Bunions are one of the common injuries encountered by women. Afflicted individuals often experience pain and stiffness in their big toes, and their toe joints can become swollen and red. Bunions are caused by hereditary factors, pronation and ill-fitting shoes. Knowing how to find and select the right pair of running shoes can help you prevent bunions, as well as cope if you already have them.
All-mesh shoes, or shoes with a mesh front that extends from just behind your toe joints to the tip of the shoe, are good choices for women with bunions. The mesh is more forgiving than other fabrics, and stretches to accommodate the bunion while still being snug and fitting. Examples include ACI International's Sprngz product line; Spira Women's Striker mesh line; various Puma shoes (e.g., the Puma Cell Cerae II Mesh); and the entire Nike Free line.
Certain shoe manufacturers have created shoe products with a wider-than-average toe area that is beneficial for those suffering with bunions. In addition, bunion-friendly running shoes typically incorporate extra cushioning in the toe region to soften the impact of running and reduce bunion pain. Two examples include the Saucony ProGRID Omni, which also includes bunion-friendly motion control, and New Balance's 757 line.
One of the influencing factors for bunions is excessive pronation, which puts undue stress on the front area of your foot and can increase the risk of bunions. Shoes that correct pronation may not only increase your comfort, but can also prevent the recurrence or exaggeration of current bunion conditions. Because individuals can have varying levels of pronation, it is suggested that women go to a running shoe store such as The Running Room to get analyzed and fitted for the right shoe. Brands that specialize in correcting pronation during running include Acor, Kums, Orthofeet and Drew.
Typically, women's running shoes are more narrow and pointed than men's shoes. This can cause difficulty for those with bunions because they need a wider toe area. Thus, some orthopedists recommend that female bunion-sufferers switch to a shoe designed for men. The larger, roomier fit can help accommodate the painful bunion region while still being fitted and tight around the ankles and heel.
Article Written By Josh Duvauchelle
Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.