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Are Those Boots Really Made For Walking?

It's that time of year again: boot-buying season. There are all types and styles to choose from, but finding the best-fitting boots requires some shopping legwork. While you're deciding between a stiletto heel, kitten heel or stacked heel, think of where you will be wearing them and for how many hours each day. What might look great on the fashion runways may not be so practical when you're running to and from your 9-to-5 office job. "Your boots only have to last a season," said Dr. Marlene Reid, a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

"Your feet have to last a lifetime." Follow these tips from the APMA when you shop for your next pair of boots. * Shop later in the day (your feet tend to swell during the day) and have your feet measured before you begin trying on boots. * Try on the boots with the type of hosiery or socks you plan to wear with them. * Look for boots that offer stability, preferably something with a wider heel.

Heels that are less than 2 inches high are best. Skinny stilettos may look cute on the rack, but they put a lot of pressure on your feet. * Make sure the shape of the boot is wide enough for a comfortable fit on your feet. Some boot designs can be too narrow and can cause blisters and bunions. * Choose boots with a firm heel counter. Just because the boot fabric covers your ankle does not mean it provides proper support. * Buy a pair of boots that feel comfortable after you have walked around the store in them. Boots should never have to be "broken in." * Select a boot with a rubber sole and traction on the bottom to prevent slipping. Remember, most fashion boots are not made for snow.

* Consider the material. "During the winter months, the feet tend to sweat more because shoes are enclosed and people wear thick socks or hosiery," Reid said. "Selecting a boot made of leather, which absorbs moisture, over a synthetic material is a wise choice.


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