Many people are affected by bunions, and this painful foot condition can cause you to be off your feet for quite some time if it is not treated. That being said, while surgery is the only thing that will eliminate the bunions entirely, there are other things that you can do to make sure that your feet are comfortable and you are able to continue hiking.
One of these things is to wear the correct footwear. This is something that is important at all times but becomes even more so when you have problems with the feet, such as bunions.
However, unlike selecting a normal pair of hiking boots, when you are buying hiking shoes for bunions, you must be sure to look at certain aspects to make sure that they will be right for your feet.
In this guide, we will be sharing some handy tips with you as well as showing you our top six picks for the best hiking shoes for bunions.
What Causes Bunions?
When you first hear the word bunions, you are quick to think about an elderly lady complaining about a painful foot condition, and it is true that this ailment does affect older people. However, it is also common in younger adults too, yet not many people are aware of what causes bunions.
A bunion is a deformity of the foot, and unlike many other foot problems that are skin-related, bunions run much deeper. Bunions are caused by a growth of bone in the foot and will typically appear on the side of the foot, at the base of the big toe. They can be unsightly, and this is one of the main reasons that people want surgery for them, but they can also be painful.
Your big toe may point inwards towards your other toes as the bony growth forces it out of its usual position, and the lump may become red and inflamed, causing more pain, mainly when you are walking.
There are several things that you can do to ease the pain of bunions, including taking over-the-counter pain medication, losing weight, and of course, wearing good footwear. The NHS suggests avoiding wearing tight-fitting shoes or anything with a high heel as this can exacerbate the issue. Bunions are more common in women than in men, and while they can affect people of all ages, they need to worsen as we get older.
However, if you are a keen hiker, there are some excellent shoes on the market, and changing what you put on your feet can make a world of difference.
The Best Hiking Shoes For Women With Bunions
If you perform a quick internet search, you will be presented with hundreds of pairs of shoes that claim to be perfect for people who suffer from bunions, but not all of them will be suitable. But we have scoured the globe and tried out some of the best hiking shoes for bunions and are confident that these six pairs will provide your feet with the comfort and support that they need.
1. Salomon Women’s Quest 4d 3 GTX
Salomon is an expert in creating well-crafted and well-thought-out hiking shoes and has been doing so since 1947, so it is little wonder that every pair they offer is fit for purpose.
Where bunions are concerned, these are a great choice since they feature a much wider toe, and this gives you plenty of room to house the swelling and growth on the foot without compressing it.
The shoes are fully cushioned, which is essential for comfort, especially when you are already in pain. But what we love most about these hiking shoes is that they feature an advanced chassis that offers incredible support and guides the foot with the shoe as you move. Not only is this more comfortable, but it will also drastically reduce foot fatigue.
The Quest 4D boots are extremely lightweight and ideal for use on all terrain. This is thanks to the solid rubber sole and maximum traction this provides.
But not only are these shoes highly functional, but they are also incredibly stylish, so you can get on the trail looking and feeling your best.
2. Salomon Women’s Cross Hike
The Cross Hike shoes come in a choice of two colors, giving you a degree of freedom in matching them to your favorite hiking gear. But there is far much more to them than first meets the eye, and fashion is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Speaking of icebergs, even if the weather is cold, these boots will keep your feet warm and dry since they are fitted with a Gore-Tex membrane. This will keep water out but will give a good level of airflow around the shoe, preventing your feet from becoming moist. Furthermore, they have been specifically designed for use in all conditions and on all terrain.
They have an incredible grip thanks to the rubber sole and the multi-directional lugs that offer an unbelievable amount of grip.
Where comfort is concerned, these shoes are flexible and agile and feature cushioning throughout. Most notably, there is a cushioned ankle for even greater comfort, and with a quick-lace design, you can be out of the door in no time.
3. Salomon Women’s Ultra X 3
If you want to make a statement with your hiking shoes, then you can’t go far wrong with this striking pair. They come in a choice of four designs, each of which is certainly eye-catching. But we know that there is much more to a good hiking shoe than how good it looks, so you will be pleased to hear that these have a wealth of features that make them perfect for women with bunions.
They are made from a breathable synthetic material and feature a robust rubber sole that will certainly stand the test of time. But what is even more impressive is the thought that has gone into the design.
Salomon has considered the unique form of the female, and as such, these shoes are designed with a woman’s anatomy in mind. They will feel like a dream to wear and offer the best support and comfort you have ever experienced.
The shoes have an EVA midsole, which acts as a shock absorber; this is great if your bunions are causing you pain as taking a step won’t feel as though the energy is radiating through your being.
Your feet will be kept clean and dry thanks to the breathable Gore-Tex lining, which will keep the shoes waterproof without compromising on airflow.
4. KEEN Women’s Gypsum
These shoes are made from flexible, breathable leather and come in a selection of four colors, so you can sport a pair that matches your personality.
Of course, they wouldn’t have made this list without being ideal for people with bunions, and it isn’t difficult to see why they would be so perfect. Primarily, they feature a wide toe, which is important for this condition as it provides plenty of additional space.
