About Bunion Buddy
Using ultra-thin material to protect against friction, blisters, and tenderness, along with a heel strap to deliver a comfortable, non-slip fit, Bunion Buddy promises to help align and protect your bunion from pain and irritation, without using pads, spacers, or surgery.
The bunion sleeve’s unique hood works by fully covering the big toe, separating it from the rest, soothing tension in the joint, and providing added leverage to help with gradual re-alignment. Compared to the competition, the sleeve also features a heel strap to anchor it in place for all-day comfort.
Despite its effectiveness, the manufacturer tells us that Bunion Buddy can be worn discreetly with almost any shoe (even special occasion footwear), and is constructed of a latex-free polyurethane/nylon material that’s odor and bacteria resistant. And when the time comes, it’s machine washable.
You’re here because you want to make a more informed decision about Bunion Buddy, before handing over your hard-earned money. We’ll make it easy by quickly walking you through some of the most important details we learned during our research.
Common Bunion Causes & Treatments
Cleveland Clinic explains that a bunion (formally known as hallux valgus) forms as a large bump, usually just outside the big toe, which is caused “when the bone or tissue at the joint at the bottom of the big toe moves out of place. Years of abnormal motion and pressure on the joint forces the big toe to bend toward the others, which causes an often-painful lump on the joint.”
Because this joint carries a great deal of weight when you walk, and because it can become stiff and sore due to misalignment, bunion-related pain can range from mildly irritating to excruciating.
Georgeanne Botek, DPM, and Head of the Section of Podiatry and Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Diabetic Foot Clinic, who was interviewed for the article, goes on to explain that bunions can stem from a variety of causes, including genetics, walking habits, and the types of shoes we wear, along with injury and certain diseases like arthritis.
While devices like Bunion Buddy might help temporarily relieve some of the pain and discomfort related to the condition, Cleveland Clinic emphasizes that “all bunions are permanent unless surgically corrected.”
You can, however, help prevent them and lessen their impact by wearing shoes that fit properly (specifically, no pointy toes), with sufficient “space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.” You’ll also want to make sure your shoes aren’t squeezing or pressing any part of your foot.
Additional options include losing weight, adding a layer of protection using pads, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and using shoe inserts, to name just a few.
Are there any other products specifically like Bunion Buddy, though? We’ll discuss this in a second, but let’s first address the price and the company behind it.
How Much Does Bunion Buddy Cost?
Bunion Buddy is available in two sizes: Small/Medium (men’s 7-10, women’s 6-9) and Large/Extra Large (men’s 10.5-13.5, women’s 9.5-12.5), and priced at $14.99 plus $6.99 S&H. Each order includes two sleeves for the same foot (left or right).
Bunion Buddy comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, less S&H, which you can request by calling customer support at (800) 511-9886.
Who Makes Bunion Buddy?
Based out of Hawthorne, NY, Allstar Products Group (aka Allstar Marketing Group) has been manufacturing As Seen on TV products since 1999, including many the HighYa team has written about, like the Simply Fit Board, MagicBax, Side Sleeper Pro Air, and My Cleaning Secret.
Based on nearly 50 closed complaints, Allstar held an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, as of 3/9/18. When details were available, most complaints seemed to referenced customer service concerns, although a representative provided a solution in each instance.
Bunion Buddy vs. Bunion Bootie: How to Choose the Right Product for You
By some measurements, as much as 36 percent of the population suffers from bunion deformities, so you’ll find all manner of correctors, silicone gels, pads and cushions, splints, spreaders, separators, and straighteners available that promise to deliver some measure of relief.
While we didn’t test any products during our research, zooming in and referencing only those like Bunion Buddy, it appears functionally identical to Bunion Bootie, which boasts the same behind-the-heel strap, 0.4mm thin material, and over-the-toe hood.
Perhaps the biggest differences between these models are that Bunion Bootie is available in a wider range of sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL), and is priced meaningfully higher at about $34 each. How can you decide between Bunion Buddy and Bunion Bootie, as well as the thousands of other third-party products available?
It almost goes without saying that bunions are a medical concern, and should be first addressed by your doctor. They can ask the right questions and order the appropriate tests to formally diagnose your issue, and then prescribe a relevant treatment plan.
While you’re waiting for your appointment to roll around, Harvard Health recommends that you start by wearing shoes with a “wide, flexible sole to support the foot and enough room in the toe box (the part surrounding the front of the foot) to accommodate the bunion.” You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough room in your shoe to accommodate any other products your doctor recommends (Bunion Buddy, gel pads, etc.).
Finally, after writing about hundreds of pain relief topics over the years, we’d recommend focusing on companies who stand behind their products with at least 30-day refund policies, and who come with mostly positive online customer feedback.
Our Final Thoughts About Bunion Buddy
Based on what we learned from the website and commercial, it seems like Bunion Buddy’s toe hood could help separate and realign the big toe and protect against friction and other irritation, while its strap might help keep it firmly in place throughout the day.
And at $21.98 ($14.99 plus $6.99 S&H) for two, they come in meaningfully less expensive than the functionally identical Bunion Bootie.
With these positives in mind, it's also important to point out that if you have bunions on both feet, you'll need to double this price, since they're right and left-foot-specific. Also, with fewer sizes to choose from than the Bootie version, the level of compression (and therefore the amount of big toe separation and correction) delivered by Bunion Buddy could vary quite a bit, depending on the size of your foot.
Finally, if you aren’t satisfied with its performance and decide to request a refund, you’ll lose your original $7 in S&H, along with whatever it’ll cost to ship your Bunion Buddies back to the manufacturer.