Best Bunion Bunion Straighteners & Correctors Reviewed & Rated
Bunions are a deformity of the big toe which is not only difficult to deal with, but can also be quite painful. It is most often caused by genetic predispositions and the type of footwear you wear daily, and can cause more than just discomfort. Some of the symptoms include rubbing, skin reddening and inflammation, as well as overall joint pain. Although they're difficult to treat, you may find that bunion correctors contribute a great deal to alleviating the pain you feel on a daily basis.
Bunion straighteners come in many shapes, including nighttime splints, flexible sleeves, cushioning pads, and even specially made socks. The list below looks at the ten best bunion splints for treating bunions without resorting to surgery.
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Suitable for Sports
Top 10 Bunion Corrector Reviews
1. Global Wise Buys Orthopedic Bunion Corrector
Suitable for Sports
Night Splint Takes Getting Used To
This product is not one, but actually three bunion braces in a single package, and a great solution for those who don’t want to spend their money and time on getting countless products to help treat their bunions. This premium kit includes products for all types of activities, including sports, daytime and nighttime bunion care.
The neoprene sleeve is a pair of bunion straighteners with an aluminum bar next to the big toe joint that is recommended for night wear. With the correct strapping, this sleeve can help achieve proper alignment at night. Though it may need some getting used to, it will definitely offer results with regular wear.
The second product in the pack is a padded bunion sleeve that is ideal for wear during athletic activities such as walking or running. It is almost invisible and comfortable, and will help protect the big toe joint from friction and pressure inside your footwear. Last but not least, this model includes a silicone toe spacer you can wear throughout the day, inside your shoes. It will prevent the big toe from overlapping with the second toe, helping maintain proper alignment throughout the day.
2. Duzel Brace
One Size Fits All
Suitable for Sports Injuries
This foot brace was made for those who are in need of a standard product that will help alleviate pain in the Hallux Vagus. The idea behind this model is to give you a product that can be worn for various activities, and that can even be worn with looser fitting shoes such as house slippers or soft moccasins. The Duzel Brace helps both with realigning the joint, as well as protecting the sensitive area.
The design of the Duzel Brace removes the need for different sizes, thanks to the hook and loop straps that allow you to completely adjust it to your foot size. With this model, you can determine the amount of straightening you get, thus ensuring full range of motion and a comfortable feeling throughout the wearing process. It is exactly this adjustability that allows this brace to be worn both during the day and at night.
The material used for the Duzel Brace is soft to the touch and breathable, without any rough or plastic edges that would cause blistering, irritation or rubbing. When using this straightener, the foot won’t become too hot, and you shouldn’t experience excessive sweating that might occur with other synthetic products such as silicone braces.
In terms of cost, the Duzel Brace is one of the more expensive items listed, however, it’s very comfortable to use, which makes it a good investment for most people. Plus, it can be used for sports injuries as well as for straightening the Hallux Vagus joint.
3. YogaToes GEMS
So, what's the best way to treat any ailment? Simple; prevent it from happening in the first place. Maybe you have that one pair of heels that you just love oh so much, but it just crushes your toes. Yet you still wear them and refuse to get rid of them. Tight footwear is one of the leading causes of hallux valgus and after a long day, you need to help your feet return to normal and loosen up. YogaToes developed their GEMS so that you can relax your toes and spread them back out, one of the most effective ways to prevent that horrendous misalignment of your joints.
Not only do the GEMS help spread out your cramped toes, but these bunion braces also aid in the strengthening of the tendons and muscles that surround the bones. Remember when we were kids and would put those foam pedicure pieces in our toes but had to flex hard to keep it on? This nifty little piece resembles that only it's not as hard to keep on, because it's designed to fit well in between each toe. You still need to flex your toes though every now and then to keep it in place and prevent it popping off which builds up those muscles again so they're nice and strong.
