Bunions and Bunionettes

Comfort Shoe Specialists of St. Louis carries an extensive selection of shoes to accommodate bunions and bunionettes. Beside our vast inventory, we have the skills and expertise to customize footwear, whether bought at our facility or elsewhere, to relieve painful bunions and bunionettes.

Illustration of Bunion and Bunionette

Bunions refer to a bony prominence or enlargement at the dorsal or medial head of the first metatarsal phalangeal joint (mpj). Bunionettes are acquired bony enlargement or prominence of the fifth metatarsophalangeal head. Often called a “Tailor’s bunion” because tailors setting cross-legged causing abnormal pressure on their outer feet while measuring clients, causing these deformities of the fifth metatarsophalangeal joints.

Bunion Deformity is a subluxation of the first metatarsal and the phalange or great toe joint. Hallux Valgus is a deviation of the great toe towards the second and is accompanied by enlargement of the medial first metatarsal head. Hereditary and anatomical predisposition combined with repeated minor injury from wearing footwear more narrow than the feet are generally thought to be the primary reason for bunions. Concern for heel fit is one of the primary reasons for wearing footwear too small for forefoot freedom of movement and functioning. Our heel bone, or calcaneus, is the largest bone in the foot and it will not deform from loose fit. Blisters are caused from friction of tight shoes. BUT the smaller bones of the forefoot can be deformed from tight shoes, i.e., shoes that are more narrow or short for our feet to function normally. 90% of Americans wear their shoes too small for their feet according to the study by the American Foot and Ankle Society.

Tailor’s bunion or bunionette is a prominence that may start as irritated, swollen tissue that is consistently rubbed by the shoe. With time, this constant pressure may cause the bone to thicken, creating an even larger bump to rub. The body may form a bursa to help protect the area.

Comfort Shoe Specialists of St. Louis Pedorthic Solutions for Bunions and Bunionettes:

  • Anatomical shaped toe box that respects the foot
  • Custom Molded Footwear: Shoes or boots
  • Custom orthotics to stabilize the foot, often adding forefoot varus wedging for intervention, controlling over-pronation
  • Stretch Shoes to increase width of forefoot of footwear
  • Adjustable straps in walking sandals such as Finn Comfort Baltrum, Sylt, Jamaica and many other styles and brands
  • Medial Heel Wedging
  • Referral to physicians if unresponsive to conservative measures