Running With Bunions


Running keeps us healthier and happier and once we’ve caught the “running bug” going for too long without at least a jog around the park can leave us feeling lousy! Having a bunion should never make you give up the things you love in life, and it doesn’t have to. With some minor adjustments and the right footwear you will be able to run again totally free of pain!

In this article I’ll share some of the best tips for relieving bunion pain when running so you can get back to racking up your mileage in no time!


My Tips For Eliminating Bunion Pain While Running



Lacing techniques.

Lacing shoes the regular way is not ideal for us bunion sufferers, but luckily there is a special lacing technique called the “Bunion Step-Over”. By skipping the eyelet closest to our bunion the shoe does not tighten as much around that area leaving us a little extra room while keeping the shoe tight around the ankle to avoid slipping. Make sure you lace your shoes this way and feel the difference it makes!



Try the “ChiRunning” technique.

Haven’t heard of ChiRunning before? You should have! The ChiRunning technique emphasizes landing on your midfoot and lifting your entire foot as you run instead of pushing off with your toes. By spreading the impact across a larger surface area less stress is placed onto the toes where those bothersome bunions are leaving you free to run without pain!


Stop overpronating.

Overpronators who roll their feet inwards when landing are especially prone to bunion pain due to the impact being placed onto the big toe. It can be hard to tell if we’re overpronating during our runs but looking at the wear pattern on our shoes can give us a clue. Excessive wear on the inner side of the shoe is a good sign that we’re overpronating, and this should be worked on to keep the pressure off of our bony bumps. People with “knock knees” and flat feet are more likely to suffer with this problem.

You can help to correct the issue by using orthotics for added arch support, or by investing in the right pair of shoes which brings me onto my next point.


Get the right running shoes.

There are so many running shoes but only a few which are suitable for bunion sufferers. Investing in a good pair of shoes can mean the difference between making it to the door before pain sets in and completing 10 miles in record time. A good pair of running shoes for people with bunions should be wide around the toebox with mesh and minimal stitching at the bunion area. See my guide to running shoes for bunions.


Skinny socks and longer laces.

Socks can make more difference than you would think! Thick wooly socks can rob us of those extra few important millimeters when compared to slims and we need all the room we can get. You should also try buying a pair of longer laces. When laces are too short we are forced to pull them tighter, but with long laces we have a little more “slack” and can tie our shoes looser. Combined with the bunion step-over lacing technique from step 1 the difference is huge!

When all else fails…

Though it should be seen as more of a last resort, when nothing relieves you of your pain it might be time to start thinking about surgery. You certainly wouldn’t be the first runner to get surgery for bunions, in fact, celebrity marathon runner Paula Radcliffe had hers surgically corrected. Surgery can keep you off your feet for a little while but in the end if nothing else you try helps it will be totally worth it.

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