita Hands-Free Sneakers

The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (2)

Why We Like It

  • This is the most customizable shoe on our list with two additional insoles and an adjustable arch support.

It’s Worth Noting

  • These shoes are intended to stay tied while slipping them on and off without bending over.

The Kita Hands-Free shoes from Orthofeet are water-repellent, easy to clean, and available in a range of sizes from 5 to 12, including extra wide width.The premium orthotic insoles, adjustable arch support, and patented slip-on system make these our best overall choice.

We loved the bounce of these shoes. They didn’t feel like “moon boots” but still helped propel us and provided support. They were springy, yet solid and retained their bounce unlike memory foam. We liked that we could leave these shoes tied, slip them on and off, and they maintained a great fit. We also loved that they came with ways to modify the fit including two additional insole cushions and an arch support. On occasion, our feet felt a bit warm. Not so much so that we had to take them off, but noticeable.

The shoes have remained in good shape with routine wear indoors and outside. Even after wearing them all day, our feet were not fatigued.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 5-12
  • Widths: Medium, Wide, Extra Wide
  • Material: Fabric
  • The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (3)

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Why We Like It

  • These shoes provide high-quality comfort at a lower price point.

It’s Worth Noting

  • These are slip-on shoes. The stretch laces are not adjustable.

Costing just a fraction of the price of shoes in the same category, these GO WALK FLEX Alani sneakers are our top best budget option, available in standard and wide width.

We loved that our toes had plenty of wiggle room, and the heel absorbed the impact of the step while boosting us forward. We were stable on all surfaces, including the stairs, and each step felt like we were walking on a dense memory foam mattress. Our arches were adequately supported, and we didn’t experience any discomfort. These shoes were comfortably snug, like a firm hug. Our feet got a little warm because of the fit, but not uncomfortably so. The stretch laces are a design feature and not adjustable.

The Skechers GO WALK FLEX Alani shoes were very comfortable and fun to wear. Over time, the insole hasn’t worn down, and they’ve held up very well. We haven’t noticed any wear and tear beyond the usual mucking up of the shoe bottom after going outside. These shoes look a little clunky but they’re very lightweight and make us feel faster and more weightless than other shoes. They’re ideal for everyday wear.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 5-11
  • Widths: Medium, Wide
  • Material: Fabric, Mesh

Best For Plantar Fasciitis

Kizik Roamer

The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (6)

Why We Like It

  • The shock-absorbent cushioning protects against the pain of plantar fasciitis.

It’s Worth Noting

  • These shoes are not ideal for high-impact activities or running.

Kiziks is an editor-favorite brand around here because of the shoe's roomy toe box, hands-free, slip-on technology, and because of the wide range of cute styles the brand offers. The shoes are stable and responsive for all-day comfort, especially for people with plantar fasciitis.

Not only do these shoes feel amazing, they are also stylish enough to wear out and about, even to meet up with friends. The fit is true to size, but wide enough so that they didn't rub on our bunions. We didn’t experience any chafing despite wearing them all day. These shoes were very cushiony and provided lots of shock absorption, which helped ease the discomfort of plantar fasciitis. Our feet never felt tired or overheated due to the heavier feel of the shoe, even after long walks. The upper was breathable, making them great for warm weather. We noticed a slight catch on certain terrains due to the tread, but these still can be worn on most surfaces. We wore them on grass, gravel, concrete, flooring, and more. But take note that these shoes should not be worn for high-impact activities like working out or running.

The Kizik Roamer is stylish and comfortable. With lots of colorways and a wide range of sizes, they’re extremely versatile, too. It’s a high-quality shoe, and so far, we haven’t noticed any wear and tear. These are great everyday shoes and are worth the price.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 6-13, Men's 4.5-15
  • Widths: Standard
  • Material: Stretch Knit Fabric
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Best for Walking

Vessi Cityscape Shoes

The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (9)

Why We Like It

  • Our feet remained dry and comfortable when walking in the rain.

It’s Worth Noting

  • These shoes are air-dry only and available in whole sizes.

