The 9 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to Podiatrists | (2024)

The 9 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to Podiatrists | (1)

The best shoes for bunions are comfortable, wide and supportive.

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If you're one of the estimated quarter of adults who have a bunion, per the ‌Journal of Foot and Ankle Research‌, you know how pesky a problem this can be — especially when it comes to wearing shoes.


Bunions, or those bony protrusions most often at the big-toe joint, can be more than just unsightly to look at, but they can also be quite painful and even debilitating for some people.

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Fortunately, more and more manufacturers are hopping on the bandwagon of making bunion-friendly shoes that are supportive and comfortable — some that even help reduce the progression of the deformity.


The Best Shoes for Bunions

  • Best Overall:Allbirds Wool Runners ($110, Allbirds)
  • Best on a Budget:Vionic Beach Malibu Slip On Sneaker ($64.95, Vionic Shoes)
  • Best for Walking:Kuru Atom ($160, Kuru Footwear)
  • Best for Running:Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 ($109.95, Brooks Running)
  • Best for Hiking:Keen Targhee Hiking Shoe ($144.95, Amazon)
  • Best Sandals:Oofos Ooriginal Sandal ($59.95, Oofos)
  • Best for Flat Feet:Orthofeet Pacific Palisades ($119.95, Orthofeet)
  • Best for Support:Dr. Scholl's Madison Slip-Ons ($50, Amazon)
  • Best Minimalist:Merrell Vapor Glove 5 (From $64.97, Amazon)

How We Chose

Here, podiatrists Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, Emily Splichal, DPM, Michael Pliskin, DPM, and Nelya Lobkova, DPM, share some of their top recommendations for shoes that won't aggravate your bunion and may even help it.

We relied on their expertise and used the following criteria to narrow down our top picks:


  • Comfort
  • Support
  • Materials
  • Cost
  • Availability

Find more information on how we choose and cover products here.

1. Allbirds Wool Runners

Best Overall

The 9 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to Podiatrists | (2)

Allbirds Wool Runners

These shoes are soft and flexible — perfect for people with bunions.




  • Sustainable material
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible sole


  • Not available in half sizes

Ethically sourced using laces that come from recycled plastic bottles and insoles that come from castor bean oil, these shoes have gotten quite the reputation over the last few years — but not only for their resourcefulness. They're also incredibly comfortable, especially for people with bunions.


They have a simple, contoured design that allows the shoe to be flexible, supportive and made to last. You can walk around in these shoes all day long and not feel the irritation that most other shoes can cause.

Another perk that customers rave about is the fact that these shoes are incredibly lightweight — clocking in at just 7 ounces per shoe, which is significantly less than most other shoes.




2. Vionic Beach Malibu Slip On Sneaker

Best on a Budget

The 9 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to Podiatrists | (3)

Vionic Beach Malibu Slip-On Sneakers

This shoe is easy to slip on and off, and it offers all-day comfort.



Dr. Sutera is a big fan of this brand, which offers arch support, cushioning and a deep-seated heel cup. "The three-zone technology that is embedded into their shoes is very foot-friendly," she says.


Vionic's Advanced Motion System (AMS) technology is designed by podiatrists and features a flexible, cushioned outsole and a lightweight, breathable insole that allows for all-day comfort. Whether you're going to the office or heading out for a fast-paced walk, these shoes won't only look stylish, but will also provide the long-term comfort and support your feet crave.


Look out for the men's version of this shoe on their site, the Seaview Slip On Sneaker.



3. Kuru Atom

Best for Walking

The 9 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to Podiatrists | (4)


These shoes won't rub against your bunion while walking.




  • Cushiony midsole
  • Wide width
  • Waterproof


  • Not intended for running
  • Wear down over time, per some reviewers

If you're someone who likes to go on walks, short or long, you're going to need a shoe that won't rub against your bunion. In addition to hugging your foot so there's minimal movement inside your shoe, Kuru shoes feature what the brand refers to as KURUCLOUD — a midsole that's as cushiony as it gets, with an energizing bounce to keep you going during long walks.


