The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Fall & Winter Boot Shopping: 5 Unique Tips to Consider

Posted by on Friday, September 12th, 2014


As the New York weather chills, many of us have begun contemplating buying new boots for the fall and winter seasons. This time of year, we tend to treat a lot of twisted ankles due to poor footwear choice — like wearing high-heeled boots on ice! We also see a lot of aggravated bunions that have been crushed in pointy-toed boots, as well as foot fungus cases from feet trapped in wet footwear. The NYC podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine have a few helpful tips for boot shopping you may not have considered, which will lead to happier and healthier feet.

boot shopping tips
NY podiatrists can lend a hand with boot shopping. Image Source:

1. Get a carrying case.

Every time you read an article about footwear choice, podiatrists scold patients to only wear certain types of “orthopedic” style boots. We understand that the APMA approved boots are good for shoveling snow in the driveway or going to a relative’s house, but may not be suitable for looking your best at that work Christmas party. The compromise, then, is to accept that while there is a time and place for every boot, you need to limit the amount of time spent wearing your hot high-heeled ones. You may, for instance, wear your frumpier, yet comfy, boots to work and switch into something more fashionable. The key to making this work is to have a boot and shoe carrying case such as this one.

2. Search boots that accommodate orthotic inserts.

Not every boot is blessed with a supportive sole. Ugg-style boots are particularly notorious for lacking any kind of structure. We also see a lot of “rocker-bottom” style boots that parade as a better alternative to heeled boots, but in reality, are just as bad for the feet. Since every foot is unique — with its own degree of pronation, supination, and arch height — we often recommend custom orthotic inserts for our patients. Many people are surprised at how much this can help for various types of foot pain! With so many people wearing orthotics these days, online shoe retailers like Planet Shoes are starting to catch on and offer shoppers a way to search only the boots that have “removable foot beds” to accommodate orthotic inserts.

3. Go over & beyond to keep your feet dry.

The autumns are wet, and the winters are snowy in New York. Many boots promise to be “waterproof,” yet “breathable” nowadays. Don’t just trust manufacturer claims, though. It’s best to add an extra layer of protection with Beeswax for leather or boot protector spray for fabric. Even with all the protection in the world, your boots are going to get wet — if not from the elements, then from perspiration — so a boot dryer is a sound investment. We like this highly-rated one from Peet because it can dry up to four boots in less than three hours, with an automatic timer so you don’t have to worry about shutting it off. MaxxDry is a good brand to consider if you need your boots to dry quicker — in one hour.

4. Know where your boots hurt the most.

Lack of padding causes bunion aggravation, corns, calluses, and cuts. If the laces hurt the tops of your feet, consider felt tongue pads. If boots tend to rub the backs of your feet, try these heel snugs. There are all kinds of bunion protectors on the market, including these gel pads. Probably the best type of padding can be found in your sock choice. Good brands to consider include: Wigwam, Darn Tough, Fox River, and Carhartt.

5. Ask a podiatrist for boot shopping help.

Do your boots fit properly? It can be hard to tell sometimes. If you live in the Manhattan or Westchester areas of New York, we invite you to bring your new pair of boots in for a professional opinion. Or you may come in to have your feet measured, and questions answered before you buy. Did you know that a third of women who’ve had children have also had a change in shoe size? Aging and swelling can also change a person’s shoe size. You don’t need to visit a podiatrist for pain or serious foot issues only. We are very much in the business of pain prevention and are more than happy to help consumers with their boot shopping. Book your appointment with us online!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.