Best Hiking Boots For Bunions: Pick The Right Footwear For Your Hiking Trip

It can be hard to find ordinary footwear when you have a bunion, let alone hiking boots. They can get abraded, pinched and compressed in hiking footwear. Blisters and squashed toes can be the bane of anyone with wide feet, particularly if the feet are wide in the front. It can make finding footwear very challenging. So, what can be done?

best hiking boots for bunions

Seven Steps to Stepping Better

If you are having trouble finding hiking boots that fit, you can try these seven steps. Each one describes a quality that would benefit a person with bunions or a method to make the boots more bearable. Hopefully, you will find the hiking boot that is perfect for you before you even get to the last step.

  • Find a hiking boot with a sufficiently wide toe box. Try the boots on and lace-up as usual. If they are too tight across the toes, you need to move on to something else. If you find something with a wide enough toe box, lucky you! Skip to step four. Otherwise, keep reading.
  • Get a boot made with material that stretches. If you can’t find anything with a wide enough toe box, at least get something pliant that will stretch. Rubber, nylon and polyester mesh, faux-leather, and other synthetic materials will all have some give but leather is supple enough for a significant stretch. And to get them to stretch…
  • Get a rubbing bar. This is a long and curved piece of metal with a round and narrow tip that is about half an inch in diameter. Slip the boot over the end of the bar and apply pressure to a particular point on the boot by rubbing it outward using the end of the bar. Five or ten minutes should do it.
  • Lace them properly. Now it’s time to lace up your boots. The lower laces must be just tight enough to prevent the front of your foot from sliding about from side-to-side. The laces that run across your instep are vital for locking your heel into position, which keeps it from slipping up and down and leading to friction which causes blisters.
  • Is there too much room in the heel? Footwear that is wide in the toe box also tends to be roomy in the heel as well. If you have bunions, you might only need extra width in the front. The heel can slide around and lead to blisters or worse, a sprained ankle. If this is a problem, you can always…
  • Put in inserts. You may need an after-market insole to fill up all that extra space. High-density foam is your best bet. You just need the padding to be thick and soft but not squashy.
  • Repeat as necessary. If the shoes still do not fit properly, start over from the beginning.

The Reviews:

Here are some of the best boots available for hikers who have bunions. You are encouraged to get medical treatment for a bunion, but exercise is good for you. These boots will be the best choice for someone who does not want their bunion to cause more pain.

1. Hanwag Alta Bunion Boot (Women / Men)

Hanwag Alta Bunion Boot - Women's
Hanwag Alta Bunion Boot - Men's

This particular boot is made with a special bunion last for people who have hallux valgus. The fit of this boot is engineered specifically for people with bunions. It is supremely comfortable and extraordinarily ankle-supportive in its expertly made shell. The ride on this shoe is quite remarkable and unforgettable. Even people without bunion problems should find this boot delightfully comfortable.

Features:

The interior is built from a particularly soft leather lining that has no seams in the big toe joint. The cemented construction makes for a solidly built boot. The leather lining is chrom-free. The deep pull lacing allows for a good, firm fit at the heel. The heel tension element is reinforced with leather.

What We Like:

  • The boot has a bunion friendly fit.
  • The boots are very comfortable.
  • The construction is impeccable.
  • The boots have remarkable ankle support.
  • The traction is superb.
  • The shock absorption is top-notch.

What We Don’t:

  • The midsole is ineffective over very rough terrain.

2. Zamberlan 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boot (Women / Men)

Zamberlan Women's 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boot
Zamberlan Men's 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boot

Zamberlan’s most popular boot, the 996 Vioz GT is an homage to Italian performance, comfort, and style. Learn for yourself why this is one of the most revered boots in the outdoor industry all over the world.

This style is available now in wide sizes. The Zamberlan is the sharpest thing to wear in the woods. The sleek leather provides a supple, flexible and calculated fit and a keen look.