They're slightly wider than most shoes and lightweight, so you don't feel pulled down during movement. They're also waterproof, which can come in handy should the weather not cooperate while you're out and about.

(Psst: Check out our other top picks in the walking shoes category.)



4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Best for Running

The 9 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to Podiatrists | (5)

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

If bunion pain keeps you from running, these shoes may help.




  • Arch and bunion support
  • Can be worn every day
  • Soft cushioning


  • Tread wears down over time, according to reviews

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 amps up comfort with ample cushioning, added arch support and a secure fit that keeps your foot snug without overcrowding your bunion. While this shoe is made for runners, anyone looking for comfort while in motion can stand to benefit from this shoe — especially those with flat feet.


This shoe features DNA LOFT, which is the softest cushioning out of all Brooks' running shoes, as well as GuideRails technology, which helps encourage your natural stride.




5. KEEN Targhee Hiking Shoe

Best for Hiking

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KEEN Targhee Hiking Shoe

This waterproof hiking shoe offers stability and durability.




  • High-traction
  • Waterproof
  • Supports your ankles, heels and balls of your feet


  • Some reviewers say this style is too narrow in the toe box

Whether you're an avid hiker or someone who's looking to explore more of the outdoors, this waterproof hiking shoe will aid your adventures while ensuring your feet are comfortable and secure.

They feature a rubber outsole that has high-traction alongside a dual-density and compression-molded inside that gives your foot the security you need to handle all-terrain without the pressure that can often lead to pain.

The shoe has a torsional-stability ESS shank in the midsole that helps stabilize your foot as you move and a waterproof protective inner and outer layer that won't compromise support due to inclement weather.



6. Oofos Ooriginal Sandal

Best Sandals

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Oofos Ooriginal Sandal

The footbed of these sandals are perfect for relieving bunion pain while standing.




  • Made with a pressure-relieving footbed
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


  • Rubber can make your feet sweaty, per some reviews
  • Not available in half sizes

If you're looking for sandals that will help alleviate the pain and general discomfort associated with your bunion, Dr. Lobkova recommends Oofos. Not only are they made extra wide to accommodate and stabilize the foot, but they feature a proprietary footbed design that helps take pressure off other targeted areas in your body, including your knees and ankles.

Perhaps the best part (for people with or without bunions), in addition to their 30-day money-back guarantee, is the fact that you can toss these sandals in the washing machine when they're extra dirty or just need a refresh.



7. Orthofeet Pacific Palisades

Best for Flat Feet

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Orthofeet Pacific Palisades

The arch support and wide toe box support both flat feet and bunions.




  • Designed to support a variety of foot conditions
  • Stretchy upper material
  • Wide toe box


  • May take some time to break in, according to reviewers

Having flat feet is an inherited condition and one that can actually lead to the formation of bunions, says Dr. Pliskin, chief of podiatry at North Shore University in the Northwell Health System. "A supportive shoe that holds up the arch and decreases the flattening of the medial column limiting pronation will reduce the progression of the deformity," he says.


A great pick for those who are flat-footed with bunions is Orthofeet, which are designed specifically for a wide range of pesky foot conditions, including flat feet, bunions, back pain, plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, Morton's neuroma and more.

In addition to their stretchable upper material, they have a wide toe box to accommodate large bunion growths. They also have arch support, which can provide significant comfort for those with flat feet.

Check out a similar women's version of this shoe — the Sonoma sneaker — on Orthofeet's site.



8. Dr. Scholl’s Madison Slip-Ons

Best for Support

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Dr. Scholl's Madison Slip-Ons

The convenience and comfort of this slip on makes it a great pick.




