There is a common misconception among the public that bunions are caused by tight-fitting shoes. The thinking goes that the tight shoes force the big toe towards the second toe, causing the bunion to form on the side of the foot.
It is my feeling after treating patients with bunions for over 20 years that while shoes may play a role, they are not the leading cause of bunions in my patients. Instead, bunions are caused by a an unstable foot structure that creates uneven force on the big toe by the muscles that attach to the toe. Over time, this is what creates a bunion.
This line of thinking is supported when I see patients with a bunion on only one foot. If it were the shoes causing the problem, you would expect the bunions to form on both feet at the same time. Also, I see many men who have bunions. Sorry ladies, but when it comes to wearing tight shoes, men are usually not guilty of this "crime." Again, if tight shoes were the primary cause of bunions, I would not expect to see bunions forming on my male patients.
Now, having said that tight shoes are not the primary cause of bunions does not mean that I endorse wearing tight-fitting shoes. In my experience, improperly fitting shoes do cause many foot problems, and in those predisposed to developing a bunion, they will most likely make the bunion form faster and make it more painful. More information on bunions, their causes and treatments can be found by clicking here .