Does Shoe Size Change after Bunion Surgery?

Bunion surgery is done primarily to correct deformity and ease the pain caused by a bunion.

However, a larger number of patients who undergo bunion surgery report experiencing a shocking reduction of foot pain after surgery.

This comes with a noteworthy improvement in their big toes as it aligns. A surgery that will not allow you to wear narrow-headed shoes or smaller ones.

But one may ask, does shoe size change after bunion surgery? Yes, it does. Sometimes, the big toes even get shorter. This can come from osteotomies and fusion of mid-foot procedures.

Distal osteotomies can reduce in size through metaphyseal loss of bone. Toughing of the bone too can sometimes lead to its size reduction.

This in turn will need a sizable shoe to perfectly match the new fixed foot.

Postoperative swelling takes between 3 – 6 months. During this period, a patient will notice that his foot has become much narrower and smaller.

And it becomes a little shorter too if you opt for additional procedures.

To others, it is unlikely that their shoe size will change, except if they had a very large bunion, then they will have to opt for a shoe whose size can accommodate the bunion.

How do shoe sizes change after bunion surgery?

do shoe size change after bunion surgery

This varies from person to person and there’s a slight difference in bunion surgery between different patients.

It ranges from the intensity of the causation factors of the surgery in the first place. And in their respective differences, it calls for varying ways to go about it.

Shoe sizes change from the surgery sometimes to accommodate the swelling caused by the surgery or the size reduction of feet that results from metaphyseal bone loss as explained above.

And in other cases, some patients’ feet get a little smaller when they opt for additional procedures.

In this case, fitting can only be done when leg and shoe size are in sync.

It is advised by orthopedics that people should get shoes that are designed with deep and wide toe boxes that should be able to accommodate the bunion area.

They have to ensure that even while fitting perfectly at the back, they should get enough space just across in front of the shoe.

It is very important to wear accommodating shoes as the right size of footwear plays a pivotal role in the healing process after surgery.

You don’t want to be undoing yourself when your shoe size and bunion area are in constant conflict.

How long after surgery can you wear normal shoes?

It becomes apparent after the first two weeks, the time of recovery will depend on the surgery type that was done.

It is common to note that most patients are not allowed to walk on their feet until after six weeks.

It takes approximately two months for most people to start wearing their regular shoes because it takes time for the process to heal and swelling to be resolved.

Most bunion surgery patients can wear sneakers or athletic shoes in approximately 4 weeks.

To be able to wear dress shoes or sandals, it will take about 10 weeks. Still, it boils down to the individual healing process.

Wearing wider shoes with larger toe boxes does it more for many people as they are reported to get relief from it.

For example, a person with a bunion will definitely pick athletic shoes over high heels for pain relief.

Cushioning bunions using protective pads too helps in no small way.

To protect your toe and keep it in the right position, after surgery, you will need to wear a special type of shoe or cast for a period of 3 – 6 weeks.

After about two weeks after the surgery, your doctor will need to remove the stitches.

Will bunion surgery affect the shoes you wear? One thing is certain, bunion surgery will not allow you to wear narrow or pointed shoes.

The importance of having realistic expectations about bunion surgery should not be undermined.

How long does it take to walk normally after bunion surgery?

For at least 8 weeks after the surgery, normal walking will be far from your routines.

For 8 weeks or more, you should expect mild pains and some bit of restrictions and bending the toes.

For the bones to mend into the correct position, it takes approximately six weeks.

Moderate prospective swelling can aggravate the nerves as the foot does not have soft tissue that surrounds the bones.

In bunion cases that are mild or moderate, patients are allowed to be weight-bearing, aided by surgical boots at knee scooters.

The said time that it takes for bones to mend or set Is approximately six weeks in most cases.

One may be curious to find out if it is possible to wear high heels after bunion surgery.

Well, if the stitching is appropriately done in a way that the big toe gets back to normal, you should be able to wear different types of shoes, and possibly high heels too.

To facilitate your healing process and go back to normalcy in relatively reduced time, wear shoes with adequate toe room and also try out bunion pads.

To heal to a significant degree, it generally takes 12 weeks. Children heal faster than adults though.

The summation of this is, the time it takes to heal and return back to wearing your normal shoes rests hugely on the healing process and the tact was taken to facilitate the process.

What can go wrong after bunion surgery?

There are different types of risks depending on your specific medical condition.

Some complications may include; nerve damage, recurrence of the bunion, and possible continuous pains.

There’s a propensity of the surgery resulting in overcorrection of the problem into varus; where you may have the bigger toe extending away from the other toes.

Recurrence of bunion

A common fear observed among many people is the recurrence of bunion.

All bunions are not the same, and all of the surgeries are not the same either.

While we know that bunion is a possibility, its reoccurrence is something that happens over a long period of time.

The best way to avoid bunion recurrence is to fully attend to your bunion according to the depth of its severity such that you leave no room for possible loopholes.

