The Best Shoes for Bunions, According to a Running Coach

The Rykä Devotion Plus 3 shoe is stretchy and relieves bunion pressure

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The 12 Best Shoes for Bunions of 2022

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Bunions cause pain at the base of your big toe and can keep you from doing the activities you enjoy most. Shoes that are too tight or stiff can aggravate your bunions. Wearing shoes that have a wide toe box and ample arch support can provide substantial relief. 

Reviewed & Approved

The Rykä Devotion Plus 3 is our best overall pick for it's stretchy knit upper that provides bunion relief and supportive midsole for walking. The Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy walking shoe is an affordable slip-on option with good support for all day walking.

Whether you exercise regularly or are simply looking for an all-day-wear casual shoe, you need a pair that is roomy around the toes and a snug fit in the heel. The shoe's upper should be breathable and stretchy and the sole should have plenty of cushioning and support. We reviewed the shoes in our roundup for all of these features as well as material, durability, and available size ranges.

Here, the best shoes for bunions, according to a certified running coach.

Best Overall for Women: Rykä Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe

4.9
Rykä Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe

Amazon

Pros
  • Comes in regular and wide sizes

  • Lightweight and breathable

Cons
  • Wear down quicker than other options

  • Narrow tongue design

Who else recommends it? Good Housekeeping and Healthline both picked the Rykä Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe.

4What do buyers say? 83% of 5,800+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Our best overall pick and an ideal shoe for all-day wear, the Rykä Devotion Plus 3 has the comfort and flexibility that women with bunions need. The shoe’s stretchy, knit upper provides plenty of flex and space to relieve pressure from your bunions while still offering solid support. Additionally, the cushioned midsole and durable outsole protect your feet from shock and impact.

Lightweight and breathable, these shoes feel great right out of the box and are great for active women or those who spend a lot of time on their feet. The shoe comes in women’s sizes 5 to 12 and in regular or wide sizes, making it a good option for women who need extra room in the toe box.

Best Overall for Men: Hoka One One Men's Bondi 7 Running Shoes

HOKA ONE ONE Men's Bondi 7 Running Shoes

Amazon

Pros
  • Come in medium, wide, and extra-wide sizes

  • High-quality, performance cushioning

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Bulkier than other options

If you’re looking for a well-cushioned shoe that helps you stay injury-free, it’s tough to beat Hoka One One’s Bondi running shoes. The engineered mesh upper allows the shoe to stretch and move with you as you run or walk, helping to reduce pressure on your bunions.

The Bondi’s thick, full-length midsole cushioning supplies high-performance comfort, allowing for a smooth, efficient ride. They come in men’s sizes 7 to 14 and in medium, wide, and extra-wide widths for those who need extra space in the front. Although Bondi shoes are more expensive than some other running shoes, they’re definitely worth the cost for the quality, performance, and durability.

Best Budget for Women: Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe

Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Come in narrow, regular, and wide sizes

  • Made with breathable fabrics

Cons
  • Less stylish than other options

  • Less support from arch to heel

While some shoes for bunions are on the expensive side, this affordable pair from Skechers will help keep you comfortable and pain-free. Ideal for walking or all-day wear, they feature a Goga Max insole and 5GEN midsole for excellent cushioning and comfort from the moment you first put them on. The shoe’s soft, sock-like upper is breathable and made of a flexible knit fabric that won't rub or put pressure on your bunions.

Available in women’s sizes 5 to 12 and widths narrow, regular, or wide, they also come in a variety of fun and basic colors.

Best Budget for Men: Asics GEL-Contend 6 Running Shoes

Asics GEL-Contend 6 Running Shoes

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Comes in medium and extra-wide widths

  • Plenty of flexible support

Cons
  • Not ideal for flat feet

  • Materials not as durable as other options

Whether you need a pair of shoes for running or casual all-day wear, the Asics GEL-Contend 6 running shoe is a versatile, affordable option for men with bunions. The shoe’s breathable mesh has just the right amount of flex, so it doesn’t rub or put pressure on your bunions. And the foam-cushioned midsole provides flexible support while Asics’ trademark GEL cushioning system in the rearfoot and forefoot enhances the overall comfort and helps with shock absorption.

Available in men’s sizes 6 to 15 and in medium or extra wide widths, the lightweight, durable Contend is an excellent choice that won’t break the bank.

