Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (2024)

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medically reviewed

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Medical reviewer:

January 22, 2024

mbg Commerce Editor

By Carleigh Ferrante

mbg Commerce Editor

Carleigh Ferrante is the Commerce Editor at mindbodygreen.

Medical review by

Michael Galoyan, D.P. M.

Dr. Michael Galoyan specializes in podiatry and received his doctorate in podiatry from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Galoyan advanced his training by completing a residency in podiatric medicine and surgery at Northwell Health, Long Island Jewish Forest Hills.

January 22, 2024

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Bunions can be a painful nuisance, especially when wearing shoes that rub or bump against them. I should know, I’ve dealt with bunions for over a decade and I spent years cramming my feet into shoes that made them even worse.

Now I’ve tested well over 50 pairs of shoes and interviewed dozens of podiatrists to learn what to look for in the best shoes for bunions. Even better, I’ve found that there are actually stylish shoes for bunions that don’t cause pain.

Best shoes for bunions

If you’re also struggling with bunions, I recommend consulting with a podiatrist for personalized recommendations—but in the meantime, it’s essential that you have the right footwear.

Each shoe on our list has been vetted against key podiatrist guidelines: a wide toe box, flexible upper, and sufficient arch support. Plus, we’ve provided real feedback on every shoe we tested.

Meet the experts

Robert Kornfeld, DPM

Robert Kornfeld, DPMis a holistic podiatrist and a graduate of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. He is a fellow at the American College of Alternative Medicine and board-certified by the American Association of Integrative Medicine.

Anne Sharkey, DPM

Anne Sharkey, DPM, is an Austin-based podiatrist at the North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. She specializes in ankle sprains, ankle stabilization, Achilles tendon disorders, bunion correction, and heel pain.

Gregory Alvarez, DPM, FACFAS

Hillary Brenner

Hillary Brenner is a board certified podiatric surgeon and founder of Dr. Brenner's RX.

Sandra Gail Frayna

Sandra Gail Frayna is a physical therapist and founder of Hudson Premier Physical Therapy & Sports.

The best shoes for bunions

Best walking shoes

KLAW 528

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  • Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (4)
  • Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (5)

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Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (6)
Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (7)
Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (8)

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View on KLAW | $148

Weight

11 oz.

Drop

7mm

Sizes

6-11, wide sizes available, some half sizes available

Whether you live in a walking city, you're on your feet all day, or you just need something for running errands, a good walking shoe is essential for anyone with bunions. I personally wear the KLAW 528 walking shoes more than any other pair in my (embarrassingly large) collection—and I can attest that it's a great pick for people with bunions.

These shoes were designed with New York podiatrist Nelya Lobkova, and they have the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) seal of approval. I fell in love with the design as soon as I opened the box and I breathed an actual sigh of relief the first time I put them on (thanks to a wide toe box, cloud-like cushioning, and substantial arch support).

I will say the material is not the most breathable (you might want something lighter in extreme heat), but the upper is flexible and moves well with my foot.

Other places we've featured them

  • KLAW 528 Review
  • Best Walking Shoes For Women
  • Best Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Cloud-like cushioning
  • Wide toe box
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Not the most breathable design

Best running shoes

ASICS Gel Nimbus 25

  • Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (9)
Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (10)

Drop

11mm

Weight

10.2 oz.

Sizes

5-13, half sizes available, wide sizes available

One of the best running shoes for women, this shoe is so breathable I personally wore it for three world major marathons and thousands of training miles (even in 90-degree heat).

The Gel Nimbus sneaker has a flexible, well-cushioned design and has been recommended by podiatrist Anne Sharkey, DPM for great arch support (one of our key criteria!).

The mesh upper is what keeps this shoe breathable and comfortable, no matter how many miles you're planning on clocking. Walkers, dancers, runners, and anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet will love this pick.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Great for distance running
  • Flexible and breathable
  • Great arch support

Cons

  • May run small

Best gym shoes

Hoka Clifton 9

  • Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (11)
Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (12)

Weight

7.2 oz.

