The best shoes to wear when you have bunions

by Sylvia

The best shoes to wear when you have bunions  | 40plusstyle

No one is immune from bunions. But if you do suffer from them, it can feel next to impossible to find shoes for bunions which are both stylish AND comfortable.

Chances are though, you may well suffer from bunions at some point in your life. Around a quarter of all people are estimated to get bunions, and that rises to more than a third for those over the age of 65.

Plus, women are more likely to suffer from bunions than men.

Celebrities with bunions

celebrities with bunions | 40plusstyle.com

Just as with any health condition, even the rich and famous aren’t able to avoid getting bunions.

Celebrities who have famously been photographed with their bunions on display include Victoria Beckham, Meghan Markle, Christina Hendricks, Naomi Campbell and the Duchess of Cambridge.

What are bunions?

So, exactly what are bunions? Well, they’re a bony deformity at the base of the big toe.

You may also find that your big toe starts to point inwards towards your other toes, so that the foot bone faces outwards.

The exact cause of bunions is not known, but they are thought to be partly genetic, and partly made worse by wearing uncomfortable footwear. They can also be caused, or made worse, by foot injuries and arthritis.

Shoes which are too tight or which have high heels can increase your chances of getting bunions.

Shoes for bunions

Wearing the right shoes for bunions is vital if you don’t want to make the condition worse.

You are likely to have pain and swelling over your big toe joint, which will be made worse from the pressure caused if you wear ill-fitting shoes.

Plus, the shape of your foot could change, which makes it even harder to find shoes which fit and which are comfortable enough to wear all day.

What are the best shoes for bunions?

Just as with finding the right shoes for those who need arch support, finding the right shoes if you have bunions can be a case of trial and error to find out exactly what works for you.

But first, here are a few quick tips…

  1. Look for shoes with a wide toe. As Sue on the 40+ style community points out: “Our toes are supposed to be able to splay rather than be pushed inwards to a point.”
  2. You may wish to stay away from synthetics and opt for leather, suede and elasticated materials which have a bit more give.
  3. The widest part of your foot should correspond with the widest part of the shoes you choose.

Recommendations – shoes for bunions

It may seem like you have limited options or that you have to make a choice between comfort and style.

But, there are actually plenty of shoes out there from boots to sandals, wedges to heels (just don’t go too high!), which no one would ever know you had chosen because you have bunions and not simply because you love them.

If you haven’t found the perfect pair yet for you, here are recommendations that work from the stylish women of the 40+ style community.

Wide toe box shoes

If you do suffer from bunions, or any foot pain towards the front of your foot, opting for wide toe box shoes can give you the room you need to walk in comfort.

I couldn’t resist showing you these floral sneakers, which are new from Ecco, a brand recommended for its comfort.

This style has 593 reviews on Nordstrom, giving an average of 4.5 stars. Many reviews talk about the generous width in the toe area.

“My second pair. Both are so comfortable I can walk for miles. A great travel shoe. I have bunions and the soft leather smooths right over them. Love these shoes!” – JFwag

“I bought these in black and have previously owned these in other colors. They are my go to shoe. Well built and so comfortable. They fit a wider foot nicely with plenty of room for your toes. I bought in a 7.5 which is my regular size and these fit great.” – SJK

wide toe box shoes | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Floral Rose Sneaker

Stylish shoes for women with bunions

If you’re searching for shoes with plenty of width at the toes, then another good tip is to avoid pointed toe styles altogether and, instead, look for square-toed and round toed options.

That’s why a pair of classic ballet flats may work for you.

This pair is the Trotters Signature Sizzle flat and has a wider toe area to allow your foot to spread out a little, rather than squashing your toes together.

There are 107 reviews on Nordstrom, giving just over 4 stars on average.

No matter what your foot width, you should find a pair to fit as they go from super slim to extra wide, and they come in a range of colors and patterns.

My favorites for this season are the nude leather and metallic options, which won’t look too ‘heavy’ for summer.

Stylish shoes for women with bunions | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Nude Leather Flats

“I had this pair of shoes before and almost wore them out, so I have bought another pair. They are comfortable when you are on your feet a lot and go with a lot of different types of clothing.” – Suza

wide fitting shoes for bunions

Nordstrom was recommended for wide-fitting shoes by women on the 40+ Style Community, because it is so easy to narrow down your options (pardon the pun), by searching for wide fitting shoes.

