Do you avoid wearing open shoes because of your bunions? Sandals can be uncomfortable and cause pain to the metatarsophalangeal joint because of friction or pressure points.
If you enjoy wearing open-toed shoes but have bunions, we’ve reviewed the best sandals for bunions.
Read through all 10 reviews to find the sandals that best suit you so your feet can be protected without being closed in next summer!
Top 3 Best and Favorite
Clarks Hapsford Creek
1. Orthofeet Alpine (men’s)
2. Orthofeet Laguna (women’s)
The Orthofeet shoes are designed to keep you comfortable while still looking stylish. They’re made specifically to suit individuals with foot problems, including bunions.
The Alpine—men’s—and Laguna—women’s—are very similar. Both are closed-style sandals that offer support while still remaining breathable. The stretch uppers on both shoes have open gaps to promote excellent airflow.
The uppers are stretchable and have a wide toe box. This offers relief for bunions and prevents pressure points. Each shoe has a soft inner lining and extra foam padding to provide extra protection for bunions and the rest of the foot.
An adjustable heel strap allows for a secure fit on both narrow and wide feet. They both have an elastic toggle lacing system, which is convenient and easy to use to tighten the shoe securely around your foot.
Premium insoles with supportive cushioning provide shock absorption and are present in both the men’s and women’s shoes. They have gel inserts in the heel for exceptional padding and impact absorption.
They also offer anatomical arch support to provide structure and keep your foot in alignment. This helps to prevent extra pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint.
The men’s shoe has two fitting spacers inside them which can be removed to add extra depth if necessary. On the women’s shoe, an arch booster can be added or removed depending on the amount of support you need.
The only potential problem is that the upper is only adjustable at the heel and may chafe the bridge of your foot if you have a high instep.
- Anatomical design
- Adjustable heel strap
- Wide toe box
- Padded interior lining
- The upper may chafe on those who have a high instep
3. Clarks Hapsford Creek (men’s)
4. Trotters Romi (women’s)
These shoes may be two different brands but they’re both excellent value for money.
Leather uppers provide stability and durability, and each features three adjustable straps—one around the heel and two across the foot—which means you can get a comfortable but not too tight fit.
The women’s leather upper is decorated with a delicate cut-out design to add an element of prettiness to the shoe. The men’s are solid leather with stitching detail.
Both shoes have a soft, comfortable textile lining that reduces friction. Cushioned footbeds absorb the shock of impact so that your joints are not further moved out of alignment.
They both have a synthetic sole that’s slip-resistant and grippy. The men’s have multiple horizontal grooves in them that allow for flexibility, while the women’s have tightly-packed hexagonal shapes with thin flex grooves.
- Leather upper
- Multi-point adjustable straps
- Cushioned footbed
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole
- Those with a high instep may find that there’s not enough Velcro to close the front strap
Best Open Toe
5. Naot Lappland (men’s)
6. Naot Karenna (women’s)
The Naot sandals are high-quality and extremely durable.
Both of these shoes have received the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance as being shoes that promote good foot health.
Both the men’s—Lappland—and the women’s—Karenna—have sturdy leather uppers that have a fixed ankle/heel strap and two adjustable hook-and-loop straps. You can get a comfortably tight fit around the bridge of your foot but loosen the top strap slightly to allow for the bunion.
A smooth suede sock liner wicks away moisture and contours to your feet for support. It’s also removable if you need to use a custom orthotic.
The footbed in both of these shoes is Naot’s cork and latex footbed, which provides excellent cushioning that doesn’t lose its shape and molds to the wearer’s foot.
Just note that although the footbed is covered, those who are allergic to latex may not be able to wear these shoes.
Both shoes also use a flexible PU—polyurethane—rubber outsole. The manufacturer’s website states that men’s shoes are slip-resistant but the women’s shoes are not.
