Best Shoes for Bunions

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Shoes for Bunions Part 2

Shoes for Bunions

Bunions are troublesome bumps at the base of the big toe. They’re not just for grandmas as you can develop them at any age. Whether they’re a result of ill-fitting footwear, degenerative arthritis or heredity, one thing’s for sure–they’re hard to ignore. They do their best to interfere with your ability to wear cute shoes, professional shoes, dress shoes…pretty much anything that isn’t a fat sneaker or a croc.

I’ll never forget my appointment with the foot orthopedic doctor in 2007, right before I started Barking Dog. I developed bunions due to rheumatoid arthritis and they started to really hurt! He quickly recommended bunion surgery and I left his office with a packet full of information on the procedure and recovery. When I got home, I began to research recovery time for bunion surgery and quickly became discouraged. At the time, my youngest son was a baby and I couldn’t fathom taking care of a baby with a swollen foot in surgical dressing. I read that I could possibly avoid surgery by wearing shoes with an extra wide toe box. So I bought a pair of mary jane Crocs and wore them everywhere except for church. Thankfully, they were sort of in fashion in 2007, for whatever reason. My bunions felt better than ever after a month or two. They became more of a cosmetic problem than a health issue, and I continued to invest in shoes for bunions with a wider toe box and soft uppers.

Thankfully, today we have so many more brands hopping on board the foot-friendly shoe train with room for toes to spread out and soft, non-irritating uppers.

The groundhog reports an earlier than normal spring, so I’ve included footwear for warmer weather in my collection of stylish shoes for bunions. We’ll call this part deux (see Stylish Shoes for Bunions, Part 1).

  1. shoes for bunionsThe Flexx Beglad (top left photo): As a Nordstrom customers so aptly states, “it covers a multitude of sins, including bunions.” The soft full-grain leather upper covers the bunions without irritation while the padded insole and rubber outsole cushion your step. The ankle strap fastens with velcro providing a secure fit. They don’t call the brand “The Flexx” for nothing: these shoes are very flexible–not the best for hallux limitus/rigidus. Update: Word on the street is that this shoe runs narrow. A few readers have ordered it only to experience tightness in the forefoot which is what we’re trying to avoid with bunions, right? However, if you have narrow feet, the Beglad may work well. Whole and half sizes 5.5-10, 11. Made in Moldova. $120 at Zappos, $79-120 at Amazon, $119.95 at Nordstrom.
  2. shoes for bunionsCobb Hill Ireland (top right photo): This feminine fisherman sandal by Cobb Hill (owned by same company as New Balance) is available in narrow, medium and wide widths. I’ve read reviews that mention ordering a wide width to accommodate bunions. The Cobb Hill Ireland features a stability shank embedded in the midsole for extra support. Whole and half sizes 6-10, 11. $100 at Zappos, $30-100 at Amazon, $99.95 at The Walking Company (after reading reviews for the Ireland, I remembered the Cobb Hill Aubrey as a popular comfort sandal among bunion sufferers–extra soft leather straps!).

  3. shoes for bunionsGentle Souls Lily Moon
    : A dressy vintage-style sandal that has ample room in the toe box to accommodate bunions? What a find. The Lily Moon features a low 1 1/2″ wedge heel, soft kid suede upper, specialized flax seed pillows in the insole for cushioning and an adjustable ankle strap. Whole and half sizes 5.5-10, 11. $160 at Zappos, $65-209 at Amazon, $104.99 at
  4. Nike-Free-Flyknit-4.0Nike Flyknit 4.0: an odd choice for this blog, but I’ve had my eye on these since I saw them on a good friend who’s an avid runner. I don’t want to RUN in these, oh heavens no, I just want to walk around and look, well, on fleek or on point or whatever the hip saying of the day is. Then I came across this article at called, “The Reluctant Bunion Owner’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Summer Shoe,” and saw the Nike Flyknit featured. The strong yet lightweight and stretchy polyester yarn upper offers a snug but forgiving sock-like fit. Whole and half sizes 6-12. $120 at, $120 at Nordstrom.

Honorable mention:

  • Fitness shoe for running or walking with foot-shape toe box to allows toes to spread out naturally: Altra Torin 2.0
  • Flat with super soft uppers and good arch support: Arcopedico L14 or Arcopedico LS
  • Summer sandal with excellent support and adjustability across bunions: Dansko Joanie

Do you have a favorite shoe with style that accommodates bunions? Leave a comment and let us know!

About the Author

Blogger, Wife, Mom, Dog-Lover, Coffee Drinker, Owl Watcher.

38 Responses to Shoes for Bunions Part 2

  1. Tricia says:

    I have the Cobb Hill Aubrey low heels and love them — so comfy right out of the box! Based on that and your recommendation, I’ve just ordered the Ireland style in pewter. Can’t wait to try them on!

  2. Kirsten says:

    I hope you like them as much. After posting, I read a review saying that the leather isn’t as soft as the Aubrey. Let me know!

