Anyone familiar with painful foot ailments knows that the joy of stepping out in perfectly-sized, comfortable walking shoes is practically unmatched by any other. Whether it is a shopping venture through the city streets, a short day hike in the countryside or 9 hours of nonstop working for targets, the importance of form-fitting shoes can never be undermined. People with sensitive feet are often prone to bunion formation- a bony prominence that feels sore and turns red and inflamed with increased physical activity. Now it’s easy to think that bunions could translate to limited performance, but that’s not entirely true. Often, a flimsy, ill-fitting pair of shoes is the major culprit as poor shoe structure and sizing, as well as tight conditions, are some of the common factors that exacerbate aches and irritation associated with bunions.
Shoes that qualify as appropriate footwear for Hallux Valgus or bunion afflicted feet have some vital elements in common. For starters, they all have a wider width than usual. This is to facilitate better accommodation of orthotics and provide lots of space for the feet to stretch out without rubbing against each other and setting the stage for irritation and consequent inflammation. Secondly, they feature a soft and wide toe box to wrap around the toe bunions without letting them come in contact with hard surface. Additionally, they have a contoured sole and a supportive arch as well, in order to provide wholesome stability around your entire feet and negate the tiniest amount of strain that could aggravate bunions. Last but not the least, these shoes have a short heel ranging from 1-2 inches because anything higher than that is likely to shorten the Achilles tendon gradually, and even limit the range of motions you usually carry out with your feet.
We weighed the pros and cons of the best footwear options for women with sensitive feet and came up with some exceptional contenders. Here’s the complete list.
Women’s Wide Toe Box Shoes Which Won’t Aggravate Your Bunion
1. Drew Shoe Women’s Joy
Don’t get fooled by the formally-stylish appearance of the Drew Joy; this shoe hosts the choicest selection of bunion-support attributes. The sleek nubuck leather makes for a nice polished look, while the breathable mesh sides are apt for accommodating swollen feet in hot middays of summer. Unlike daily loafers or sneakers, Drew Joy includes sufficient amount of space to accommodate prescription orthotics without getting too tight on either the heel or the toes. Backed by a supportive steel shank, the cushioned insole is removable, meaning you can always swap it out for a tailor-made orthotic, if needed. Additionally, the lightweight, synthetic sole is reslient to inadvertent slips and falls, giving you dependable grip and high energy return when you are too tired to stay cautious of unexpected obstacles in the terrain.
The presence of two adjustable straps with loop closures is testimony to the fact that Drew Joy goes the extra mile to give you a greater degree of customization. Plus, the straps can be even folded at will when you think they are rubbing too harshly on your tender skin. Users like the fact that the straps are pure Velcro, and not the cheap kind that stops sticking well after a while. Overall, Drew Women’s Joy hits the sweet spot for people who are looking for the comfort of old lady shoes and a more contemporary style typical of modern professionals.
2. Klogs Footwear Carolina
Klogs Footwear Carolina brings about a novel kind of efficiency with its unique structuring, intelligent detailing and the latest technology to ensure a smoother experience on track. Feet love these walking shoes, designed with plenty of room and breathability to support bunions and foot health in general. The smooth leather upper is fitted with twin gore panels to allow a comfy fit without compromising on looks. Further adding to the personality of the shoe is the panel of decorative floral cutouts that also serve a dual purpose of promoting enhanced airflow to your feet.
The heel height is at 2-inches, which is just enough to amp up your style quotient without imposing too much pressure on your sensitive toes in the process. For those with a high arch, or pronation problems, there is a good amount of arch support as well. And the footbed is not only orthotic-friendly but removable too, giving you the freedom to optimize as per your comfort needs. Enhancing the supportive ability of the shoe further is the “WOW” outsole that conforms naturally with the shape and motion of your feet, allowing shock absorption and promoting responsiveness with each stride, so that you find it easier to put your feet forward even on long, tiring days.
