Here at Sole Bliss, we are committed to finding comfortable solutions for women living with bunions. Whilst our focus is and always will be on creating fashionable, comfortable shoes for bunions, we know that many bunion sufferers will look for additional ways to take care of their feet.
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We wanted to provide our expert insight into some of the main types of bunion products available on the market: bunion correctors, bunion splints and toe separators. We will provide an unbiased review of these bunion products and answer some of the most commonly asked questions. We will also discuss some of the footwear options available to women with bunions (hallux valgus).
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Founder and Designer of Sole Bliss, Lisa Kay shares her top tips on looking after your bunions.
Finding the best bunion corrector can be quite the challenge! There are hundreds of reviews for bunion correctors online, and everyone wants to know the same thing: do bunion correctors work?
A bunion corrector aims to improve the position of a misaligned big toe and alleviate pressure on the big joint by straightening or stretching the toe back into a natural position. Some bunion correctors will also cushion your feet around the bunion area to provide relief from this painful joint and help reduce swelling. Bunion correctors come in the form of sleeves, splints, pads and toe separators, and new bunion products are always appearing on the market!
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Do Bunion Correctors Work?
If you are looking to ‘cure’ your bunions, unfortunately a bunion corrector is not going to work. All bunion correctors are ultimately designed to do the same thing, which is to separate the big toe from other toes. They will not get rid of the bunion on your foot.
We are going to review some of the main bunion correctors on the market and provide our expert insight into how effective they are.
How Long Should You Wear Bunion Correctors?
If you are wondering how long should you wear bunion correctors, the answer can vary. Some bunion correctors are designed to be worn underneath socks and shoes, so you can wear these specific bunion correctors most of the day while you are on your feet. We would recommend taking these bunion correctors off in the evening and ensuring you don't sleep with them on.
Other bunion correctors are designed to be worn overnight. This is generally because they are too bulky to wear under socks and shoes and require you to be barefoot. You should wear these bunion correctors overnight only.
When most people think of bunion correctors or bunion straighteners, they are thinking about bunion splints. If you set out to buy a bunion splint online, you will see that there are hundreds of bunion splints and bunion splint reviews out there. It can be difficult to know what to look for, so we wanted to provide our own review of bunion splints and shed some light on their effectiveness.
So what is a bunion splint? A bunion splint is a device which fixes over your big toe and physically pushes it away from your other toes in an attempt to return it to normal alignment. There are several types of bunion splints available and some are more rigid than others. Some have hinges at the base of the toe which can allow for a more natural movement. If you are going to try out a bunion splint, it is important that you choose one which is as comfortable as possible for you, because they are intended to be worn for several hours at a time.
Most bunion splints are to be worn while you are sleeping or lounging around the house, mainly because they are difficult to walk around in, and nearly impossible to fit inside a shoe!
Nearly all podiatrists will agree that a bunion splint cannot stop you from forming bunions and it certainly will not cure them. You also shouldn’t expect to see immediate success overnight. If you are going to try wearing a bunion splint, you should try wearing it for at least one week.
Bunion splints are often recommended after having bunion surgery, as they help keep the toes aligned and prevent the big toe from moving in the wrong direction again. It is crucial to maintain this space between the big toe and the second toe.
The average bunion splint costs between £10-20. We would not recommend buying a bunion splint which is much cheaper than that. If you are going to give bunion splints a go, you should opt for one from a reputable brand and always read the product reviews!
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Do Bunion Splints Work?
Unfortunately, a bunion splint will not be able to cure your bunions. It may help stretch tendons and ligaments and it can be quite effective after a bunion-removal operation, where you need to space your toes and recover your range of motion. However, if you are looking for a cure for your bunions, this is not the answer.
Bunion splints can also cause mild discomfort, so if you are looking for a solution to your painful bunions, we wouldn’t recommend wearing any bunion product which is going to hurt your feet. That would be a little bit counter-intuitive!
There are a few other inconveniences caused by bunion splints. Several reviewers have complained that their feet can get a bit smelly after wearing a bunion splint! Given that your feet are essentially being squashed and contorted by this device, naturally they are prone to sweat, and this can lead to smelly feet. If you are wearing your bunion splint at night and showering the next morning, it is not the end of the world, but we just wanted to mention it!
One of the other disadvantages of bunion splints (compared to other bunion products) is that you cannot wear with them with shoes.
Here at Sole Bliss, we work closely with a team of expert podiatrists who consult on a wide range of foot-related topics. We have asked them for their review of bunion splints and unfortunately the consensus is that they won’t heal or get rid of your bunions.
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If you suffer with bunions, you may want to try using a toe separator. Again, there are loads of reviews on toe separators out there, so we wanted to provide our expert insight and answer the big question: Do toe separators work?
Toe separators are designed to prevent your toes from rubbing against each other. If you have a bunion, you will know that this difficult joint can force the big toe towards the second toe, often causing pressure and discomfort. A toe separator is designed to keep these two toes apart and realign the big toe.
They can be made from foam, silicone, gel or rubber and they are inexpensive. We would recommend opting for toe separators made from gel or foam as these softer materials will prevent discomfort while you are wearing them.
Some toe separators will only cover your first and second toe. Others will cover your entire forefoot and cushion the ball of your foot or the side of your foot. There are also yoga toe stretchers which will go in between every toe. If you read the reviews for toe separators, you will see that all of these products work well on different people, but none of them will work for everyone. Therefore, we would recommend trying a few different kinds of toe separators and then deciding which works best for you.
Unlike bunion splints, most toe separators can be worn underneath your shoes or socks. You will need to wear wider-fitting shoes with a spacious toe-box, but toe separators can do a reasonably good job at keeping your toes apart without taking up too much room!
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Do Toe Separator Splints Work?
Although toe separators can help prevent overlapping toes, there is no evidence to suggest that they will cure your bunions or provide any long-term correction for misaligned toes. They may provide some short-term relief but unfortunately the effects will not last and they certainly will not get rid of your bunions.
Athletes sometimes use toe separators to soothe the pain in their toes and feet after high-impact activities, such as yoga. Toe separators are also very useful at the nail salon when you want to avoid smudging your nails!
However, we would not recommend using them for long-term bunion prevention. Given that the main cause for bunions is not a dysfunction between the toes, a toe separator will not be able to do much more than stretch and straighten some of these forefoot tendons.
Bunion Product Alternatives
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Shoes for Bunions
Although there are thousands of bunion product reviews available online, unfortunately there is no miracle product which is going to cure your bunions. Bunion correctors, bunion splints and toe separators can all make living with bunions more bearable, but their effects are short-lived. Guidance from the NHS suggests that you should visit a GP if these home treatments do not work.
Here at Sole Bliss, we believe that bunion-sufferers should be able to live comfortably without using these bunion products. We have developed the first collection of fashionable shoes for women with bunions and painful feet. We spent 5 years working with a team of expert podiatrists and European artisans to design beautiful bunion-friendly shoes which understand the complexities of your feet.
Gone are the days of squeezing your feet into uncomfortable shoes! Our stylish shoes for bunions contain award-winning Comfort Technology which protects and cushions your bunions and painful feet. Every shoe features a stretch panel to accommodate mild to severe bunions, triple-layer underfoot cushioning and a wide toe-box to avoid cramping of toes.
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Follow this link to read more about how our shoes work.
You can browse our collection of women’s shoes for bunions here.