  • Made with sustainable materials
  • Convenient slip-on
  • Ample cushioning
  • Stylish


  • May take some time to break in, according to reviews

If you're looking for an everyday shoe that's equally stylish as it is supportive, consider Dr. Scholl's Madison Slip-Ons. As implied by its name, this shoe just slips right on, which can be quite convenient for people on-the-go.

The Insole Technology provides anatomical cushioning that supports the weight and protrusion of your bunion, and the flexible construction allows free movement without pressure.

If you're eco-minded, you'll be glad to know that this shoe is sustainably made and crafted with a unique microsuede that comes from recycled bottles.

Find the men's version — the Madison CFX — on the Dr. Scholl's website.



9. Merrell Vapor Glove 5

Best Minimalist

The 9 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to Podiatrists | (10)

Merrell Vapor Glove 5

Get a barefoot and seamless feel with this pick from Merrell.




  • Mimic the feeling of going barefoot
  • May help reduce bunion pain
  • Wide toe box


  • May take some time to adjust/break them in
  • Runs smaller than expected, according to reviews

Minimalist — or "barefoot" — shoes aren't for everyone. But these types of "barely there" shoes are meant to mimic the natural way we walk and run, and there's some evidence they might help with bunions. One February 2022 analysis in the ‌Journal of Biomechanics‌ found that minimal footwear — which naturally has a wider toe box than traditional shoes and less cushioning — may help reduce mild to moderate bunions.


It's worth noting that more research needs to be done to back up this finding. But if you're interested in minimal footwear, the Merrell Vapor Glove 5 is a good gateway shoe. It has a wide toe box, tight heel cup and zero-drop heel with minimal padding, but it still looks like a traditional shoe.

Just don't wear these all day long if you're new to minimalist shoes — start slowly to allow your feet and gait to adjust.



What to Look for in Shoes for Bunions

1. Comfort

Because bunions are often associated with pain, the last thing you want is to purchase a shoe that makes that irritation worse. For this reason, it's important to read customer reviews to make sure that the pair you are buying only adds comfort instead of taking it away.

2. Support

Podiatrist Suzanne Fuchs, DPM, foot and ankle specialist at LuxePodiatry in Jupiter, Florida, recommends looking for supportive shoes that help promote better foot mechanics.

"Make sure to have your feet measured and fitted so you get the appropriate sized shoe especially at the width."

She also suggests avoiding shoes with narrow toe boxes, as they can be less supportive than rounded shoes that are more accommodating.

3. Width

It's important to select a shoe that's wide enough to accommodate the extra room taken up by your bunion. For this reason, it's important to understand the width of footwear needed to fit your specific foot — bunion included.

Dr. Lobkova suggests tracing the outside of the foot with a pencil on a sheet of paper to be able to visualize this better.

4. Soft Upper Material

"Soft upper material to any footwear will not rub on the bunion joint and thus diminish pain and irritation of the soft tissue surrounding the joint," notes Dr. Lobkova. She recommends seeking out a shoe made with materials like goat leather or neoprene that will conform to the contour of the foot instead of pressing up against the joint.



The 9 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to Podiatrists | (2024)


What is the best shoe to wear if you have bunions? ›

To manage and prevent bunion pain, it's advisable to wear shoes that have sufficient width for bunions, a rounded toe box, and appropriate arch support. Brands like Rothy's, Dr. Scholl's, Hoka, New Balance, Clarks, Sole Bliss, Birkenstock, and FitVille offer shoes specifically designed for individuals with bunions.

What is the device to fix bunions without surgery? ›

Bunion toe spacers fit between the big toe and the second toe, and can keep them from crowding and rubbing each other. Spacers can also help straighten the big toe and can be worn inside shoes. Bunion splints wrap around your big toe and foot, similar to a sleeve.

Should shoes be tight or loose for bunions? ›

Buy shoes made from a stretchy material, such as leather or canvas. Look for adjustable shoes with laces or a strap that you can loosen to accommodate changes in the size of your feet or bunion over time. Avoid shoes that are pointed, narrow, or tight. You should also stay away from heels that are higher than 2 inches.

