MarySmith’sPlace – National Bunion Day


It’s April 25 – it’s National Bunion Day.

National Bunion Day has been established to remove the stigma surrounding bunions, encourage sufferers to contact healthcare professionals and provide practical advice and information to help with the problem.

What is a bunion? It’s a misaligned toe joint which manifests itself as a bony lump at the base of the big toe. It’s an extremely painful condition. Ask Meghan Markle, Victoria Beckham, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Lopez or Amal Clooney and they’ll tell you how painful it is. Or, ask my sister. She may not be an A-List celebrity but she can tell you how painful it is to have a bunion. She’s had it for a long time and she’s still dithering about whether or not to have it operated on.

Over ten million women in the UK have bunions. Seventy five per cent of women with bunions are embarrassed by their feet. Ninety-seven per cent of women with bunions have bought shoes for a special occasion – and never worn them again.

Media personality Dr Dawn Harper (a bunion sufferer herself) has joined forces with Sole Bliss, makers of stylish shoes for women with bunions, to raise awareness for National Bunion Day 2019. Given her wealth of medical expertise and personal experience of the condition, Dr Harper, who hosts Channel 4’s hit series ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, is the perfect ambassador for the campaign and the brand.

She said: “I’m honoured to be involved with Sole Bliss for a second year. As a sufferer of bunions, I am so pleased to work with a brand whose shoes are not only gorgeous but also provide women the guarantee of comfort. As a GP, I often have people in my clinic who are embarrassed and unsure about how they can manage the condition. This is exactly why I believe National Bunion Day is crucial – so we can inform the public that millions of people have them, they are not something to be ashamed of, and there are solutions.”

Surgery is the only solution to get rid of bunions.  It can take a while to recover from surgery. You’ll usually need to:

stay off your feet as much as possible for at least 2 weeks

avoid driving for 6 to 8 weeks

stay off work for 6 to 12 weeks

avoid sports for up to 6 months

Bunions sometimes come back after surgery.

You can understand why my sister is still dithering about surgery!

Some of the other solutions to ease bunion pain:


hold an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) to the bunion for up to 5 minutes at a time

try bunion pads (soft pads you put in shoes to stop them rubbing on a bunion) – you can buy these from pharmacies

take paracetamol or ibuprofen

try to lose weight if you’re overweight

wear wide shoes with a low heel and soft sole


wear high heels or tight, pointy shoes

Where’s the fun in not having pointy shoes?

Sole Bliss, who introduced National Bunion Day, was launched in 2017 by designer Lisa Kay following five years of research and development. Elegant, yet deep and spacious at the front, they provide stylish shoes for women with bunions. Lisa said: “I hope we can continue to remove previous stigma and let women who currently suffer in silence know that there is a brand new range of on-trend, stylish shoes designed especially for them.”

I never use this blog for promotions (other than my books, and I’m so useless at that – did you even know I wrote books?) but for some reason – maybe my sister’s bunion – this National Bunion Day appeals to me!


15 thoughts on “MarySmith’sPlace – National Bunion Day

  1. You write books, Mary?! 😀😀 Only kidding! 😀 Mary, what an unusual National Day but obviously a much needed one. I’ve learnt lots from your article and feel for your sister. The operation recovery time is very long … and then to know it might return. Not good. Hope things improve for her soon, with or without the op.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sister can’t afford to be off work for that length of time plus she has lots of other things in her lfe like looking after grandchildren, walking dogs – it’s quite a thought to have to reorganise your entire life for several months.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My Mum was tiny, but she was a bunion sufferer for most of her life. One bunion (on her left foot) looked almost as big as the rest of the foot! But she declined surgery. The pain, the recovery time, all followed by the suggestion that it might just come back.
    I have the start of one on my own left foot, currently the size of a chickpea. Perhaps it is also hereditary?
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think there is definitely a hereditary element, Pete. More women seem to suffer from it – possibly down to shoes. I guess this company are providing shoes which are kind to bunions but also still fashonable. I remember my gran having the sige of her slipper cut out to stop the pressure on her bunion. I can understand your mum’s reluctance to have surgery, especially when there’s no guarantee it won’t come back.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have one on each foot, Mary. I was told it was as a result of wearing ill-fitting shoes when I was a child. I have to buy wide-fitting shoes, but not all pairs seem to work. I had surgery on one of my bunions, about fifteen years ago, but it came back. Now, if I find a pair of shoes that do not cause me any pain, I wear them all the time until they are almost falling off my feet. I dislike buying shoes, so my collection is minimal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry to hear the bunion came back, Hugh. I think that must be what puts people off going through with the surgery. I think you should buy more than one pair of any shoe you find that is comfortable so you don’t have the hassle of trying to find another comfy pair when they fall to bits. I don’t think Sole Bliss make shoes for men.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I go to ‘Clarks’ because they do a wide-fitting size, Mary. Unfortunately, not all the styles come in wide-fitting, so the choice is not always good. However, they’re the best I’ve found.
        Buying more than one pair is a good idea, but I sometimes do get fed up at wearing the same style of shoe. However, I’m just glad that I can buy wide-fitting shoes that do not cause any pain to my bunions.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well well Mary Smith do you remember or do you not, that you and I and many others were at a ‘camp’ in West Linton or Gorebridge or somewhere, and to entertain us one day, somebody gave us a talk about feet and BUNIONS!!! They showed slides of feet inside shoes X-ray style so that you could see the squished toes. I have never ever forgotten it and always, because of that talk, chose wide shoes, never winkle pickers or peaky toes! I know you were there because somewhere I have a photo of you, me, Morag Clark, and others looking out of a window –probably begging somebody to come rescue us from talks about feet! I think it must have been a music camp otherwise why would I have been there?? Send your bunions to the dungeons! Or rub yer bunion wi an onion. Seriously though, I know how very problematic they are as a friend suffered terribly, had the op, was off work for weeks and weeks, but is so glad she did. But if you can’t be off work, what’s to be done? That’s so tough, .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, goodness, Janette, yes I do remember the talk and those horrific slides. It was a music camp. I was so disappointed after I’d ticked lots of activities to be told I couldn’t do them because I was there for music. We played for the Moderator of the Church of Scotland. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. I was in second violins and it was so boring. I’ve never liked that piece of music since and I gave up the violin after camp – four hours every day rehearsing Jesu Joy (in second violins) was more than I could take! I’d love to see the photo if you can ever find it. I did win a prize for the best article in the camp magazine. I won a duffel bag. My first professional piece of writing!
      Noreen had her bunion removed successfully about 15 years ago.


  5. I love this post. Most people are afraid to bring up the dreaded topic – BUNIONS – and yet most people suffer from them! I’ve been a flat-shoe wearer for the past decade. More. Wish I hadn’t worn high heels when I was in my 30s and 40s, because they may have encouraged bunions, but then again, I wonder if its genetic, because my mom has horrible bunions. My guy used to tell me it was the fault of the high heels, but guess what? Over the past few years, HE’S developed bunions. And he’s not worn one pair of high heels. Tee hee.

    Liked by 1 person

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