Up To 75% OFF EVERYTHING + FREE shipping

Do Bunion Pads Work?

Learn more about how bunion pads can help you, why they are effective and how they work to reduce your foot pain or discomfort.

a man with a mustache and a vest
By Janik Sundstrom
Siphokazi Mdidimba
Edited by Siphokazi Mdidimba

Published June 30, 2022.

Bunions are a common condition affecting many people globally and are usually seen in older people. Bunions are a condition associated with misalignment of the big toe towards the smaller toes of the foot and are often caused by altered foot mechanics, ligament laxity, and flat feet. The altered forces translated through the forefoot cause a shift in the alignment of the big toe.

Pain, swelling, and tenderness are all symptoms that can occur at the bony bump that is pronounced in bunions. Bunions are seen frequently in an older population, as they slowly progress over time. Bunion pads aim to maintain the alignment of the big toe and prevent further deformity and pain from occurring in the joint. Bunion pads can be adopted when the early signs of bunions start to appear on your feet.

How Do Bunion Pads Work?

Bunion pads are worn over the feet to relieve bunion pain and lessen the strain placed on the joint of the big toe—maintaining its alignment. Pads specifically for bunions limit the pressure on the inner side of the foot from making contact with the shoe, which may cause pain. This will reduce the aggravation of your symptoms as you go about your daily and sporting activities. You can also make use of a toe spacer between the first and second toe of the foot, stopping the inward turn of the big toe. 

Exercises for bunions can be done in conjunction with bunion pads to provide maximum support needed for treating bunions. These exercises can be done daily to improve your symptoms of bunions should they arise, and will prevent ongoing deformity from occurring. The exercises include heel raises, toe curls, massage to the sole using a ball, stretching exercises, and more.

How Effective Are Bunion Pads?

Bunion pads are an effective way to reduce pain and inflammation occurring in the joint while wearing the orthotic, but may not re-align the joint entirely over time. Its limitation is that it does not provide the same relief when the pads are removed. Bunion pads have been shown to reduce symptoms in people experiencing pain related to bunion development in the foot while exercising or walking. These pads can be used interchangeably between different shoes.