Located at the base joint of the biggest toe, a bunion (also known as hallux valgus) is a painful swelling that may feel bony or lumpy and affect the toe’s pointing direction.
Bunions can be more than an inconvenience, often causing great discomfort and pain for the sufferer, making it difficult to find shoes that fit comfortably. Whilst surgery may be an option for some, you may have reasons for not following through with the procedure, such as cost or personal complications. Without surgery, the only option for sufferers is to find a way to cope with the effects.
A common complaint amongst those with bunions is the lack of footwear available that suits their needs, with sufferers often having to settle for anything that fits, rather than the styles they love and enjoy wearing. However, due to demand, there are many stores, both brick and mortar and online, that offer a wide range of styles suitable for your feet.
Well-designed shoes for bunions will prevent strain on the area and minimalize inflammation of the joint. Shoes should never be smaller than your feet, as this may result in your toes being forced into uncomfortable positions, leading to painful effects.
If your feet are different sizes, choose the size that fits the larger. The other can be easily padded with insoles and you won’t have to sacrifice the comfort of your bigger foot.
Take into account the fact your feet may swell throughout the day from walking or long periods of standing. Trying on shoes in the evening will ensure your new pair fit you at all times, saving you both time and money as you won’t have to change into a different pair upon leaving work or social gatherings.
You may want to avoid heels to reduce pressure on your aching joints. Keeping heels under two inches will allow you extra height and style without causing damage or soreness.
Choosing an ideal pair of socks can also make a difference to the comfort of your feet while walking or running. A thin, light pair made from anti-blistering material will cut back on extra padding and leave more room for your toes to manoeuvre in the shoe, yet still protect your bunions from irritation.
In addition to selecting the right footwear, there are also accessories that can help relieve bunion sufferers from discomfort. Gel cushions are relatively thin and can provide flexible padding to support your feet and toes. You may also wish to try a shoe stretcher – a device that can be placed inside your shoe while not work to stretch its outline to a size that will accommodate the swelling caused by your bunions. Finally, arch supports are available that can help to distribute your weight effectively between the arch and the balls of the feet to ensure your swollen joint isn’t under unnecessary strain.
By researching the shoes and accessories available, you’ll be able to choose a perfect pair that will allow you to remain comfortable without compromising on your style.