If you're like many people, your footwear priorities shift as the temperature falls. You worry much more about function than form, as you seek shoes to keep your feet both dry and warm. And you want boots that will keep you on your feet - not your toes - as you sludge through snow and dodge black ice. One ankle twist can cause a sprain. One roll on the inside or outside of your ankles can lead to a break.
Boots line the shoe store shelves, and it can take a few tries to find the right shoe for the job. Here are a few boot-browsing tips to help you make the right choice:
Free up the flow of air. You'd think that air would be the last thing you'd want flowing through your shoes during the icy, cold, snowy winters. But good airflow keeps your feet dry and allows for better circulation, which will help your feet stay warm. Choose shoes that breathe - those crafted from natural materials like leather will breathe better than those made with synthetic materials.
Waterproof your boots. Choose boots that will keep moisture out while allowing perspiration to escape. If boots are not already water-tight, weatherproof them yourself using a spray protectant or a beeswax product. Or check with a shoe repair store to be sure you do it correctly.
Frigid air = rigid boots? Some boots, especially those designed to withstand rain, can limit the range of motion in your calf, ankles, and feet and provide little arch support. Look for boots that bend and give, and choose a size that allows room for insoles or arch supports.
Do you have to swap style for safety? Super-chic boots often have high heels or soles slicker than ice patches. And many lack lining to properly insulate your feet and legs against the cold. Shop around and you'll probably find a pair that meets the needs of your fashion sense and your feet. Look for grooved soles made of rubber for better traction and a heel that is either lower or stacked for better support and protection against slips and falls.
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