Drop

8mm

Sizes

5-12, half sizes available, wide sizes available

Another recommendation from Sharkey, these shoes have a roomy toe box, neutral arch support, and a flexible upper. In fact, they’re surprisingly lightweight considering the chunkier design.

The compression-molded EVA midsole and early-stage meta rocker make for easy, smooth steps—and the balanced cushioning ensures your feet won’t endure excessive pressure on impact.

Other places we’ve featured them

  • Best Running Shoes For Wide Feet
  • Best Sneakers For Standing all Day
  • Best Shoes For Arch Support

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Extended achilles pull tab makes them easy to slip on and off
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Cushioned sole

Cons

  • Neutral stability

Best slip-on shoes

Skechers GOwalk Joy

  • Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (13)
Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (14)

Weight

6.8 oz.

Drop

9.5mm

Sizes

5-13, half sizes available, wide sizes available, narrow sizes available

This slip-on design features a toe box spacious enough for people with bunions. Our tester wore these daily prior to (and after!) a bunion surgery and says they kept her feet comfortable and supported.

The breathable, airy material alleviates pressure on your bunions and the slip-on design is incredibly convenient.

What’s more, they’re made from vegan materials and the entire shoe is machine-washable.

Other places we’ve featured them

  • Best Orthopedic Shoes
  • Best Walking Shoes For Women

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Slip-on design
  • Breathable, stretchy material
  • Machine-washable

Cons

  • Can be squeaky when you walk

Best flats

Vivaia Margot 2.0 Flat

I discovered these flats after falling in love with the brand's Caitlyn Loafers (a sentence I never thought I'd say with bunions). Flats and loafers are notoriously painful for those of us with bunions—and it's particularly difficult to shop for shoes with bunions and narrow feet. But these flats fit the bill tenfold.

The Margot 2.0 Flat has a wide rounded toe box to prevent rubbing or pressure on the bunion, but the overall design of the shoe is actually quite sleek. Plus, the stretchy material is airy and sweat-wicking.

My favorite part? The soft sole is made from recycled yoga mats (a sustainability win!).

Other places we've featured them

  • Best Shoes For Wide Feet

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Breathable, stretchy uppet
  • Wide rounded toe box
  • Blister-proof heel cushion

Cons

  • Not the best arch support

This supportive and well-cushioned shoe was a recommendation from holistic podiatrist Hillary Brenner. It offers balance and support whether you're walking, running, or standing all day and hits the mark for arch support, flexible materials, and a spacious toe box.

The design is meant for both over- and under-pronators, and you can remove the insole to insert your own custom orthotics if desired. The brand offers standard, wide, extra-wide, and narrow sizing, making these a great choice for people with bunions, no matter your foot shape.

Brooks uses recycled materials in its designs and has plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Other places we've featured them

  • Best Shoes For Knee Pain
  • Best Running Shoes For Beginners
  • Best Stability Running Shoes

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Wide width selection
  • Supportive

Cons

  • Some say the laces come untied easily

Best for wide feet

Saucony Guide 15

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Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (20)

Drop

6mm

Weight

9.5 oz.

Sizes

5-12; half sizes available; wide sizes available

Brenner recommends this stability shoe for people who need a moderate amount of arch support—and it meets our other criteria for bunions, too.

The shoe has an appropriate amount of cushion (thanks to a thick stack of the brand's signature EVA-based foams), a flexible material in the upper, and a wide toe box.

Even better, the Saucony Guide is APMA certified, meaning that it meets podiatrist standards for promoting foot health.

Other places we've featured them

  • Best Running Shoes For High Arches
  • Best Stability Running Shoes

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Contours to your foot
  • Wide toe box
  • Flexible

Cons

  • Slightly slimmer than previous models

Best orthopedic shoes

Orthofeet Coral Stretch Knit

  • Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (21)
Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (22)

Heel drop

n/a

Weight

9.5 oz.

