Something we’ve never tried but have been seeing more of lately are articles on bunion taping. We usually see these How-To’s pinned to an athletic website such as Livestrong.com or listed on sports injury clinic websites. After all, who else would spend the time to learn the technique and tightly wrap your foot? Most of us don’t have time to do that before we head off to work in our Jimmy Choo 3-inch heels (ok, most of us ladies don’t actually own Choos, but we’d like to!). After doing our own research on the topic here’s what we learned, broken down into usable chunks of information. (Of course, anyone attempting this should consult with your doctor, especially if you have moderate to severe bunions.)
Taping bunions can reduce the bunion pain and stress brought on during the day’s stress including most shoes and standing/walking. It’s often used to provide support, stability, or rehabilitation to athletes suffering from bunion pain including runners, dancers, bikers, and skiers. It can also provide protection against the friction often caused from non-bunion-friendly footwear, and even possibly padding in those shoes that just don’t give our nubs the space or protection they need (i.e. ski boots, spin shoes, and soccer cleats). There are a few different strategies you could try out there – let us know which one works best! (You can even Google “Bunion Taping Techniques” and watch the YouTube videos for demonstrations and additional details.)
- When you tape your bunions, you are protecting them from the unavoidable scuffing and rubbing from your shoes which in time can easily lead to blisters, redness, tenderness, and often inflamed bunions. Should bursitis set in around the bunion, it takes even longer to heal and requires a more consistent treatment. Taping is a great option to manage that swelling and irritation.
- Taping bunions can also provide the desired padding inside more rigid footwear, often founds in sports such as dancing, skiing, soccer, and spinning/biking. There’s nothing worse than bone on plastic which is what you get when you put those shoes on and head out to enjoy your active lifestyle without any additional level of protection, or in the case of soccer; expose your poor nubs to the repeated pounding of a ball.
- Most of us don’t have the time in the morning as we are getting ready for work to find the tape, let alone go through the process of taping our feet. Not to mention, testing and trying out the various techniques to find the one for our foot.
- Your feet swell during the day, it’s just a fact. Whether you are a professional athlete or sell insurance from a desk all day, your feet will swell. This can be quite the nuisance if the taping ends up being quite tight, or the space in your shoes just doesn’t ALLOW for the swelling AND tape. Your bunions might be pain-free but… low and behold, it’s really because half your foot has lost its circulation – doh!
Taping is great and it definitely serves a purpose for those that wear extremely rigid footwear, anticipate taking a hit on the bunion (think soccer!), or are healing from the dreaded bunion surgery. But for the majority of us, something as simple as Bunion Bootie can meet the need of most bunion sufferers; it protects from friction, may improve gait and balance issues by bringing the big toe straight again, and is quick and easy to put on each morning. The padding isn’t much (which is what allows it to fit so easily in any shoe) so if you’re heading to the soccer field, take the tape!