  3. Bette says:

    Thanks, Kirsten, for this ongoing series. My problem with the Cobb Hill and Gentle Souls shoes is that they’re still quite narrow and pointy — that’s probably why they look more “feminine,” LOL.

    In my ongoing quest for shoes to accommodate bunions and still be office-appropriate, my current favorite is the Taryn Rose Bryan, a soft ballet flat. I also like the Taryn Rose Bradley and the Taryn Rose Bethany. All three of these styles work well with bunions, they are somewhat foot-shaped, yet look ok for work.

    I love the Nike Flyknit — my whole family wears these. They come in some awesome color combinations!

  4. Connie says:

    Does anyone else have a problem wearing through the mesh on running shoes? Last pair I bought I wore 1 month and mesh by bunion had some tears in some of the threads. Took them back and was told I should have bought a wide. Bought a wide and now 1 month later, there are threads wearing on these too. These Brooks are very comfortable otherwise and I love the look. I am a nurse and on my feet a lot. Enjoy your posts!

  5. Sheila says:

    I recently purchased the Skora Phase after reading about it on a podiatrist’s website. I use it for running on a treadmill and combo cardio/weight classes. The toe box is wide all the way to the toes (my previous wide shoes taped toward the toes) and the laces are offset, so there is no pressure on the top of the foot. These are minimalist or barefoot shoes but barefoot is how my bilateral bunions feel the best. I’ve been wearing them for 3 months now and love them. The fabric is very soft and stretchy and can even be worn barefoot (which I had to do once when I forgot socks). Skora has several different styles with various padding, etc. so there are options for those who may want a different fit. I normally wear a wide width but can easily wear the medium due to the shape of the toe box.

  6. Sheila says:

    Spelling correction! Should be “Tapered toward the toes” not taped.

  7. Kirsten says:

    Thank you! I was so tired when I posted and must have overlooked that.

  8. Kirsten says:

    Oh! You were correcting yourself, not me! Anyway, if you do see any typos at any time on my site, feel free to mention 🙂

  9. Kirsten says:

    Interesting! I’ll look into them. Do you just get them from the Skora website?

  10. cedar says:

    Aetrex Berries have plenty of give to accommodate bunions and are very comfortable. They are lightweight, round toe, very well cushioned. I have the Bungee model, and happen to be wearing it today. It’s a nice travel shoe, as less forgiving shoes can feel tighter on long flights.

  11. cedar says:

    I will add that I have the Arcopedico LS and it is s great shoe. The upper is completely flexible/stretchy/forgiving. Excellent support. Super lightweight, and washable!
    It’s another great travel shoe, and has a nice less noticeable profile.

  12. Sheila says:

    I wasn’t sure about the exact size, so I spoke with the the customer service rep who was quite helpful in providing guidance.

  13. Kirsten says:

    I think they’re so unique–like a sweater shoe, but with good support.

  14. Marianne Bradley says:

    Connie, Have been wearing a lot of Brooks wide Adrenalins for 10 years. Yes, the mesh wears through by the bunion, but mine has taken a year or more to wear through. Last pair, purchased in 2015, had the tape going right across the bunion, rather than forward over the top of the big toe. I had to cut the tape to give my bunion relief from the tightness. Maybe you do more foot activity than my walking to wear your mesh through.

  15. Bette says:

    I love the look and feel of the Arcopedico LS but it’s not flat. After awhile, my knees start hurting. Really bums me out. I still recommend these to anyone w/o knee problems.

  16. Dan says:

    I don’t think the Nike anything are good for bunions. Just because they have fly knit doesn’t mean they’re not going to be restrictive.

    Nike shoes are athletic and have a tapered toe box which is going to be cramped, confined, and painful for bunions.

  17. Kirsten says:

    I love that Taryn Rose Bryan! So dainty yet so foot-friendly.

  18. cedar says:

    I have a comment about The Flexx brand. I haven’t been familiar with it until recently. It seems every shoe they make has that thick ankle strap. I guess if you’re tall and thin, that could look fine, but petite and athletic……it just makes pretty enough legs look like stumps. Not flattering at all. Kind of frustrating.

  19. Amy says:

    Sears carries a new brand called USAFlex that has styles made specifically to accommodate bunions. There are mesh inserts to allow the shoe to give a little and not be so restricting. The product is imported from Brazil. The shoes are also extra cushioned to add comfort.

  20. Meaghan says:

    Hi! Do the Nikes accommodate bunions?

  21. Elisabeth says:

    The only tennis shoe I’ve found to accommodate my severe bunions is New Balance Women’s Court shoe style 1005. That’s just been discontinued, but they say the new 1006 has the same fit.

  22. Tara says:

    I have very few pairs of shoes that I can comfortably wear because of bunions and arthritis . I used to have the same opinion of Nike- but the Flyknits are different! I’ve bought more pairs because I love them so much . No pain at all, the toe is wide enough and the knit fabric hugs my foot. So so comfortable, I wear them all day!

