Bunions are a bony bump found on the first joint of the big toe, and people with this symptom will notice an unnatural leaning of the big toe towards the second toe. This condition that as many as 10% to 25% of people suffer from can develop at any age, and is actually irreversible.
If you have low arches, the arches tend to flatten excessively when you take a step. This puts greater pressure on the inner side of your feet and pushes your big toe towards the second toe, forcing the joint at the base to jut out. Over time, the constant pressure on the base of your toe stimulates the bone there to grow bigger, eventually forming a bunion. This is why you should look for sturdy arch support in shoes that can help position your feet properly and prevent pressure from being localized on the inner soles of your feet.
Shoes that are narrow and restrictive at the front may also cause bunions as they compress your toes together and exert high amounts of pressure on your big toe. High heels are even worse as they displace your body weight to your forefoot and increase this compression. If your job requires you to be on your feet for long hours at a time, wearing these types of footwear can not only cause bunions but also exacerbate them. Opt for shoes that have a wide toe-box and wriggle room for your toes, and avoid pointy heels as much as possible.
After you develop bunions, they will become a permanent deformity that can only be fixed through surgical intervention. Mild bunions might not be painful in the beginning, but can hurt and even impede walking as they progress. If you notice that you’re in the beginning stages of developing bunions, you can consult a podiatrist to understand what you may be doing wrong and receive advice for slowing down its growth. Also remember to take a good look at the shoes, are the shoes wider than your feet? If not, it’s time to get new shoes that can give you enough wriggle room at the toe box.