Warm Weather Footwear Tips for Bunion Patients

Bunions are a progressive deformity of the big toe joint, it can lead to further complications if left untreated. Relieving the pain you feel from bunions requires reducing the pressure beneath your big toe joint when standing or walking. When you wear shoes, this is fairly simple to accomplish with either over-the-counter arch supports or custom orthotics. Increased arch support is necessary to distribute your weight more evenly, transferring your weight from your big toe joint to the arch of the foot, where it belongs.

However, it is virtually impossible to slip a pair of arch supports into your sandals or flip-flops and most sandals and flip-flops on the market today provide little to no arch support. This makes bunion problem worse. We understand that you may prefer sandals and flip-flops in warmer weather or for convenience – the solution is to wear orthotic sandals, arch-supporting flip-flops or proper sports sandals. This comfortable footwear has enough arch support to reduce the pressure on the joint and bring you relief from pain and prevent further progression of the deformity.

vionic brand flipflops sandalsBest Flip Flops and Sandals for Bunions

The only way flip-flops or sandals can help with bunion pain is by decreasing pressure under the big toe joint. To do this, the flip-flop sandal must include an arch that conforms close to the arch of the foot. This type of sandal with a built-in arch support can transfer pressure from the big toe joint to the arch of the foot. We have found that the Vionic® Brand has the best sandals and flip-flops for bunions – they even offer slippers and slides.

sandal gel toe spreaderThese sandals and flip-flops are designed to conform to the arch of your foot as closely as possible, providing increased support and stability, which relieves the pressure on your big toe joint. The Wave Flip-flop Sandal or any of the Vionic® healthy flip-flops are clinically proven to reduce excess pronation and pressure, and provide excellent support. We also found a great little gadget that makes wearing flip-flop even more comfortable – it is a sandal gel toe spreader and slips onto the flip-flop to separate the first and second toes.

Best Sports Sandal for Bunions

Bunions (enlargement of the big toe joint) are a painful condition. If you have a bunion, a regular sports sandal will not offer enough support and can even contribute to greater pain. Since bunions tend to get bigger over time (or the joint can develop arthritis), wearing the right sports sandal is an important part of conservative treatment.

We have reviewed the Orthaheel Malibu Sandal to rate how it performs for bunion patients. This sandal is stylish, sporty, and functional. It is an orthotic sandal that is designed for stability and alignment of the feet, knees, and ankles. As a sports sandal for both men and women, it’s made for walking and includes many comfort features:

  • Straps are made from soft synthetic leather with padded linings
  • Hook and loop adjustment for a customized fit
  • Soft dense material for ease of movement and orthotic therapy
  • Contoured footbeds to control pronation and keep pressure off the bunion

The Orthaheel Malibu Sandal is designed to enhance foot function and reduce pain by transferring pressure off of the bunion. It is definitely a good sports sandal for other pain conditions such as back pain and shin splints. Our conclusion is that this is the best sports sandal to buy for bunions.

Best Women’s Sandals for Bunions

Women are particularly prone to pain from bunions due to the types of shoes they wear. Stylish shoes with high heels can place excessive pressure on the big toe joint. The higher the heels, the more pressure created. This is what leads to the development of the foot deformity known as a bunion. It’s a lump that develops at the big toe joint, as the big toe is forced inward, toward the other toes.

Sandals for BunionsWhile women generally enjoy a wonderful variety of stylish footwear choices, including stylish sandals and flip-flops, the unfortunate truth is that these choices do not usually account for the needs of women with bunions. In fact, many of the most stylish shoes designed for women merely exacerbate the problem. For women who choose to wear sandals during warm weather, this is especially true because most sandals and flip-flops provide no arch support whatsoever.

Orthotic sandals for women have come a long way in recent years, providing excellent support and relief from bunion pain while also being quite stylish. We have found, and our patients agree, that Orthaheel sandals provide excellent arch support, and they are available in a variety of styles.

To see more styles, please visit the Foot and Ankle Store for Orthaheel Sandals for Women.

Contact the Foot and Ankle Center for Bunion Pain Relief

Dr. Larry Huppin and Dr. Doug Hale are nationally recognized experts in orthotics and foot biomechanics. Both are highly trained and experienced foot and ankle physicians.

Bunions be quite painful but and, left untreated, can also lead to progressive deformities and chronic foot problems including hallux rigidus (arthritis in the big toe joint) and hallux limitus (big toe joint pain).

The doctors at the Foot and Ankle Center of Washington are experts in the treatment of bunions, including pain relief and prevention of further progressive deformities which can result from bunions and poor footwear choices.

For more on the progressive nature of bunions and related chronic conditions, please visit our bunion page then click here to read all of our bunion home treatment hints. If you live or work in the Seattle area, make an appointment today at the Foot and Ankle Center of Washington for treatment and relief of your bunion pain.

Dr. Larry Huppin
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Dr. Larry Huppin

Podiatrist specializing in biomechanics at Foot & Ankle Center of Washington
Lawrence Z.Huppin, DPM is an internationally recognized lecturer and teacher on orthotic therapy and biomechanics.In his Seattle private practice his focus in on treatment of mechanical problems such as heel pain, bunions, ball of foot pain, athletic injuries and children’s foot conditions.In addition he specializes in toenail problems including ingrown and fungal toenail conditions. He is always focused on helping patients avoid surgery if at all possible and keeping your medical costs as low as possible.
Dr. Larry Huppin
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