The 7 Best Products for Bunion Support of 2020

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First Look

Best Gel Bunion Guard: NatraCure Gel Big Toe Bunion Guard With Toe Spreader at Amazon

"Works to ease pain as well as provide proper toe alignment."

Best Insoles: Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insole at Amazon

"Can improve toe alignment and keep bunions from coming back."

Best Toe Spreader: ZenToes Gel Toe Separators at Amazon

"Can help by aligning toes, preventing friction, and relieving pressure."

Best Sleeve: Flyen Bunion Corrector & Bunion Relief Protector Sleeves Kit at Amazon

"Protects bunions from rubbing up against the side of your shoes."

Best Bunion Relief Kit: Dr. Frederick's Original Bunion Corrector Kit at Amazon

"This kit is an economical way to test out different types of cushions."

Best Socks: Sockwell Women's Sport Ease Bunion Relief Socks at Amazon

"These help to minimize friction and reduce discomfort from overlapping toes."

Best Orthotic: Powerstep Original Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles at Amazon

"They provide good arch support and full-length comfort."

Bunions—those painful, bony bumps that appear at the base of the big toe—are usually caused by a shifting of bones as the big toe pushes against the second toe. They can be hereditary, but bunions may also be aggravated by wearing tight shoes or trauma to the foot.

Wearing the right type of shoes with a wide toe box and ample arch support can make a difference, but sometimes it’s not enough for total relief. Depending on your symptoms, you may benefit from an over-the-counter product such as a bunion guard, shoe insert, or toe separator.

“If your bunion only hurts at the bump from friction, a gel pad can often be helpful,” says Jane Anderson, DPM, DABFAS, a podiatrist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “If it’s painful and deep in the joint, you may benefit from a toe spacer and possible custom orthotic to help realign foot motion in the gait cycle, control some bunion pain, and possibly slow the progression of the deformity.”

As with any foot pain, it’s best to consult your podiatrist and stick with products that are approved by reputable organizations such as the American Podiatric Medical Association. Here are a few over-the-counter options to target the exact type of support you need.

Our Top Picks

Best Gel Bunion Guard: NatraCure Gel Big Toe Bunion Guard With Toe Spreader

NatraCure Gel Big Toe Bunion Guard & Toe Spreader

Courtesy of Amazon

This two-in-one product from NatraCure works to ease pain as well as provide proper toe alignment, making it a popular and effective choice for bunion relief and support. The stretchy gel guard provides cushioning, shock absorption, and protection from friction on the outside, while the toe separator prevents overlapping toes. You can simultaneously pamper your feet, as the gel slowly releases medical-grade mineral oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera. Comfortable and reusable, this bunion guard easily fits inside most shoes and can be worn all-day.

Best Insoles: Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insole

People with flat feet are sometimes more prone to bunions, so wearing a supportive insert like this one from Spenco can improve toe alignment and help prevent bunions from coming back. They also offer an additional layer of comfort and stability to prevent shoes from aggravating your bunions. The friction-reducing fabric has anti-microbial properties to keep your feet cool, blister-free, and fresh-smelling.

Best Toe Spreader: ZenToes Gel Toe Separators

Toe spreader

Made from soft, cushioning gel, ZenToes Gel Toe Separators can help with bunion prevention and pain relief by aligning toes, preventing friction, and relieving pressure. The anatomically-shaped separator fits comfortably between your first two toes, straightening your big toe and preventing the two from overlapping. Just slip the ring over your second toe and position the gel pad against your big toe. The flexible ring conforms to your toes, so you can comfortably wear shoes, walk, or stand without pain. Made of a latex-free, medical-grade gel, the rings are washable, reusable, and allergy-friendly.

Best Sleeve: Flyen Bunion Corrector & Bunion Relief Protector Sleeves Kit

Similar to bunion guards, these bunion sleeves sit right against the big toe joint, protecting bunions from rubbing up against the side of your shoes. Crafted with a gel pad, it cushions the metatarsal head (ball-of-foot) to help with shock absorption and to redistribute pressure from the impact of walking or running. You can also use the sleeve to keep toe spacers, which are included in the kit, in place.

Best Bunion Relief Kit: Dr. Frederick's Original Bunion Corrector Kit

You’ll be able to put your best foot forward thanks to Dr. Frederick’s Original Bunion Corrector Kit. It comes with a set of 14 toe spacers, all designed to give you relief from bunions so you can walk, run, and hike pain-free. Made from super soft, flexible gel, the spacers provide light pressure and separate the first two toes to promote gentle realignment of the big toe. You can choose from five different types of spacers in the kit, all intended for various functions. Some should be worn with shoes, while others are intended for different levels of activity and can be used with or without shoes. Ideal for active people, this kit is an economical way to test out different types of cushions if you’re not sure what will work for you.

Best Socks: Sockwell Women's Sport Ease Bunion Relief Socks

If you’d prefer to not wear spacers or pads, especially at night, Sockwell Bunion Relief socks are a smart alternative. With a unique split-toe design, they can help soothe bunions by relieving shoe pressure, promoting circulation, and gently encouraging natural alignment. The socks separate the first and second toes in a cushioned toe pocket, which helps to minimize friction and reduce discomfort from overlapping toes. Additionally, the sock’s arch support offers exceptional comfort, while the seamless toe closure helps with blister protection. Made of a durable blend of Merino wool, bamboo rayon, nylon, and Spandex, these socks provide natural moisture management and odor control, keeping your feet fresh and cool.

Best Orthotic: Powerstep Original Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles

Lack of support or instability in the arch area can lead to bunions, so you might need some extra reinforcement to correct your gait and take the stress off your toe joint. While some people require custom-made orthotics, others may be able to use over-the-counter options, like these insoles from Powerstep. With a low profile and dual-layer cushioning, they fit in most casual, dress, and athletic shoes to provide good arch support and full-length comfort.

Final Verdict

If you're suffering from moderate bunion pain, an over-the-counter option like Natracure Gel Big Toe Bunion Guards offer support and stability, while helping to reposition the toes over time. If you have flat feet (which are a leading cause of bunions), Spenco Polysorb Insoles will support your entire foot while providing protection to your big toe. They fit into most shoes, so you can still wear your favorite kicks while getting extra pain relief.

What to Look For In Bunion Support Products

Toe Separators: Bunions force the big toe towards the second toe, so products that help separate the two can work to realign the big toe. Look for toe separators made of gel or other soft, flexible materials to prevent discomfort during use.

Bunion Protection: Trauma to the foot can worsen bunions and further their formation. Insoles and socks with padding around the toe can help cushion the foot from any accidental injuries that could exacerbate bunion pain.

Arch Support: Flat feet are a common cause of bunions, so products that provide arch support can help reduce the reoccurrence of bunions. Insoles, socks, and shoes with arch support are easy ways to care for your feet while you go about your day.

Why Trust Verywell Health?

Certified running coach and marathon runner Christine Luff has spent years researching and recommending over-the-counter foot health products for runners. She sticks to brands that are recommended by organizations such as the APMA and tells her trainees to seek advice from their podiatrist or other health care professional.

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Article Sources
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