3. Aetrex Cheryl Mary Jane
A fine example of clever craftsmanship, Aetrex Cheryl Mary Jane is one of those shoes that doesn’t need to adorn a dull look to feel comfy, rather all the needful modifications have been integrated as a part of its design to make for a purposeful yet trendy option. The classic Mary Jane look with strategic cutouts is sure to complement your daily workwear to perfection, while the adjustable strap closure is designed to keep you on the move without ever stopping to take off your shoes, in order to spread your toes and relax. The breathable fabric lining improves airflow to your feet, keeping them dry and odor-free all day, while the leather footbed comes treated with antimicrobial agents to keep pesky fungus at bay. When it comes to support,
Aetrex Cheryl goes the extra mile to have your comfort needs covered. The forefoot comes equipped with gel inserts to dilute the feeling of discomfort at the heel, while the lightweight midsole takes away the strain of stepping continuously on concrete floors and bumpy roads. The polyurethane outsole is practically slip-resistant, and durable to boot! Also, it does a superb job of delivering traction to ensure you don’t feel compromised on wet and slippery surfaces. Most noteworthy of all is the memory foam footbed that conforms easily to your individual gait pattern, and supports your heel strike, thereby reducing foot strain in the process.
4. Dansko Marcelle
Work shoes designed with style in mind are either painfully tight on the upper part, or too stretchy to offer a supportive feel. However, the Marcelle by Dansko begs to differ. Inspired by the good ol’ Mary Jane design, these striking shoes are built for anyone struggling with neuroma and bunion issues. For one, they are wide in the toebox area, so you will find ample room to wiggle your toes and relax without having to take off your shoes. Secondly, they have a wider width, so your feet stay airy and smell fresh all day. Additionally, the polyethylene heel counter provides protection to your delicate heels while walking, and enhances lateral stability as well, thereby keeping accidental slips and falls at bay. And if you want to wear socks or slip in custom orthotics for improved protection, you can do all that rather discreetly while sporting a cool, no-sock look!
What’s more, the high-quality leather body is designed to stand up to all sorts of irregularities in the workplace environment. Cleaning up is a breeze, and a single wipe with a moist cloth is enough to get rid of grease and stains. Keep in mind that these shoes fit best when you order half-a-size up. This is especially true for people struggling with various foot ailments. Other than this minor issue, this shoe gets full points in every other department. One of its major highlights is the polyurethane outsole, which improves flexibility, allowing your feet to bend and curve naturally and evade obstacles in the process. Consequently, this helps you stand or walk for long hours without feeling fatigued or sore in the feet.
5. SAS Walk Easy
True to its name, SAS Walk Easy is designed to offer a smooth performance on track. With a premium leather upper dotted with strategic perforations, this easy breezy walking shoe comes with the promise of top-notch comfort even when you are walking on hot sands. The lace-up closure makes for a cozy fit, while the adjustable strap allows you to accommodate swellings better. Taking the comfort game to a different level altogether is the set of removable SAS Tripad cushions that have been included with the prime purpose of absorbing shock at the three major pressure points of your feet for prolonged support. Furthermore, the footbed is contoured with ridges to enhance the distribution of body weight and dilute the impact of treading on hard and rocky terrain.
Despite the overall burly look, these shoes are surprisingly lightweight, thanks to the S-Motion technology integrated into the Supersoft sole, which supports a natural heel strike, thereby preventing particular foot movements that trigger the formation of bunions and hammertoes. Not just that, the ergonomic shape allows the shoe to move together with the feet and not lag behind or stretch flimsily. If you don’t mind trading those pointy heels for a more comfortable and supportive option, look no further than the SAS Walk Easy.
6. Mt. Emey Women’s 9205-L
A refreshing change from the ugly-looking shoes designed for problem feet, Mt. Emy Women’s 9205-L comes with intricate modifications in the form of added depth, width and enhanced padding at the ankle area to offer the best in terms of support and stability. The elastic velcro strap helps you adjust the length in a way to accommodate swellings. There are tiny bumps on the rubber sole improve traction without holding dirt or debris. Though not waterproof, the exterior is super easy to clean. What’s more, the roomy interior means you can spread your toes when your feet get too hot. Also, you can slip in custom orthotics for added support. One of the huge bonuses is that it involves quite a few sets of high-quality shoe liners for flexible fitting, making it suitable for people with pronation and bunion problems.
The heel height is just enough to add an inch or two to your height without aggravating any foot condition you might have. And the sole material is hard and responsive, so you barely feel the shock of treading on the ground when walking. One of the minor concerns is the upper strap which tends to brush roughly against the skin when you don’t have stockings on. Moreover, they are not slid-resistant either, so you have to walk like a reindeer to keep yourself from falling on wet floors. Despite a minor flaw here and there, Mt. Emey Women’s 9205-L is a moderately supportive shoe that comes with plenty of features to provide a more comfortable experience for people wearing orthotics.