Hypoallergenic? Check. BPA and lead-free? Check, check. One hundred percent natural gel? Check! No harmful additives are involved in the development of YogaToes GEMS so you have a pure experience with them and have no worries of allergies flaring up because something was in there that you weren't aware of. There are many positives to the gel, but one of the most favored is that it's easy to clean and maintain! Along with putting it on, just a little bit of water and they basically glide in between those toes. Simple yet effective.
One of the bummers is that YogaToes is one of the most expensive bunion straighteners we've got in the guide, but on the plus side, that's because of the benefits and pros attached to them. Customers and reviewers loved them because of the soft, flexible gel that is also a medical grade substance so you get something that will stand up against abuse and the test of time. You will not regret your GEMS; the second they're on you'll feel like you are in heaven.
4. Dr. Frederick's Kit
For Both Feet
Shopping for bunion straighteners can be tiresome and annoying because there always seems to be more stuff you need after the initial purchase. For example, you buy a brace and find out that it's recommended not to be worn with anything so you need to also get a sleeve or toe guard of some kind. Maybe your joint isn't so severely misaligned that a brace is too much and not necessary. You can just get a guard, right? Wrong. Some guards only slip over the toe but you need something that will spread your toes in the confined toe box. Then you want a guard that also has a toe separator built-in and Dr. Frederick's kit has all of that!
Ever notice how there are companies that sell gear for crooked toes and claim that it completely fixes the problem? Well, they're lying. Surgery is the only way to straighten them out and wearing shields or covers only helps relieve your pain and is mainly used for after surgery for when you're recovering. Dr. Frederick's never claims that any of the products they sell are magical cures or can perform miracles. They give cold, hard facts and always do their best to make sure their customers receive the help they need not only for management but also for any corrective procedures needed.
Many of us have to go to work or the gym (need to work off those calories) and most bunion straighteners aren't really for wearing when being active or on your feet. The Dr. Frederick's kit though has your lounge shields and pairs designed to get you out of the house and off of the couch! Running on the treadmill but your toes are killing you? Once you slip these guards on that discomfort practically disappears, meaning you no longer have an excuse to skip your workout.
Fourteen pieces for a low price seems a tad sketchy, but if you look at the quality and notice how well taken care of Dr. Fredericks's customers are you'll realize that you aren't getting scammed. This company has consulted with leading podiatrists in the country to provide the absolute best equipment at the lowest possible price.
5. Dr. Scholl’s Bunion Cushions Duragel
Helps Prevent Blisters
Odd Number of Cushions
Too Slim for Some
Another product by Dr. Scholl’s - the company behind a huge number of comfort enhancing items - the model of bunion cushions is actually aimed at providing wearers with cushioning in the big toe joint area. It’s ideal for those who are athletically inclined, or need an item they can use with sandals.
This bunion straightener is made with a gel compound called Duragel that is highly efficient in preventing friction on the sensitive area. You can wear them under your socks, or barefoot, and they’ll allow you to get through the day without having to worry about the sensitive skin and joint becoming inflamed.
Additionally, these use a strong adhesive. If applied correctly - to clean and dry skin, without any creams or products on it, it will stay on for at least a couple of days, including showers. Now, you may not want to go swimming with these, but they’re a great choice for regular daily activities. The package includes five cushions and is quite an affordable option for day to day use.
6. Sockwell Bunion Crew
Four Color Options
Big Toe Pocket
Worn Inside Shoes
This specially designed pair of socks by Sockwell is one of the most innovative bunion products you will find. Made to be worn inside your footwear, these will not only protect the sensitive joints on your feet, but they’ll also prevent the condition from becoming worse during the day. These socks come in four fun color options, making them perfect for athletic and casual wear.
This bunion straightener comes in two sizes, making it easier to find the best possible fit. In addition to being easy to wear, these boast a number of features that are a great way to help soothe the pain you’re suffering from. First and foremost, the big toe is separated from the rest of the toes through a cushioned toe pocket. This prevents overlapping, pressure, and friction, and can even facilitate the wear of a toe separator inside the sock.
