Which bunion splints are best?
A bunion is a bony, painful bump that forms on the outside of your bottom big toe joint, as the bones and ligaments of your foot shift out of alignment. About one-quarter of all adults experience bunions, and they can appear at any time. Bunion splints can help slow the progress of your bunion and relieve both pain and pressure. They may also deflect or delay the need for foot surgery. The Aid-Mate Bunion Corrector and Bunion Relief Kit is designed by surgeons and orthopedists to offer effective support.
What to know before you buy a bunion splint
Type of splint
There are several different kinds of bunion splints to choose from, including toe splints, toe spacers, bunion guards or pads and night splints.
- Toe splints create extra space between the second toe and big toe to correct the toe position during dynamic and static movement.
- Toe spacers either fit over 1-2 toes or separate all 5 toes to relieve tendons, ligaments and tight muscles.
- Bunion guards or pads cushion the bunion from rubbing on a neighboring toe or shoe. They are typically made of moleskin or gel.
- Night splints are meant for nighttime use, since they don’t allow dynamic movement.
Buy extra splints
Buy a few extra splits once you find a style you prefer, so you always have a dry, clean splint that’s ready to wear. Splints are small and easy to lose, so keeping a few extra splints around means that you will always have one nearby if you need it.
Avoid high heels
Wearing high heels doesn’t necessarily lead to bunions, but they can aggravate your bunions and make them worse. The extra height on the heel causes the weight of your body to rest squarely on your toe’s joint, which adds a lot of pressure. This additional pressure can cause more inflammation and pain.
Take care of your feet
You need to take care of your feet when wearing a splint. Wash and completely dry your feet, including between your toes, before putting on your splint at night. Any moisture trapped in your splint could cause a case of foot fungus.
What to look for in a quality bunion splint
Bunion cushions and pads come in multiple styles, including sleeves, gel pads and cushions.
- Gel pads offer a protective barrier between your shoe’s interior surface and your bunion, and they move with the foot to decrease irritation. These pads work well, but they also break down easily and quickly get dirty.
- Cushions cover your bunion to keep it from rubbing against the shoe and getting irritated. Some cushions adhere directly to the foot, while others adhere to your shoe’s surface.
- Sleeves fit around the big toe with a bang around the center of the foot to hold a cushion over your bunion. These can be worn without socks and stay in place well.
Most splints are composed of silicone, fabric, gel and/or plastic.
- Gel offers a flexible, semisoft surface that can both correct and cushion the bunion. The sticky surface can sometimes attract debris and dirt.
- Fabric and gel help hold the gel in place while covering the sticky surface to keep it clean.
- Fabric, silicone and plastic are often used to make night splints. The plastic is outside the fabric and silicone for comfort. These splints can’t bear the weight needed for walking and can’t be worn in shoes, so they’re primarily meant to be used as night splints.
Splints are meant to make your foot more comfortable but not necessarily while the splint is on. For instance, night splints can be uncomfortable to sleep in, but they’re also very effective. Try a few different splint designs to find a durable splint that fits in your shoes and feels good.
How much you can expect to spend on a bunion splint
Bunion splints range in price from about $5-$20, depending on the construction, materials, quality and features of the bunion splint.
Bunion splint FAQ
Does the kind of shoe you wear make a difference?
A. The kind of shoe you wear affects your bunions. High heels, particularly heels with narrow toe boxes, cause more bunion pain. Other kinds of shoes might irritate your bunion as well. Shoes with wide toe boxes allow sufficient room for the foot to move around without rubbing or irritating the bunion. They also allow for more room for your foot to fit if you’re wearing a splint.
Do bunion splint sets have sleeves for both feet?
A. If the set comes with a sleeve, it typically comes with one sleeve for each foot, but check the set closely. When purchasing night splints, toe splints or single sleeves, check which foot they’re for, so you buy the right one.
What’s the best bunion splint to buy?
Top bunion splint
What you need to know: This premium splint is designed by surgeons and orthopedists and offers effective support without compromising on comfort.
What you’ll love: This product is fully adjustable, comfortable enough to be used all day and composed of top-quality, medical-grade materials. The splint also comes with a soft silicone pad for comfort and a built-in metal plate for supportive toe alignment.
What you should consider: The fabric fastener straps on this splint need readjustment from time to time to maintain a secure fit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top bunion splint for the money
What you need to know: This kit offers everything you need for effective toe alignment, protection and pain relief.
What you’ll love: This customizable product features protective gel padding, built-in toe separators, comfortable gel-padded sleeves, standard spacers for corrective support, pliable breathable guards to help with tight shoes and a big toe strap for strengthening and exercising your muscles.
What you should consider: There are occasional reports of the sleeve spacers falling off in the wash.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This product provides instant soothing protection and keeps your skin in amazing shape.
What you’ll love: This splint is adjustable for use on both feet, extremely comfortable and enhanced with aloe vera, vitamin E and slow-release, medical-grade mineral oil. The product also features a toe spreader for proper alignment and a soft gel design that decreases the pain caused by friction and pressure.
What you should consider: This splint might shift if you wear it without any socks.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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