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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

Do Shoes Make Bunions, or Make Them Worse?

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It’s a pretty well known fact by now that tight shoes and bunions are absolutely not a ticket for comfort, but what role do they actually play in the formation and worsening of these protrusions? You might find it surprising that there is still some expert argument over whether shoes actually cause bunions. It’s a chicken-egg sort of question.

It has been noted that populations who go largely barefoot show much fewer instances of bunions than those who do. This in itself, however, does not necessarily mean that shoes are the root cause of a bump developing.

What most experts do agree upon is that shoes that are too tight, too narrow, or have too high of a heel can contribute to the development of a bunion that has already begun to shift, and possibly bring out one that was already likely to form due to someone’s genetic disposition and foot shape.

Anything that forces abnormal pressure on the toes and ball of the foot is not a good idea in general, and certain kinds of shoes do just this. The fact bunions are about 10 times more likely in women than men may lend credence to the role high heels play in making bunions worse.

So shoes might not cause bunions, but they can certainly help one along. It’s like how jumping off the roof as a kid didn’t give your parents gray hair, but It likely sped the process along.

If you need help with a bunion, we here at Family Foot Care & Surgery can help. It doesn’t matter how progressed it is; there are many conservative and surgical methods that may be available to help you find relief. Get in touch with one of our offices by calling (203) 876-7736 for Milford or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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