Another notable thing about these socks is the use of materials in construction. Made from a blend of bamboo rayon and homegrown merino wool, these are moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and incredibly durable. This means that even the slightly pricey cost will be worth the investment in the long run.
7. Relax Tony Toe Separators
Pack of 6
Easy to Use
Treatment and Prevention
May Slip Off
One of the worst things about suffering from bunions is that the sensitive area can become irritated in almost any pair of footwear you decide to go with. Regardless of how wide or stretchy your shoes are, if your toe has a natural tendency to go inwards, the joint is going to suffer. This is where the Tony Toe Separators come in - these silicone inserts are to be worn inside of your everyday shoes, and they prevent the big toe from overlapping with the rest of your foot, thus preventing the joint from being too exposed to irritation.
To use the Relax Tony Toe Separators, all you have to do is place them between the two toes you need extra space between. The spacers are extremely stretchy, which means that they will fit on any toe, and the pack comes with two sizes, so that you can choose the fit that works best for you.
This product is made with a durable, high-grade latex-free gel that is antibacterial and can even be washed when needed. This product comes in a 6-pack, so you can have a designated pair of spacers for each of your shoes, or you can use multiple spacers to maximize your daily comfort.
The price of the Relax Tony Toe Spacers is quite affordable, making this a great option for anyone. What’s especially convenient is that this straightener can be reused, and will fit all shapes and sizes of feet, without causing discomfort.
8. Dr. Scholl's Cushions
Dual Cushioning Layer
Immediate Pain Relief
Doesn’t Catch on Hosiery
Stays All Day
Hurts to Remove
Pulls on Skin
From the world-renowned manufacturer of all things foot-health related, we have the marvelous Dr. Scholl’s Cushions, designed for those who suffer from painful bunions. The cushions you get in a pack deliver immediate relief in your day-to-day activities by reducing footwear pressure and friction. Additionally, they come with a cushioned layer which helps ease the pain.
In fact, when we say cushioned layer, we mean two cushioned layers. This product comes with dual felt padding which makes sure that you are comfortable no matter what type of footwear you are wearing, or where you are going. Moreover, these bunion protectors are outfitted with a waterproof adhesive - it will hold the pads in place and won’t let them catch on your socks or stockings, nor will they fall off in wet conditions! What a great deal!
To make the best use of Dr. Scholl’s Cushions, carefully remove their backing and apply them directly over the bunion, or the enlarged joint. They are simple to use, they provide instant relief, and we can’t think of a better product to help you with your struggles!
9. AligNow Bunion Relief Pack
One Size Fits All
Protection & Alignment
Pack of Two
These toe separators by AligNow were made with a double purpose - the first is to protect the inflamed big toe joint from footwear that causes added irritation, and the second is to create extra space between the big and second toes in order to place the foot into its natural, properly aligned position. The pack is low in volume, which means that it can be worn with most footwear, including, sneakers, boots and even dress shoes.
The AligNow Bunion Relief Pack is made with a stretchy silicone material that is designed so as to fit all foot sizes. It can easily be trimmed down in key areas, which ensures an even better fit, and removes any excess material that may cause discomfort. Being completely stretchy, it won’t restrict your range of movement, so you can wear it to the gym.
The silicone used in the AligNow Bunion Relief Pack is easy to care for - it won’t absorb sweat, and it can be washed with mild soap and warm water, so you can ensure a healthy foot environment.
The price of this pack is quite affordable, making it a good choice for those who are still experimenting with this type of product.
10. Tenmand Pneumatic Splint
Air Pressure Controllable
Big Toe Realigning
MTP Joint Repositioning
Adjustable Velcro Strap
Added Toe Separators
Air Leaks After Some Months
It does look like a blood pressure measuring device, but we assure you that it is not. In fact, this model of correctors from Tenmand is a new, innovative design called a Pneumatic Splint, which helps you adjust the pressure of the brace to your liking! The purpose of the splint is to realign your big toe to its proper position, and it does so by pushing the MTP joint back to its original place.
