Do High Heels Cause Bunions? – Tips to Avoid Foot Pain

High heels are a signature of luxurious fashion for women. They bring forth their strength and mean more than just an accessory! However, what happens if the thing that makes you feel better starts causing you pain?

We all know that heels are not as comfortable as they look. The higher the heel, the more pain they cause. The pain gets intense if you have a deformity like Bunions.

High heels are not the cause of Bunions, but they do not help either. They increase the progression and damage the skin over the bunions. The area gets inflamed and red, which causes pain and discomfort in walking.

If you do not want to forgo the heels, then you will have to make some choices. Either you switch to more comfortable shoes or choose better options within the high heels. The pain will remain if you do not take care of your feet!

Firstly, we will discuss factors that highlight the pain regarding the high heels and better alternatives. However, do not worry because I have selected the best choices that will not make much difference in your wardrobe. However, they will add comfort and relief!

Narrow toe box:

Narrow toe boxes of heels do not develop the Hallux Valgus from scratch, but it does increase its intensity and pain. Bunions are less stable than an average foot because the outward protrusion divides the body weight unevenly. The rounded outward jutting is also hard to jam into the narrow shoes. If you push against the odds, then it is most likely to injure the area. Broader and softer shoes are a safer option.

Pointed heels:

Pointed heels are different from a narrow toe box. The more pointed the front is, the narrower the shoes. Apart from lack of space, the shape of the pointed heel contradicts the feet’ natural anatomy. The accelerating sides push back the big toe and stunt its movement. Due to restricted mobility, the joints feel constant waves of shock that make them vulnerable and brittle.

Height of heel:

With a bunion, a high heel is not a safe option. The higher the heel, the more bodyweight falls on the front of the feet. And with narrow space, there is no flexing, and it becomes more difficult for feet to accommodate.

Smaller heels within two inches do not put that much pressure. However, if you want those extra inches, how about you choose wedge shoes. Wedges have uniform height distribution throughout their length, so no part of the foot is targeted for uneven pressure.


The midsole of the feet matters a lot. Regardless of high heels or wedges, it would help if you chose a sturdy yet comfortable midfoot. It enables you to maintain body weight and take the pressure off the toes. The footbed acts as secondary padding that brackets the lump and catalyzes its healing ability.

Additional Factors:

There are additional factors that add to the adverse effects of wearing high heels. They may not be in our control, but they should be considered while buying shoes. These factors help you make a better decision in regards to your Bunions!

Women are more likely to get bunions than men. It is seen that currently, the percentage of women with bunions is higher as well. That is mainly because there is interference in the tendon joining and ligament strengthening during pregnancy due to the hormonal imbalance. There is porosity in the joint that makes it easy to bend and go out of shape. The protrusion is highly likely to occur in that duration.

Weak bones and underlying conditions have previously altered the anatomy of feet so that there is an uneven distribution. Add in the bunions, and you are in for a painful ride. Arthritis of ankle joints causes the feet to drop, and more pressing for momentum is required. This increases pressure at the tips of toes that widens the alignment of joints at the base.

Choose better options!

Our primary focus is bunions. So apart from changing high heels, there are things you can do to make your Hallux Valgus better!

This way, you can slip in on high heels for a momentous occasion without stepping on your efforts and recovery.

I have mentioned factors that are easy to apply and effective in showing results. The most common ones are:

    • Wider shoes to decrease pressure.
    • Use of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs.
    • Topical and parenteral corticosteroids are common.
    • Moleskin or glue filled pads for the bunion area.
    • Toe separates to help joints regain their shape.
    • Night splints for straightening the anatomy of bunions.

Icing method.
Foot exercises for energizing ligaments and tendons around bunions.
Orthotic shoes are worn with supportive shoe inserts.


The type of shoe you wear causes an impact on Bunions. You do not have to let go of high heels entirely. However, if you change some points and take steps to care for your Bunion, you are good to go. Besides, there are a dozen better shoe options to explore!
+ 3 Sources:
You can ensure the accuracy of our information and content by clicking on the added sources. We adhere to strict sourcing guidelines related to medical associations and statistical research. Ensuring avoidance of data that could be misleading as to any matter of fact is our priority.
Bunions -Mayo clinic.
Harvard Medical School –Research.
Inetrmountain health care–High heels and Bunions.

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