  23. Tricia says:

    I’ve worn them four or five times now and love them! I think they are as comfortable as the Aubrey style. I’m thinking of ordering them in another color! The toe box in both styles is nice and deep.

  24. Kim says:

    Hi! Thanks for all of your suggestions. I hate summer because I know sooner or later I will have to shop for a pair of sandles. I’m definitely going to look into the Flexx they are super cute! I wanted to share with everyone who may be looking for a cute, lightweight casual/athletic shoe I am in love with! Asics Metrolyte are awesome! I can actually walk in them all day and don’t have any bunion pain. They also come in many different colors, hold up fantastic and fit true to size so you don’t have to order a half size up. I also like Sketchers On The Go Clipper Boat shoes. Very light and stretchy. Also super cute, run true to size, come in different colors and hold up very well (I’ve actually tossed mine in the washer lol). Hope my suggestions help and thank you for yours!

  25. Kathy V says:

    I got the Flexx Beglad, and they were so cute and must have been so comfy for people with bunion-free, AAA-width feet. But I had to return them, and my feet are not particularly wide. But they were cutting off circulation even on my “good” foot! Very disappointing.

  26. Kirsten says:

    That stinks. You aren’t the first one to say that. I appreciate your honest review!

  27. Michelle says:

    I love reading these ideas! I have a problem that I hope some of you could help with. The office I work in doesn’t allow me to wear open toe shoes. Grrr. I have a hard time finding shoes / sandals that would look cute with my summer dresses, are closed toe, my size (11 or 12w!), and most importantly, are comfortable!

    Thanks for your help!!!

  28. Iris Gonzalez says:

    We don’t have Sears in my area. Have you found these at other retailers?

  29. Amy says:

    Some of my favorite shoes for bunions are made by Merrell. You can find a pretty wide range of types of shoe – from running shoes to hiking shoes to casual everyday shoes to cute flats. I find that almost all of their shoes are shaped ideally for bunions: wide at the toe, but more narrow at the heel. Right now my favorite style is the Mimix Daze!

  30. Kelsey says:

    Any recommendation for cowgirl boots or any boots that look very Western? (for bunions)

  31. barbara dubois says:

    im finding it very hard to navigate your sight. I do want to read about the styles for bunion problems, but hard to click and find the actually shoe to order. I see pix of 1 or maybe 3 styles…. but is there a list of them so you can click to see colors and sizes? thanks

  32. Andi H says:

    I’ve been searching for the “right” shoes for months. My left foot has bilateral bunions, plantar fasciitis and the start of mortens neuroma. There is only one bunion on the right foot so far. My doctor says I need an elevated heel , less than 2 inches ,with arch support and cushioning. I’m finding it near impossible to find a shoe with a very wide toe box and a narrow heel and I do not like athletic shoes at all. When at home I wear very old wide sandals or crocs when I’m standing most of the day. For winter I have several pairs of Arcopedico N42’s. They are soft enough to give my bunions room but they lack adequate arch support and the heel is low. I pad them with store bought orthotics and manage. I’m wondering if I should consider clogs and if anyone has suggestions for a brand or style. (Dansko’s are not wide enough for me).
    Thank you,

  33. Caterina Moore says:

    Teva Tirra sandals are what I live in 6 months of the year as a Rick Steves Tour guide in Italy, with NO PAIN! It’s only when I put on closed toe shoes in the winter that my bunions hurt. So, now to find winter shoes. And I’m a dancer, so I have to find dancing shoes, too. Thank you for this amazing resource! I’m a new follower!!!

  34. Allison Williams says:

    Looking at the photos, some of these styles look like they would cut right across the middle of the bunion, with no give.

  35. Donna Bradley says:

    I too suffer from bunions and a mortons neuroma. I absolutely swear by fit flop brand sandals, boots etc. They are pricey and worth every cent. My podiatrist and ortho both highly recommended this brand and they have lots of cute styles. Mostly sold online but return policy is easy and they are all made well. Wide toe box, built in mid sole orthotics and you can walk comfortably!!

  36. Melodee C Whitt says:

    I have a bunion on my left foot only. So buying a larger size for the left makes the right size TOO BIG! I have found that mules (no backs) are more comfortable for me, however, I don’t see any mules recommended here… please help!

  37. Leslee Cassel-Bonilla says:

    Thank you for finding me comfortable elegant shoes to wear to a wedding last weekend. I tried all of my local shoe and department store shoe departments, even returning two pairs after wearing them in the house. In desperation I assumed Barking Dog is not paid by shoe companies or stored, and bought the Lily Moon shoes you recommended above from Amazon. They were lovely, comfortable and appropriate for the occasion. Thank you very much!

  38. Kirsten Borrink says:

    SO glad to hear they worked for you!!

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