Best Work Boots For Bunions: Reviews And Complete Buying Guide

It looks every bit as painful as it is. The bunion is a huge bony bump at the base of the large toe. It forces the big toe out of alignment, pushing it toward the other toes, sometimes to the point of overlapping. It looks like the infamous lotus foot was done sideways. The skin covering the bunion may be red and inflamed.

Smaller bunions, called bunionettes, may form on the little toe. Bunions are progressive, slow-developing, and just get worse over time. What causes bunions and what can you do if you have them? And what sort of work boots would be best to wear if you have bunions?

best work boots for bunions

Why Do Bunions Happen?

One major culprit is poorly fitting shoes that constrict the toes into an unnatural shape. Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause bunions. At one time, neuromuscular conditions such as polio could cause bunions. Sometimes, a bad hand in the genetics department can lead to bunions. Some injuries can lead to bunions as well.

What Boots Are Best For Bunions?

First of all, you are going to need an extra-wide toe box. You will also need high-quality leather that stretches easily. You will also have to look for a removable insole in case you would like to utilize a custom orthotic or prefabricated arch support. You will also need to look for a shank that provides stability. This will keep your foot from rolling into the big toe joint and protect your joint.

The Reviews:

Here are some of the best possible work boots for people who struggle with bunions.

1. Danner Men’s Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot

Danner Men's Quarry USA 8-Inch AT Work Boot,Black,10.5 D US

Danner is a premium boot renowned for its high quality. Some people may feel a bit of sticker shock at the sight of the price tag but rest assured you will be getting your money’s worth. Many satisfied customers claim to have had their pair of Danners for years, so you know they are very durable indeed.

Features and Benefits:

The shoe material is pure full-grain leather for great durability so that the shoes last for a long time. The Vibram soles are slip-resistant and hardy making them safe to walk in, particularly on concrete. The triple stitching with a super-strong thread keeps the shoes from falling apart easily. The alloy toe meets or exceeds ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH standards making the boots very safe for the workplace.

What We Like:

  • The boot’s great durability means it will last a long time.
  • The boots are waterproof.
  • The traction is excellent.
  • The Gore-Tex lining is comfortable.

What We Don’t:

  • They run a bit on the large side.


2. Wolverine Men’s Harrison Lace-Up 6″ Work Boot

Wolverine Harrison 6 Inch Brown Lace-Up Work Boots 4906 - 13EEEE

The Wolverine is a popular brand that people with bunions may prefer due to their wide toe box. It is a durable and breathable shoe that becomes comfortable after a slight break-in period. It is made with light materials so that the foot is not tired from being weighed down.

Features and Benefits:

The full-grain leather upper gives the boot a premium look plus durability. The removable full-cushion footbed is both convenient and makes the boot comfortable enough to wear all day. The single-density polyurethane midsole Cement construction makes for a hardy boot that needs not be replaced quickly. The lightweight nylon shank fights fatigue by adding stability without adding extra weight.

What We Like:

  • There are sizing options for wide feet.
  • The boots are resistant to oil, chemicals, and water.
  • The Pere Marquette rubber makes the boot rugged.
  • The polyurethane outsole is long-lasting.

What We Don’t:

  • There is a bit of a break-in period
  • It needs better insulation.


3. Carolina Men’s 6″ Waterproof Broad Toe Work Boot

Carolina Men's 6" Waterproof Work Boot Broad Toe Brown 10.5 4E US

Carolina is one of those work boots that deliver a good deal of the safe and protective features that you may need while working in the toughest of conditions. This is because they provide both supreme comfort and longevity.

Features and Benefits:

The non-metallic shank brings support and flexibility. The shoes are Electrical Hazard rated for safety. The rubber outsole is both flexible and slip-resistant making a shoe that is both safe and comfortable. The EVA midsole and Pillow Cushion insole add to the comfort level.

The composite safety toe cap makes the toe safe without being too heavy. The waterproof SCUBALINER makes the boots good to wear even in damp conditions. The cement construction makes for durable boots that do not wear out easily. The removable AG7 Polyurethane footbed is convenient should you require orthotics.

What We Like:

  • It is rated for electrical hazard for extra safety.
  • The non-metallic shank is flexible yet supportive.
  • The EVA midsole provides both comfort and protection
  • The boots are waterproof.

What We Don’t:

  • The craftsmanship is on the shoddy side.


4. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ Composite Emperor Toe Boot

Thorogood 804-4367 Men's American Heritage 6" Emperor Toe, Composite Safety Toe Boot, Black Walnut - 8 D(M) US

The emperor’s toe is aptly named. Your toes will get the royal treatment by being allowed all the room they need to spread out. You might even feel like you’re wearing nothing like the emperor from the Hans Christian Andersen tale. But rest assured, your feet are protected but not at the cost of comfort.

Features and Benefits:

The boots are pure full-grain leather for both flexibility and hard-wearing. The fiberglass shank sole provides the stability and lightweight necessary for a long day of work. The removable slow-recovery polyurethane footbed is both sturdy and convenient.

The dual-density polyurethane with a ninety-degree heel outsole makes the shoes not only supportive but durable. The Goodyear storm welt construction ensures that the boots will stay put together for a long time.

What We Like:

  • The fiberglass shank sole is supportive yet lightweight.
  • The toe space is wide and comfortable.
  • There is no break-in period.

What We Don’t:

  • They are not completely waterproof.


5. KEEN Utility Men’s Milwaukee 6″ Steel Toe Work Boot

KEEN Utility Men's Milwaukee 6" Steel Toe Work Boot, 10.5D, Brown/Slate Black

The reviews for this shoe are very mixed. People seem to either love them or hate them. Fortunately, KEEN has great customer service and they stand by their one-year warranty. The fans do outnumber the haters. Unlike most steel toes, these are designed to be roomy for better comfort.

Features and Benefits:

The ninety-degree heel makes climbing ladders easier. The full-grain tough-tec leather upper is resistant to abrasions and water making them very protective. The KEEN Welt construction allows for enhanced durability so they’ll last longer.

The locking metal hooks and lacing eyelets will give the boots a secure yet adjustable fit. These boots conform to both ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH standards making them safe to wear in electrical situations. The TPU stability shank provides stability.

What We Like:

  • There is no break-in period.
  • They are water-resistant.
  • The toe is protective while still being comfortable.

What We Don’t:

  • The traction is not very good.
  • The lace hooks come off easily.


What Is The Main Cause Of Bunions?

The main cause of bunions is ill-fitting shoes. High heeled shoes, particularly stilettos, can force toes into an unnatural position. But the gentlemen aren’t in the clear either! If your shoes are fitting poorly that can cause bunions.

Your shoes have to be the right size and appropriate for the job. If you have a genetic predisposition towards bunions, diabetes or inflammatory condition that can exacerbate the situation you need to be especially careful about how your footwear fits.

Can Work Boots Cause Bunions?

They can be if you get the wrong kind. There is a lot to be said about custom-fitted boots, but let’s face it; the typical blue-collar working stiff can’t afford that. The best that can be done is to do research before buying and learning which boots are best suited to their individual needs. The number one thing you want to look for is arch support. This will prevent overpronation.

If bunions are a problem for you, you might want to watch the heel height. Boots for loggers and linemen tend to have a bit of a heel on them for shock absorption and support. A too high heel puts pressure on the toes. All your weight gets shifted to the balls of your feet. A too-tight toe box pinches the foot. Bunions can be just the beginning of the health problems this can cause!

Do Wide Boots Help Bunions?

It couldn’t hurt. Providing your toes with enough room to move around is always a good thing. A wide toe box can both prevent and help with the pain of bunions. If your toes are not crowded for space you might not develop bunions. If you are already struggling with bunions giving your toes space can keep things from getting worse.

What Are The Early Symptoms Of A Bunion?

Is the bump angular? Is the skin hard or callused? Is the big toe pointing at the smallest toe? A bunion will often be accompanied by swelling, redness, out of the ordinary tenderness, and sometimes pain in the base of the big toe and at the ball of the foot.

The area could become shiny and warm to the touch. If the pain is persistent and you can’t walk normally even in comfortable shoes, you may have something worse than a bunion and need to see a doctor.

What Is Bunion Pain Like?

The pain in the big toe can be persistent or intermittent. Moving the big toe can be difficult or painful. Corns and calluses can develop where the toes overlap. Bunion pain is generally localized in the big toe.

If it affects other joints, it could be gout. Bunion pain may start as simply annoying but it can get worse. If you aren’t sure what you have, an X-ray can determine if it’s a bunion or something worse.

How Do You Relieve Bunion Pain?

Besides comfortable shoes, you will also need to maintain your weight. You can also protect the bunion using moleskin or gel-filled pad that you can buy at any drugstore. You may want to use shoe inserts to aid in positioning the foot properly. If your doctor advises it, you can wear a splint at night to hold the toe straight.

You may need to take anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen. Warm soaks, ice packs, Whirlpool, ultrasound, and massage are all things that can relieve the pain of a bunion. Some people use toe spacers or splints to help with their bunions but the effect is generally temporary.