The Pneumatic Splint is controlled by air pressure. With the pump attached to it, you can increase the pressure for a faster correction process, or you can reduce it to prevent cutting off blood flow and to make sure nothing hurts. The brace comes with two alloy splints for more effective repositioning, a plate to the side which straightens your toes, and an additional one which makes sure that all the parts of the device are stable and unmoving.
The Tenmand Pneumatic Splint has a velcro strap which makes it perfect for feet of all shapes and sizes. It also comes with a gift in the form of gel toe separators, for when you’re not feeling like wearing the splint! If you’re interested in this self-adjusting item, then waste no time in getting a type of bunion correctors that will help you achieve that perfect level of relief that you’re looking for!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are multiple styles of bunion correctors, all of which with their own pros and cons. When shopping for this type of product, you will find the following types:
Though there's a huge number of bunion correctors available for purchase, you will easily find that not all of them provide the same level of comfort when worn.
Bulkier models are often made for nighttime use, and when shopping for this type of bunion braces, you should pay attention to the materials. For one, you will want to invest in something that's sturdy, and that can help fix your foot's alignment, but you'll also want plenty of cushioning to prevent the metals and plastics from cutting into your skin.
Another thing to pay attention to when it comes to correctors is the breathability they offer. You will find that these products only work when worn for long periods of time, so you will need to ensure your skin actually gets some fresh air. Additionally, you will want to wick moisture away from your skin, not only because of comfort, but also for hygienic reasons.
Last but not least, when shopping for a bunion straightener, especially stick-on pads, you need to make sure that the materials used (both in the construction and adhesives) don't irritate your skin, and that they're easy to remove. If you find that the product you're using is causing more discomfort than doing good, it is recommended to remove it at once.
Another good tip would be to wear an elastic splint underneath harder night splints, as this can increase comfort and your overall satisfaction.
Not all bunion correctors are made equally, and you'll find that some are more convenient than others. While the majority of these products have been covered above in the Style section, it is important that you consider how you will be spending your time before purchasing.
If you're after something you'll be wearing at home, you'll find that most bunion straighteners will do. You can pop on your splint while you're watching TV or relaxing, and you'll even be able to wear these while sleeping. However, a bulky splint that limits your movement isn't going to work for most people.
If you're looking for a bunion straightener you can wear at work, your best bet would be to get a padded sleeve and combine it with toe separators. Yes, this will require you to purchase a pair of footwear with a wide toe box, but it will also offer a good amount of relief in the long run.
If, however, you feel pain only occasionally, you can skip correctors on the whole, and go with a pad that covers the sensitive big toe joint, preventing it from becoming inflamed. (These are especially good for wearing with pointy shoes.)
Even though there's a huge number of bunion correctors available in today's market, you will find that none of them can completely cure your condition. This is why prevention is key.
If you already suffer from halus valgus, it is highly recommended that you visit a specialist who will determine the best course of treatment. For a lot of people, a splint during the night, toe spacers during the day and good shoes will do a good job at deterring pain and preventing the condition from worsening.
However, there will be those who will need to undergo corrective surgery. In this case, behavior and treatment during and after recovery will be crucial. Choosing the right type of footwear, and wearing any correctors recommended by your doctor will help your foot heal better, but will also prevent it from developing the same condition again.
The annoying and unsightly problem of bunions is almost enough to make anyone who has them take out their wallets and spend everything they have to make them go away, forever; however, don't drop a dime just yet until you consider that many quality bunion correctors are on the market (and our list) that are not only effective, but affordable.
With features like toe guards and braces, the kits on our list were designed to help alleviate the symptoms and causes of bunions, and the right product for you depends on the severity of your problem and reason it's happening in the first place. Knowing what level of severity and stage of progression you are in can help you make the right choice as to which straighteners work best for you, and our value judgment takes that into account, in addition to the price of the overall product.