The sleek, narrow-fit Vessi Cityscape Classic is designed for lightweight comfort. These sneakers are 100% waterproof with removable insoles and a flexible, breathable upper. The Cityscape Classic boasts a zero break-in period with a new and improved elastic ankle collar, along with reflective pull tabs to slip in and out of with ease, making it our best walking shoe.

These shoes can be worn comfortably with or without socks. We tried them both ways and didn’t feel any rubbing or blisters. The stretchy fabric upper made our feet feel snug and supported, while the sole provided stability. There was just enough arch support, and the responsiveness added a good bounce that made our already fast walking, even faster.

We loved that when one of our editors wore these on a rainy day, her feet remained dry, but did not overheat or get sweaty. Overall, this is an ideal walking shoe, rain or shine.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 5-11, Men's 6-14
  • Widths: Standard
  • Material: Dyma-Tex® Knit Fabric
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Why We Like It

  • We didn’t know that sandals could be so comfortable.

It’s Worth Noting

  • Dirt can get into the cutouts, but is easily rinsed away.

Comfort, functionality, and durability combined to make the Hoka Hopara our best sandal. We found we could easily navigate through any landscape—wet or dry in this shoe. Designed with a quick-lace system, a rubberized toe cap for added protection, and strategic drainage cutouts in the upper, adventure awaits. The sticky rubber outsole provides traction in a variety of conditions.

We loved that these sandals lived up to their “all-terrain” name. In addition to testing them while walking day-to-day, we wore them while hiking. We traversed uneven terrain and through water. We felt stable in our HOKA Hopara All-Terrain sandal. The energy return helped us spring into each step without feeling weighed down. The shock-absorbing cushioning protected our knees and ankles during our treks on various surfaces.

We didn't feel as if we had to break in these shoes. From the initial try-on to a full day, and over five miles of hiking, there was no irritation. The cushiony insole with arch support, as well as the padded outsole are made for all-day comfort and safety. We recommend our top pick for best sandal, the HOKA Hopara All-Terrain shoe for avid walkers, weekend warriors, and novices alike.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 5-11, Men’s 7-14
  • Widths: Standard
  • Material: Synthetic and Neoprene

Best for Running

Brooks Ghost 15 Women's Road Running Shoes

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Why We Like It

  • The Brooks Ghost 15 is soft and incredibly lightweight.

It’s Worth Noting

  • These shoes are not available in wide width.

The Brooks Ghost 15’s new midsole features special cushioning with a unique balance of rubber, air, and light foam for a cushiony feel. The waterproof, engineered air mesh design comes in various colorways in sizes 5 to 13. With improved cushioning and an enhanced, breathable upper, the Brooks Ghost 15 is our top pick for best shoes for running with bunions.

We felt supported with every stride in these shoes. The cushion alleviated knee pain and absorbed the impact every time our feet hit the ground. We also tested them at the gym during boot camp classes that involved burpees, squats, sprints, jumping jacks, and weight lifting. Our knees felt supported during all of the running and exercises. The responsiveness helped propel us forward and quickly transition to different paces without jeopardizing speed or comfort. Our heels stayed securely in place, and there was space between our toe and the end of the shoe. The standard width is wide enough to accommodate large bunions on both feet comfortably.

The biggest selling point of these shoes was the cushioning. It's very soft and incredibly lightweight. Our feet molded well into this shoe. We were able to run longer without exacerbating knee pain. Our toes didn’t jam in the front but sometimes felt a bit jammed on the side when worn all day on wide feet. However, there were no blisters, chafing, or numbness. Even with frequent use, the cushion is still as comfortable as day one. The fabric remains in great condition. There are no odors, fraying, or stains, except for minor smudges from wearing them in public.Overall, the Ghost 15s are ideal for both casual and serious runners alike.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 5-13
  • Widths: Standard
  • Material: Engineered Air Mesh

Best Arch Support

Ryka Devotion X Walking Shoe

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Why We Like It

  • Ryka Devotion X has responsive cushioningfrom heel to toe for better shock absorption and impact protection.

It's Worth Noting

  • These shoes are built to last no matter how long you walk.

X is the next-generation shoe in the Ryka Devotion series, which has been a fan favorite for high-impact fitness walking for over a decade and has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance for products that promote good foot health.

