Foot pain anyone?

As you age, there is a chance that one or another type of foot problem will occur. Sometimes it’s a genetic problem that many family members have, sometimes it’s a lifestyle problem, like too many years of wearing narrow shoes and high heels, and sometimes it’s simply due to your “advancing” years, and wear and tear on the body. Nonetheless, it can be frustrating searching for the best running shoes for women with bunions! The same thing applies if you have flat feet or hammer toes…As for me, I have always loved my neat little feet, but now I see the beginnings of a bunion on my right foot, and sometimes, when I first put my feet on the floor in the morning, I hobble a little. Sounds like Plantar Fasciitis. Sigh.

You may have always bought shoes for style, not comfort. Now you need shoes with a wide toe box and extra padding which does not hurt your sore feet. Nothing worse than sore feet – the pain is evident on your face:(

Some common foot problems in women are:

Loss of fat padding under the feet

The cushioning under your feet decreases as collagen decreases, leaving you without “padding” on your feet and making you feel like you’re walking on bone…ouch! This is mainly age-related, but there may also be a genetic component. Pain is experienced in the ball of your foot, and it may feel like you have a large stone in your shoe. Treatment includes avoiding actions which puts pressure on your feet. Avoid high heel shoes, and wear shoes with padding and shock absorption.

Hammer Toes

Toes that appear to constantly be bent and stick up out of normal position are known as “Hammer toes”. It only affects your middle 3 toes. Causes may be genetic, a result of injury to the foot (perhaps caused by prolonged wearing of pointed, high heel shoes), or rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms, apart from the toe looking like a little mountain shape, will be pain at the toe joint and perhaps a corn forming on top of it. Treatments include not wearing high heels, wearing special hammer toe pads, using ice packs to reduce swelling, wearing properly fitting shoes with a wide and deep toe box, medication for pain and surgery.

Plantar Fasciitis

This is when the connective tissue on the sole of the foot becomes painfully inflamed. It is the most common form of heel pain and supports the arch of your foot. It is a common occurrence in middle age, and may be caused by tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles. Other causes include excessive pronation (when your feet roll inward when walking), having flat feet OR high arches or are overweight. Symptoms include pain in the mornings when you first step on them, then the pain subsides, but may pick up again later in the day with continued pressure on them. Treatment includes resting your feet, stretching your calf muscles, and wearing comfortable shoes with good arch support or orthotic inserts.


This is when the joint of the big toe becomes enlarged and painful, and sticks out at the side of your foot. It makes the big toe rotate towards the smaller toes. Bunions may be genetic, and may occur in persons who have one leg longer than the other on the big toe of the longer leg. Sometimes they are caused by arthritis, and they may become progressively worse with age. Symptoms are that you can see the bump sticking out at the base of your big toe joint, it may be red, shiny, hot to the touch or painful. Treatment includes medication for pain and swelling, an ice pack or heat pad for pain and swelling, orthopedic shoes or custom inserts which can help the foot regain its normal shape, or as a last result, surgery.

Diabetic-related foot infection or neuropathy

This is numbness and poor circulation, or a burning sensation in the foot, resulting from diabetes. Regular foot checks are necessary, prevent foot injuries by wearing shoes that fit well.

Ingrown toenails

This may cause toenail fungus which is painful and often hard to get rid of. It occurs when a corner of the toenail digs into the skin and causes inflammation. Left untreated, an infection or abscess can occur and require surgery. Usually, the big toe is involved. Causes are ill-fitting and tight shoes, not trimming the nail straight across, but rounding it, injury, or genetic. Wear shoes with width which will not press on sensitive areas.

Whatever your ache, it is terrible and painful! It is difficult to walk around on painful feet, and sometimes surgery may be required, although it is the last resort.

Even though you may need to get “special” shoes, you’d like them to be stylish! You don’t want to walk around with shoes that look like cardboard boxes! It’s worth investing in a good pair of shoes (or two) to wipe that pain off your face…if they are comfortable and fashionable, you will get a lot of wear out of them. (I like attractive shoes, sometimes quite colorful too!)

Review of some amazing sports shoes

Running on the beach
Woman Runner

Here is a selection of attractive sports and running shoes which tick all the boxes for your painful feet – they are both comfortable AND beautiful. Take a look and see if any look like they belong on your feet:

 Saucony Women’s Hurricane ISO Running Shoe
Saucony Women’s Shoe

Price Range: $70 – $190

Top Features: Wide & deep toe box; supports pronation; suitable for strenuous athletic pursuits; good for wide feet.

