Why do Bunions form?

Bunions are often seen as the result of wearing improper foot wear – tight shoes, high heels, etc. – causing an uneven distribution of weight. This may indeed be a contributing factor. Structural malformation (hereditary or otherwise), arthritic conditions and other causes are also possible factors. But we generally underestimate the effect of hard surfaces, gravity and misalignment of the foot. All these factors can be grouped under one heading – Pressure! Pressure in the wrong place and in excess of what our bodies can tolerate or cope with.


Pressure may lead to inflammation of the bursa, or pad of fluid, around the first metatarsal head, or big toe joint. The inflamed bursa may be red, swollen and painful. Over time, the fluid crystalizes and hardens into bone. This process repeats itself over and over as long as the pressure remains at unacceptable levels. The bunion grows bigger and bigger eventually pushing the big toe towards the second toe. In fact, excessive pressure on any one of the metatarsal heads, can result in, or aggravate problems of the corresponding toe.

What to Do for Bunions.

It therefore follows that if the pressure is removed, the process will be halted!

But how do we remove the pressure, while still walking on our feet every day? Cushioning is not a permanent solution, as the weight will remain and destroy the cushion very quickly. We have to transfer the weight away from the bone structure and into the arch, where muscles and tendons will carry it much more effectively.

The foot has 3 arches, and supporting the medial arch only, has very little effect or relief for forefoot problems, such as bunions, hammertoes and dropped metatarsals. Supporting the metatarsal arch, just behind the metatarsal heads, is crucial. This is easily demonstrated by pushing a thumb, or blunt object, into the metatarsal arch from below. See the arch normalize on top of the foot and the toes push down into their normal position.

If weight is transferred away from the metatarsal heads, or ball of the foot, by supporting all 3 the arches of the foot simultaneously and in ratio, there will be a significant decrease of pressure and relief for all forefoot problems, including bunions.

Metatarsal arch support is only possible in soft or flexible materials, as a hard, rigid bump at that point, would make walking almost impossible. Soft Steps® have the perfect combination of firm support and flexible action, supporting all 3 arches simultaneously and in the correct ratios.

Many, many Soft Step® users have, over the years, testified to unprecedented relief for painful, inflamed bunions. The recommended, self administered, massage and manipulation of the joint, further enhance the results. See the Step Forward website for details.

This may be the solution you have been waiting for!

Bunion Before After

“I have to let you know that the new inserts have changed my life and I really do not have bunion pain any more. I am now delighted with them so thank you for persevering with me and not just refunding my money. LINDSAY”



Feet in Sunset
Scroll to Top