Taping for Bunion
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The thing that helps me (I have a mild bunion--thanks Mom) is wearing yoga toes. They're kind of hard to explain, but they are rubber toe spacers that hep stretch out your feet. I wear the yoga toes around the house. Mosty when I'm hanging out watching a movie or reading. They were pretty uncomfortable at first, so I could only keep them on for 10 minutes or so at a time, but over time, my feet have adjusted, and I can wear them for much longer.
I apply either body glide or similar or my feet before I lace up, but other than a sock (prefer Balega or Smartwool), I don't wear anything special for the bunion. I tried KTape, but I it didn't do much and didn't stay put for long. I've used it elsewhere for shin and knee issues, without any problems, but maybe I didn't do it well. I only tried it once.
If you have a good yoga teacher, you might also ask her (or him) about ways to stretch your feet. There are a couple poses that really hurt at the time but do wonders. But you want to have someone who knows what they are doing show you in person.
Lastly, I'll say that I used to wear Sauconys, but I switched to Nikes after trying on a pair of the Frees. I don't run in the Frees, but they have a wider toe box, and when I tried them on, I realized that the shoes I had been wearing were largely to blame for that blister. I isn't completely goe (I still have a bit of a callous there), but it's nowhere near as bad as it was in the other shoes. I've been reading about Hokas elsewhere on the forum and it sounds like there are a few styles that are less narrow than others.
- Chronicity 18+ Months
- tape the underneath part of the bunion (the bit where the sole of the foot meets it) - not to change mechanics but to add a second skin. I even used duck tape once when I couldn't get hold of anything else and it got me through a half marathon in good time!
- walk around barefoot whenever possible
- practice squats etc - make sure you're flexible, do whatever you can to ensure correct alignment in all other parts of the body - glute strength etc
- I saw a barefoot running coach and ended up in minimalist shoes after he completely changed my technique. This has helped my running generally, but I am with the people who say that the shoe is only as good as the technique.
- soak feet in white spirit to harden skin (it honestly works but only if you do it regularly - and it really hurts when you have blisters so have a glass of whiskey to hand!)
- stretch your feet
- roll a golf ball around the sole of your foot
- practice picking up marbles with your toes
- always paint your toenails if you're a woman - it makes them look a little bit nicer at least - cheers me up anyway
- keep your ankles as strong as possible
By the way, I've had this problem since I was about 9. Got teased about it in the school changing rooms, was very upsetting at the time. Definitely a hereditary condition as I was never allowed "bad" footwear as a child.
- Chronicity 18+ Months
I grew up wearing stodgy sensible Stride-Rites because my parents were convinced they’d prevent bunions, fallen arches and ingrown toenails. No such luck: by 20 I had a bunion on my left foot that probably was more painful then than it is today. When I practiced law I wore non-pointy-toe low heels to court and sensible flats in the office. Only time I wore anything approaching stilettos (never >3”) was for formal wear and on stage in a rock band--and those days are behind me. My bunion hasn’t seemed to get worse, and it really hasn’t caused me any pain except for blisters on its surface if I don’t tape it before long periods on my feet. I have developed a “tailor’s bunion” or bunionette on my pinky toe--and that does cause pain if my shoe’s vamp/toe box is insufficiently wide and high. I have both prescription and rigid OTC orthotics, with metatarsal pads to separate my toes at foot-strike, and they do help.
I have discovered several shoe brands (besides athletic) that do not crowd my toes and will fit orthotics (though their own insoles are orthotics themselves): Finn Comfort, Aravon, Drew, Ziera (they look pointy but the vamp all the way to the toes is wide), and especially Alegria. Alegrias’ vamps are asymmetrical and foot-shaped vamp with a roomy toe box and a modified rocker sole profile, but the orthopedic shape is offset by myriad wild colors, patterns, and finishes of leather. I often get compliments on them...from women in foot-torturing shoes. No surgery for me!