Concerns: If you have issues with the top of your feet (like bunions or hammer toes), it may be best to avoid this model. It may cause irritation where the tongue joins the shoe.

Rating: 6.5/10

Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Galaxy Purple/Grey
Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Galaxy Purple/White
Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Galaxy Blue/White

Price Range: $129.95

Top Features: Great shock absorbing qualities; wide toe box with reinforced heel, so good for those with heel pain; attractive design with a wide range of designs and colors available.

Concerns: the “spring in the step” may not be to everyone’s liking. This could cause the shoes to feel uncomfortable.

Rating: 7/10

Dr. Comfort Women’s Victory Plus White Diabetic Athletic Shoes

Price Range: $139.00

Top Features: Classic, clean-looking shoe. Made for common foot problems, and allows for custom inserts. Free pair of gel inserts included with purchase.

Concerns: The “Dr Comfort” logo is clearly visible in two places (the side and the tongue), which brands the shoe as orthotic. People may not wish to advertise this quite so much. If you’re only worried about comfort, then no problem.

Rating: 8/10

Dr. Comfort Women’s Victory Blue Diabetic Athletic Shoes


Same review as above. The only difference is the added strap across the top.

Orthofeet Verve Womens Extra Wide Shoes

Price Range: $119.95

Top Features: Despite the fact that these shoes are designed for problem feet, you can’t tell by its appearance. All the major foot problems are catered for. Comes with a contoured gel insole, and has a strap across the back to tighten the heel area. This shoe is both comfortable and good looking.

Concerns: The sizing seems a little small, so order up 1/2 or 1 full size.

Ratings: 9/10

Orthofeet Tahoe Womens Extra Wide Orthopedic Arthritis Diabetic Orthotic Athletic Shoe 


Price Range: $119.95

Top Features: Attractive appearance, comes with gel inserts, but you can also fit your own inserts inside. Stylish and versatile, no one will know you’re wearing orthotics.

Concerns: Arches would benefit from a little more cushioning.

Ratings: 8/10

Dr Comfort Women’s Refresh Lime Green Diabetic Athletic Shoes


Price: $124.95 – $139.00

Top Features: Attractive design, these look like sports shoes compared to their other designs. Offers extra heel support and a wide and deep toe box suitable for hammertoes and bunions. Easy fit. Other attractive colors available.

Concerns: The mesh is not easy to clean, spot cleaning is recommended which is a drawback.

Rating: 7/10

Dr Zen Lori Women’s Therapeutic Diabetic Extra Depth Shoe Leather Lace

Price: $134.95 – $139.95

Top Features: Has a unique system for sizing the width with 2 removable spacer insoles. If you need more width, just remove an insole! Good shoe for bunions, hammer toes and diabetics. Comfortable for long-term wear. Breathable materials, less foot sweating.

Concerns: Design classic, but a little dated?

Rating: 8/10

I-RUNNER Miya Women’s Therapeutic Athletic Extra Depth Shoe leather/mesh lace-up

Price: $119.95

Top Features: Lightweight, well-padded shoe. Spacious enough to add your own inserts if necessary. Large toe box and super shock absorbing.

Concerns: Personally, I’m not keen on the look of these. They look very wide and round in the front, perhaps because they’re all white in front. But, I guess some folk will like that feature…

Rating: 6.5/10

I-RUNNER Eliza Women’s Therapeutic Athletic Extra Depth Shoe leather/mesh lace-up

Price: $119.95

Top Features: More attractive design in this colorway. Wide, with large toe box and no seams to cause irritation to the tops of feet. Offers a comfortable fit to size.

Concerns: Front of shoe is again round and wide, but much more aesthetically appealing because of the two-tone than the Miya model.

Rating: 7.5/10

Dr. Comfort Women’s Meghan Turquoise Diabetic Athletic Shoes

Price: $89.99 – $139.99

Top Features: Extra-depth, lightweight athletic shoe with attractive design. Comes with two inserts.

Concerns: The inserts, although necessary, may cause the shoes to fit too snugly, and become uncomfortable.

Rating: 6/10

What’s YOUR verdict?

Do you like any of these, and which is your favorite? Do you have any to add to this list? Drop a comment so all the “my-feet-are-sore-but-I-want-gorgeous-shoes” tribe can benefit!