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Best Bunion Socks in 2021

 

Bunions can be uncomfortable and painful. If you suffer from this foot condition and you’re a runner, the pain and discomfort can be enough to ruin your workout.

But they don’t have to get in the way of your running routine. Simply shopping for the best bunion socks instead of regular socks can provide your feet the support they need and relieve pain and friction enough to have you running pain-free!

Our top pick is the OS1st BR4 Bunion Relief Socks. These socks have an anatomical left/right design with a split toe, use light compression, and are infused with silver ion technology to reduce odor.

Read through all 7 choices to find one that’s right for you!

Top 3 Best and Favorite

 

OS1st BR4 Bunion Relief Socks

 

  • Anatomical design
  • Compression zone technology
  • Features a split toe
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Doctors Choice Bunion Sock

 

  • Strategically-placed padding
  • Ribbed arch support
  • Two bunion pads
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Sockwell Bunion Relief Socks

 

  • Cushioned toe pocket
  • Light arch support
  • Seamless toe
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Best Overall

1. OS1st BR4 Bunion Relief Socks

The OS1st BR4 socks are designed to make your feet feel better using a combination of compression and strategically placed padding.

A seamless, split-toe design helps to keep the big toe in the right position and prevents it from falling over to the side.

As well as having extra padding in the toe area for protection and comfort, these socks also have a targeted bunion pad. This is a small circle of extra-padded fabric right over the area of the bunion, which protects it from being rubbed or scraped by the shoe.

This tiny piece of cushioned fabric alone can make a big difference to your pain level!

These socks also feature some compression, which helps to keep circulation going and reduces pain. The ankle and toes have light compression, while the forefoot and heel of the sock use a more moderate compression.

To make them feel better on your feet, they’re designed with an anatomical fit (left/right). An interesting feature is the addition of silver ion technology in the micro-nylon and Lycra fabric, which reduces odors and keeps your feet fresher for longer!

PROS:

  • Anatomical design
  • Compression zone technology
  • Features a split toe
  • Silver ion technology

CONS:

  • Some may find the tightness of the sock off-putting
 

Top Runner-Up

2. OrthoSleeve BR4 Bunion Relief Socks

Like our first choice, the OrthoSleeve BR4 Bunion Relief Socks have a split-toe design to hold the big toe in the right position.

The socks are fairly similar, and this one also has a bunion pad on the outside of the big toe joint to provide extra support and comfort to the bunion area.

Like the first sock, this one features four distinct zones of graduated compression, with the most compression being offered over the joint that’s affected by the bunion. This little bit of extra tightness across the area can provide pain relief and increase circulation, bringing much-needed oxygenated blood to the area for healing!

Moisture-wicking fabric with silver ion technology keeps your feet fresh, clean, and well-ventilated. The seamless design of the soft nylon/Lycra material ensures that there’s nothing to chafe and cause discomfort.

The sock is available in a variety of colors and sizes. Take note that those with wide feet might find that their 2nd to 5th toes get a little squished due to the compression!

PROS:

  • Built-in padding
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Medical-grade compression
  • Seamless, anatomical fit

CONS:

  • Those with wide feet may have their toes squished
 

Best Value

3. Doctor’s Choice Bunion Sock

If the length of the first two socks isn’t really right for you, the Doctor’s Choice Bunion Sock is a good alternative.

It’s available in quarter-length and crew-length, so you can take your pick. Either way, they’re very affordable so it would be a good choice for those on a budget.

They also have a separate big toe design, which acts as a type of splint for the toe that’s affected by the bunion. It keeps the rest of your toes comfortably cocooned in another toe pouch, which is slightly differently shaped and may be uncomfortable for some wearers.

A softer fabric in the area of the bunion keeps it cushioned and protected from chafing. It has a similar padded area on the other side of the foot, which is perfect for those who have bunionettes too!

Targeted, ribbed compression in the arch provides extra support. These socks are also built for comfort, with added padding under the forefoot and an easy-stretch top so you don’t have to struggle getting the sock on and off.

To keep your feet fresh and happy, the fabric is infused with silver, zinc, and copper ions that destroy odor-causing bacteria.

PROS:

  • Strategically-placed padding
  • Toe pocket for big toe
  • Ribbed arch support
  • Two bunion pads

CONS:

  • The soft fabric over the bunion will shed during the first few washings
 

Top For Women

4. Sockwell Bunion Relief Socks

Although these socks can be worn by men too, they’re designed with women in mind. This design is more in terms of colors and patterns than anatomical features, though!

They’re crafted from a combination of Merino wool, nylon, Spandex, and bamboo Rayon fibers. The wool is excellent for temperature regulation, which makes these socks suitable for any weather, any season.

Bamboo Rayon, which makes up 34% of the sock, is highly absorbent and moisture-wicking. It’s also known for being supremely soft!

The classic bunion split-toe design is present on this sock too, and the big toe pocket is seamless and well-cushioned from tip to joint.

This is a lightweight sock that features no compression. There is light arch support, but the sock is best for those who don’t need strong support and want something that’s comfortable, soft, and light on the feet.

