Bunions are a painful deformity in the joint of the big toe which often gets worse as you age. Though many people do not experience pain with everyday activities, sometimes the elderly or those who are especially active experience this.
Only bunion surgery will truly correct bunions, but bunion corrector can reverse the damage and prevent surgery from being needed (Source).
When looking for a bunion corrector, there are many options: sleeves, cushions, exercise stretchers, etc. Ultimately, those with bunion pain should find a bunion product which fits the foot and arch, straightens the bunion, and protects the bunion from rubbing.
An additional feature many bunion correctors have is that they are now made of gels. These gels allow for maximum flexibility, maximum comfort, and ease of wearing footwear. In this review, we will examine five top-rated bunion correctors on the market.
Best Bunion Correctors
1. Pedigoo Bunion Corrector – Best Overall
PediGoo’s Bunion Corrector is the best bunion corrector on the market. This bunion corrector uses an aluminium frame and provides spacers to ensure the user is comfortable. Moreover, the said aluminium frame runs along the inside of the foot, along with the bunion. Hence, using this sleeve overnight or when shoes are not needed is best.
Underneath the foot is thick padding, which provides the wearer maximum comfort when walking in the sleeve or when wearing the sleeve inside of a shoe. This bunion sleeve is also made from a very breathable fabric, making it more like a sock and less like a brace of any kind. For many who have used heavy plastic bunion correctors, this breathability is a relief.
Additionally, this product comes with bunion spacers. As the sleeve is ideal for use at night due to the nature of the aluminum frame, PediGoo developed bunion spacers to wear when the sleeve is not being used.
These spacers are just tiny pieces which attaches to the large toe and the second toe to push the toe back into a straight position. Because this piece is in between the toes, it is incredibly comfortable to wear during an active work day.
- Toe Spacers Included
- Aluminum frame provides maximum support
- Thick Padding along bottom of sleeve
- Made from terry cloth
- Comfortable for active wear
- Aluminum frame makes sleeve unusable in some shoes
- Spacers are easily lost
- Spacers can be uncomfortable
2. Dr. Fredrick’s Original Bunion Splint Sleeves – Best Bunion Corrector for Comfort
Dr. Frederick’s Sleeves provide a new, modern twist on traditional bunion sleeves. This bunion sleeve only covers the pad of the foot and part of the large toe, allowing it to be used when wearing shoes or when sleeping.
Be aware, however, that this sleeve does not provide as much arch support as the Pedigoo Relief Kit. Nonetheless, it can help with pain in the ball of the foot, too.
This bunion sleeve or bunion bootie is made from a stretchy fabric, which allows it to form right to your foot. On a side note, do be careful wearing this sleeve without socks; the fabric is known for rolling up and shifting.
Notably, this sleeve has a gel pad placed just over the bunion. When gel pads are pressed against the bunion, it gives extra comfort and protects the bunion.
Consequently, this bunion sleeve allows the greatest span of movement, making it our second rated bunion corrector. Though it does not fully change the shape of the bunion, it is the best support to allow you to have your active lifestyle back.
- Sleeve is great for movement
- Gel pad over bunion
- Only covers part of the foot
- Allows for active lifestyle
- Also relieves ball of foot pain
- No spacers included
- Does not force the toe straight
3. Dr. Scholl’s Bunion Cushions – Best for Ease of Use
This bunion relief option is not a bunion sleeve or a bunion bootie, but it is a bunion cushion. This is a small pad which adheres to the foot and allows the best option for wearing the cushion without disrupting any comfort in your shoe.
The bunion cushion by Dr. Scholl is made of a soft gel pad which can be worn for an extended period of time. Additionally, this is the most recent version of Dr. Scholl’s Bunion Cushions.
Moreover, it is recommended to leave it on until the adhesive wears down. Notably, this bunion gel pad can even be worn in the shower or when swimming. Plus, they will not catch on hosiery, which makes them great for use with high heels.
Overall, this is the top bunion cushion primarily because of its size. Similarly, due to its thin nature, it will not impact your shoe choice and can fit under any shoe.
- Gel Pad provides maximum comfort
- Works with all shoes
- Can be used simply to prevent blistering on foot
- Great for heel pains as well
- Each one only lasts 3-4 days
- More costly than other bunion corrector options
4. Dr JK Bunion Relief Kit – Best Bunion Corrector for a Versatile Lifestyle
This is one of the most diverse bunion relief kits on the market today. It contains one set of bunion sleeves and four sets of toe separators.Upon receiving this kit, you will receive a set of detailed instructions explaining each type of toe separator. They work best with different shoes and for different activities.
Therefore, make sure you take the time to read through your instruction manual. There may be some trial and error period. As for the product itself, it is assuringly made from a medical-grade gel material. This gel material allows for the protector you choose to be incredibly flexible along your foot.
Additionally, it also has incredibly smooth and rounded edges. Many bunion correctors made of hard plastics received the complaint of rough edges which would tear socks or cause pain. The gel of DR JK Bunion Relief’s Kit prevents this complaint.
