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How to give foot troubles the boot

(NAPS)—While many boots today may win high fashion awards, they can be less than kind to your feet. According to a survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 27 percent of women who experienced heel pain reported their footwear as the chief cause.

“Whether you’re wearing them for protection from rain or snow or for style, it is vastly important to pay attention to how a boot fits,” said Dr. Ronald Jensen, APMA president.

These tips from podiatrists may help you pull on your most stylish boots without harming your tootsies:

Have feet measured, as foot size can change throughout life. Keep in mind, too, that your boot size may not be the same in all styles and brands.

  • Try boots on in the afternoon—feet tend to swell during the day.
  • Most people’s feet are not the exact same size. Get boots that fit your larger foot.
  • Carry an insole for arch support when boot shopping. Insert when trying on.
  • Boots should feel comfortable when tried on in the store; there shouldn’t be a “break-in” period.
  • Different styles and materials can affect how your feet feel. Synthetic materials trap in heat and moisture, causing odor. A boot constructed of natural materials, such as leather, will keep feet dry and comfortable.
  • Choose a boot with plenty of toe room, a firm heel counter, and traction to ensure stability.
  • Snow boots can become slick in inclement weather. Select a pair with rubber soles and deep grooves for proper traction.
  • Trendy ankle boots often lack enough ankle support. Coupled with a high heel this can cause an imbalance. Select a heel no more than two inches high and avoid walking long distances in them.
  • Narrow and very high heels on boots transfer your weight onto the ball of your foot and can cause pain and numbness. Select a lower heel or stacked style of heel for additional support.

Get more shoe or boot buying advice and foot care tips by visiting the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Web site at www.apma.org.

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