Hey guys, I thought I’d do a post on one of my absolute favourite brands in the world, Bared Footwear! You guys, they totally changed my life when I discovered them many years ago which is why I rave about them so much. Bared Footwear is the brainchild of Anna Baird. She used to be a podiatrist and wanted to solve the problem of shoes that were both podiatrist approved but also actually looked good!
For me, I grew up with large bunions on both feet, as well as bunionettes on the side of both pinky toes as well. I’m pretty sure it was hereditary, because my mother’s side of the family had them too. Anyway, bunions were extremely burdensome because it meant that I couldn’t fit most shoes out there and I often got blisters because of the ill fit. It meant that I could never have a big day on my feet out without feeling the consequences afterwards and it totally sucked. Heels were an even bigger nightmare. They’d always have super thin straps, no ankle support, and really high heels.
Ever since discovering Bared, they’re almost the only shoes I wear, aside from sports trainers & hiking boots. I’ve been lucky to have tried quite a few of their styles in the past and over time, I’ve really started to learn what things were important to look for when it comes to searching for shoes for people with bunions like me, and what things I had to avoid in order to have comfortable day/night out.
Any time someone complains about sore feet or never finding comfortable shoes, Bared is the brand I rave to them about. I totally feel for their struggles, because that was me, once upon a time with so much time and money wasted spent on shoes that never really worked. Once they try Bared, they’re sold. Because if you have special feet (hehe) the kind of comfort when you finally discover shoes that feel like walking on clouds is one you really hold onto.
Over the years I’ve really started to curate my shoe collection and have started learning which styles are the ones I wear most and are the best ones to invest in. I was thinking the other day, out of all the Bared styles I’ve tried, there are always the same three pairs of shoes that I can see as being an essential to anyone’s wardrobe, especially when it comes to having bunions or wide feet. If I had to move or downsize my collection to only 3-5 pairs of shoes, these are the shoes that I could see covering every single base, and not having to ever own anything else. Except for maybe some running shoes, and a pair of hiking boots.
The Bared ‘Cardinal’ chelsea boot is my must have winter boot recommendation. I almost live in this style. They’re so flattering to wear with the low heel and little elastic side design that elongates your legs. My favourite colour in this boot is their tan brown combo which I absolutely live in or alternatively, their black leather pair with the tan heel if you’re more of a black shoes kinda gal.
These boots are my go-to because the heel is both low enough to be comfortable enough to walk in all day long and also high enough to give it a classy look so that you could also wear them to work (depending on your job!) or a night out. I’ve had my first pair of ‘Cardinal’ shoes for maybe 5 years now and so I feel like I’ve totally tried and tested this style over the years to really have a good opinion to give on these.
To begin with, these boots can feel real tight to get on and off, as well as a little stiff as well. This at first disheartened me, because I hate wearing in shoes! Bunions are already uncomfortable as they are! But I pushed on, because I really loved the look of them. I wore these shoes in by wearing them around the house, or wearing them out on short trips (1-2 hrs max) for about a week. One day, I slipped them off and realised that they were totally worn in and so comfortable that I even forgot they had a 5cm heel tacked on. Each pair of Cardinals I’ve tried since have been the same – they do need an initial wear in but once they’re broken into, they are like heaven and so worth the effort.
The thing I love best about Bared is their heels because when it comes to buying uncomfortable types of shoes like heels, you want to find the most comfortable ones you can possibly find. I remember trying the Flicker style for the first time a few years ago. It was my friend’s wedding and these Flickers had just come in the mail.
When I tried them on, they were already quite comfy to begin with so I decided to take a chance and wear them for the first time to an afternoon ceremony + long evening reception. At some point during the night, I had the best shoe epiphany I ever had. We were walking across the dance floor, and it had occurred to me that I was wearing heels and not hobbling / had hobbled at all all night. My feet were comfy and surprisingly, not even tired. Guys this is a big deal for someone who basically wanted to give up on heels for life!
I love how the Flicker shoes have a thick front strap – I think this really helps for people with feet like me, and I love how it has two straps to support the ankle. When I walk in these I don’t feel like my shoes are flopping about, they follow me and are really secure and supportive. Not to mention the built in special design footbed (which they have on all shoes) which supports your foot arch and more. I just wish they’d bring the Flicker out in a full tan colour, it would be my dream come true! I’ve * almost * exclusively worn this style to all my other events and each time I am like commending my choice of shoe all night.
When it comes to bunions and summer, they’re not really an exciting combo. I never used to enjoy wearing sandals cause you know, my bunions would be hanging about everywhere and a lot of the other shoe styles I was finding would have really thin straps in a way where my feet wouldn’t fit the shoe properly and then there wouldn’t be enough happening on the shoe to give support when walking.
What I love about Bared’s sandals is how supportive they are. I really like how a lot of their designs have thick straps which provides much needed support (and also more flattering for people with wide feet and also very flattering for people with bunions hehe – try it and you will know what I mean!). Though what I super love, is just how many of their designs have an additional strap to support the middle of your feet as well. I live for these kinds of sandals because I can literally run in these if I had to!
When it comes to shopping for wide feet or bunions, I recommend styles such as Linnet (cause of the middle strap and thick front) or Coot (again the same, a slightly thinner front strap but I love the fringing happening that draws the attention there). I also love their other styles as well but if I were to recommend just one, it would be the Linnet as mentioned above.
With the Linnet, I recommend the cream leather colour for summer – it’s the perfect shade! However, these sandals did also need a bit of wearing in. When I first tried them, the front strap felt a little tight. However now that they have been worn in, I can no longer feel the front strap at all and they’re sooo comfortable. If you don’t fee like wearing them in, I have a hack. I’ve also tried the Linnet Nubuck sandals and these actually felt wider when new! The nubuck version did not require wearing in for me so this is also a good thing to try out – but maybe try them in store first in case the pair I tried was an abnormality.
The above three styles of shoes are ones I super recommend and have always had trouble with finding the perfect shoe for. Of course, they also do fabulous trainers (which are way classier than your typical trainers) and closed toe work shoes which my sister who is on her feet all day working as a doctor in hospital – she gets so many questions from her colleagues about her shoes!
Anyway I hope this answers all your burning questions for those who’ve always wanted to know. And if there’s anyone out there who feels disheartened about shoe shopping because of the difficulty of having bunions or whatnot, I hope this inspires you to not give up and give yourself one more try.