PROS:

  • Cushioned toe pocket
  • Light arch support
  • Moisture and odor control
  • Seamless toe

CONS:

  • Not as supportive as other socks
 

Best Low Cut

5. Feetures Elite Max Cushion Low Cut

If low-cut socks are most comfortable for you, these 2-inch socks are a good option.

They’re not specially-designed bunion socks, but they’ll do a good job of protecting your feet if your bunion is not advanced.

They’re designed with an anatomical left/right fit, so each sock hugs your foot comfortably in all the right places. The Perfect Toe means there’s no seam to chafe and cause discomfort.

To improve circulation and help with pain reduction, the socks feature targeted compression. This also adds a touch of arch support.

Maximum density cushion provides comfort and a light bit of shock absorption. The area around the bunion also benefits from this cushion, keeping it padded and preventing chafing against the shoe.

iWick fibers in the sock get rid of moisture quickly so your feet can stay cool and dry. Keeping your feet dry is also an important part of preventing chafing, especially against sensitive skin over a bunion.

As an extra bonus, these socks contain a minimum of 20% recycled material, which means you’ll be supporting and helping to protect the environment when you buy them!

PROS:

  • Targeted compression
  • Maximum cushion
  • iWick synthetic fibers
  • Made of recycled material

CONS:

  • Not many colors available
 

Top Crew-Length

6. Smartwool Hike Classic Full Cushion Solid Crew

Want longer socks that sit on the calf? We recommend these ones from Smartwool.

They consist of around 65% Merino wool, which is almost a miracle fabric as it regulates temperature on its own, wicks away moisture, and is super soft and comfortable. All of these features reduce chafing and increase comfort, which is essential for bunions.

Most of the rest of the sock is made of nylon, which is recycled so this is a fairly environmentally-friendly product.

Every other feature contributes toward comfort and protection. There’s an elasticized brace in the arch, providing subtle support as you walk, which can also help keep the foot in the right position and take some pressure off the bunion area.

A flat-knit seam in the toe increases the comfort and reduces the chance of friction that could cause pain.

PROS:

  • Full cushioning
  • Elasticized arch brace
  • Flat-knit toe seam
  • Recycled nylon fabric

CONS:

  • No specific bunion support pad
 

Best Mid-Calf Length

7. Darn Tough The Standard Mid-Calf Lightweight Lifestyle Socks

These socks come up to mid-calf length, perfect for cold weather or for keeping debris out.

Whether you’re wearing these for running, going out, or just everyday errands, they’ll keep you comfortable, dry, and pain-free in the area of your bunion.

A blend of nylon and Merino wool makes these socks soft and comfy on the skin. You can look forward to a chafe-free and moisture-wicking experience, with Performance Fit technology that guarantees no slipping or blisters. It’s also odor-resistant!

They’ve taken care to add extra cushion underfoot for a premium wearing experience. The socks remain lightweight thanks to fine gauge knitting that you can hardly feel.

A True Seamless toe adds to the sock’s comfort, with hardly any chance for friction. Last but certainly not least, the company offers a lifetime guarantee on their socks, so you can wear them with absolute confidence.

PROS:

  • Added cushion underfoot
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Undetectable seam
  • Odor-resistant technology

CONS:

  • May feel a little tight on large calves
 

FAQs

Got questions about the best bunion socks and why they’re necessary? Here are some answers to help you choose the right socks for you.

What Are Bunions and Why Do You Need Special Socks for Them?

A bunion is a bony lump on the side of the foot. It forms on the joint at the base of your big toe, when the bones of the forefoot and big toe move out of their normal place.

This can happen when the ligaments and tendons become weak and can no longer hold the toe in place properly.

This causes the toe to pull inwards, almost pointing towards the other toes. The joint of the big toe pops outwards and can be painful if it becomes inflamed.

Bunion socks are specifically made to reduce friction and provide protection to the problem area. Reducing friction and cushioning the joint helps to relieve pain.

What Features Should Those Socks Have?

Cushioning

Many dedicated bunion socks have a special section of cushioning right over the area of the bunion. This is excellent for providing some comfort to the area of pain and discomfort.

This area of dense cushion prevents friction between the bunion and the shoe. Reducing friction is important to prevent further inflammation and it also reduces pain, as the bunion is comfortably protected and softly padded.

The rest of the sock should also be fairly well-padded to keep the rest of your foot cushioned too.

Friction Reduction

The special cushion on the side of the sock protects the bunion from friction. But the material the sock is made of can also make a difference.

Most socks are made from polyester, nylon, or a blend of these, plus other unique materials that brands have created. Avoid cotton, as it’s highly frictional.

Toe Straightening

Not all bunion socks have this feature, but some of them come with a built-in toe straightener. This acts like a small splint to keep the big toe properly aligned, gently preventing it from leaning towards the other toes.

What Socks Should Be Avoided?

It’s best to avoid cotton socks when choosing a pair for bunions.

Cotton is rough in comparison to other fabrics and may cause friction on the bunion, irritating it and leading to more inflammation.

Cotton is also a pretty warm fabric and isn’t as breathable as others. We recommend avoiding cotton as far as possible, as there are better, healthier options out there!

The Wired Runner