Did you know that bunions affect about one in three people over age 65? Bunions are bony growths that form at the base of the big toe, and they can be extremely painful.

Bunions might start small, but they often grow larger if left untreated. Soreness and swelling are common with larger bunions, and symptoms can make everyday activities, such as walking or wearing shoes, very difficult.

At Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute in South Ogden, Utah, David B. Glover, DPM, FACFAS, and our team are here to help relieve bunion pain no matter what your age is. Use our shoe-shopping tips to help minimize pain and prevent bunions from getting worse.

Bunions 101

Bunions form over time, and the condition is usually caused when the big toe is pushed in toward the other toes for long periods of time. This can easily occur if you wear shoes with a narrow toe box. Over the years, this pressure can lead to a bony formation on the joint at the base of your big toe. Your chances of developing bunions can also increase due to arthritis, a foot injury, or genetics.

Shoes to look for

Due to the location of bunions, finding comfortable shoes can be challenging. However, certain shoes can help you walk comfortably. Choose shoes with wide toe boxes. Wide toe boxes will give your toes plenty of room to spread out, which will help prevent your big toe from getting pushed under or over the next toe.

Also, try to find shoes with comfortable cushioning. If you can’t find shoes that feel comfortable, talk to Dr. Glover about the benefits of custom shoe inserts or orthotic footwear.

Shoes to avoid

Just as there are certain features to look for, there are also features to avoid when it comes to finding bunion-friendly footwear. Narrow shoes and shoes with pointed toes are a leading cause of bunion pain, and they should be avoided. Narrow, pointed shoes can force the toes together and aggravate or lead to the development of bunions.

You should also avoid high heels. High heels are notorious for creating foot problems, including bunions. When you wear high heels, your body weight shifts to the balls of your feet, which can put too much strain and pressure on your toes. This extra pressure can lead to increased bunion pain.

More ways to prevent bunion pain

Wearing wide, comfortable shoes is one of the best things you can do to prevent bunion pain. However, if this doesn’t help, Dr. Glover can recommend at-home remedies, such as bracing, splinting, and taping to take the strain off your big toe joint.

He may also recommend using bunion cushions or moleskin to help pad the bunion. For more severe cases, Dr. Glover may recommend anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections to help minimize the pain and inflammation. If needed, he may recommend bunion surgery to realign your toe and repair the damaged tissue.

If you have bunions and want to learn more about how to treat your condition, book an appointment online or over the phone with Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute today.