I’ve had bunions for as long as I can remember.
I do recall someone helpfully pointing out and ridiculing the strange lump you could see sticking through the side of my shoes at high school, but back then I didn’t really know what it was and also had no idea the impact it was going to have on my lifestyle and footwear choices 20 years on.
The bunions never used to be as big as they are now, and I can’t quite remember when the big toe started to point towards the others.
I do know that after having each of my children they got worse, probably to do with loosening ligaments during pregnancy.
I saw a podiatrist about them a few years ago and he told me my particular problem was due to the shape of the soles of my feet, causing over-pronation when I walked (that’s rolling on to the inside of your foot) and over the years this has caused the bunions to form.
It probably didn’t help that I wore fashionable ill-fitting shoes during my 20’s, exacerbating this pre-existing condition.
The problem with bunions and fashionable footwear
If you’re taking the time to read this you probably have bunions too, or perhaps you just have a fascination with unusual feet! If you do have bunions you’ll understand my problem all too well.
I’m a young woman (well 37 is still young!) who enjoys escaping from the kiddies for the odd night out with my husband, eating at nice restaurants and sometimes indulging in a couple of fancy cocktails.
On these rare nights out, like any woman, I like to smarten myself up with a pretty dress and pair of heels, taking a well-deserved break from the usual jeans and trainers outfit I wear on a day to day basis.
However, I’ve basically been wearing the same two pairs of heels for years now. And this is because I find it a nightmare to buy high heeled shoes that actually fit my bunions in, and the ones I have found I wear again and again and again.
The following photos show two pairs of typical shoes you would find on the high street. A closed-toe pump and a strappy sandal. All beautiful, all shoes I would love to wear.
You can quickly understand what my problem is by taking a look at these next photos.
Not only do the straps sit very uncomfortably above the bunion, but if like me you don’t want them on show to the public they are really not ideal at all!
The closed-toe pump was actual agony to put on. The space in the toe area was far too narrow to accommodate my lumpy big toe.
It’s not just finding shoes for a night out that’s an issue – it’s a friend’s wedding, my daughters’ christenings, Christmas parties and even at work when you want that extra bit of height and confidence.
I don’t need a pair of heels for everyday wear. It isn’t sensible when you have problem feet to wear any kind of high heeled shoe. However, wearing the same pair of heels over and over again, or resorting to flats is just not fair.
We, bunion sufferers, want to have the same freedom as our friends when it comes to choosing the perfect pair of shoes to match our outfit.
Even celebrities are not immune to this problem. Here we have some very beautiful women, inflicted with not so beautiful feet.
Not an old woman yet...
You can see from these photos that although entirely comfortable and practical, the current footwear offering for ladies with feet like mine do not quite match the style of the shoes I tried on above.
Many years ago I recognised that there was a gap in the market for shoes which are high fashion yet are comfortable enough for women who suffer from bunions. When I started my research I realised I was not alone and many women just want to feel elegant in stylish heels without the trauma of scouring the shops for a perfect pair.
This is why Calla was born. Shoes which not only look fabulous and are comfortable but at the same time disguise and accommodate the bunions.
Check out my collection of beautiful and stylish footwear specially designed for women with bunions and wider feet.