7. Drew Antwerp
Designed to offer comfort without compromising on style, Drew Antwerp is an example of footwear for the active woman on the go. Its striking all-black body is sure to complement with casual and formal outfits alike, while the intuitive detailing is for those days when you anticipate hours of foot strain. The genuine leather construction with stretchable uppers accommodates moderate swellings and keeps your feet warm but not hot. There is an instep strap with a Velcro fastener for a cozy yet adjustable fit, and the breathable fabric linings allow for an airy feel when you need it the most. Additionally, the Drilex-lined footbed with improvized heel cushioning protects the ball of your feet from feeling the shock of treading on sharp objects unwittingly.
What’s particularly admirable about this shoe is that it includes a cutting-edge fitting system involving two detachable footbeds. You can remove any of them at will for a more customized fit. Then there is a tempered steel shank too for increasing the overall stability at the delicate parts of the feet, thereby preventing the strain that comes from standing or walking all day long. In fact, there is a medial heel stabilizer to equalize the pressure of carrying body weight for a long period of time. What’s more, the tongue is padded and doesn’t rub uncomfortably against your big toe like many similar shoes. With several options of customization and a no-fuss design, Drew Antwerp ticks all the boxes of a daily walking shoe for problem feet.
8. Dr. Comfort Annie Casual Shoe
The general perception that therapeutic shoes are boring to behold is sure to change with Dr. Comfort Annie Women’s shoe. The classic stitching, interesting detailing and a timeless appeal make it desirable for those in search for a fancy walking shoe. Far from being just a pretty face, Dr. Comfort Annie features a stretchable Lycra body with Velcro closure for a secure fit that can be customized according to individual comfort needs. Additionally, the breathable upper improves the practicality of the wide toe box, making it the ideal shoe for feet with hammertoes and bunions. There is a padded lining all along the insides, which does a great job of cushioning the susceptible parts of the feet, such as the ankle and the heel. While there is some tread, it’s not much, and what’s particularly fascinating about this seemingly simple shoe is that it has stretchy at the front and tighter on the heel, thereby offering lots of room for tired, swollen feet.
Due to the comparatively wide width, people with narrower feet than usual may be better off buying half-a-size smaller. However, those who are looking to wear removable inserts with their work shoes will appreciate the extra depth and width of this shoe. To put it simply, anyone looking for extra support and protection in an attractive package is sure to find a daily companion in Dr. Comfort Annie.
9. Orthofeet 851 Women’s Shoe
Featuring the best of everything- width, orthopedic support, weight, and arch support, Orthofeet 851 is easily one of the safest options of footwear for anyone who is familiar with the sharp needle-in-the-eye pain in the feet from walking too much. This ergonomically designed shoe comes with extra depth and a roomy toe box, thereby preventing your toes from rubbing against each other and increasing the likelihood of painful bunions. Additionally, the soft, interior lining basically massages the pressure points of your feet, giving you the feel of treading on clouds. The lightweight sole with airy padding adds bounce to your step, thereby enabling a more natural gait, in order to alleviate the heel strain that arises from walking awkwardly. The heel seat is padded with gel, and wraps around your feet cozily, enhancing comfort and providing support all the way up to your knees. The contoured sole comes with ridges for heightened traction and a sneaker-like performance on track, while the foam padding on the arch makes for excellent support on the lower part of your leg that especially comes handy on those times when you are too busy to take off your shoes to relax. Overall, the Orthofeet 851 is fully equipped to offer maximum support and cater to the needs of anyone with sensitive feet.
10. Drew Excel
Drew Excel shoes are practically tailor-made for problem feet. With a nice wide width, plenty of toebox room and a decent bit of arch support, these shoes are suitable for those with pronation and bunions. The material is soft yet flexible and the sole is padded enough to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground while negating the possibility of toppling over. In fact, you can even slip them on and off without trying too hard. What’s particularly admirable is that they accommodate enough room to fit in custom orthotics without looking too obvious. They come with a thin, flat liner that can be swapped for extra thick orthotics. Plus, they don’t include those thick hooks and loops found on shoes meant for diabetics. As such, they are reasonably lightweight and trendy, and don’t scream “problem here!” Also, they run true to their size and offer a comfortable heel-to-toe fit.
The insole is nice and solid, so it distributes your body weight nicely and balances out the strain accumulated in one spot of your foot, thereby keeping painful blisters at bay. What’s more, they are comfortable right out of the box, so you don’t have to spend time fitting in inserts or increasing the toe width for increased comfort. Also, the presence of regular laces in place of those thick hook and loops found on diabetic shoes makes it a tad trendier and appealing for people who like to step out in style.