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Shoes for Bunions Part 2
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).
- The 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.
- Cobb 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!).
Gentle 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 6pm.com.
- Nike 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 EliteDaily.com 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 Nike.com, $120 at Nordstrom.
- 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!