Boot-Buying Tips to Keep Your Feet Happy

HOUSTON (Feb. 14, 2011) – While boots may be a fashion staple for some Texans, many Houstonians soon will be crowding stores to buy a pair in time for Go Texan Day and Houston’s Livestock Show and Rodeo. 

The Harris County Hospital District wants you to look sharp, but before you drop cash for your new boots, follow these tips to help ensure you don’t end up with blisters or sore feet.  
Dr. Lorraine E. McKinney, podiatrist at HCHD’s Settegast Health Center, recently went to buy her first pair of Western boots and offers several tips. 

Foot Type
“First and foremost, people have to consider their foot type,” McKinney said. “Do they have a narrow foot, a wide foot, bunions or hammer toes? Make sure the boot accommodates those foot concerns.” 

If a person has a wide foot, McKinney advises don’t squeeze into a narrow pointy boot, but opt for a wider width. Ask the salesperson to help you find the wide-width boots. 

The best time to try on boots is at the end of the day, when the foot is the largest/widest. And be sure to wear the type of socks you’ll wear with the boots for a truer fit. 

Size
“The salesperson instructed me to look for one size smaller than my usual shoe size when I went boot shopping,” McKinney said. “He also said the boot initially should have a snug fit around the top of the ankle and the heel should slip only slightly. But from a podiatrist’s point of view, the boot should fit properly, meaning plenty of room for the toes to wiggle and the foot feels comfortable — not painful — in the new boot.” 

Break-in Period
“Break in your boots!” McKinney said. “For all new shoes, I recommend wearing them in one to two hour increments and increase the time spent wearing them daily. If you buy new boots on Friday, allow for break-in time and don’t expect to wear them all day Saturday at the rodeo.” 

Didn’t Follow Advice? Have a Blister?
Blisters are often caused from a point of friction (a new boot) against a part of the foot. Often they fill with fluid as a response to inflammation. Blisters, if not properly cared for, can become infected. 

Be sure to keep the blister clean. If it becomes red, swollen or does not heal, it would be wise to seek treatment from a health professional.



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