If you’re looking for the perfect fall boot that you can pull on no matter what you’re doing –– picking apples, walking your dog, or having a pumpkin spice latte at your local coffee shop –– comfort is key, especially if you haven’t broken them yet. And that means no blisters.
HuffPost spoke with two podiatrists to find out what qualities in a boot cause blisters and how to prevent them. Here’s what you need to know.
Blisters are caused by movement
Wearing fall boots that are too loose or too tight is pretty much a one-way ticket to Blister Town.
“One of the most likely causes of blisters forming from fall boots is poor fit. Movement can cause blisters,” said podiatrist Dr. Saylee Tulpule at Mid-Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialists. To avoid this, she recommends getting fitted at the store (where you can walk around in them before buying) and making sure your boots are laced up enough (if they have laces).
According to Dr. Wenjay Sung, a podiatrist at USC Arcadia Hospital, most blisters are caused by moisture and friction where the boot or sock rubs against your foot.
“Blisters are small pockets of fluid that form in the outer layers of the skin,” he said. To prevent them, wear well-fitting boots and keep sweat at bay with synthetic or wool socks. You can go the extra mile to ensure a good fit by consulting a podiatrist to find out your foot type (flat foot, high arch, or rectus).
“Not all boots are made the same, and of course not all feet are the same,” Sung said.
Your socks can make a huge difference
You might be surprised to learn that podiatrists aren’t fans of cotton socks.
“As podiatrists, we recommend avoiding cotton socks because they can retain moisture and cause friction blisters,” Tulpule said. She recommends sticking with moisture-wicking materials like wool or with synthetic fibers like nylon and X-Static. If your feet tend to sweat, she recommends using absorbent powders.
“Socks can prevent or cause foot blisters, depending on many factors,” Sung said. “Eliminating pure forces against the foot and skin or controlling perspiration are ways in which socks can prevent blisters.”
Choosing thicker socks can also help cushion your feet and prevent blisters from forming. Sung noted that you can find socks on the market with increased density or padding along pressure points to reduce friction in blister-prone areas.
Take time to bust some fall boots
An easy way to minimize the formation of blisters caused by fall boots is to gently break them open. It can be tempting to wear your new boots everywhere from the moment you get them, but having a little patience will reduce your risk of painful blisters. Tulpule recommends wearing new boots for 30 minutes at a time over the course of a week to gradually break them in.
Shopping for a new pair of fall boots or socks? Here are some podiatrist-approved options we spoke to.
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Sorel Women’s Hi-Line Heel Chelsea Boots
An upgraded take on a classic Chelsea boot, these Sorel boots offer a fashionable look without having to sacrifice comfort (thanks to the chunky heel and platform design). The lightweight sole provides solid traction and a heel tab helps you put these boots on quickly and easily. The Sorel brand is the one that Tulpule recommends to its customers.
Dr. Martens 1460 unisex non-slip duty boots
“Dr. martens are stable when it comes to slip-resistant soles for fall boots, and due to their durable design and appearance, they offer the perfect balance of comfort and usability with little risk of blisters. said Sung. These boots have iconic design elements like yellow welt stitching and a scripted heel loop, plus comfort-enhancing features like moisture-wicking sock liners and memory foam pods. strategically placed.
Frye Carson piped leather ankle boots
This best-selling style from Tulpule-recommended brand Frye is crafted from soft full-grain leather and has a soft leather lining that provides a smooth, comfortable fit, plus a side piping detail that gives a subtle western atmosphere. The company notes that this pair doesn’t need to be broken in, but we’d probably still to be on the safe side.
Timberland Women’s 6″ Premium Lugged Sole Waterproof Boots
Fashionable and functional, these waterproof boots have a shock-absorbing midsole for added comfort. The tapered design of the soles makes the boots stronger and lighter, and the Timberland brand is recommended by Tulpule.
Women’s 4-Pack Color Block Merino Wool Crew Socks
Made with moisture-wicking, non-itchy merino wool blended with polyester and spandex, these socks have been designed to keep feet comfortable, cool and most importantly dry. They also have a cushioned footbed for extra sole support and Bombas’ signature honeycomb support system that cradles your arches.
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