We were pleasantly surprised by how soft the inside of this shoe was. It fits incredibly well, and our feet slid in easily. The responsive cushioning added noticeable shock absorption and high-impact protection, even on stairs. We bounced from step to step due to excellent energy return, making our walks more manageable and enjoyable.

Our feet felt rock solid while walking on all terrains, including on the wet ground after rain. We loved that the Ryka Devotion X provided just the right amount of arch support, even for those of us with flat feet. Wearing the shoes felt lush and cloud-soft, but still let our feet breathe nicely. They are well-made, sturdy, and ideal walking shoes. After many miles, they’re still as good as new.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 5-12
  • Widths: Standard, Wide
  • Material: Breathable Mesh with Partially Recycled Linings

Best Cushioning

Skechers GO WALK Joy Sensational Day Sneaker

The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (15)

Why We Like It

  • The shoe delivers sock-like comfort.

It's Worth Noting

  • These shoes are machine washable.

The Skechers GO WALK Joy- Sensational Day laceless design has a breathable knit upper and cushiony insoles. Crafted with 100% vegan materials, including an innovative cushioned midsole, these shoes are built for all-day comfort and are our top choice for best cushioning.

We enjoyed the socks-optional design of the laceless, slip-on shoe. With or without socks, the upper was breathable and overall, the shoes were light and airy. They were super comfortable everyday shoes for errands, dog walking, and work. Despite Skechers being lightweight, we felt stable and supported. The cushioning was unbelievably soft and provided adequate shock absorption while keeping our bodies aligned. The responsiveness helped us feel lighter on our feet and propelled us forward with every stride.

We noticed blister-causing hotspots when we wore these for an extended period of time before breaking them in. After a few wears, these became our comfy go-to shoes for concerts, park days, the office, strolls, and more. Without socks, our feet got a bit sweaty over time. Thankfully, the shoes are machine washable and air-dried quickly. There were no signs of wear or damage after multiple washes—a testament to the shoe's durability.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 5-11
  • Widths: Standard
  • Material: Fabric, Mesh
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Best Cooling

Kane Revive Active Recovery Shoe

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Why We Like It

  • The slip-on shoes are easy to clean and very durable.

It's Worth Noting

  • The Kane Revive is only available in whole sizes.

The Kane Revive is made with a special EVA foam that's washable, quick-drying, and ultra-durable. The unique design features of this shoe work together to aid in active recovery. Raised footbed nodes stimulate blood flow, while the construction provides support and stability. Exterior perforations and interior channels enhance airflow, making the Kane Revive our best cooling shoe.

Our feet slid easily into the shoes, feeling great right out of the box. The fit was true to size, and we had enough room to prevent chafing, rubbing or blisters. We didn’t experience much shock absorption or cushioning, but the design provided suitable arch support and stability. Surprisingly, the shoes were comfortable while running.We would not recommend them for long distances but enjoyed wearing them during stationary exercise, weight lifting, and even yard work.

We liked that the Kane Revive transitioned well from concrete to grass, to sand, and more. Walking on gravel was challenging due to rocks getting caught in the perforated upper. Otherwise, the shoes had great traction and were light on our feet. We tested them with and without socks, and our feet did not overheat or get sweaty. We tried these shoes at the gym, in the locker room, and sitting in the sauna. We wore them to a cabin and to the beach. They were so easy to clean by simply spraying them off with water. They’re still in perfect condition and keeping our feet cool.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Women’s 5-18, Men’s 3-19
  • Widths: Standard
  • Material: EVA Foam
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  • The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (20)

How We Tested

We selected the best shoes to test by reviewing dozens of top-rated shoes for bunions from the best brands on the market. To find out what to look for in these shoes, we interviewed medical experts including:

  • Dr. Morris Morin, DPM, Chairman of Hackensack University Medical Center’s Department of Podiatry in Hackensack, New Jersey
  • Jessica Stenberg, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Carson Tahoe Health in Carson City, Nevada
  • Dr. Diana Levin Valencia, DPM, treats pediatric and adult foot and ankle ailments at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellvue in New York City, New York

We then put our top picks to the test. We wore each pair for walks on and off a treadmill. We assessed how the cushioning and support features felt underfoot. We then took the sneakers home to test them in the real world. To thoroughly test each pair, we wore them as part of our regular routines and walked in them on various surfaces, like roads, sidewalks, paths, and trails. In total, we walked for over 100 miles in these sneakers to choose our favorites.

