What causes bunions?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

While bunions can sometimes be genetic, wearing high-heeled shoes is often the culprit. What classically happens is you step in these high-heeled shoes and you squish your toes into the bottom of the shoe, and the toes kink a little bit, which makes the bone stick out.

There's no need to worry about bunions if they aren't hurting. It's not a big deal unless they bother you.

The best way to avoid bunions is to avoid shoes that are likely to contribute to their development. Once the angle starts to go off the wrong way, your foot becomes inefficient as you walk. That's why younger women in particular ought to pay attention to this issue.

This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Corns, Calluses & Bunions

Should I Worry About This Bony Bump on My Foot?
Should I Worry About This Bony Bump on My Foot?
Among the many joys of getting older—along with gray hair, wrinkles, and mid-section bulge—are bunions, those annoying bony bumps that form on the sid...
Read More
What are calluses and corns?
Christopher Chiodo, MDChristopher Chiodo, MD
Many people have calluses or corns. They appear as areas of hardened, sometimes yellow skin on p...
More Answers
How can I prevent a callus from forming?
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MDDr. Ellen Marmur, MD
It is simple: identify the action that may be causing the callus, and stop it. Or let it be, since i...
More Answers
What Shoes Are Good for Bunions?
What Shoes Are Good for Bunions?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.