As summer continues to wind down, it’s safe to assume that shopping for boots is at the top your fall to-do list — but hobbling down the street in a pair that’s too tight causes blisters or wreaks havoc on your arches.
To help you stay comfortable all day long, we’ve rounded up some clever hacks to help you ward off those time-old torments, and more, once and for all.
Banish Blisters With Moleskin and Moisture-Wicking Socks
Add an extra layer on areas that tend to get rubbed raw — like the toes, heel and sides of your feet — to reduce friction that leads to blisters. Moleskin is a great option for this, as it not only protects vulnerable spots, but is much more durable than most Bandaids.
Rubbing also occurs more often when your feet are sweaty (which can be a problem when navigating all those over-heated stores and offices as temperatures start to drop). Avoid heavy wool socks, which tend to absorb moisture and stay wet, and opt for cotton styles designed to wick away moisture. As an added bonus, try a pair that kills bacteria and fungi to keep your feet odor-free, too.
Watch on FN
Ward Off Bunions With Toe Shields
While they may be chic, cowboy boots and other pointed-toe options often squeeze your toes into unnaturally narrow positions — which, over time, can cause an unsightly bump to form at the base of your big toe. If you can’t be without these fall-forward styles, though, try bunion guards to help align the toes and relieve pressure around the joint.
Save Your Soles With Gel Arch Inserts
Boots or booties with heels between 4 and 6.5 inches can cause arch or muscle cramps because the slope of the shoe is too steep. Toes tend to curl or grip the ground, leading to arch discomfort. A quick fix? Gel inserts. They’ll help prevent your arch from spasming and feet from slipping forward.
Buy an At-Home Stretcher and Use Leather Stretch Spray to Widen the Shaft
If you find that certain styles squeeze in all the wrong places despite trying on for your size, don’t panic. You can use an at-home stretcher to widen the body of the boot and leather stretch spray (which helps soften and stretch the leather while you walk) to add extra room in the calves in any must-have design.
Fix Worn Down Heels With Heel Caps
Before your slip into that pair of stiletto boots you’ve worn year after year, take caution if the heels are worn down. Exposed nails create an uneven platform for walking, making you much more susceptible to rolled ankles and slippage. To avoid these nasty results, try popping on some nifty heel caps for a simple solution.
5 Clever Products for Storing Your Summer Sandals — Starting at $7
These $28 Combat Boots Are So Popular, They’re Going Viral
4 Men’s Shoes With Velcrolike Straps