Best for Running: Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoes

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoes

Amazon

Pros
  • Come in narrow, medium, and wide sizes

  • Excellent cushioning in arches and heels

Cons
  • Color options not so attractive

  • Not ideal for heel strikers

Painful bunions can stop a runner in their tracks, but wearing the right shoes can make a huge difference. These popular running shoes from Brooks have excellent cushioning in the arches and heels, which helps take some of the pressure off your toes and bunions. The shoe’s cushy DNA Loft foam allows for smooth, easy landings on the heel and lateral side while the responsive BioMoGo DNA foam provides good support and stability under the arch.

Additionally, the shoe’s engineered air mesh upper provides strategic stretch and a comfy fit while also delivering breathability. They’re available in women’s sizes 5 to 13 and in narrow, medium, and wide widths.

Best for Walking: New Balance WW928v3 Walking Shoes

New Balance WW928v3 Walking Shoes

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Comes in narrow, wide, extra wide, and extra-extra wide sizes

  • Wide and deep toe box

Cons
  • Less stylish than other options

  • Requires a little break-in period

Known for their comfy and supportive walking shoes, New Balance certainly delivers with this high-quality shoe. With the perfect combination of firmness and high-energizing cushioning, the New Balance 928 walking shoe supports and protects feet while walking. The shoe’s soft upper leather and wide and deep toe box can help you avoid pain from existing bunions as well.

They’re available in women’s sizes 5 to 13 and in a range of widths, from narrow to extra-extra wide, so it’s easy to find a shoe to keep you walking pain-free.

Best Slip-On: Propét Women's TravelActiv Mary Jane Flat

Propét Women's TravelActiv Mary Jane Flat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Come in a variety of widths

  • Made with flexible, stretchy material

Cons
  • Top strap runs short

  • Less supportive than other options

This adorable slip-on shoe from Propét is proof that shoes don’t have to be bulky or unattractive to provide relief from bunions. Stylish and super lightweight, it's constructed with a flexible, stretchy material that gives you plenty of room to stretch out your toes. The engineered mesh lining also helps prevent moisture from forming, keeping your feet dry and comfortable.

With lush cushioning and a sturdy rubber sole, these versatile shoes are ideal for everyday wear or travel. They’re available in women’s sizes 6 to 12 and a variety of widths and color options.

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Vionic Miles Running Shoes

Vionic Miles Running Shoes

Courtesy of Zappos

Pros
  • Comes in medium and wide widths

  • Podiatrist-designed footbed

Cons
  • Less durable than other options

  • Less cushioning in forefoot

If you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis in addition to bunions, the Vionic Miles running shoe is a solid choice. The shoe’s podiatrist-designed footbed provides just the right amount of cushioning and support while the dual-layer mesh upper’s flexibility helps avoid pressure on your bunions.

This shoe is available in women’s sizes 5 to 12 and in medium or wide widths.

Best Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed

brikesntock-arizona

Zappos

Pros
  • Both sturdy and comfortable

  • Incredibly durable

Cons
  • Require a brief break-in period

  • Sizing can be tricky

Birkenstocks are an ideal slip-on shoe for warm weather, running errands, or just relaxing at home. Fortunately, they’re also a safe and comfortable option for those with bunions. With built-in arch support, a sturdy footbed, and a soft leather upper, the Arizona sandal has exactly the right features that people with bunions need.

The memory foam footbed provides long-lasting cushioning comfort while the EVA outsole offers lightweight, shock-absorbing support. Suitable for both men and women, these sandals come in European sizes 35 to 46, which converts to approximately a women’s 4 to a men’s 13 in American sizes.

Best for Flat Feet: Asics Women's GEL-Kayano 27 Running Shoes

Asics Women's Gel-Kayano 27

Asics

Pros
  • Breathable, slightly stretchy mesh upper

  • Helps prevent overpronation

Cons
  • Slightly bulky

  • Laces run short

Another popular, dependable shoe from Asics, the lightweight GEL-Kayano running shoe provides the support and stability that runners with flat feet need while also giving them protection from bunions. The shoe’s breathable mesh upper gently hugs the foot but allows for enough stretch as to not aggravate bunions.

Flat-footed runners or walkers also often have problems with overpronation, but the shoe’s Guidance Trustic System and Dynamic Duomax foam keep it under control. Available in women’s sizes 5 to 13 and in medium and wide widths, the Kayano is a high-quality option that can help those with flat feet to walk and run comfortably.

Best for Hiking: Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe

Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Comes in medium and wide widths

  • The perfect balance of comfort and ruggedness

Cons
  • Slightly boxy feel

  • Run large

Merrell is well-known for its wide range of athletic and outdoor shoes that feature durable rubber soles and comfy memory foam cushioning. Their Moab Vent shoe is made with flexible materials and has a roomy toe box, making it a solid choice for hikers with bunions.

