The best bunion splint
Anyone who suffers from a bunion knows how painful -- or even debilitating -- it can be. A bunion splint helps ease the discomfort of a bunion and can even correct it permanently in some cases, making it the obvious first step in bunion treatment before you consider surgery.
Our top choice, the TENMAND Bunion Corrector, utilizes pneumatic adjustability to allow you to position your toe at just the right angle to straighten it and fix your bunion. Read our brief and thorough guide to learn more about bunion splints.
Considerations when choosing bunion splints
Types of bunion splints
First, choose the correct type of bunion splint to meet your needs.
Braces: Bunion braces are made from mid-weight fabric that velcro around the foot. They usually contain metal or plastic rods inside to help align the toe. They feature an adjustable element so you can find the right angle at which to straighten your toe.
Hard splints: Hard bunion splints are usually made from plastic that runs down the outside of the big toe to realign it. They're strapped around the foot to keep them in place. They may or may not feature joints for flexibility so you can walk more easily while wearing them.
Gel splints: Gel bunion splints are made from soft, gel-like silicone and consist of one part that separates the big toe from its neighbor to help with realignment, as well as an attached guard that runs up the outside of your big toe to prevent painful rubbing from your shoes. They sometimes come with lightweight fabric sleeves to keep them in place.
Consider the severity of your bunion before buying a bunion splint. You may find that a basic gel splint is all you need for a mild bunion. For a severe bunion, on the other hand, you might require a gel splint for daytime use, along with a more effective hard splint or brace for home or nighttime use.
Some bunion splints are designed to fit all feet, some fit feet between certain shoe sizes, and others are available in small, medium, and large sizing. Check the sizing before you buy to be sure of a proper fit.
Brace-style bunion splints tend to be adjustable so you can straighten out your big toe to the correct angle. Some use straps for adjustability, whereas others have an inflatable component to give you the right angle of correction.
Some people want a bunion splint that's completely comfortable, while others are willing to put up with a little discomfort for long-term results. Hard splints and some braces aren't especially comfortable to wear, but give better long-term results than gel splints.
Bunion splint prices
Bunion splints can cost as little as $5 to $10 for basic gel splints. Mid-range models cost $10 to $20. Hard splints and braces cost $20 to $30.
Q. Can a bunion splint permanently correct my bunion?
A. Although a bunion splint can't completely cure you of your bunion, it can correct the angle of the big toe to the point where your symptoms are greatly alleviated and you no longer require a splint for regular use. However, you must use your bunion splint consistently over a period of months to see any significant results.
Q. Can I wear a bunion splint with shoes?
A. This depends on the variety of bunion splint you choose. Bulky braces and hard splints are generally recommended for home use only, but lightweight gel splints and other flexible options can be worn with shoes to offer daytime relief while out and about.
Bunion splints we recommend
Best of the best: TENMAND Bunion Corrector and Toe Straightener
Our take: The combination of the metal splints and the inflatable component equals an effective treatment for bunions, but don't expect a cure overnight.
What we like: The main splint can permanently correct your bunion with regular use. It's simple to adjust and fits most feet. A toes spacer/bunion guard is also included.
What we dislike: It takes three to five months to see real improvement.
Best bang for your buck: Flyen Bunion Corrector
Our take: The silicone toe spacers and guards both realign your big toe and prevent rubbing from shoes, while the sleeves help keep them in place.
What we like: Users report instant relief from their bunions and some permanent improvement over time. This breathable design includes splints for both feet and is affordable.
What we dislike: It's not as durable as we'd like.
Our take: This basic toe spreader and bunion guard is compact and flexible enough for all day use.
What we like: It's extremely comfortable to wear, prevents rubbing from shoes, and slowly releases mineral oils and aloe vera to moisturize skin.
What we dislike: It must be worn with socks to prevent slipping.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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