After each walk, we rated each shoe on a scale of 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (highly recommend) for each of the following attributes: cushioning, comfort, responsiveness, stability, and blister protection, paying particular attention to how our bunions or problem areas felt both during and after wearing the shoes. We also gave each shoe a value score by comparing its cost to its overall quality.We used these scores and insights to create our final list of recommendations.

What to Know About Shoes for Bunions

What Are Bunions?

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Over time, the big toe then moves toward your other toes, causing the big toe joint to develop a painful bump. As the bunion worsens, a fluid-filled sac can grow at the base of the big toe, as can extra bone.

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions are hereditary, but they can also be caused by medical conditions, such as arthritis.

Poorly fitting shoes that are narrow or tight in the toe box, or force a lot of pressure on the balls of your feet, don’t necessarily cause bunions, but they can make the condition worse. Examples of shoes to avoid include high heels and shoes with pointed toes.

Features to Look for in Shoes for Bunions

Stretchable Fabric and Materials

Shoes with stretchable fabrics reduce pressure on the bunion and conform to its contour, which reduces irritation and friction. Generally, you should look for shoes made of soft leather, mesh, or canvas. Avoid shoes made of materials that are rigid.

Wide Forefoot and Toe Box

A wide forefoot and toe box is crucial for people with bunions who are shopping for proper footwear. Having enough space to prevent rubbing and pressure along the bunion, and having enough space so that your toes can wiggle around in the shoe, will slow the rate of bunion growth and subsequent foot deformity. That will ultimately help reduce pain and other foot complications resulting from bunions.

Arch Support

Having arch support in your shoes can help reduce bunion pain. When the arch of your foot gradually flattens out, the pressure shifts into your toes and can make bunions worse.

Arch support facilitates normal foot flexion when walking, and it prevents the pressure of each step from distributing mostly into your toes.

Heel Height

Dr. Morin states that people who have bunions should avoid high heels. High heels put too much pressure on the balls of the feet and on the bunions, causing pain but also contributing to making bunions worse. Some amount of heel is okay, as long as it is no more than two inches. Of course, you should also make sure you don’t feel any pain when you're wearing the shoes.

More Shoes for Bunions to Consider

These options didn't make our favorites but you might find them worthwhile:

  • Altra Women's Rivera 3: We liked that these shoes had a wide toe box with plenty of room for bunions. We found they didn't have enough arch support or shock absorbency for running or high-impact activities.
  • Omega Walk Lace-Up Breathable CVasual Sneakers for Women: Although the shoes were very flexible and comfortable, they didn't have enough stability and shock absorption to recommend them. In the pair we tested, we found that although both shoes were listed as the same size, one seemed much larger.

Your Questions, Answered

What shoes do podiatrists recommend for bunions?

According to Dr. Morin, the right shoes for bunions are whatever is most comfortable on your feet. They should be wide enough for your bunions and have a rounded (not pointed) toe box, and they should have good arch support. Brands like Birkenstock, Skechers, and Dr. Scholl’s can be fine as long as they meet these requirements.

Should you wear wide shoes if you have bunions?

Yes and no. You don’t want to wear a shoe that is too wide for your feet, and therefore too bulky, heavy, and unstable. Instead, focus on finding a shoe that is wide enough in the toe box so that you have space to wiggle all of your toes and wide enough so that your bunion isn’t rubbing against the shoe.

How much should quality shoes for bunions cost?

It is typical to spend between $100 and $150 for a pair of quality shoes for bunions.

What are the worst shoes for bunions?