- Cork and latex footbed
- Suede sock lining
- Hook-and-loop closures
- Flexible polyurethane outsole
- Those with a latex allergy may not be able to wear this shoe
- The women’s shoe is not slip-resistant
7. Hoka One One ORA Recovery Flip
Hoka One One’s traditional oversized EVA midsole features in this flip-flop style shoe. It offers exceptional impact-absorbing cushioning.
There’s also soft EVA on the top of this dual-layer midsole, so your foot stays comfortable and it has a double layer of protection against shock.
In the midsole, there is an early-stage meta-rocker that helps provide an efficient gait. Vertical and horizontal grooves across the outersole work with the meta-rocker to offer a smooth ride.
The toe post is wrapped with jersey textile, which wicks away moisture and is soft against the skin.
Bunions should be entirely free, thanks to the inward-sloping design of the strap. There shouldn’t be any chafing or pressure points.
- Jersey textile toe straps
- Oversized midsoles
- Soft EVA top layer
- Early-stage Meta-Rocker
- Some may not like the oversized design of this shoe
8. Teva Omnium 2
If you’re looking for sandals that will last you for ages, the Teva Omnium may be the right shoe for you.
They’re a closed-toe sandal with toe protection that’s designed for adventuring. They are made to be extremely durable.
The upper is made from a combination of mesh and synthetic materials. There’s stretchy mesh between the tongue and collar to make it easier to put on. This also helps folks with bunions to get into the shoe.
The quick-lacing bungee cord allows for a good fit without being overly tight. There’s also a hook-and-loop strap across the top of the midfoot, and an adjustable strap at the heel for a custom fit.
An EVA midsole offers cushioning without adding too much weight to the shoe. It prevents jarring to the joints, which helps to prevent the bunion from worsening and reduce pain while you’re walking.
There’s a nylon shank for stability so extra pressure isn’t placed on the metatarsophalangeal joint.
A lightly-lugged Spider Rubber outsole is designed for wet surfaces. It provides excellent grip to prevent slipping and bumping or causing friction on the bunion. It’s also highly durable on any surface.
We should note that the footbed is not removable, which may make it difficult to use custom orthotics in this shoe.
- Integrated toe-protection
- EVA-foam midsole with embedded nylon shank
- Rockered toe
- Rugged spider rubber outsole
- The footbed is not removable to allow for custom orthotics
Top Customizable Fit
9. Chaco Z/Cloud
These sandals should fit almost any foot, as they are highly adjustable.
A polyester jacquard webbing upper wraps your foot comfortably, with a buckle strap at the ankle. This open design allows for freedom in the forefoot, which is helpful for bunions as there’s no friction or pressure on the affected joint.
The gender-specific, dual-density LUVSEAT PU footbed cradles your foot in comfort. Chaco Cloud cushioning provides impact absorption to prevent jarring of the joints and reduce pain.
A ChacoGrip rubber outsole with 3 mm lugs keeps you safe on a number of different surfaces. These sandals may run large so you’d need to order a size smaller.
- Jacquard webbing upper
- Dual-density LUVSEAT PU footbed
- ChacoGrip rubber outsole
- Adjustable high-tensile webbing heel risers
- These sandals may run large and you would need to order a size smaller
Best For Narrow Feet
10. BIRKENSTOCK Arizona Soft Footbed Sandals
If you have narrow feet and struggle to find shoes that fit properly, you should consider the Birkenstock Arizona Sandals.
Those with wide feet will also find a size to suit them – they come in narrow, regular, and wide widths.
It’s a slip-on sandal with two adjustable buckle straps. The toe area is roomy and accommodating of bunions, and the straps are lined with suede.
If they do cover the bunion, they’re soft on the skin and won’t chafe. There is also a raised toe bar in the forefoot to encourage a better grip of the toes.
A cork footbed is eco-friendly and contours to your feet. It also retains its shape over time. It forms a deep heel cup to keep the foot as stable as possible. An EVA foam layer attenuates shock and is highly durable.