- Made from medical grade gel
- Four types of toe separators
- Pieces work on either foot
- Ten pieces to choose from
- Incredibly flexible material
- No impact on shoe choice
- Good for Metatarsal pain
- Trial and Error choosing which pieces to use for different activities
- Lots of pieces to misplace
5. Alignow Bunion Relief Pack – Best Bunion Corrector for Footwear
Another excellent option for a bunion correction kit is the ALIGNOW BUNION RELIEF PACK. This pack includes two bunion pads and two toe separators. These can be used on either foot. The pads and separators are made from a gel similar to the DR JK kit, but this gel is not a medical-grade. This lowered the Alignow Pack to number Five on our Top Five Bunion Corrector list.
However, one of the Alignow benefits is the shape of the bunion pad. It is a very narrow piece that primarily gets its support by running along the inside of the foot instead of across the entire ball of the foot. Hence, it remains almost invisible in most shoes.
The toe spreaders are the main piece which corrects the bunion pain or at the very least limits any worsening of your condition.
Notably, none of the other bunion correctors reviewed here possess this, but this product has a money-back guarantee. If your pain worsens or you feel that there is no change, you can simply return the item for a full refund.
- Made from gel
- Two toe separators
- Two bunion pads
- Very narrow pad piece, allowing pad to remain hidden
- Pieces work on either foot
- Incredibly flexible
- 100% refund if you are dissatisfied
- Limited number of pieces
- May not provide full support for your foot’s arch
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Bunion Corrector
Choosing the perfect bunion corrector is not an easy choice. Hence, you must consider your lifestyle before purchasing the best bunion protectors. You must also remember that if your bunion pain is severe, surgery is ultimately your best option. However, these bunion correctors will provide relief before and after your surgery occurs.
First, you have to consider the fabric material. The bunion correctors listed here have a varying degree of material to meet your needs. Perhaps a medical grade gel provides you the perfect amount of support and flexibility. Gel sleeves help prevent skin from drying out or cracking, too.
Meanwhile, if your foot does not need additional arch support, consider fabric sleeves instead. However, be aware that fabric sleeves are known for rolling up on the foot when used without socks. On the other hand, if the bunion pain you experience is especially severe, you will want to use aluminum framing to correct your bunion.
Choosing the style of bunion corrector is also important. A sleeve wraps around most of your foot, allowing you to wear the sleeve snugly under socks and inside of shoes. This style also provides extra support for the arch of your foot.
However, they often roll up on the foot when worn without a sock. Because of this, you may want to make sure you wear the sleeves with socks. Additionally, remember that bunion sleeves are often visible from outside the shoe. Hence, you cannot wear bunion sleeves with sandals or with any low-cut shoe.
These are just small pieces which adhere to the side of the bunion to protect the foot from experiencing pain. These pieces are least visible and can be worn with a low cut shoe. However, take note and read whether or not the bunion pads you are considering will catch on hosiery.
If they are known for catching on hosiery, they are not the pads you want to use with your high heels.
Toe Separators are often the second option those with bunion pain use as remedy. They are small plastic pieces which function to separate the toes.
As the toes are pushed apart, the bunion is corrected. Additionally, because the separator is tucked in between your toes, the toe separator is often not visible from outside the shoe. However, it is due to that reason that it often cannot be worn with sandals.
Nonetheless, if you have other toe issues, such as plantar fasciitis or even recurring toe breaks, toe separators can help your foot heal more quickly.
When Will You Use The Bunion Protector?
Some bunion correctors are better used at night, while others should be reserved for daytime. For example, the sleeves are best used under socks, as it is easy for them to roll up on your foot. Unless you like to sleep in socks, it is not advised to use the fabric bunion sleeves at night.
On the other hand, the sleeves with aluminum support are better for sleeping in since they are less likely to shift. The aluminum supports also provide additional correction compared to normal fabric sleeves.
Likewise, consider how much you will be walking and moving because your level of activity influences the bunion protector that would suit you the most.
Consider Most Common Shoe Choice
Considering what shoes you are most often wearing is perhaps the most important detail. If your shoes are low-cut or are sandals of any kind, you will want to consider the bunion pads.
Meanwhile, regarding most sneakers, using bunion toe separators or using bunion sleeves will allow you to move your foot for any activity. Be cautious with toe separators or bunion sleeves made of hard materials, however, as they can cause pain while walking a long distance.
All of this being said, you do not have to wear your bunion corrector every single day.
This is a challenging one to consider. If your lifestyle is slower paced, many of these options will work well for you. However, if you are a runner or a hiker, you may want to consider the bunion pads before the sleeves. Bunions pads will change the way your shoe fits on your foot.
Meanwhile, using the toe separators would probably cause the most shoe-related changes while enjoying your activity. On the other hand, it may be wise to use the toe separators at night if you run or hike, as this helps to reverse the severity of bunions.
However, if your active lifestyle does not require as much time on your feet, you should be confident in using the toe separators.
Ready To Buy The Best Bunion Correctors?
Before you purchase a bunion corrector, you must consider your activity level and the shoe style you wear most often. If you take the time to consider this, you will ultimately have the best experience correcting and coping with your bunion pain.
Many of these bunion relief products are also beneficial for those with other pain in their foot such as metatarsal foot pain or ball of foot pain. If you suffer from either of these pains, consider the sleeves over the bunion pads and toe separators. However, if you suffer from any sort of toe overlapping, the toe separators are the right choice for you.