With an EVA midsole, air cushioning in the heel, and a Vibram outsole with a .19-inch lug depth, it strikes the right balance between comfort and durability. It’s available in women’s sizes 5 to 11 and in medium or wide widths.

Best for Wide Feet: New Balance 608v5 Walking Shoes

New Balance WX 608 Training Shoes

Courtesy of Zappo's 

Pros
  • Wide and deep toe box design

  • Plenty of cushioning and support

Cons
  • Less stylish than other options

  • Require a brief break-in period

Anyone who has suffered from bunions, foot blisters, or toe numbness knows that a wider toe box can make all the difference. The New Balance 608 walking shoe has a wide and deep toe box, and it’s available in a variety of widths to accommodate a huge range of sizes.

The stretchy faux-leather helps reduce pressure on bunions while the extremely slip-resistant rubber sole allows for better grip and balance. Supportive and durable, these shoes provide plenty of cushioning, comfort, and impact protection. Available in women’s sizes 5 to 12, this attractive shoe is ideal for fitness walking or comfortable, all-day wear.

Final Verdict

With the perfect combination of flexibility and comfort, the Rykä Devotion Plus 3 Running Shoe is ideal for women with bunions who want to stay active or need a comfortable all-day-wear shoe. For men, the Hoka One One Bondi 7 Running Shoes are top-notch in terms of cushioning and injury protection, and they are an excellent pick as far as high-performance, durable shoes go.

What to Look for in Shoes for Bunions

Fit

Look for shoes that have a roomy or flexible fit and are available in wide or extra-wide options. “The toe box should accommodate the bunion prominence,” says Ami A. Sheth, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatrist who practices in the San Francisco Bay area. “It shouldn't pinch or cause too much pressure.” 

Material

The best shoes for bunions are made of lightweight material with a bit of give, such as soft leather or mesh fabric. “Having a soft upper can help with pressure, as it will be stretched,” says Dr. Sheth. Thick rubber soles are also ideal for reducing tension on bunions and cushioning them from impact.

Cushioning and Support

Well-cushioned and shock-absorbing midsoles can lessen impact and pressure on bunions, improving overall comfort. “There should also be good support in the arch area to help with mechanical control,” says Dr. Sheth.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can you stretch shoes for bunions?

    You can get relief from bunion pain by wearing wider shoes with enough toe room. This helps reduce pressure on the big toe. To create wider shoes (especially if you do not want to purchase new shoes), you can use a stretcher, available at shoe stores or big-box retailers.

    First, spray the inside of the shoes with the spray that comes with the stretcher. This loosens up the fabric for stretching. Then, insert the stretcher all the way into your shoe and leave it there for 24 hours.

    Other relief options for bunions include:

    • Protective pads, which go over the bunion to keep your shoes from rubbing up against it.
    • Toe spacers
    • Made-to-order shoe inserts from a podiatrist
  • What causes bunions?

    Bunions occur from pressure on the big toe as it leans toward the second toe. Eventually, the structure of the bone changes, which often results in a bunion bump. The bunion continues to grow in size and can make wearing shoes, and even walking barefoot, painful.

    The initial pressure on the big toes is usually due to improperly fitted shoes, inherited foot and toe shape, or an inflammatory condition such as arthritis.

  • Can poor-fitting shoes make bunions worse?

    Yes, poorly fitted shoes can make bunions worse. Bunions can occur or worse when you wear shoes that are too short, high-heeled, or tight, or that have a pointed toe; these force the toes into an unnatural position.

    You can ease bunion pain by choosing shoes that fit well and do not cause your toes to push together.

  • How can I keep my bunions from getting worse?

    To keep your bunions from getting worse, always wear properly fitted shoes. Choose shoes with a lace-up or otherwise adjustable closure to allow for a custom fit. For flats and sandals, make sure the edge of the shoe, straps, or seams don't rub against the bunions, as that can cause irritation. It may also help to see a podiatrist for personalized advice on managing your bunions.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Certified running coach, marathon runner, and fitness writer Christine Luff has spent years researching and recommending running and walking shoes. She sticks to brands that are recommended by organizations like the American Podiatric Medical Association and tells her trainees dealing with foot pain to seek advice from their podiatrists or other health care professionals.

3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 13 Best Walking Shoes for Women, According to Podiatrists. Good Housekeeping. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health-products/g26960479/best-walking-shoes-for-women/

  2. 9 Best Walking Shoes for Women, According to Podiatrists. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/best-walking-shoes-for-women

  3. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Bunions.