Features:

The durable, single-piece Hydrobloc® full-grain leather uppers provide superior support and flexibility. The seam-sealed GORE-TEX® liners guard the feet from damp weather and let excess moisture vapor escape which keeps the feet dry and comfortable.

The nylon linings wick away moisture from your feet which further ensures dry comfort. The padded and gusseted tongues relax lace pressure across insteps while simultaneously keeping out debris from the trail. The heel loops aid entry. The insoles are removable, moisture-wicking and are anatomic for additional comfort and are perforated for both ventilation and moisture control.

The polyurethane midsoles offer long-lasting cushioning while thermoplastic urethane midsole shanks provide both rigidity and stability on uneven surfaces. The flexible rubber outsoles deliver both durability and reliable traction on rough terrain.

What We Like:

  • The boots are strong, durable and well made.
  • The arch support is excellent
  • They are comfortable with a minimal break-in period.
  • The boots are very supportive.

What We Don’t:

  • The sole wears out quickly.

3. SALOMON Quest 4d 3 GTX Backpacking Boots (Women / Men)

SALOMON QUEST 4D 3 GTX WOMEN'S HIKING BOOTS LEAD/STORMY WEATHER/BIRD OF PARADISE SZ 8.5
SALOMON Men's Quest 4D 3 GTX Backpacking Boots, Phantom/Black/Quiet Shade, 10

Salomon came into being in 1947 in the heart of the French Alps, the birthplace of alpinism as we know it. Francois Salomon and his son George were driven by a passion for innovative design and skiing designed to perfect most of the first modern ski equipment.

During the next sixty years, Salomon’s desire to innovate engineering and passion for mountain sports made a varied range of revolutionary new ideas in boots, skis, and clothing which delivered innovative solutions for hiking, mountaineering, adventure racing and trail running.

Features:

The seam-sealed Gore-Tex® membranes deliver superb protection from moisture and allow vapor to escape to aid in keeping the feet dry and cool. These boots provide an even and smoother ride plus improved stability and cushioning.

The new 4D Advanced Chassis design makes more forefoot flexion possible. The durable split suede leather and nylon mesh uppers provide flexibility and breathability along with lightweight comfort. The padded and gusseted tongues have a contoured instep fit.

The moisture-wicking polyester linings absorb and disperse excess moisture to deliver better comfort. The removable OrthoLite footbeds absorb shock while the antimicrobial treatment repels odors inside the boots.

What We Like:

  • The boots are breathable.
  • There is plenty of ankle support.
  • They are lightweight.
  • They are very comfortable.
  • The boots are waterproof.

What We Don’t:

  • There is not enough cushioning.

4. Vasque Breeze III GTX Boot (Women / Men)

Vasque Breeze III GTX Women's Boot
Vasque Breeze III GTX Men's Boot

The Vasque® Breeze III GTX hiking boot allows you to take a quick-paced hike in comfort, regardless of what the terrain throws in your way. This is a perfect hiking boot for day hiking, long overnight trips, and hiking on mixed conditions on the trail.

Vasque has succeeded in cranking up the technology and innovation for an ideal trail experience. This boot blends an amazing combination of perfect out of box comfort plus breathability and waterproof performance.

Features:

The high-abrasion leather uppers with mesh panels are breathable, supportive and strong. The waterproof Gore-Tex® Extended Comfort Membranes keep the feet dry while still being breathable for comfort.

The dual-density midsoles with EVA cushion pods provide long-lasting comfort and support. The heel and toe ventilation ports allow good airflow all along with the footbed.

The thermoplastic urethane Exo-plates bring lateral stability and structure to the wearer. The Vibram® Contact Grip outsoles with Megagrip rubber compound are extremely grippy, allowing you to have control in all sorts of weather and trail conditions

What We Like:

  • There is ample arch support.
  • The ankle support is excellent.
  • The tongue is wide and comfortably contoured.
  • The heel box is solid and rubberized.

What We Don’t:

  • The arch is maybe too high.