That way, you don’t waste any time looking at options which you realize will be too narrow for your feet only after you have fallen in love with the style.

I love the stylish, minimal simplicity of these flats from Clarks. The blush pink shade would be perfect for heading into spring and summer or the black (below) would be ideal for work and day-to-day wear.

They have a leather upper and are well-cushioned with a shock-absorbing footbed.

wide fitting shoes for bunions | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Black Tone Flat

sandals for bunions

Sandals can actually be very comfortable if you have bunions, because you can let your feet “breathe” without having restrictive material rubbing or pressing against the side of your big toe joints.

These ones from SAS were recommended by 40+ Style readers and have 5-star Amazon reviews. They have leather uppers and a footbed which molds to your shape.

“LOVE! I have really bad feet so I have to be careful of what I wear.” – Amazon customer

Sandals for Bunions | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Red Sandals

“SAS sandal “Marina” is an open sandal with no pressure on toes and available in many colors. The “Mystic” sandal is sturdy, comfortable and several colors.” – Nancy

best sneakers for bunions

Vionic is often recommended by podiatrists because of the way they cradle your foot.

This pair has a podiatrist-designed footbed for extra comfort.

In leather or nubuck, they have a little give and the perforated uppers add some additional style, and keep them on trend.

The Vionic Midi Perf style has 331 reviews on Amazon, giving 4.5 stars.

“Super stylish and comfy as soon as i tried them on, no digging or tightness any where! They are a perfect width as I am wide across the top of my foot. Dream to walk on and this is my 3rd pair of Vionics for an arch and plantar fascia issue.” – HeathersATL

best sneakers for bunions best sneakers for bunions | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Grey Slip-On Sneakers 

“Vionics are great, as are Hotters. Merrell are good for casual wear.” – Elaine on the 40+ Style Community.

dress shoes for bunions

Just because you have bunions, it doesn’t mean you have to quit wearing heels completely.

If you do want a dressier feel from you shoes, just be sure that they aren’t too high or too narrow.

This pair from Sofft are available in patent leather or suede. They come in two different widths so you could try both to see what works for you and your feet.

They also have a molded foam footbed for extra comfort and have a 4-star review on Amazon.

“These are very comfortable, yet still stylish, which is hard to find.” – verified Amazon customer

dress shoes for bunions | 40plusstyle.com

Red Dress Shoes

Sofft was one of the brands recommended for bunions in the 40+ Style community.

“I have bunions on both feet. I wear Sofft, Fitflop and Munro. I order my shoes from Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack online and have them shipped to me with free returns.” – Maria

Fashionable shoes for bunion sufferers

Even if you have bunions, you can still wear a range of fashionable styles, including wedges.

Bernie Mev is a brand recommended for anyone who needs comfort shoes for a range of foot issues.

These ones are very similar to the Fly London pair I love, and come in a range of colors and prints, including a very on-trend snakeskin design.

They have 234 customer reviews, giving 4.5 stars.

“Cute, comfortable, and great for all day wear. I have several pair of Bernie Mev shoes, and they are consistently light-weight and comfortable.” – Constance

Fashionable shoes for bunion sufferers | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Snakeprint Sandals

“I love my Bernie Mevs” – Caren on 40+ Style.

Another option which looks very similar to the Fly London styles is the Clarks Wynnmere Fox ankle strap pump, which is reviewed well on Nordstrom.

best running shoes for bunions

If you are someone who loves to run, or take part in any kind of aerobic activity, having sore feet can put you off exercising.

But these New Balance sneakers are one of the options regularly recommended by podiatrists.

They are designed to help if your feet tend to roll inwards, which can cause your bunions to rub on the outside of your shoes.

There are 95 customer reviews on Amazon, giving 4.5 stars.

“I like the look and support. My feet stay comfortable during my 12 hour nursing shifts.” – Hbeth

best running shoes for bunions | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

New Balance Women’s Running Shoes

sandals that hide bunions

Gentle Souls are another brand recommended by both women in the 40+ Style Community and podiatrists.

