There’s more that goes into choosing a great pair of boots than focusing on looks alone. While that’s the primary factor that initially draws you to anything, from that fabulous winter coat to that stunning little black dress, you need to pay especially close attention when footwear comes into question. The right pair of shoes can, indeed, make or break your outfit — but an ill-fitting pair of boots can completely change your day.
Taking the time to focus on fit just as much as you do appearance will benefit you far more in the long run. After all, what good is a pair of shoes if the toe box is too snug or your heel constantly rubs against the back? With the perfect pair of boots in your closet, you’ll always have something to reach for on those chilly days that call for something a little warmer and cozier than a pair of sandals or heels. Here’s everything you need to know.
It’s best to try on the boots of your dreams later in the day. Your feet tend to expand by the hour, so the time they’re at their natural “swollen” point is the best moment to try on shoes you plan to wear. Choosing boots earlier in the day, when your feet aren’t as large as they’ll be at day’s end, could fool you into selecting something that’s ultimately too tight. That’s problematic in any environment, but you’ll definitely notice when you’re wearing a pair of women’s winter boots and can’t comfortably trudge your way through snow.
It’s smart to try on the boots if you can, if for no other reason than to serve as a guide when you purchase them online in the future. Trying them on also gives you the chance to really give them a test run. Make sure that you’re wearing a pair of socks that you’d typically wear when out and about. Stand up first and make sure there’s a hint of wiggle room at the front. If there’s not enough room in the toe box, you put your feet at risk of cramping up while you walk. A too-tight fit can also lead to issues like bunions and blisters. Then walk around to really determine how they feel. Do the balls of your feet brush too closely against the back of the boot? Do they pinch when you move around? Although it’s tempting to purchase cute boots and hope that they’ll ultimately work out and break in with time, don’t make that mistake — uncomfortable boots aren’t worth your foot health and comfort.
Whether you’re shopping for duck boots, snow boots, or rain boots, it’s important to focus on the little extra features that may affect your comfort. At a bare minimum, there should be ample room in the toe box, the heel counter should feel firm, and there should be ample traction to ensure that you remain steady on your feet while you’re walking, especially in inclement conditions. Run your hand on the inside of the boots, too. Are there any odd seams or elements that might affect your comfort or cause irritation? Every little detail plays a role in your comfort. Then check the cushioning. The boots should be soft enough to keep you comfortable throughout the day, and the soles should be constructed of rubber to provide optimal support.
There’s a reason that boots are available in a variety of widths. Some people naturally have wider feet, so even if the boots are long enough to accommodate, they might not feel entirely comfortable. Pay close attention to the way your feet feel when you walk. Does it feel like your movements are restricted? Consider how the balls of your feet feel, too. In shoes that aren’t wide enough, they’re likely to feel a little compressed and uncomfortable. Don’t simply buy a size up — that won’t do the trick if the problem is a narrow width.
Even if the boots are your size and preferred width, they may not fit like a dream. Don’t let that deter you — there’s a great pair out there for you. A little bit of patience is always helpful when shopping for boots. Consider your comfort above everything else, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and varieties to find what’s right for you. Choose boots that complement the rest of your winter wardrobe, too. What can you wear with your women’s scarves, coats, gloves, and hats? What best complements your attire?
With the right boots in your wardrobe, you’ll always have something comfortable and reliable to wear on the coolest days of the year. They’re available in a wide range of styles, from knee-high styles that look amazing with leggings to traditional winter footwear that you absolutely need to stay safe while you’re walking in the snow. With these tips in mind, you can select a pair that’s just perfect for your needs.