Boot Buying 101 – SHOES-n-FEET

Boot Buying 101

Posted by JB Smith, Co-Owner on

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Almost anywhere you go in the country these days, it's hard to deny that we are in the dead of winter.  And while winter brings with it a lot headaches such as blizzards, icy roads, and travel delays, it's also the time of year of the holidays, hot chocolate and of course boots

The American Podiatric Medical Association, or APMA offers us tips for engaging in this favorite winter traditions, boot buying:

Boot Buying 101 - APMA Offers Winter Shoe Buying Tips

When it comes to boot buying, this season, there are all types of styles from pointy, round and square toes to stiletto, kitten and stacked heels. But, selecting the best fitting boot to suit your foot may require some shopping leg-work. “Your boots only have to last a season,”says American Podiatric Medical Association podiatrist Marlene Reid, DPM. “Your feet have to last a lifetime.”

  • For this reason, the APMA recommends heeding the following boot bullets before bolting out to buy a new pair based solely on fashion.
  • Look for a boot that provides stability. A wider heel, less than two inches in height, is best.
  • Make sure the shape of the boot is wide enough for a comfortable fit on your feet. Some boot designs can be too narrow and can cause blisters and bunions.
  • Try on the boots with hosiery or socks based on how you’ll wear them. This will ensure the proper fit.
  • Pick a boot with a firm heel counter. Just because the boot fabric covers your ankle, doesn’t mean it provides adequate support.
  • Select a boot with a rubber sole and traction on the bottom to curtail slipping. Remember, most fashion boots are not made for the snow.

Dr. Reid points out, “During the winter months, the feet tend to sweat more because shoes are enclosed with thick socks or hosiery. Selecting a boot made of leather, which absorbs moisture, over a synthetic material is a wise choice.”

Selecting the proper winter footwear not only protects your toes, but also provides style and comfort. The APMA offers the following simple shoe buying tips:

  1. Shop for shoes later in the day; feet tend to swell during the day, and it’s best to be fitted while they are in that state.
  2. Try to select a shoe with a leather upper, stiff heel counter, appropriate cushioning, and flexibility at the ball of the foot.
  3. Have your feet measured while you’re standing.
  4. Be sure shoes fit well—front, back, and sides—to distribute weight.
  5. Buy shoes that don’t pinch your toes, either at the tips, or across the toe box.
  6. Always try on both shoes, and walk around the store.
  7. Always buy for the larger foot; feet are seldom precisely the same size.
  8. Don’t buy shoes that need a “break-in” period; shoes should be comfortable immediately.
  9. Try on shoes while you’re wearing the same type of socks or stockings you expect to wear with the shoes.
  10. If you wear prescription orthotics—biomechanical inserts prescribed by a podiatric physician—you should take them along to shoe fittings.
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