When you’re looking for a pair of shoes to help with your bunion, think of the song “Footloose,” which served as the title track for that famous ‘80s movie. If you’re going to find any pain relief or are trying to prevent bunions, a looser shoe is the first step toward less discomfort from this bump on the side of your big toe.

What are Bunions?

This bony deformity occurs in the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of your big toe. The lump you see is the result of your bones or tissue moving out of their correct alignment. Over time, the big toe may start to point towards toward the other toes and the first metatarsal head sticks out on the inside of your foot. Talk about pain—when that deformity rubs against your shoes, it can make simple things, like walking, very difficult to do.

Causes and Risks

The shoes that are making you simmer with pain now are the same ones that may have created the problem in the first place. Whenever an uneven amount of pressure is placed on the foot, either from too-tight shoes or too-high heels, the irregular pressure can make your joint unstable and make you more prone to developing this condition.

Foot structures are hereditary, which means that your parents can pass down a foot that puts you more at risk. However, your family can’t just give you a bunion. What you wear on your feet and the way you walk leads to this painful result. Other causes are traumatic injuries, flat feet, low arches, arthritis, neuromuscular conditions, and activities like ballet dancing.

I’ve Got This Feeling

The symptoms are visible and physical in this case. You can see your big toe pointing toward your other ones and you may feel pain near the bump. Sometimes, it will feel worse and swell when you put shoes on. The constant irritation may make for tender skin over the area that becomes callused. You might also form calluses where your big toe goes over your second toe.


There are some things you can do at home before you need to visit us. Over-the-counter bunion pads, a change in shoes, and daily icing might keep the problem from getting worse—sometimes for years. However, you should consider making an appointment at the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group if the pain is severe and the bunions have changed the shape of your foot and walking stride. We will be able to analyze exactly what your foot is doing and recommend orthotics that would correct your gait and put a more even amount of pressure on your foot when it hits the ground. This might get rid of some of your pain and slow the progression of the bunion. If all the non-surgical treatments have been exhausted, we might talk with you about the options for bunion surgery.

Kick Off the Sunday Shoes

Are your feet cramped into shoes that are too small for you, or are you wearing high heels all day long? Footwear can drastically affect how your feet feel—for better or for worse. To get relief, find a pair of shoes with a lot of space in the toe box. They shouldn’t be too loose, but shouldn’t cramp your toes. A gap of space should exist between your longest toe and front of the shoe. Avoid pointy-toed shoes or heels that are over two inches tall.

Cut Loose! Call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group

When you want to cut your feet loose from bunions, call our office in Carmichael, CA, at (916) 961-3434 to make an appointment. If you’re online, you can schedule one right from our website. For more information on feet, follow us on Pinterest and Facebook.

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