Are Hoka sneakers good for bunions? ›

This makes the HOKA Clifton 9 an excellent choice for runners seeking relief from bunion-related discomfort, as it combines unrivaled cushioning, a smooth stride with the Meta Rocker, and a bunion-conscious design that delivers both support and comfort throughout your running endeavors.

Is walking barefoot better for bunions? ›

Going barefoot is ideal in the beginning stages of bunions. When barefoot, the joints of the toes will get stronger, an important part of good foot health.

What worsens bunions? ›

Wearing tight, narrow shoes might cause bunions or make them worse. Bunions can also develop as a result of the shape of your foot, a foot deformity or a medical condition, such as arthritis. Smaller bunions (bunionettes) can develop on the joint of your little toe.

What is the new fix for bunions? ›

Lapiplasty® is a new procedure using patented technology to correct not only the bunion, but its root cause. It straightens three dimensions of alignment of the metatarsal bone.

How can I shrink my bunions naturally? ›

How to Shrink Bunions Naturally: A Step-By-Step Process
  1. Step 1: Assess Your Footwear. ...
  2. Step 2: Use Bunion Pads and Splints. ...
  3. Step 3: Incorporate Toe Exercises and Stretches. ...
  4. Step 4: Apply Ice and Heat Therapy. ...
  5. Step 5: Consider Custom Orthotics. ...
  6. Step 6: Embrace Foot Soaks and Massages. ...
  7. Step 7: Maintain a Healthy Weight.
Feb 15, 2024

Is there a bunion corrector that actually works? ›

Unfortunately, there is no medical research or data to support the claim that bunion correctors straighten the big toe.

Is wearing flip-flops bad for bunions? ›

Thong sandals or flip-flops – When the toes are not encased, they become unstable and can slide around. As the feet work harder to maintain stability and grip harder in flip-flops, bunions can become aggravated. The inflammation and positioning can cause the deformity to worsen over time.

Are skechers good for bunions? ›

Skechers GO WALK FLEX Alani shoes are 100% vegan, and they're our pick for the best budget shoe for bunions because they don't compromise value for comfort (or fun). The foam insole adds a breathable, lightweight layer of long-term, responsive cushioning for all-day comfort.

Are Crocs good for bunions? ›

Crocs in the Clinic

“These shoes are especially light,” says Harold Glickman, DPM, former president of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “They have huge room in the toe that affords the front part of the foot lots of room, especially for people with bone deformities like bunions and hammer toe.

What brands are best for bunions? ›

Our pick for the best shoe for bunions overall, the Hoka Ora Recovery 2 is extra supportive with a wide toe box. As the best walking shoe for bunions, the Keen WK400 Leather Walking Shoe is solid for long walks.

Do podiatrists recommend HOKA? ›

They have frequently awarded the Seal to selective styles of the innovative, cushioned footwear from HOKA. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance recognizes products that have been found beneficial to foot health.

Do I need wide shoes if I have bunions? ›

If you form a Bunion and continue to wear ill-fitted shoes, the Bunion will continue to get larger. Fitting a Bunion in a wide shoe, along with proper fitting arch support you are decreasing the chances of it getting any larger and it will also alleviate the pain associated with a Bunion.

What should you avoid when you have bunions? ›

If you have bunions, you'll want to avoid high-purine foods like:
  • Red meat.
  • Shellfish.
  • Organ meats (liver, kidneys, etc.)
  • Certain types of fish (anchovies, sardines, herring)
Apr 12, 2023

Are flat shoes better for bunions? ›

A flat may also fit too snugly around the bunion. If the shoe is too loose, your toes tend to scrunch to keep it from flopping off your heel, which can also aggravate a bunion. It is best to wear a quality leather shoe with a roomy toe box and sturdy heel counter.


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