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How to Walk Gracefully in High Heels if You Have Bunions

Learn how to walk gracefully in high heels even if you have bunions from celebrity podiatrist Emily Splichal in this Howcast video.


  • Step 1: The relationship between your heels and bunions Understand that the height of the heel you wear is closely associated with your large toe joint--if you have a bunion on that toe joint, you lose that flexibility and walking in heels becomes more painful.
  • Step 2: How to choose the right heel height Choose the proper height of your heels by standing barefoot and slowing raising the foot keeping your toes to the ground. Whatever height you can reach without causing pain is what you should wear to walk comfortably.
  • Step 3: Stay flexible Maintain flexibility in your large toe joint by stretching your back leg muscles.


Often times when women get a bunion, they start to lose range of motion or flexibility in that big toe joint. When we stand in our heels, the height of the heel that we are able to wear is closely associated with the flexibility of that large toe joint. So again, if you have a bunion and you start losing that range of motion, often times many of the heels you choose will be painful for you to walk in. The more pain and less flexibility you have in that large toe joint, the less graceful you will be able to walk in your heels.

So the trick is choosing the proper height. Proper height of the heel has to do with the flexibility of that large toe joint. So as you stand barefoot and you bring that toe up, that will dictate and give you an idea of the height of the heel that you should choose to walk gracefully. Often times, a woman with a bunion will have to choose a shorter heel, probably around 2 to 3 inches, and then be able to walk gracefully in the heels.

Maintain flexibility in that large toe joint by stretching the muscles in the back of the leg, which again, takes pressure off of the front of the foot. If you are experiencing pain in the bunion when you wear high heels, I recommend taking a break from the heels, or choosing a heel that is shorter in height.

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