The tact and techniques adopted for small bunion surgeries are different from the ones used in major bunion surgeries. Both should be taken not off and not be erroneously interchanged.

Infections after bunion

Infection is a known risk and uncommon with different surgeries.

There is a possibility that infection after bunion can happen when bacteria infect the surgical instrument used in stabilizing the bone

Hallux virus

This problem does not commonly occur after bunion surgeries. It is a new structural problem. This happens in such a way that the big toe points in the opposite direction.

It points away from the rest of the toes. It results in muscular imbalance caused by bunion overcorrection.

A hallux virus can result in several contractures, deformed-looking feet, arthritis, and pains if left untreated.

Big toe joint stiffness

There’s an extent of risk and restrictions afterward every time surgery is performed on the joint.

The main culprit is often the scar tissue buildups. Bunions that have been there for years are going to have a limited motion range after surgery in the big toe joint.

This is because that joint has gone out of place for a long time with the bunion.

And a realignment will hardly restore the full motion.

Bunion surgeons advised that moving the big toe after surgery is a good way to limit tissue scar formation and also keep the joints supple.

With this, the probability of toes stiffness is slashed by a great percent.

Why are the types of shoes you wear after bunion important?

The types of shoes you wear after bunion are important because they help to speed up the healing process after surgery. You will not want to end up undoing yourself.

Physical therapists have recommended shoes with no raised heels.

Avoid shoes that are made of unforgiving material because the bony bump inside of the big toe joint gets inflamed and becomes painful in the long run.

After surgery, there’s a need to wear some special types of shoes, or a cast so as to protect your toes.

This should go for at least 6 weeks. It is very detrimental to wear shoes that are made of stiff materials or shoes that lack support. On this ground, you are advised to stick to flat-toe shoes.

Healthline recommends that you should wear shoes with ample room that will give minimal pain.

Women are advised to shun wearing high heels for a period of six months after having undergone surgery.

This was advised to curb all possible ills and give no chance to probable cause for alarm.

What type of shoes can you wear after bunion surgery?

Propet travel active Mary Jane sneaker

If what you seek is an all-round comfort as you walk after bunion surgery, then this sneaker is just for you!

This shoe’s innovative outsole Is engineered with tested and high-quality materials.

Another thing that makes it stand out is the fact that extra cushion insoles are added for the enhancement of sweet feel and maximum comfort.

The shoe’s footbed can be removed in such a way that accommodates custom orthotics.

A cool type of sneakers that provides you arch support that makes you comfortable in them all day.

The tops can accommodate your wide toes because they are wide and stretchy.

They are designed with materials that make them extremely light.

If you experience a painful foot after bunion surgery then this sneaker is just an excellent choice.

New balance fresh foam 1080V7 running shoe

A good thing about this shoe is; Its durability, extra space for bunions, and great cushioning and comfort. But then, it’s pretty expensive.

The base is relatively wider than other shoes, the sole has a plush cushioning and this is what makes it a very stable ride.

You can tremendously adjust it to the exact size of your foot because the laces have a good extent of stretch in them.

If your feet come off as the “between ” size, such that it makes it difficult for you to decide what size to select, I’ll advise you to go for the bigger ones.

Sketchers D’Lite memory foam sneakers

Some cool things about this sneaker are; air-cooled memory foam insoles, very comfortable and fits well, and it’s affordable.

But then, it is very bulky. This shoe is an excellent choice for any person that needs a good shoe after bunion surgery as it is both high-quality and budget-friendly.

This shoe looks great and so comfortable, it is also known for its durability. A core feature is its air-foamed memory insoles; one that allows you to feel the cushioning even when you walk.

I would also recommend this shoe for people with walking difficulties. At an affordable price, Sketchers D’Light is one of the coolest orthopedic shoes that you will get.


Crocs are naturally comfy and light and fit perfectly among a list of shoes suitable for after-bunion surgery.

Because Croc is a comfortable shoe with open sole, that gives it the credence to not fall under the list of shoes that seem to worsen bunion.

Footballers reportedly confessed to finding long-term relief from Crocs after a series of foot pain. This is because they possess good arch support and a wide toe box.

And one of the proven recovery tips, as given by specialists, is to wear non-slip shoes with a rubber sole like Crocs. So, apparently, what you need right now for the healing of that bunion is Crocs.

Vive post Op shoes

This shoe is cool for its breathable open design, lightweight, comfortability squared toe selection.

One natural part of bunion surgery is swelling and fluid retention. But when the swelling becomes excessive, it delays the healing process and often leads to other complications.

For this reason, we recommend Vive post Op shoes. This shoe guarantees and delivers stable protection after forefoot trauma and post-operative procedure.

This shoe, while it keeps dressing dirt-free and dry, its adjustable surgical walking boot has a rocker sole underneath that aids the arch and brings minimal pressure on the foot.

This page may contain affiliate links.

To support the content and the knowledge I share here, I earn from qualifying purchases from Amazon at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Comment