Those bargain pumps may be easy your wallet, but come with the hidden cost of bunions

We've all been there: Perusing the shops for practical items like underwear or work pants, when all of a sudden, you spot a pair of the most fabulously trendy pumps or wedges, and they're only $29.99! A tempting purchase, especially when you compare them to the Christian Louboutin's or Manolo Blahnik's that they were modeled after.

But on top of the fact that you probably don't need another pair of shoes that are sure to go out of style within a season or two, these cheap shoes are likely to be made, well, cheaply. Often, expensive shoes come with a hefty price tag because they're crafted with fine-quality leather and have been designed to provide both comfort and style to the wearer.

Conversely, bargain pumps likely consist of man-made materials, which means they are likely to suffocate your feet and lead to a smelly situation. Additionally, cheap shoes sometimes have poorly placed seams on the interior, which can rub the skin and cause blisters and scarring after just a few hours. It's also probable that there was little thought put into the design or proportion of the shoe, so they may end up pinching your toes and making your bunions appear even larger and more inflamed.

However, you have some options to stay trendy and keep your wallet padded while avoiding the onset or advancement of bunions or hammer toe.

First, consider saving your ultra-trendy bargain pumps for events where you won't be on your feet for long. You can also bring a pair of flats along in your bag, giving you an excuse to break out that extra large Marc Jacobs beauty that you splurged on.

Additionally, it is possible to find quality shoes at low prices. There is now a host of weekly deal websites that offer discounts for designer goods, as well as the tried-and-true Overstock.com and Bluefly.com. It could also pay off to take the extra time sifting through clearance racks at department stores, since they often contain hidden gems.

Finally, bunion splints or orthotics are inexpensive, non-invasive devices that may help prevent or reduce the appearance of bunions or hammer toe. These can also help wearers avoid painful and costly bunion surgery, which comes with risks of infection or scarring.  

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