Do Foot Massages Help Bunions?

It is recommended. What you can do is use your thumbs or roll a golf ball or tennis ball underneath the mounds of the toes to release the adductor muscles. These are the muscles that flex and contract the big toe and reinforce the arch of the foot.

Begin at the base of your big toes and massage down towards the inner arch. Work your way back up all along the smallest toe’s side of the foot and anywhere else on the sole that feels too tight.

Bunion Massage Therapy

Here is another massage technique that will help any problems you might have with bunions. Imagine your big toe is an old school joystick on a video game. Grasp your big toe firmly in the center so that you are holding it underneath the nail and just before it joins to the big spot on your foot near your bunion. Gently tug your toe outward.

You may feel an increase in the space in your toe joint. Hold this position for a second or so. This will be known as the neutral position. You should then gently press down and return to neutral and pull up and return to neutral. Keep going by pushing left then neutral and right then neutral. Then let go. Do this every day for better flexibility.

Do Bunion Correctors Actually Work?

Padding the bunion can reduce pain. You also need to reposition the big toe and provide some support. A bunion pad, whether felt, moleskin or gel, can alleviate the irritation and is effective for mild to moderate bunions.

A toe spacer relieves pressure and pushes the big toe into proper alignment. arch supports are good at keeping the bones in better alignment and preventing bunions from progressing. Bunion splints can fix the bunion while you sleep.

How Long Should You Wear Bunion Correctors?

At first, you should wear the bunion correcting splint for just one hour at a time until your foot starts to get used to it. After the first week, it is recommended that you wear the splint customarily throughout the night and for roughly two or three hours during the day.

Which Bunion Splint Is Best?

That depends on your needs. A brace has a plastic or metal rods to align the toe and are adjustable. Hard bunion splints are made from plastic and run down the outside of the big toe to realign it. Gel splints separate the big toe from the other toes to aid in the realignment. With consistent use, you may see some significant results.

Can A Bunion Be Corrected Without Surgery?

Generally, surgery is not necessary. It only becomes necessary when other treatment doesn’t work or there is an underlying deformity that simply cannot be corrected otherwise.

How Successful Is Bunion Surgery?

A bunionectomy has a ninety-five percent success rate, so pretty successful. Risks for any complications are highest in patients with diabetes, smokers and those with vitamin D deficiency.

How To Prevent Bunions From Getting Worse?

Before you try surgery, do all the things you would do to relieve pain. Get some better-fitting shoes and watch your weight. A lot can be said for orthotics. They aid in the regulation of weight distribution which reduces the pressure put on the big toe joint.

This is the ultimate source of your pain. The truth is, orthotics can also retard the development of bunions by stabilizing the big toe joint plus all the bones in the foot.

How Can I Shrink My Bunions Naturally?

An ice pack is the most natural way to shrink bunions. Apply it for about fifteen to twenty minutes every hour. Utilize an ice pack or you can just put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Remember to cover it with a towel to prevent frostbite. Ice aids in the prevention of tissue damage and lessens swelling and pain.

Does Soaking In Epsom Salt Help Bunions?

Anything anti-inflammatory works. Fill a basin or tub with warm water until it’s deep enough to cover your feet. Add half a cup of Epsom salt. Soak your feet between thirty minutes and an hour twice a week.

If you’re into aromatherapy, you can add a bit of essential oil to help you relax. Lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint are recommended. Remember to moisturize your feet when you are done.

Do Bunion Exercises Work?

As weak muscles can lead to bunions you can treat or prevent bunions with foot exercises to strengthen the muscles. There are scrunches, stretches and foot yoga you can do to improve your foot muscles.

Exercises To Relieve Bunion Pain

Remember to get your doctor’s or physical therapist’s OK before you take on an exercise regime, particularly if you are recovering from surgery. Points and curls are the easiest exercises to do. You should sit down with your feet around six inches from the floor. Point and curl your toes slowly. Do twenty reps of this for two to three sets.

You can also do toe spreads. Sit down and place your foot on the floor. With your heel pressed to the ground, lift and spread your toes like a peacock spreading tail feathers. Repeat this exercise ten to twenty times on each foot.

Toe circles will mobilize the joints in your toe and reduce stiffness. Sit on a chair, lean over and grasp your big toe. Make circles with the toe clockwise twenty times. Stop and reverse the direction for another twenty circles. Do two or three sets on each toe. You may want to consider other exercises utilizing balls, elastic and small items to pick up with your toes.


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