Designed for Bunion Sufferers, Embraced by Fashion Followers

Amal Clooney, Victoria Beckham and Catherine Zeta-Jones are some of the world's most glamorous celebrities, but they all have one ‘Achilles heel’ in common - prominent, and painful looking bunions!

There is a growing army of female celebrities and us ‘mere mortals’ that are afflicted by these deformities; a combination of genetics and the wrong type of shoes can, and do, floor women from every social circle.

So what are these unsightly podiatric protrusions - and how can we manage them? Read on!

In the Genes

Heredity is likely to be a major predisposing factor, with some studies supporting up to 68% of patients showing a familial tendency.

Foot Type

The ‘foot type’ you have plays a role in your susceptibility of forming a bunion.

Having a foot type that causes some of the bones, in particular the row of bones that are positioned down the line of the big toe, to function ‘off-kilter’ and may encourage the big toe joint to deform. For example, a foot that is flat (excessively pronates or ‘rolls in’ too much) can alter muscle pull which can contribute to the big toe deformity.

Other causes are having very lax ligaments (a foot that is considered very flexible!), which again may be a cause of the big toe joint to deforming.


Women are more prone to bunions than men. The true sex ratio is unknown, although the male to female ratio of 1:15 among those who have corrective surgery is well established. The higher prevalence among women may be due to footwear that is either poorly fitting or less forgiving (up to 90% of shoes in a survey of 365 women were too small!), resulting in earlier and more frequent presentation.

In a nutshell, the wearing of constricting footwear and high heel shoes are extrinsic factors which are important in the development of and pain found with bunion sufferers. Here at FRANKiE4, we have a solution!

FRANKiE4 Founder, Caroline McCulloch, a qualified Podiatrist and Physiotherapist with a love of footwear refused to accept that women suffering bunions should be limited to wearing ghastly clunky ‘wide fitting’ footwear. Having treated patients for many years, listening to the woes of her female clients with bunions she knew something needed to be done.

McCulloch started from the ground up, and re-engineered the way fashion footwear is constructed and created a range that accommodates the width of a bunion in fashionable styles. She devised and patented a clever ‘fitting assembly’, all included in the box, that enable the customer to adjust the fit of the shoe to create more space for the bunion.

The hidden adjustable footbeds still ensure that the wearer also has heel and arch support needed to help support the bunion, and the clever sole construction is strategically designed to optimise cushioning under foot including under the bunion! To learn more about Custom Fit, head here.

FRANKiE4, has styles for day, work and special occasions (price range RRP $180-$290). But what's inside the shoes – and the team creating them – are anything but familiar.

For high resolution images of our full range see here.

Topics of Interest


Common Causes of Heel and Arch Pain
Pregnancy is not a Friend to Feet
Fashionable Footwear for Bunion Sufferers
Why Your Feet Don't get any Better With Age


The Effects of High Heels on the Feet


The Must-Have Travel Shoe (coming soon)


F4 Headquarters: A Dog-Friendly Modern Space (coming soon)