At its core, the best orthopedic shoes for bunions help care for your musculoskeletal system and have roomy toe boxes that can fit a wider forefoot.
For a shoe to be considered orthopedic, it must have features that can support the mechanics and structure of the foot, ankle, and leg. Orthopedic shoes promote correct feet and must be the go-to shoes for those people who have problem feet. But they’re much more than that. So for this post, we have hand-picked the best orthopedic shoes for bunions that can help care for your musculoskeletal system.
A bunion is a deformity of the joint where the big toe often bends towards the next toe. Although it starts gradually, it is accompanied by swelling and pain. Up to this day, the actual cause of bunion is still unclear but the risk factors include wearing tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes. This malady affects women more than men where the common treatment only includes proper shoes, orthotics, and NSAIDs. Having the right shoes is an important part of the treatment because if it fails, surgery may be required.
RELATED: Best Running Shoes for Bunions
Table of Contents
What is an Orthopedic Shoe?
An orthopedic shoe has a specific design that can correct your feet by supporting the mechanics and structure of the entire lower limb, especially the foot, ankle, and leg. But in order for an orthopedic shoe to be effective in giving support and comfort, it must be snug in every part of the foot.
What are the Best Orthopedic Shoes for Bunions?
The best orthopedic shoes for bunions (or those shoes with orthopedic features) have roomy toe boxes that can fit a wider forefoot. These shoes must have built-in cushioning that can help support the mechanics and structure of your feet, ankles, and legs. And they must help your toes to splay (naturally) so they can generate power to support your step. Moreover, the best orthopedic shoes for bunions must help correct your feet and subdue the pain caused by the swelling of the joint.
Important: If your support type is neutral to supination (and high arches), your best shoes are neutral shoes because they are flexible and supportive. Neutral shoes can give support up to mild overpronation with no foot problems. But if you have issues with overpronation and flat feet, your best shoes are stability shoes because they have the most overpronation correction.
Plus, if you have tight calves and an aggressive heel strike, you may need a shoe with a higher heel-toe drop (8-12 mm) to stay comfortable on your foot, ankle, Achilles, and calf. But having a higher drop shoe may direct more stress to your knee and hip. So if you also have knee and hip issues, you may choose a heel-toe drop between 4 mm and 8 mm. Although the lower the shoe differential, the more calf flexibility and ankle mobility you need.
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20 Best Orthopedic Shoes for Bunions (Athletic Shoes)
Here’s a list of the best orthopedic shoes for bunions (in no particular order):
1. Hoka One One Arahi 4 – Most stability, RW
2. Hoka One One Gaviota 2
3. Hoka One One Akasa
4. Hoka One One Bondi 7
5. New Balance Fresh Foam More v2
6. New Balance 840v4
7. New Balance 990v5
8. Altra Paradigm 4.5
9. Dansko Honor
10. Ryka Devotion Plus 3
The protrusion caused by a bunion or bunionette makes the forefoot wide. So this can pose a challenge in finding the right shoe. But the treatment for bunions require a proper footwear that can subdue the pain caused by the swelling of the joint. So unless you are absolutely sure to get your shoe online, it is best to try it on at your local store before buying.
11. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 – Best for long runs, RW
12. Brooks Ghost 13 – Best for long runs, RW
13. Brooks Dyad 11
14. Brooks Addiction 14
15. Brooks Ariel 20
16. Brooks Addiction Walker 2
17. Saucony Echelon 8
18. Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST 2
19. Merrell Jungle Moc
20. VIONIC Walker
If the standard shoe insoles lack the support you need, you can add your favorite custom orthotics to add more comfort and support.
20 Best Orthopedic Sandals for Bunions
Here’s a list of the best orthopedic sandals for bunions (in no particular order):
1. Hoka One One Ora Recovery Slide 2
2. Birkenstock Boston
3. Birkenstock Arizona
4. VIONIC Keomi Sandal
5. Naot Kayla Sandal
6. OOFOS OOahh Slide
7. ECCO Yucatan Sandal
8. Dansko Sophie Sandal
9. Munro Pisces Sandal
10. Teva Tirra Sandal
The best orthopedic sandals for bunions not only help conceal the bunion or bunionette, they also have excellent support in the forefoot as well as the entire shoe. This can subdue the pain caused by the swelling of the joint and help support the mechanics and structure of your entire lower limb.
11. Clarks Arla Jacory Sandal
12. Propet June Sandal
13. Propet Aurora Sandal
14. Taos Gift 2 Sandal
15. Taos Trulie Sandal
16. Taos Prize 3 Sandal
17. Taos Trophy 2 Sandal
18. Finn Comfort Sylt
19. Finn Comfort Sansibar
20. Finn Comfort Jamaica
Some of these brands stay away from any orthopedic claim, but we have included their shoes in the list of orthopedic shoes for bunions because of consumer reviews and testimonials. We hope that these shoes will work for you.
The human foot is a complex unit and it is rarely perfect. But the foot with a bunion or bunionette makes the sufferer even harder to find a proper shoe because this malady causes a deformity of the joint connecting the big toe (or little toe) to the foot, making the forefoot unnaturally wide.
But wearing a proper shoe is one of the requirements for treating bunions so you have to find the perfect one. And if it fails, surgery may be required. On the other hand, wearing an ill-fitting shoe can worsen the condition. So your best chance to subdue the pain caused by this deformity of the joint are orthopedic shoes which have the right support because they are designed to correct your feet and help support the mechanics and structure of your entire lower limb.
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