The National Institutes of Health indicate that women get more bunions than men, which is no surprise as some individuals are just genetically predisposed to developing bunions. Because women are generally more likely to wear tight, high-heeled shoes that place a particular amount of pressure on the joint of their big toes, they are perhaps more likely to activate any genetic predisposition to bunions. Still, men can develop bunions, too! Â For either men and women, veterans with bunions are more common that you think.
Shoes undoubtedly contribute to many bunion sufferers’ foot ailments. However, they may not be the biggest deciding factor as to whether or not a man (or a woman for that matter) will develop a bunion. This is shown by research in countries where individuals do not typically wear shoes, which has indicated that while bunions still exist in these areas, they occur much less frequently. Studies have found that approximately 65 percent of people (both men and women) who develop bunions have a family history of the condition. So guys, take a look at the feet of your grandparents, uncles, cousins, brothers and any other members of your family you might think of. If bunions run in this family tree, there is a greater chance of you developing bunions in the future.
In addition to genetic predisposition, research that has shown that bunions are significantly more prevalent in veterans than in non-veterans. This is because veterans have spent long periods of time on their feet while wearing boots, which contributes to a variety of foot conditions, including bunions.
The truth is, just as bunions can make it difficult for women to wear certain shoes, the same thing can happen to men as well. Men with bunions may not be able to fit into tight-fitting or narrower shoes. Men who suffer from bunions may also notice pain and have difficulty participating in daily activities as well as activities they enjoy most, such as athletics.
Men can also develop bunions as a result of one or more of the following issues (some results of genetic issues, others not):
- Flat feet
- Amputation of the second toe
- Neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- A shortening of the Achilles tendon
- A ruptured posterior tibialis tendon
If you’re a man who’s found himself at the unfortunate mercy of a bunion, here are a few approaches you might take to cope with it:
- Separate your big toe from your second toe using Bunion Bootie or another device
- Shield your bunion to prevent irritation by cutting a hole for your bunion in a piece of padding
- Use shoe stretchers to create some “give” in your favorite shoes, either running or dress (as seen here)
Just because bunions occur most frequently in women doesn’t mean they can’t become a problem in men. So if you’re a guy – especially if you’re a guy with a history of bunions in his family or one or more of the aforementioned foot conditions – keep an eye out!