Sizes

5-12; half sizes available

A recommendation from Sandra Gail Frayna, physical therapist and founder of Hudson Premier Physical Therapy & Sports, we love this shoe's cushioning and arch support. The roomy design is especially great for those who suffer from swollen feet, bunions, or hammer toes.

The stretchy mesh upper molds to your foot’s curves and a cushioned sole absorbs impact with every step. These come in four widths: narrow (A), standard/medium (B), wide (D), and extra wide (2E).

There's also an optional plastic arch booster you can slide under the insole for a little extra lift if needed, and the shoes come with two insole spacers to help you find the right fit.

The best part? Even with all these orthopedic extras, the shoe is stylish and is available in nine color options.

Other places we've featured them

  • Orthofeet vs. Vionic
  • Best Shoes For Arthritic Feet
  • Best Shoes For Flat Feet

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Adjustable arch booster system
  • Orthotic insole
  • Wide toe box

Cons

  • May be too wide for narrow feet

Best clogs

Dansko Professional Clog

  • Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (23)

    Image by Dansko / Dansko

Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (24)

Image by Dansko / Dansko

Drop

40mm

Weight

15 oz.

Sizes

35-43; wide sizes available

These clogs feature a roomy toe box perfect for people with bunions. With a contoured footbed with optimal arch support, they’re surprisingly comfortable and offer great stability.

The leather upper isn’t the most flexible, but these clogs still feel breathable and lightweight on your feet. It’s no surprise they have the APMA seal of acceptance.

Design and comfort aside, we love the fashionable design and the fact that they come in more than 30 colorways.

Other places we've featured them

  • Best Shoes For Back Pain

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Reinforced toe box

Cons

  • Inflexible
  • Chunky

Best for everyday wear

Oofos Oomg Eezee Low Shoe

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Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (26)

Drop

6mm

Weight

6 oz.

Sizes

5-12

I've been wearing Ooofos shoes for three years now and I'm still constantly impressed by the brand's comfy designs. If you want a sock-like shoe that won't squeeze or compress your bunions, this slip-on option is a great pick.

Oofos makes recovery shoes that are APMA approved, with a proprietary foam technology meant to absorb 37% more impact than traditional footwear.

Those with bunions, like myself, will appreciate this shoe’s stretchy fabric, wide toe box, and arch support.

Other places we've featured them:

  • Best Shoes For Back Pain

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Great shock absorption
  • High-stretch fabric
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons

  • Run small

Best loafers

Birdies Starling Loafer

  • Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (27)

    Image by mbg creative

Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (28)

Image by mbg creative

Drop

8mm

Weight

16 oz.

Sizes

5-13; half sizes available

Yes, it's possible to find loafers that won't aggravate your bunions. In fact, that's precisely what these were designed for. Thanks to a wide toe box and sufficient cushioning, these loafers won't cause excessive pressure on your feet.

These were a direct recommendation from Gregory Alvarez, DPM, a podiatrist at theAnkle & Foot Centers of America, who previously told mindbodygreen a shock-absorbing sole is important to help reduce fatigue when walking.

With a stylish design, seven layers of cloud-like padding, solid arch support, and a roomy toe box, these shoes are a dream to wear (bunions or not). Plus, they're available in dozens of colorways, such as cheetah print, black leather, and sapphire crushed velvet.