What’s more, the shoes are breathable and fully waterproof. They also offer a wonderful amount of comfort, and this is thanks to several things. There is a soft EVA midsole that provides you with shock-absorbing benefits as well as being a cushion for the foot.
These are ankle boots so are perfect for those who want something a little less constricting, but that still offers a reasonable degree of support around the ankle. This is important to prevent the foot from moving around too much inside the shoe.
They feature a rubber sole that is not only strong but is non-marking, so you can wear the shoes indoors without worrying about damaging the floor.
5. Merrell ThermoChill
When you first look at these hiking shoes, your initial thought is that they look like a very robust and reliable pair; and you would not be wrong. They feature a fabric and leather upper, which is breathable and lightweight, but this does not compromise other aspects.
Quite the opposite is true. From a shoe that is so light and comfortable, you are getting an incredible amount of protection, and we have to say that we are extremely impressed.
Let’s start on the outside and look at the rubber sole, which is strong, durable, and will see you through plenty of steps. It features a 5mm lug depth, which offers excellent traction and can be used on all terrains.
Inside the shoe, there is a Kinetic base fit insole that has been designed to mold to the contours of your foot, giving you a shoe that is personal to you. This insole will provide you with a profound level of comfort that you wouldn’t find in other shoes. Below this is an EVA midsole, which is ideal for shock absorption and keeping the feet supported.
If all of that wasn’t enough, these are also fully waterproof and have an M Select DRY membrane that is guaranteed to keep water out.
6. Vasque Women’s Snowblime
If you need a reliable shoe for the winter, then you would struggle to find anything more suitable than this pair. Not only do they come in a stylish brown design that looks sophisticated and modern, but they also have many features that make them perfect for bunion sufferers.
They are made with 100% leather giving them a luxurious quality, and are lined with a special UltraDry lining that gives you the confidence that they will remain fully waterproof no matter what the conditions.
The shoes are fully cushioned, making them perfect for feet that are already sore, and thanks to the slightly wider toe cap, your feet will not be cramped and uncomfortable. They are great for using over long distances due to this improved comfort.
Furthermore, there is a Thinsulate lining which offers amazing protection from cold, making them great for walking in the snow or working outdoors during the colder months; your feet won’t feel a thing!
What To Look For In Hiking Shoes For Bunions
We have established that there are certain types of shoes that should be avoided when you struggle with problems like bunions. However, there are also some things that a good pair of hiking boots for bunions must-have.
Before you commit to a particular pair, it is vital that you look through the following criteria to ensure that your new shoes will give your feet the treat they deserve.
Wide Toe Cap
Bunions affect the area around the toes, and this can cause the feet to become wider here. For this reason, it is essential that you look for a pair of shoes with a much wider toe cap. This will give you a lot of space and will prevent the feet from being compressed.
One of the leading causes of bunions is wearing footwear that is too tight; this can cause serious problems with the bones and will only be made worse if your feet do not have room inside the shoe.
Many hiking shoes are designed with a slightly wider toe, but you need to make sure that this additional room at the front doesn’t mean that the shoe will be too wide at the heel. If this happens, it can mean that your heel is not fully supported and will move about while you walk. This may result in the shoe rubbing your heel and causing blisters or sores.
Regardless of whether your hiking shoes have a wider toe, if they are not breathable, this can lead to red, swollen, and painful bunions.
This is because the bunions will rub on the interior of the shoe, and as your feet sweat, this will only make the problem worse. Having an adequate level of airflow around the shoe will prevent this problem and keep your feet feeling fresh as well.
Soft And Stretchy Materials
The last thing you want is for your feet to feel trapped and restricted inside your hiking shoes. That is why it is important to find a pair that are made from soft materials that will stretch with your foot, almost molding the shoe to your unique shape.
Of course, you don’t want something that is so soft it cannot offer a decent level of support or will wear quickly either.
One of the most common materials for hiking shoes is leather. It is known to be extremely durable and long lasting as well as being soft enough to be comfortable. There are many leather hiking boots that must be broken in before you take them on a serious hike, and this is typically because they are not made from soft enough leather. These are the types of shoes that you want to avoid if you suffer from bunions.
Comfort And Support
If you are already experiencing pain before you put your shoes on, you do not want them to add to this problem. Therefore, it is essential that you find shoes that have a nice amount of padding and cushioning inside.
These are not hard to come by, and fortunately, many modern hiking boots are very well padded. You might also look at whether the insole can be removed, especially if you are using an orthotic since a removable insole can make getting this into the shoe a lot easier.
Aside from comfort, an adequate level of support is a must for those with bunions. The foot needs to be kept in position, and your weight should be evenly spread across the whole foot, certainly not placed in the front or the toe where your pain is.
Bunions are more common in women than in men, and these bony growths can cause a lot of problems, including pain. However, since they can only be treated using surgery, it is important to find ways of easing the condition in your day-to-day life.
One effective way is to make sure that you are using the correct footwear. Hiking shoes should always be comfortable and supportive, but this is even more important when addressing a problem like bunions.
You will need to find shoes that are wider at the toe and are breathable, as well as offer cushioning and support for the whole foot. Our selection of six of the best hiking shoes for bunions gives you an incredible choice.
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The author of this article is not a medical professional. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.