Let’s tackle a very un-sexy subject head on (or rather feet on) – bunions!

Today’s post is about one of the least sexiest topics ever – and no I’m not talking Tena Lady – but I’m going to embrace it anyway – bunions! Well, if they’re good enough for Victoria Beckham, they’re good enough for the rest of us. Only today I saw a picture of Mrs B in Grazia wearing a pair of shoes through which you could clearly see the outline of her bunions.

Most of my clients have foot problems of one kind or another, with many of them having developed bunions, or at least the first sign of them. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t necessarily caused by wearing inappropriately fitting, or high, shoes but rather they are thought to be hereditary (something else for which to thank your parents!) As yet there is still a relatively long recovery period from an operation to remove them, so many women suffer for many years before having any kind of surgery.

Just today one of my clients said that the thought of wearing her high LK Bennett shoes brought tears to her eyes, although that was more down to an ankle injury she sustained as a result of some over exuberant dancing one night. It’s also fair to say that women suffer with painful feet because of back or ankle problems and the thought of going to a wedding, with all that standing, is enough to bring some out in a cold sweat.

The real problem lies, in all but the most severe of cases, not in finding comfortable footwear – there’s a whole host of orthopaedic looking shoes on the market – but rather in finding stylish footwear. I have concluded that if there is one thing that is most lacking on the High Street, it is footwear that can accommodate a swollen big toe joint. If I were to design a range of anything, that would be it!

So here are some things that might help to ease the discomfort:

  • It sounds obvious but give your feet a rest from shoes which aggravate the condition as much as possible, so that when it counts you can dig out those heels without suffering too badly. On holiday, behind closed doors, when driving, in fact any time when you don’t need to wear such shoes, give them a hugely wide berth. Keep a pair of heels in your bag/desk drawer/in the car and whip them on at the last moment and off at the first;

  • Opt for trainers, converse, ballet flats, smoking slippers or anything else that is comfortable. Right now trainers are definitely having a “moment” and there are some fantastic ones from which to choose. No longer are they just worn to the gym but also with skirts, brocade trousers and sequins; 

Nike Future Run from JD Sports (£55)

  • Heeled boots which fit snugly around the ankle, thereby keeping the foot secure, are a good option as they allow you to go up a half, or even a whole, size providing extra room to accommodate any swelling or dis-figurement. Wedge trainers are also good for this as they fit the ankle snugly so there’s no chance of walking out of them – unlike traditionally styled shoes;

Wide heel ankle boot Zara (£75) (all sizes now available)


Ash wedge trainers, £96.25 from the Outnet

  • Shoes made from man made fabrics can be softer on inflamed areas. I particularly like these Zara sparkly shoes (£49.99) which are made of 100% polyester. Whilst arguably £49.99 is a lot to pay for non-leather shoes, to some, just like smarties – they are the answer! The heel height is reasonable on these shoes too.

  • A slight platform in a shoe will serve to lessen the height of a heel and a wedge heel prevents the foot being from at such a steep angle, a block heel also offers more stability – so all of these should help with any niggles;

  • Look to brands who have made efforts to create comfortable ranges of shoes. Hotter has developed a range of soft shoes with plenty of cushioning, with a couple of styles at least being very wearable. I like these Admire heels (£85) which come in a variety of colour ways:

  • Marks and Spencer has its Footglove range and its Insolia range, whilst Clarks is probably at the forefront in terms of style and comfort with its shoes coming in various width fitting, half sizes and with added padding under the ball of the foot.

I really hope that this helps anyone suffering from painful feet but who still wants to be a stylish chick!


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