Your shoes can either be part of the problem or part of the solution when it comes to a bunion, so it’s important to know what to look for in a shoe to prevent a bunion or help alleviate stress on your big toe joint. But what are the best shoes for bunion prevention and treatment? We explore what factors you should consider when buying shoes if you want to reduce your risk of a bunion.
Best Shoes For Bunion Treatment
When it comes to choosing the right footwear to prevent and treat bunions, it’s important to remember that shoes alone won’t reverse a moderate or severe bunion. The right shoes can help keep symptoms from worsening, but simply changing your shoes isn’t going to magically shift your big toe joint back into place. Changing your shoes can be a helpful part of a comprehensive treatment plan, but unless the bunion is extremely minor, other treatments like physical therapy, weight loss or surgical intervention may be required on top of footwear changes.
Wearing the right shoes can certainly help to reduce your likelihood of a bunion, so long as you look for shoes with these qualities:
- Wide Toe Box – Shoes with a narrow toe box end up putting a fair amount of strain on the sides of our feet at our big toe joint. If your big toe is being pushed inward, the force on the big toe joint is going to shift it outward, which can greatly increase your risk of developing a bunion. If your toes have room to lay flat without being compressed on the sides, your risk of developing a bunion will plummet.
- Soft, Flexible Linings – Shoes with harder linings can also end up putting more pressure on your big toe joint and you walk and move. Softer linings will help to limit this pressure and reduce your risk of joint shifting.
- Flats Over Heels – Heels shift most of your weight to the front of your foot, greatly increasing the strain on the big toe joint. Heels, especially those with a narrow toe box, really increase your risk of bunion formation, whereas shoes with a flat base that more evenly distribute your weight across the entire foot work to reduce this risk.
- Consider Adjustable Options – A number of shoes have clasps or fasteners that help to hold the shoe in place, but they also ensure that the shoe isn’t too tight on your foot. Our feet can swell and change shape based on the stress we put on them throughout the day, so a tight pair can become even tighter if you’re doing a lot of walking. Shoes with adjustable straps or fasteners help address some of the problems caused by shoes that are overly tight.
- Cushioned Insoles – Finally, it may also be helpful to look for shoes with cushioned insoles if you’re hoping to prevent and treat bunions. This cushioning helps to limit the strain on your feet that is caused by gravity and your body weight. Harder insoles force your feet and big toe joint to absorb this stress, while softer insoles help to bear some of this strain.
If you keep these tips in mind the next time you are buying shoes, and you connect with a foot specialist like Dr. McDonald if you’re concerned about a bump on the side of your foot, we’re confident that you will be doing your part to help prevent and treat bunions. For more information, or for help with a different foot issue, give Dr. McDonald and his team a call today at (860) 244-8889.