Editor’s Note: This post has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best shoes post bunion surgery.
The recovery period after bunion surgery can take anywhere between six to eight weeks up to six months.
It is crucial that after bunion surgery women wear the correct type of shoes to prevent bunion recurrence. I want to start by clarifying that having post bunion surgery doesn’t mean that you will be able to wear a smaller shoe size or narrow-pointed shoes.
Steps to Take After Bunion Surgery
- Don’t go barefoot at all, even when you are home. For at least the first year after your post bunion surgery wear supportive shoes at all times.
- Wear supportive shoes to help decrease damaging forces in your big toe joint and improve the motion of the joint.
I have helped several women find the correct type of shoes post bunion surgery, and after talking with these women I concluded that everybody’s recovery and experience is different.
I work for a specialized shoe store that focuses in women with foot and leg problems, as well as “complicated” foot shapes. For the last 10 years I have been helping women find the correct pair of shoes, and depending on the degree of their foot condition, orthotics as well. I can’t emphasize enough the key role that your shoes play after having bunion surgery.
What are the Best Shoes to Wear After Bunion Surgery?
The shoes I recommend provide 3 key features that will help keep your feet comfortable and prevent bunion recurrence after surgery:
✅ Extra Depth: Shoes that provide extra depth allow the feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of your feet and toes from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Let me show you the difference between a shoe that provides extra depth versus a shoe that doesn’t. Do you notice how the shoe on the right is a lot deeper compared to the shoe on the left?
These shoes are the same length and width but as you can see they will fit very differently. It can be hard to find shoes that provide extra depth as shoes don’t come labeled as “extra deep”. The good news is that I know which women’s shoes are deeper than others from having fitted them before, and I will show you a selection of these shoes shortly.
✅ Rounder Toe-Boxes: This feature helps prevent your big toe from being cramped against your other toes or the sides of the shoes. Shoes that come with round toe-boxes are ideal for women who just went through bunion surgery. Let me show you the difference between a shoe that provides a round toe-box versus a shoe that doesn’t. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has a rounder toe-box compared to the shoe on the left?
✅ Wide and Extra Wide Widths Available: The shoes need to come labeled as wide and extra wide, as it’s highly likely that you will need to wear a pair of wider shoes to make sure that your big toe doesn’t rub against your other toes or the side of the shoes. Even if you don’t have wide feet you might have to order your shoes in a wider width.
Does Your Foot Size Change After Bunion Surgery?
As I mentioned before, your foot size won’t get smaller and I don’t recommend wearing narrow-pointed shoes.
I will show you a selection of the best shoes post bunion surgery, but before we move any forward I want to make sure that you are 100% sure of your foot size and foot shape. You won’t be able to order the correct shoes online if you don’t know your foot size. For example, are your feet narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide? Do you know whether you have a high instep or not?
The instep is the top part of your foot and when it’s high it makes it a lot more challenging to find shoes that fit. Let me show you an image so you can see where the instep of the foot is located. As you can see in the image below when women have high insteps there is a lot of extra foot volume that needs to be fitted inside the shoe.
These are all important factors that will help me determine what shoes you can and can’t wear. With that said, if you are unsure of your foot shape I suggest that you take a look at a different article I wrote in which I help women determine their exact foot size from home:
We need to make sure that you wear shoes that conform to the shape of your foot and do not cause pressure areas. Let me show you a selection of the best shoes post bunion surgery.
All of the shoes recommended below are available in different width such as medium (choose M), wide (choose W), and extra wide (choose XW). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
Best Shoes Post Bunion Surgery ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Let me show you 3 additional awesome features that these shoes provide:
✅ Soft, stretchable uppers prevent putting pressure on your big toe.
✅ Non-binding upper design eliminates pressure on the big toe.
✅ Soft, foam padded interior eases pressure on the big toe and enhances comfort.
Mary Jane/Casual Shoes
What Shoe Size Should You Order?
Take a look at the description below the shoes that I recommended to find out what shoe size you should order.
Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?
If at any point you feel like the shoes are putting pressure on your big toe I suggest trying the shoes in a wider width or choosing a different style.
If you are looking for a different type of shoe such as seasonal footwear or dress shoes don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help you find them:
Do I Have to Wear Orthotics Post Bunion Surgery?
Most women won’t have to wear an orthotic after having bunion surgery, but there are certain women who have certain biomechanics conditions or certain imbalances where they need more support to help prevent the reoccurrence of the bunion.
If you start experiencing foot pain after bunion surgery your podiatrist might recommend wearing an orthotic. You can fit orthotics in any of the shoes I recommended above, just don’t forget to remove the original insoles of the shoe before fitting the orthotics inside the shoes.
The reality is that feet have more pain after surgery because feet have more force going through them.
Orthotics can be very effective in alleviating areas of pressure on your foot and reducing your foot pain by simply increasing the support that you get from the shoes.
Did you know that women are more likely to develop bunions than men? This is primarily because women may be more likely to wear tight, pointed, and confining shoes. Wearing shoes that are too small or too narrow in the toe area is the most common cause of bunions.
All bunions are not the same and therefore all bunion surgeries are not the same either. Have you found a specific pair of shoes that have worked well after post bunion surgery? You can share your findings below so other women can benefit from your experiences.