5. Dr. Comfort Therapeutic Diabetic Extra Depth Hiking Boot (Women / Men)

Dr. Comfort Women's Vigor Chestnut Diabetic Hiking Boots
Dr. Comfort Ranger Men's Therapeutic Diabetic Extra Depth Hiking Boot

This is an exceptionally stylish and lightweight boot for all your indoor and outdoor activities. They offer supreme pressure and comfort relief the whole day long. It is more than sufficiently deep and is decked out with leather laces.

These come directly from the specialty collection. These shoes are available not only in Velcro strap but also in no-tie elastic laces creating a closure that is both convenient and simple as can be.

Features:

The style is sophisticated and craftsmanship classic. A gel insert is included. The closure is a combination of Velcro strap and elastic laces for a firm yet adjustable fit. The soft leather uppers come with a seamless and padded lining.

What We Like:

  • The boots are attractive and stylish.
  • They ameliorate foot pain.
  • The boots offer excellent arch support
  • The boots are very comfortable.

What We Don’t:

  • They do not run true to size.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a bony lump that builds upon the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe. It forms when the big toe presses against the next toe, which forces the joint of the big toe to get larger and project outwards. This deformity may be known by the Latin name hallux valgus.

The skin over the bunion may be red and painful. Before long the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that surrounds and the joint and acts as a cushion, becomes inflamed. This leads to the entire joint becomes stiff and painful.

Bunions can be caused and exacerbated by shoes that are narrow with pointed toes. Stress in the foot from arthritis can also lead to bunions. It can also be the result of an injury or it can be a congenital defect. If you have a bunion you would experience the following symptoms.

  • A swollen bulge on the outer part of the base of your big toe
  • Swelling, discoloration or pain about your big toe joint
  • Corns or calluses may frequently develop where the first and second toes overlap.
  • Pain in general, whether persistent or intermittent
  • Restricted movement in the big toe should arthritis affect the toe

What Kind of Shoes Should be Worn with a Bunion?

All of your shoes, hiking boots or otherwise, must have a wide and flexible sole that supports the foot. There must be ample room in the toe box to accommodate your bunion. The soft leather is a good shoe material for people with bunions.

A sturdy heel counter will keep the heel in one place to prevent the slippage that leads to blisters. Heels should be no higher than one inch. A shoe stretcher may be of some use.

Other Treatment for a Bunion

Moleskin or gel-filled pad can protect your bunion if your shoes are roomy enough to accommodate one. Your health care provider may recommend semisoft orthoses (shoe inserts) to aid in positioning the foot properly as it hits the ground. You might also wear a splint at night that will keep the toe straight and ameliorate any discomfort.

Having a warm soak, using an ice pack or taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help when your bunion is irritated or painful. Massage, ultrasound, and whirlpools can help ease the pain. Cortisone injections can relieve pain but come with some nasty side effects. Discuss pain relief solutions with your health care provider.

Conclusion

Bunions can be prevented by wearing proper shoes. If you already have bunions, there are comfortable shoes you can wear to keep the pain and swelling from getting worse. Look for something with a wide toe box. If the wide toe box comes with a wide heel that you do not need, there are ways to fill it up.

However, you may be better off with something specifically made for people with bunions. We hope at least one of the above-reviewed boots works for you. Do your research and you can comparison shop with confidence.

References:

  • https://runrepeat.com/hanwag-alta-bunion
  • https://www.rei.com
  • https://bootbomb.com/the-best-hiking-boots-for-men-and-women-comparison/best-womens-hiking-boots
  • https://www.outdoors.org/articles/amc-outdoors/fitting-hiking-boots-for-bunions-and-other-wide-foot-issues
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/what-to-do-about-bunions
  • https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-118163.html
  • https://sectionhiker.com/tag/bunions
  • https://www.backpacker.com/skills/got-problem-feet
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bunions/symptoms-causes/syc-20354799
  • https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-about-bunions

 

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