For fashionable women, a bunion diagnosis may come as heartbreaking news. But don't let your mascara-tinted tears stain that new Louis Vuitton blouse. Dry your eye, because you can still wear your beloved high heels, you just may have to do a little more shopping. That's not such a bad thing, though, is it?
If you've been scouring the web for advice on picking out shoes that won't exacerbate your bunions or put you in so much pain that you're relegated to – gasp! – ballet flats, you already know that a wide toe box, arch support and a thick heel are key in accommodating your bony deformity.
Lifestyle blog Corporette has a guide to high heels that will allow you to look like a towering goddess. But be warned: Many of them come with a hefty price tag.
First up, the blog writers recommend the three wise men of high-end shoe designers: Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin. These heels may set you back a paycheck or two, but they are also crafted with quality in mind, meaning better arch support and soft, seam-free interiors. Additionally, unlike cheap knockoffs, these designers know that three inches is the key to both comfort and style in heel height. Most podiatrists recommend a heel no higher than 2.5 inches, so you can tell your doctor a little white lie, since half an inch isn't so bad.
Slightly less expensive, but still an investment at about $320 per pair, is the Cole Haan Air brand. Imagine that a sleek leather pump and a sneaker had a baby. This shoe would be it, with its Nike Air technology embedded in the sole, buttery leather exterior and classic peep-toe design.
Style and entertainment blog The Frisky reminds its readers not to forget that oxford heels and towering booties are fashionable and perfect to coordinate with fall ensembles. Certain styles provide ample room – not to mention coverage – for bunions, and give more stability because of ankle and arch support.
Does the news of these bunion-friendly shoes only cheer you up slightly? Well maybe you'll be happy to know that bunion splints or orthotics can help prevent, correct or halt the progression of bunions or hammer toe, without the need for painful, costly bunion surgery.