Pairing comfort and functionality, NatraCure’s big toe bunion guards are the best bunion protectors on the market. Constructed from silicone-free gel, they not only alleviate bunion pain, but also deliver nourishing vitamins and minerals to the skin. Keep reading to find out more about these outstanding bunion protectors.
The pain of bunions, or hallux valgus, can be debilitating. Bunion protector are designed to slide over toes to protect the sides of your feet from painful friction. Most bunion protectors double as toe spacers to alleviate the discomfort of crooked toes. Take a look at our list of the best bunion protectors and select the one that best serves your needs.
Our Top Picks
The 7 Best Bunion Protectors
Our Winner: Big Toe Bunion Guards by NatraCure
Made from flexible gel, these guards have been designed to reduce pressure on the bunion joints. Plus, they nourish the skin by slowly releasing vitamin E, mineral oil, and aloe vera as you go about your activities.
- Nourishes the skin
- Made from flexible gel
- Integrated toe spreaders
- Fits inside most shoe types
- Suitable for either foot
- Reduces pressure on bunions
- Realigns crooked toes
- Infused with vitamins and minerals
- May not be suitable for all foot sizes
- Not as durable as some other bunion protectors
Bunion Guard Gel Shields by ZenToes
These one-size-fits-most protectors alleviate the pain of bunions by cushioning the sides of the feet. Crafted from latex-free silicone gel, the guards are both reusable and easy to wash. Plus, they are durable and non-slip.
- Made from soft gel
- Pack of 4
- No-slip design
- Fits men and women
- Washable and reusable
- Cushions the slides of the feet
- Conforms to the feet
- On the bulky side
- Can slip during use
Top Choice: Bunion Guards by ViveSole
These affordable bunion pads double as gel toe separators to alleviate the discomfort of bunions and overlapping toes. Plus, they can be worn with or without socks, and fit inside most shoe styles. This product comes with a 60-day guarantee.
- Integrated toe spacers
- Made from flexible gel
- Washable and reusable
- Repels sweat
- Soft and durable
- Fits inside most shoe types
- Gently realigns big and second toes
- 60-day guarantee
- Can rip after prolonged use
- Not as cushioning as some other protectors
The Other Bunion Protectors We Reviewed
Gel Big Toe Bunion Guards by NatraCure
These gel guards fit comfortably over the big toes to absorb shock and alleviate bunion pain. Plus, they are made with a special gel that releases vitamins and minerals to soothe the skin. While these gel bunion protectors are suitable for use on either foot, they can be too bulky to wear under some shoe types.Buy on Amazon
Bunion Corrector Support Kit by Metatarsal
This bunion support kit consists of bunion shield spacers, double-looped toe separators, and one-loop toe separators. Specifically designed to protect your bunions from blisters and corns, the bunion shield spacers also keep your toes in the correct alignment. Please note that some reviewers have found this product overly soft.Buy on Amazon
Tailor's Bunion Corrector Pads by Chiroplax
These one-size-fits-most bunion cushions are made from flexible latex-free and BPA-free gel to alleviate the pain of tailor’s bunions, or bunionettes, on little toes. It also comes with a handy carry pouch for easy portability. On the downside, some users have reported that these bunion protectors do not stay in place.Buy on Amazon
2 Pairs of Bunion Guards by Duorui
These affordable bunion correctors and toe spacers are comfortable enough to be worn throughout the day and night. Made from premium medical gel, they are both washable and reusable. Plus, they come with a 60-day money-back guarantee. Unfortunately, this product can be too flimsy to be used as a toe straightener.Buy on Amazon
How to Treat Bunions
Bunion relief need not be difficult. Aside from wearing bunion protectors, there are numerous ways you can treat and alleviate the pain of bunions. Here are just a few.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
Painful bunions are often caused by wearing overly tight shoes. Comfortable shoes with a large toe box can alleviate the discomfort of bunions by reducing the friction between your skin and shoes. It is also important to stop wearing high heels, as they tend to push your feet forward onto your toes.
Use Shoe Orthotics
Whether custom-made or purchased over the counter, shoe insoles work by distributing the pressure of each step across your feet. This can reduce the underlying causes of bunions, such as overpronation.
Ice the Area
Spending a lot of time standing can irritate the sides of your feet, making your bunions inflamed and sore. Applying a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, or an ice pack, to the area can alleviate the pain and inflammation of bunions.
If you suffer from bunions, it is a good idea to remove your shoes whenever you can to reduce pressure on your toes. Simple exercises, such as making toe circles, can also mobilize your toe joints and reduce stiffness. You can also massage your toes to increase flexibility.
Taking pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication can help manage both the pain and inflammation associated with bunions. If your foot pain is severe enough, you can also ask your doctor about cortisone injections. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that these measures should not be a long-term solution.
Bunion surgery, or bunionectomy, is the last resort in the treatment of bunions, though it is not recommended for purely cosmetic reasons. Bunion surgery may involve removing swollen tissue, and removing or realigning bones to strengthen the toes. Recovery after a bunionectomy can take weeks or even months.
Q & A About Bunion Protectors
Find answers to some of the most common bunion questions here.
Why Do I Have Bunions?
Bunions are caused by a variety of factors. The main cause of bunions is poorly-fitting footwear, such as high heels or shoes with narrow toe boxes that push the toes out of their natural alignment. Bunions can also be caused by inherited foot disorders and inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
What Should I Consider When Selecting Bunion Protectors?
There are a number of factors you should take into account before purchasing bunion protectors. Bunion guards should be thick enough to provide cushioning but not so bulky that they will not fit inside your shoes. Since bunions and misaligned toes often go hand in hand, you may wish to opt for bunion guards that double as toe spacers.
What are the Benefits of Bunion Protectors?
Bunion protectors cushion the sides of the feet to reduce pressure between the skin and the shoes—one of the main causes of bunions. Most bunion guards also come with built-in toe straighteners to realign crooked toes.
How Do I Know I Have Bunions?
Bunions have several symptoms, the most obvious one being hard lumps on the sides of the big or pinky toes. Other symptoms include persistent or intermittent pain, limited toe movement, and swelling.
What Happens if Bunions are Left Untreated?
If left untreated, bunions can cause further issues, including osteoarthritis or bursitis. In addition, bunions can put the toes out of alignment, which means that a bunion on the big toe can also result in a deformity of the second toe. In the most severe cases, bunions can even throw your whole body out of alignment when you walk.
Weighing All the Factors
All in all, it is clear that the big toe bunion guards by NatraCure are the best choice for those suffering from hallux valgus. ZenToes’ bunion guard gel shields and ViveSole’s bunion guards are also great choices for those searching for a quality product. Take a moment to have a look at our list of the best bunion protectors and give your toes the care they deserve.