Bunion Splint

Written By: Chloe Wilson BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed By: FPE Medical Review Board

Bunion Splints: Find out the best ways to solve bunion pain and which splints will work best for you

A bunion splint is a really simple tool for reducing the pain associated with bunions, aka hallux valgus and can even help prevent or delay the need for surgery

There are loads of different styles of bunion splint available depending on what you are looking for and here we will look at each one.  

Bunion splints essentially work in one of two ways, some combining both.  Firstly, they can help correct the deformity at the toe, bringing it back into a normal position.  This prevents stiffness and tightness developing in the joint and surrounding soft tissues, relieving symptoms and helping to stop the progression of the toe deviation. 

Secondly, some have padding providing protection over the foot, helping to prevent the lump from rubbing on your shoe. As well as making activities like walking more comfortable, this can also help prevent the formation of corns and calluses on the foot over the bunion. 

Here we will look at the different styles of bunion splint on the market, how they work and how to pick the right one for you.  If you want to know more about the causes, symptoms and other treatment options, visit the Bunions section.  

Different Styles Of Bunion Splint

There are a whole range of different style bunion splints out there depending on what you are looking for:

X-ray showing the effective of a bunion splint
  • Toe Splints: can be worn during in shoes while you are walking around 

  • Night Splints: more substantial bunion splints that are worn over night

  • Toe Spacers/Stretchers: small inserts that sit between your toes 

  • Bunion Pads/Guards: soft pads that cushion the bunion to reduce friction

  • Bunion Splint Sets: contain more than one different type of splint

Let's have a look at the pros and cons of each type of bunion splint and what people think of them. NB Links take you through to your local Amazon site and #CommissionEarned on qualifying purchases

1. Daytime Toe Splints

If you are looking for a bunion splint that you can wear during the day while you are walking around, these are the ones for you. These bunion splints, aka bunion regulators, hold the toe in the correct position and some versions also provide cushioning over the bunion. They are best for mild to moderate bunions and can also be used after bunion surgery.  

There are two options of daytime bunion splints, both of which can be worn in shoes:

Spreader & Protector Splints

Spreader & Protector Bunions Splints are perfect for mild to moderate bunions

Spreader & Protector Bunion Splints fit over the big toe and in-between the big and second toe to hold them apart. This helps to move the big toe into the correct position as well as providing protection on the side of the bunion.  They stay in place well simply by wearing a sock and can be worn inside shoes. 

There are a number of different manufacturers of Spreader & Protector Bunion Splints such as YogaMedic and AligNow, but they are all extremely similar.  They are made of medical grade gel and receive average user ratings 4/5.

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $12/£8)

#CommissionEarned from Amazon on qualifying purchases

Bunion Corrector Splint

Bunion Corrector Splints help to realign hallux valgus

Bunion Corrector Splints wrap around the big toe drawing it into a good position and anchor around the mid-foot, which helps to support the foot arches. 

There is often a metal bar at the side of the bunion splint which can be molded to hold the foot in a good position.  This helps to improve the position of the toe joint as well as stretching out muscles, ligaments and tendons.  

The are easy to fit and comfortable to wear with an adjustable strap that hooks around your heel. The cotton-lined, skin friendly material ensures good comfort and they stay in place well.

Bunion Corrector Splints are available from a number of different manufacturers such as Pedigoo and Sports Laboratory, with the best receiving average user ratings 4.4/5.

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $18/£16)

2. Bunion Night Splint

If you are looking for a more substantial bunion splint that you can wear at night while you sleep, then these are the ones for you. These are more substantial bunion splints that are to be worn over night rather than during the day – not for walking in.

Night bunion splints pull the toe into better alignment and hold it there all night long, but you can't really walk in them. They are good for any stage and are suitable for mild to severe bunion treatment. You can wear the daytime splints we have already looked at overnight, but these provide more of a stretch.

Bunion Night Guard

Bunion Night Splints: Perfect for long-term correction of toe deviation

Bunion night splints work in the same way as day splints, but tend to be more rigid and less flexible.  The advantage of this is that they can provide stronger support to the foot, but as they are less flexible, they are uncomfortable to walk around in, hence being used at night-time. Most have a rotation hinge so you can control the angle of the big toe, gradually pulling it out further as it stretches.

Wearing a bunion night splint allows the foot to be held in a good position the whole time you are in bed which is a good proportion of the day. It certainly makes sense to be stretching the foot out as much as possible and this is a great way to do that. Average user rating 4.4/5.

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $28/£18)

3. Bunion Toe Spacers

Toe spacers are small inserts that sit in between your toes to help hold your toes in a more normal position. Toe spacers work best with mild to moderate bunions.

There are three types available, wedges that sit between two toes only, wedges that are anchored around two toes and toe separators that sit in-between all the toes. 

There are pros and cons of each style of these toe spacers bunion splints.  The wedge inserts can be worn in shoes and tend to push and hold the two toes apart better.  However, they correct the position of the big toe by pushing on the second toe, which can put the second toe out of position. Toe stretchers provide less of a stretch, but hold the foot in a better overall position.  However, they can't be worn in shoes.

Best Single Toe Spacers

Single Toe Spacer Bunion Splints

Single Bunion Toe Spacers sit in-between the big toe and second toe. Some sit freely between the two toes, others loop around the first or second toe to hold them in place. 

This helps correct the alignment of the toes and reduces friction and pressure through the big toe joint. Made of silicone gel these bunion splints are soft and comfy and can be worn in shoes.

Single Bunion Toe Spacers are available from a number of different manufacturers but the most popular are ZenToes & Protectoe with average user ratings of 4.3/5.

