A bunion is a “bump” on the inside or outside of the forefoot caused by prominence of either the first(inside) or fifth(outside) metatarsal head.
There is a lot of debate about the cause of bunion deformities, but most literature supports that it is linked to both the structure and function of the foot.
Since the structure of the foot is an inherited trait, having a family member with a bunion increases the likelihood that one could develop a bunion.
A person with a flatfoot is more likely to develop this type of deformity due to the muscle imbalance created.
Ill fitting shoes are a contributing factor, but not a main cause.