Other places we've featured them:

  • Best Shoes For Flat Feet
  • Best Shoes For Knee Pain
  • Best Shoes For Arch Support

Pros & cons

Pros:

  • Seven layers of cushioning
  • Shock-absorbing sole
  • Wide toe box

Cons:

  • Some say they run large

Comparing the best shoes for bunions

ProductPriceSizes availableColorwaysDropWeight
KLAW 528$1486-1157mm11 oz
ASICS Gel Nimbus$1605-131911mm10.2 oz
HOKA Clifton 8$1455-12208mm7.2 oz
Skechers GOwalk Joy$655-1369.5mm6.8 oz
Vivaia Square Toe V-Cut Flats$655-1133n/an/a
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22$1405-132312mm10.2 oz
Saucony Guide 15$1205-12166mm9.5 oz
Dansko Professional Clog$1305-1130+40mm15 oz
Oofos Oomg Eezee$1305-1246mm6 oz
Orthofeet Coral Stretch Knit$1205-129n/a9.5 oz
Birdies The Starling$985-13168mm16 oz

How we tested & selected:

When selecting the best shoes to recommend to our readers, we spend hours researching the options. We also make a point to actually wear the shoes, so we can give the most accurate review possible.

To determine what shoes are best for people with bunions, we spoke with podiatrists who provided expert insight on key factors to consider.

See below for the three major criteria we prioritized when selecting and testing the best shoes for bunions:

  • Spacious toe box: It’s essential to choose shoes that offer space for your feet (and bunion) to breathe. This provides maximum comfort and ensures you're not making things worse by causing undue pressure.

Podiatrist tip

"Making sure there is enough room is best accomplished by shopping for sneakers at the end of the day when the foot is naturally larger since, over the course of the day, blood flow into the foot increases girth and can cause some swelling," says holistic podiatrist Robert Kornfeld, DPM.

  • Soft material in the upper: Per Kornfeld, the shoe should have a soft upper and flexible sole that moves with the foot. This is another way to prevent pressure on your bunion as you move.
  • Arch support: It’s important to find shoes with proper arch support. Without adequate support, you can cause excessive strain on your feet and joints, which could worsen your bunions.

Having had bunions for over a decade, I fully relate to the struggle of finding a shoe that meets podiatrist criteria and actually looks good. Fortunately, we were able to find a number of fashionable options—so rest assured you can maintain your desired style while still prioritizing the health of your feet and your body.

What causes bunions?

Bunions are caused by years of consistent pressure on the big toe which causes some of the bones in the front part of your foot to move out of place. Wearing a shoe that is too small or narrow when you're already dealing with this issue may make the state of your feet even worse.

"A more rigid sneaker will usually cause the forefoot to jam forward into the toe box and can cause more pressure on the bunion," Kornfeld adds. "Snug-fitting shoes won't cause a bunion, but they will certainly exacerbate symptoms."

Why it’s important to take care of your feet

Research shows that the health of our feet is intrinsically linked to the overall health of our body1. In fact, persistent foot problems can negatively impact quality of life2 and put the rest of your body at risk of injury.

Learn more about how the health of your feet impacts the health of the rest of your body.

FAQ:

What causes bunions?

Bunions are caused by pressure on the big toe for an extended period of time. This pressure can cause the joint of the big toe to become dislocated, creating that uncomfortable bump.

"Most bunions are caused by a first metatarsal bone that is hypermobile, which means under the stresses of body weight and impact, the first metatarsal elevates upward, thereby locking the first metatarsal joint," explains Kornfeld.

How can you stretch shoes for bunions?

If you already have a pair of shoes you like that aren't quite suited for bunions, Kornfeld says you can actually stretch the shoe to make more room. "Stretching the forefoot of the shoe can create more room for the bunionand decrease the pressure on it. Making a slit under the area where the bunion protrudes can also relieve some of the pressure."

The takeaway

Bunions can be painful and disruptive to everyday life, but these days there are an overwhelming number of shoes for bunions that are actually stylish, comfortable, and supportive. Per podiatrists, focus on finding shoes with a wide toe box and a more flexible design that will give your toes the room they need to breathe and alleviate pressure.

Personally, I recommend the KLAW 528 for walking, the Vivaia Square Toe V-Cut Flats for dressier occasions, and the Hoka Clifton 8or ASICS Gel Nimbus for workouts.

Struggling With Bunions? These Are The 11 Best Shoes To Keep You Pain-Free (2024)

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