While it might be tempting to splurge on the highest price correctors, thinking it might work the best, you often don't have to. The key is knowing what the problem and underlying cause is, and finding the right solution from our recommended products.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Although bunions will not simply 'go away' with rest, you can help prevent the progress of them, and further irritation or pain, with bunion guards, gel pads or metatarsal pads. This helps relief pressure to the affected area. Surgery is the only way to completely remove bunions.
If you've tried every treatment and nothing seems to help relief bunions causing you pain, then surgery is most likely the next step. Surgery can be quite expensive at several thousands of dollars, but most times is covered by insurance. Talk to your doctor to see if you're a candidate if no other treatments have helped!
Other Factors to Consider
When you dive deeper into the world of bunion correctors and pain relief, you realize that there are countless options to choose from. You have your separators, your splints, your braces, your cushioned pads - so many different types of products! It can easily get quite overwhelming.
However, we are here to tell you to take a deep breath in - everything's going to be okay. Take a bit of time out of your day to examine all of the options we have on our list. Read through our Criteria section and decide which product sounds like a good choice for you.
What matters is that, if your choice turns out not to be effective, you don't give up! Sooner or later you will definitely find that one item that alleviates your pain and restores your quality of life, and it is important that you don't lose heart until you find it. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are these products effective?
Yes, they are extremely effective if you’re looking for pain relief and temporary adjustment although, they do not actually fix the deformity one hundred percent. There is no way to do so without surgery but as stated early on surgery can be expensive and something we can’t all afford to do right now (or ever). So the answer is to get some kind of equipment for support, a toe stretcher for exercise and toe guards for wearing inside so the skin doesn’t get irritated and rubbed raw by the lining. It also depends on how badly the bone has become misaligned, once you get to a certain stage surgery will be the only answer you have which is why it is important to start caring for it in the early stages to prevent it from becoming worse.
q: When are you supposed to wear a bunion straightener?
People seem to find that wearing the heavy duty splints at night and then the smaller bunion correctos during the day are the most effective way of taking care of the pain without affecting your everyday life. Especially if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day. Say you’re a construction worker and the jutted bone has started to take over inside the steel toe of your boot, creating discomfort for your other toes as they become squished together (which can create a bunionette) you’re going to want to get what is referred to as a “sleeve” with an attached toe separator. It’ll keep that pesky big toe where it belongs and the gel sleeve will prevent any friction between your irritated skin and the inside of your footwear. It might take some trial and error for you to find which product will work best for you at certain times of day with certain footwear but it’s worth it for the relief that will follow.
q: Are these correctors safe?
This could be classified as a trick question because even though correctors are considered a safe method of treatment, if you get one that doesn’t fit right or just isn’t the proper type for your specific level of severity (since they can all differ) you might end up hurting yourself more than helping. It’s always best to discuss with your physician or orthopedic surgeon about what will work best for you before randomly giving whatever product a try. You can definitely take this guide and print it out to talk it over and find which one of the ones we’ve selected will work for you and your wallet since many times the ones prescribed by physicians can cost a lot of money that normally ends up coming from your pocket. If you’re a hallux valgus veteran though you probably know what you’re looking for and you already chose which one of the above is good for you.
q: How long until they work?
If you’re in the very early stages bunion straighteners can give relief and the appearance of shrinkage within a very short amount of time but if it’s gotten a bit out of hand it will definitely take a while. You can’t just expect to put it on and voila it’s all better. If you keep up with your exercises and wearing the gear regularly you should start to see a difference within six to eight weeks, but just because it seems better doesn’t mean you can just stop wearing them. Continuance of care is crucial, so avoid ill-fitting footwear (maybe get something in a wide for extra room) and use your toe stretcher but keep wearing your splint or sleeve a couple of times a week after you’ve seen improvement.
q: Can I wear bunion splints with my shoes?
Some of the products you can easily wear with your footwear, such as Dr. Scholl's Cushions, or Dr. Frederick's Sleeve. However, other items, like the splints and the braces, might be a bit difficult to fit into shoes. If you're looking for correctors that you can wear in your everyday errands, definitely choose from those which are not cumbersome and don't require much fiddling with.