How To Find Shoes When You Have Bunions

a grid of right shoes that have an anatomical foot shape next to a right foot that has a bunion with the text

A bunion is when the metatarsal head (where the toe connects to the foot) moves away from the foot causing a painful protrusion. This can happen on both the big toe and the pinkie toe, and it makes shopping for shoes difficult. Here are some tips for finding barefoot shoes that work well with bunions:

  1. Look for wide, foot-shaped toe boxes even though it’ll give you more space than you need. Your toes may splay out over time, and it relieves pressure on the bunion.
  2. Choose shoes with a soft upper that spreads easily and doesn’t pinch while you walk.
  3. Look for shoes with soles that sit underneath the foot. If you want to try shoes that have a high walled sole, make sure they are wide enough that they don’t touch your bunions.
  4. Make sure the shoes are secure on your foot and don’t slide – running into the sides of your shoe can exacerbate the pain.
  5. If you are feeling discomfort from the thin soles or have limited range of motion in your big toe, adding an insole can provide cushion and support while still allowing your foot to realign itself.

It can also be really helpful to wear toe spacers inside your shoes – one more reason to choose extra wide shoes.

If for whatever reason you need/want a more structured shoe, go for extra wide options. Again, it’ll be more space than your toes need but will provide your bunion the clearance it needs. As long as the shoe fits securely around your midfoot, the extra toe space shouldn’t be a problem.

*For the entire searchable FAQ list, visit Barefoot Shoes FAQ

*Disclosure – Anya’s Reviews is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

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3 thoughts on “How To Find Shoes When You Have Bunions”

  1. Anya, thank you in searching for barefoot shoes and sandals .
    My favorite sandals are ANYA X LABOO – barefoot sandals I have the
    Black & the brown . I live in Florida
    I need white sandals & snickers.

  2. Hi Anya, please help! I have wide feet AND bunions. My widest part of my foot is 11 cm! But I wear a size 7.5/8 in US sizes. What can I do? If I get a thong style sandal is it OK if part of my bunion hangs off the shoe? I need cute, dressy sandals for this summer (casual ones too). Currently I’m wearing saltwater because they stretch, although the sole is not flexible. Will any of your sandal options stretch out? Or is custom my only option? Oh I’m also in the US, so I don’t want to have to pay huge shipping fees. Help!

    1. Hi Kassia, if your bunion protrudes off the side a little that’s okay as long as it doesn’t cause any pain or is actually hitting the ground. You might find a good fit with Zeazoo, Tikki Soul, or Shapen Calla (thought the straps on this style are soft, they aren’t adjustable so keep that in mind). For easy ordering in the US, check out the sandal styles we carry at Anya’s Shop. The Feelgrounds seaside is nice and wide in the forefoot and doesn’t have straps that would hit your bunion (though they do not ship from the US – but shipping to the US is quick and easy). Hope that helps!

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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