High heels and shoes with a pointed toe box are the worst choices for bunions, according to Dr. Morin, because high heels force the weight of your body onto the balls of your feet, and shoes with pointed toe boxes are narrow at your toes, which will cause rubbing, pain, and pressure at your bunions. Jessica Stenberg explains that our feet are not naturally pointed, and keeping your foot in that passive position all day can change the position of your foot and therefore change the mechanics of your feet while walking. Ultimately, that can lead to weak foot muscles, which can cause bunions to get worse.

Who We Are

Sarah Edlin, OTR/L, is a Nevada based Occupational Therapist and a powerlifter. She spends her winters as an adult ski instructor and as an adaptive ski instructor for kids and adults. Her goal is to provide helpful information so that readers can choose products that make the most sense for their lives.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Introduction and Expertise

As an expert and enthusiast, I'm here to assist with a wide range of topics and provide valuable insights and information. I have been trained on a vast amount of data, including articles, books, and websites, which allows me to generate human-like text and engage in natural-sounding conversations.

I possess a deep understanding of various subjects, including but not limited to technology, science, history, literature, and more. My responses are generated based on the information I have been trained on, and I strive to provide accurate and informative answers to the best of my abilities.

Analysis of the Article

This article discusses the best shoes for bunions and provides recommendations based on testing and evaluations. It highlights the importance of selecting shoes with certain features such as wide-toe boxes, stretchy materials, strong arch support, and cushioning to reduce discomfort and pain caused by bunions. The article also mentions that bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by improper footwear.

The author conducted tests on various shoes for bunions, evaluating them based on criteria such as fit, stability, responsiveness, cushioning, and comfort. The recommendations are provided for different categories, including overall best, budget-friendly, plantar fasciitis, walking, sandals, running, arch support, cushioning, and cooling.

Each recommended shoe is described, including its key features, what the reviewers liked about it, and any noteworthy considerations. The article also mentions that medical experts, including podiatrists and a physical therapist, were consulted during the evaluation process to ensure medical and scientific accuracy.

Overall, the article aims to provide readers with a comprehensive guide to choosing the best shoes for bunions, based on thorough testing and expert opinions.

Key Concepts in the Article

The following key concepts are discussed in the article:

  1. Bunions: A bony deformity in the foot that causes the first metatarsal bone to become more prominent, leading to discomfort and pain. Bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by improper footwear.

  2. Shoe Features: Wide-toe boxes, stretchy materials (like leather, mesh, or canvas), and shoes with strong arch support are recommended for bunions. These features help reduce friction, rubbing, and irritation that can worsen bunions.

  3. Evaluation Process: The shoes were tested by wearing them twice weekly for eight hours at a time over a six-week period. Criteria for evaluation included fit, stability, responsiveness, cushioning, and comfort.

  4. Expert Review: A podiatrist from the Medical Expert Board reviewed the article for medical and scientific accuracy.

  5. Recommended Shoes: The article provides recommendations for various categories, including best overall, budget-friendly, plantar fasciitis, walking, sandals, running, arch support, cushioning, and cooling. Each recommended shoe is described, highlighting its key features and reviewer opinions.

  6. Additional Considerations: The article discusses other factors to consider when choosing shoes for bunions, such as stretchable fabric and materials, wide forefoot and toe box, heel height, and arch support.

  7. Price Range: Quality shoes for bunions typically cost between $100 and $150.

  8. Shoes to Avoid: High heels and shoes with pointed toe boxes are not recommended for bunions as they can exacerbate pain and pressure on the bunions.

  9. Expert Opinions: Medical experts, including podiatrists and a physical therapist, were consulted during the evaluation process to provide expert opinions and guidance.

  10. Testing Methodology: The author wore each pair of shoes for walks on and off a treadmill, as well as during regular routines on various surfaces. The shoes were rated based on attributes such as cushioning, comfort, responsiveness, stability, and blister protection.

Conclusion

The article provides valuable information and recommendations for choosing the best shoes for bunions. It emphasizes the importance of selecting shoes with specific features to reduce discomfort and pain caused by bunions. The recommendations are based on thorough testing and evaluations, with input from medical experts.

If you have any specific questions or need further information on the concepts discussed in the article, feel free to ask!

The 9 Best Editor-Tested Shoes for Bunions To Keep You Comfortable (2024)
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