Ladies, boot season is FINALLY upon us! There are so many cute, sassy, sexy options to choose from like stilettos, suede, knee-high, faux fur, riding, cowgirl, and leather boots! There’s certainly something to suite every fabulous woman! Before you slip your foot into that soft, fleeced-line boot, find out if your boots are as good for your body as they look on your feet!
Think “Inside the Toe Box”
Those boots you can only wear for a maximum of ten minutes are a pain in the foot! The toe boxes of your boots may be the source of your foot pain. Pointed and narrow toe boxes can cause your toes to be crammed and crowded. Not only is this painful, but it can lead to deformity of the bones in your feet. Many of these conditions can cause chronic pain and make you feel apprehensive about showing off your pretty pedi in the spring:
A small toe box can cause your big toe to start turning inward towards your other toes and create a bunion. Ouch! A bunion is a bump that forms on the outside of your big toe. Due to the number of women’s shoes with small toe boxes, women are more likely to develop bunions than men. Some women elect to undergo surgery to remove bunions (bunionectomy), but bunion splints and pads can provide some comfort.
Hammer and Mallet Toes
Have you ever tried to make a size 7 work and you’re really a size 8? Well, a narrow boot that is too tight and too small can cause the muscles and ligament of your toes to shorten. When the middle joint of the toe has a bend that won’t straighten out, this is called hammer toe.
When the joint of the toe that is nearest the toenail is deformed, this is called mallet toe. The second, third, and fourth toes are usually affected by hammer and mallet toe. There are splints that may help provide comfort, but surgery may be an option for severe cases.
Corns and Calluses
A boot that is too narrow or tight can cause friction against your feet. This friction can lead to corns and calluses. Your body creates corns and calluses as a protective defense for areas that are under frequent friction.
Although the terms are used interchangeably, corns and calluses are different. Corns are smaller, sometimes painful and inflamed, and are usually found in non-weight bearing areas of the feet like on the tops of your toes. Calluses are usually larger, not painful, and appear on the heels or balls of the feet.
Those leather stiletto boots look sleek, sexy, and make you feel ten feet tall! However, wearing high heeled boots can cause imbalances in the joints of your body. These imbalances can lead to painful conditions like these:
Do your knees hurt when you wear those 5-inch heels? Well, there’s a reason for that. When you wear high heels, your body undergoes a balancing act. While the front of your body wants to fall forward, the back of your body is pulling you backwards to create balance. This causes friction in the knee joint. The friction caused by wearing high heels contributes to women having 30% more osteoarthritis of the knee than men.
Sure, you feel on top of the world in heels! However, wearing heels stretch out the front of your leg muscles while they tighten the leg muscles in the back of your leg. Not only does this leg to pain in the calf, it leads to swelling in the ankles due to a decrease in proper circulation.
Yep, the pain from the heels on your feet can travel to the muscles of your back. When you wear heels, the muscles in your lower back can become tightened due to the imbalance in your feet. These muscular imbalances can cause pain in the upper back and even in the neck!
Those thigh high boots surely make a statement, but are they causing problems that you’re not aware of? Tight boots can cause some of the following issues:
Whether they are ankle, calf, knee, or thigh length, a boot that fits too tight can cause circulatory problems. How? The material that your boots are made from can literally stop the blood from flowing in your legs and feet. This can lead to swelling, numbness, and tingling in your feet and legs.
A tightly fitted boot can create the perfect environment for fungus to grow. Eeeww! Tight boots don’t allow for sweaty feet to breathe and fungus LOVE this. Tight shoes can also weaken the structure of your toenails. A fungus can live inside the tiny cracks and crevices of your toenails and cause toenail fungus.
The downward pressure a tight boot puts on your big toe can cause the toenail to grow abnormally inside the nail bed. This can cause ingrown toenails that can become infected if not properly treated.
Have Happy Feet This Season!
If you plan on walking for long periods, high-heeled boots are probably not the best option. A wedged-heeled boot is probably a better option. Before you make a purchase, be sure to try before you buy. This eliminates the possibility of a toe box that is too small or too tight. Ladies, now that you’ve been given the full story on those beautiful winter boots, make sure that you choose wisely this boot season.