If you suffer from bunions, you may notice that as it gets colder and you switch from open sandals to closed, narrower footwear, your bunion pain is getting worse. Bony bumps on the joint at the base of the big toe, bunions develop over time, though their exact cause is unclear.
Winter shoes are usually narrower, causing friction between the bunion and the shoe. This can lead to greater inflammation and pain.
To prevent this pain, researchers suggest that women avoid high heels and shoes that are narrow, especially around the toes. Podiatrist Dr. Karl Collins explained, “If a patient has a shoe that fits well everywhere else, but there’s just a little bit of irritation at just that one spot, we may recommend that they have the shoe modified (by a shoe repair shop).”
Dr. Michelle Butterworth, podiatrist, further explained that shoes should be wider near the toe area, “Anything that’s real pointy is going to put more pressure on that (bunion) bump.”
You can also use gel or foam padding, take anti-inflammatory medications, and wear orthotics to prevent bunion pain. Although these steps can help you with pain, they won’t stop the bunion from growing. Surgery is the only treatment to remove a bunion and has a high success rate.