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Finding the Perfect Bunion Friendly Shoes

A bunion can be one of the most challenging obstacles to finding the perfect pair of shoes—especially online. But the good news is that when it comes to fitting customers with bunions, the sales staff at Plum Bottom have a lot of practice and some great shoe suggestions! When shopping online, Plum Bottom has curated a special selection of choices that work well for many people who have bunions. You can also take our Product Selection Quiz which, by answering a few questions, will guide you towards the shoe you’ve been seeking.

There are a few general rules that really help when looking for shoes that work with bunions. Soft leather is one of the best material choices because it can easily conform to the shape of your foot. Even better, soft leather that is woven or perforated is even more malleable and forgiving. Avoid shoes that have a seam that bisects your bunion.

Look no further than the Robert Zur – Petra loafer. Constructed in Robert Zur's "True Glove" signature leather, this loafer is oh-so soft and woven—the perfect choice for you ladies with a bunion. Choose from 4 different color options. 

Another woven option, the Rieker- Sina Slingback Woven Shoe will conform comfortably to your bunion while giving you some extra height! 

Other materials can work well—but patent leather is not very soft and tends to craze or crack when stretched around a bunion. A good choice of material is stretchy or elasticized fabric. This is often found in trendy athleisure styles. Some shoes even include a hidden, even more elasticized panel which allows the bunion extra space.

Pair this stretchy, slip-on Remonte Sneaker with an athleisure outfit for all-day comfort. 

Another casual style and a customer-favorite, the mesh Ara - Leigh Pastel Sneaker will add a colorful pop to any outfit! It also features an elasticized panel to fit your bunion. 

Sandals can be easier on bunions for a few reasons. Adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit of the shoe and can take the pressure off a painful bunion. But be careful of the straps you choose. Generally speaking, bunions respond better to straps that cross in the front, giving your bunion space in between the straps. When choosing a shoe with a single strap, make sure it's wide enough to cover your bunion completely so the strap doesn't cut into your skin. 


Vicki and Jenna, two of our lovely Plum Bottom employees, cannot get enough of this Vince Camuto - Mellienda Ankle Strap sandal! They both have bunions and can vouch that this sandal is a very comfortable choice for those with bunions. 

The Bueno Upton is truly the perfect heeled sandal with its boho styling, soft leather, and pure comfort. Plus, it's completely bunion friendly! Wear with your favorite sundress or denim shorts during the spring and summer months. 

Your bunion will be in absolute heaven anytime you wear the Naot- Papaki sandal. The cork footbed will conform to your foot, and the soft leather strap will fit comfortably around your bunion. Because this shoe promotes foot health, the Naot- Papaki has earned the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance. 

What can you do to avoid developing a bunion, or making the one you already have worse? While bunions can be hereditary, they can also be caused by the habitual wearing of overly tight shoes. Bunions form primarily found at the base of the big toe, though “bunionettes” can also form on the pinky toe edge of the foot.  It’s important to wear shoes that don't compress your toes and make sure you are rotating the shoes that you wear frequently. If you wear the same pair too many times in a row, you are training your feet into the shape of that shoe. It’s like a modified version of foot binding and not at all healthy for your feet. Make sure you regularly rotate in shoes that give your toes plenty of space and offer good support. Your feet (not to mention your joints and back) will thank you. On occasion we’ve all chosen fashion over practicality—and we love a gorgeous pump! When you take good care of your feet, you’ll be able to continue to wear the occasional “splurge” shoe for many more years without problems.

Those close to Central PA—we'd love to help you find the perfect shoe in person! Both of our stores offer many selections that work well for bunions. Online friends, check out our dedicated Bunion selection and take our Product Recommendation Quiz for curated suggestions. We are also happy to help you out over the phone and can even send you additional information and pictures. Call us at 717-651-1600 during business hours.

Things to look for when choosing a shoe for bunions:

  • Soft leather, particularly woven or perforated.
  • Stretchy elasticized fabric, especially in athleisure styles.
  • Straps that cross to run diagonally across the bunion.
  • Thick straps that completely cover the bunion.
  • Adjustable straps that allow you to create more width at the bunion.

Things to avoid:

  • Seams that run directly across the bunion.
  • Patent leather – the stiff material doesn’t stretch as well and tends to crack or “craze” when forced to stretch over a bunion.
  • Shoes with a very pointy toe.
  • Thin straps that bisect the bunion.
  • Wearing the same shoes too often.
*Please note that the recommendations made in this blog are not medical advice. They do not replace consulting with a doctor, nor are they prescriptive in nature.

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