This pair of Lily Moon-style sandals have a fair amount of coverage on the top and side of your feet and 195 reviews on Amazon, giving 4.5 stars. Many reviews talk about these sandals having a wide toe bed, so they should be roomy enough.

I love this review from Amazon from a woman inspired by a stylish octogenerian.

“I spotted these shoes, in black, on a seriously stylish woman who must have been in her eighties. She was dressed like something out of a magazine, and the shoes captured my attention immediately. I tried to ask her what the brand was but, alas, she was deaf, so she didn’t hear me. A few days later, I got online looking for suede Mary Janes, suede shoes with cut-outs, suede wedges, whatever might work at locating the brand. I finally found them right here on Amazon.” – Bostonmama

“I have worn these shoes for many hours and they just feel like they are a natural part of my foot. I can not say enough about how great the shoes are-AND they look very stylish as well!” – Cspepper

sandals that hide bunions | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Black Suede Leather Sandals

Gentle Souls were also a popular recommendation on the 40+ Style Community.

“I have one bunion, I’ve never worn heels, except for parties. I like Munro, Ecco, Clark’s, Gentle Souls.” – Eileen.

best walking shoes for bunions

If you’re searching for a pair of sandals that will both help to disguise your bunions and make sure you can walk or go sightseeing to your heart’s content, then how about this pair from KEEN?

They’re an outdoor sandal suited to hiking or activity vacations, which have 63 reviews on Nordstrom, giving an average of 4.5 stars.

best walking shoes for bunions | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Grape Wine / Grape Kiss Sport Sandals

“Perfect color. Got the Black and Light Gray! Great for outdoors but also for an all around sandal for the seasons! Have a lot of trouble with my feet and these are SO comfortable from first putting them on Support. Protection. Good for all elements! My first Keen. Wont be the last for sure.” – ShopTN

KEEN was the first recommendation I got for bunions on the 40+ Style Community.

“Not stylish, but for casual shoes, the best brand is KEEN” – Gail.

I have to say, I think KEEN shoes have come a long way in terms of style, particularly with the new colors available like the wine shade (above).

I’ve already mentioned lots of great brands here. So far, I’ve talked about…

But, of course there are more recommended brands if you have bunions. Others recommended to me include the following.

Bunion pads

You could also get some relief from the pain associated with bunions by wearing bunion cushions or pads.

These will help to cushion sore areas and reduce rubbing from your shoes.


How about you? Do you suffer from bunions? What are the best shoes for bunions that you’ve ever found?

Let me know in the comments below and let’s turn this into the most valuable resource there is for women with bunions!

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The best shoes to wear when you have bunions | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 beth b

Great article — very helpful! Thanks.

I have to say though, that the pants the woman in the photo (walking down the steps) are an accident waiting to happen. The length is too long and I can picture her heel getting caught. Not a good fashion idea.

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2 Sylvia

That is Victoria Beckham. Known for her high heels so probably her pants are hemmed for heels. Perhaps she wore lower heeled shoes to be more comfortable on this day which made the pants a bit too long….

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3 Christine M Andrews

Bzees.com cute, comfy and affordable, trifecta!!

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4 Sylvia

Thanks for the recommendation Christine!

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5 Diane

Beautifeel dress shoes: Definitely on the pricier side, but I swear by them based on comfort and style —is they are really durable. I got my first pair on sale and am so glad to have discovered them.

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6 Sylvia

thanks for the recommendation Diane!

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7 Leigh

This article was great and well-timed. I have wide feet with bunions and the older I get, the harder it is to find cute shoes that I can tolerate. I really appreciate the recommendations and hope that Sylvia can update this from season-to-season.

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8 Sylvia

Great you found this useful Leigh. Yes we are hoping to make this a continuous resoource. We’d love to get feedback on which kind of shoes worked really well so we can make this the best resource on good shoes when you have bunions on the web!

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9 SharonA

I work in a small independent shoe shop in the U.K. and our customers find Reiker shoes very comfortable. We also sell heavenly feet which are a good price and wide fit. I personally would recommend a range called Waldlauffer which are orthotic shoes. They are wide fit, super comfy and have removable orthotic foot beds if you need to put your own in. They are a little more pricey but are worth every penny. Hope it helps if you are looking for alternatives.

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