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $9/£6)

Best Double Toe Spacers

Double Toe Spacer Bunion Splints

Double Toe Spacer Splints attach around both the big and second toe.  Typically made of elastic gel, they are soft and comfortable to wear, even in shoes. The double loop helps it to stay in place well due to the extra anchor, but it will depend on the shape of your toes as to how well they fit.

They tend to give slightly less of a stretch than single spacers due to their design but they may also stay in place better - it comes down to personal preference. You often get a few spacers per pack so they are good value for money.

Again Double Toe Spacer Splints are available from a number of different brands, the most popular being DyKook and Sosede with average user ratings 4.4/5.

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $7/£8)

Whole Foot Toe Stretchers

Whole Foot Toe Stretchers for Bunions

Whole Foot Toe Stretchers sit between each of the toes, stretching out the entire foot into better alignment. 

Typically made of soft gel, they are extremely comfortable but can only be worn when lying down or sitting, not walking around. They are great for stretching the whole foot and work well if you have bunions and bunionettes or other associated problems such as plantar fasciitis, but they don't always produce as strong a stretch between individual toes. 

There are lots of different styles and brands available and you can find out more about how they work and which ones work best for different conditions in the toe stretchers section.

4. Bunion Pads/Guards

Another slightly different option with bunions splints are bunions pads that work to cushion the bunion and stop it from rubbing on your shoes. 

There are a number of different styles of bunion pad available, soft pads, plastic guards or ultra-thin sleeves, all which work to cushion the bunion and prevent any friction over the area from your shoes. This helps to reduce pain and the formation of calluses and corns from repeated friction on the area. They can be used for all stages of bunions.

Bunion pads have the advantage that they can be comfortably worn all day, but they don’t actually improve the position of the toe. So whilst they can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of bunions, they won’t actually improve them or stop them from getting worse. If that is what you are looking for, you would need a bunion splint.  

Bunion Protector Guards

Bunion Protector Guards: Reduce friction and pain from bunions

Bunion Protector Splint Guards simply slide over your big toe.  They are made of soft, flexible gel and cushion the side of your foot to prevent rubbing, absorbing pressure and friction on bunions. The thin design means they can easily be worn in shoes. These are the most solid design of bunion pads and are extremely durable.

With Bunion Protector Splints you often get a few per set and they can be easily handwashed and airdried. Popular brands include ZenToes and Promifun. Average user ratings 4.2/5

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $13/£13)

Gel Bunion Pads

Compeed Gel Bunion Plasters - the best bunion plasters on the market

The most popular brand of Gel Bunion Pads is Compeed.  They are made of hydrocolloid gel to provide a second skin. They stick well and mold to the bunion providing instant pain and pressure relief, stay in place for several days and are waterproof. 

They have a slim-line fit so they are comfortable to wear in shoes. The adhesive and tapered edges allow the plasters to flex with movement and fit well around any shaped bunion. They come in a handy little box which easily fits in your pocket, bag or first aid kit.

With Compeed Bunion Plasters you get five pads per pack.  These really are the bee's knees – to quote one user “These pads are miracles”. Average user rating 4.6/5.

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $10/£6)

Bunion Cushions

Dr Scholl's bunion cushions

Dr Scholl's Bunion Cushions are soft, comforting foam cushions that sit over the top of bunions to help prevent friction. They have two layers of soft cushioning felt for ultimate protection. Simply stick one over the desired area – they are self-adhesive and waterproof.  They are especially good at relieving or preventing calluses and hard skin and there are six cushions per pack.

Dr Scholl Bunion Cushion Pads typically stay in place well, lasting for a good few days before they need replacing. They cost a bit more than other brands but they receive much better reviews regarding comfort and durability with average user ratings of 4.4/5

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $29/£20)

Bunion Sleeves

Bunion Sleeves: perfect protection against friction

Bunion Sleeves are ultra-thin, lightweight sleeves with a strategically placed gel pad that relieves pain and pressure through the bunion. Bunion sleeves simply slip on over the front of the foot, stay in place well and can be worn underneath socks or tights. 

They are hypoallergenic and odor resistant and are easy to wash making them extremely cost effective.

There are a number of different manufacturers of Bunion Sleeves but the most popular are ZenToes, Pedigel & Annchilio with average user ratings of 4/5.

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $12/£7)

5. Mix & Match Sets

Bunion Splint Set: Contains a whole range of different styles of bunion correctors, splints, spacers, protectors and sleeves

Bunion Corrector Sets are a great place to start if you're not sure what type of bunion splint is right for you. They can be a good, cost-effective way to try out the different types of supports to find the best style for you in different situations.

It can vary what is in each set, but one if the most popular is from RFAQK. Their set contains 11 items including various styles of bunion splints, guards, toe spacers and bunion sleeves.

The RFAQK Bunion Splint Corrector Set is much cheaper than buying each of the items individually and gets great user reviews of 4.1/5.

Read: User Reviews   Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $18/£16)

Top Tips With Bunion Splints

Some bunion splints can feel a bit uncomfortable to start with, that is quite normal.  You are stretching out tight and stiff parts of your foot so it can take time to adjust.  To avoid any discomfort, start by wearing them for short periods and gradually increase how long you wear them for.  Before you know it, your bunion splint will feel nice and comfy.

Whilst bunion splints work really well to reduce pain, stiffness and progression, they cannot completely cure a hallux valgus.  You can find out more about the causes, symptoms and other treatment options for a hallux valgus in the following sections.

Related Articles

Common causes of toe joint pain

Toe Pain
November 8, 2023

Common Foot Pain Symptoms and what they mean

Common Symptoms
January 27, 2023

Swollen Feet & Ankles: Common causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options

Swollen Feet
May 20, 2023

Page Last Updated: 01/25/24
Next Review Due: 01/25/26

*Prices correct as of January 2024. All prices are subject to change.  Please note we do not stock products directly and therefore have no control over price changes. See Advertising Policy for more information