Be aware that both of these can be damaged by extreme heat so it’s advised not to leave these in full sun or in the car.
- Roomy toe box
- Contoured cork footbed
- Raised toe bar
- Lined with suede
- Extreme heat can damage these sandals
Top Adjustable Slide
11. OOFOS Sport Flex Sandal
The OOFOS Sport Flex Sandal is a slide, but it’s also adjustable thanks to a thick Velcro strap.
The adjustable strap reduces the chances of pressure points or hotspots being created on the foot.
Oofoam technology in the footbed has been specially designed to absorb 37 percent more shock than regular foams. The shape of the footbed is designed to cradle your arch, providing better support and keeping the foot aligned.
This sandal is machine-washable for convenience. There is a lightly textured outsole for traction.
- Adjustable Velcro strap
- Anatomically designed footbed
- Textured outsole
- May not fit well on narrow feet
Best Leather Sandal
12. Dr. Comfort Fisherman (men’s)
13. Dr. Comfort Breeze (women’s)
These sandals are closed-style, full-grain leather sandals that are highly durable and supportive.
They feature an adjustable hook-and-loop strap on the bridge of the foot for an adjustable fit. An open-air design features large gaps for ventilation of the foot chamber.
Both shoes have a firm heel counter to keep the foot stable and prevent movement that could cause pain in the MTP joint.
A protective toe box not only keeps the toes safe, but prevents the forefoot from moving and bumping or chafing the bunion. It has ample space for the toes to splay and rest comfortably.
A padded heel helps to prevent jarring to your joints, including the metatarsophalangeal. There is also light arch support to keep the foot aligned in a natural position.
- Full-grain leather upper
- Open-air design
- Firm heel counter
- Adjustable contact closure
- Some may find that these shoes feel heavy
Best Dress Sandals
14. Propet Jack (men’s)
15. Propet Jocelyn (women’s)
Both of these sandals are smart-looking and made from leather for durability.
The men’s shoe has a closed toe box design, although the toe box is wide and allows the toes to be naturally positioned. The women’s shoe is an open-toed shoe.
An adjustable hook-and-loop strap on the front of the ankle of the men’s shoe works with the solid heel to keep the foot secure, while not putting pressure on or chafing against the bunion.
The women’s shoe has two straps across the shoe and one buckle strap across the back of the heel.
Both shoes have padded heels for shock absorption and lightly textured PU outsoles. The footbeds on both shoes are removable to insert a custom orthotic if necessary.
- Adjustable hook-and-loop strap
- Removable cushioned footbed
- Spacious toe box
- Padded heel
- These shoes are slightly heavy
What Are Bunions?
Bunions—also known as Hallux Valgus—occur when the bones in the forefoot move out of position and cause the metatarsophalangeal joint—MTP joint—at the base of the big toe to stick out to the side.
The bunion starts out small but it’s a progressive condition and will continue to grow.
With every step, the MTP joint flexes and this movement causes the bunion to get bigger. This may be accompanied by redness around the joint, numbness, or hardened skin underneath the foot in the area of the bunion.
Some individuals may experience constant pain at the site of the bunion, while others may have pain that comes and goes. The range of movement of the toe may be restricted.
The joint at the base of the fifth toe—the fifth metatarsal—can also be affected by this condition. In this case, the bony growth is called a bunionette or a tailor’s bunion.
Features of a Good Sandal for Bunions
When looking at sandals for bunions, consider the following:
The sandal should have a smooth and comfortable upper with a wider toe box area that can accommodate the bunion without causing pressure points or friction. A closed-style shoe may offer more protection for bunions.
Choose a sandal with an adjustable fit. It should also have a footbed that offers both comfort and support for your arch, and enough cushioning to absorb impact and reduce jarring to the affected joint.
A grippy rubber outsole will help to prevent you from slipping and possibly bumping the bunion or causing the foot to move inside the shoe, which may cause friction that can aggravate the bunion.
The outsole will also help to absorb the impact of the foot strike.