If you’re looking for the perfect fall boot that you can throw on no matter what you’re doing—picking apples, walking your dog or grabbing a pumpkin spice latte at your local coffee shop—comfort is key. , especially if you haven’t broken them yet. And that means no blisters.
HuffPost chatted with two podiatrists to find out what properties in boots cause blisters and how to prevent them. Here’s what you need to know.
Blisters are caused by motion
Wearing fall boots that are too wide or tight is a one-way ticket to blister town.
“One of the most likely causes of blister formation from a fallen shoe is an improper fit. Motion can lead to blisters,” said Dr. Sally Tulpule, a podiatrist Mid-Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialist, To avoid this, she recommends getting fitted at the store (where you can walk around in them before you buy) and making sure your shoes are tight enough (if they have laces).
According to Dr. Wenjay Sung, podiatrist at USC Arcadia Hospital, most blisters are caused by moisture and friction, where the boot or sock rubs against your foot.
“Blisters are small pockets of fluid that form in the outer layers of the skin,” he said. To prevent them, wear shoes that fit well and keep sweat away with synthetic or wool socks. You can go the extra mile to ensure a good fit by consulting a podiatrist to determine your foot type (such as flat-footed, high arch or rectus).
“Not all shoes are created equal, and certainly not all feet are the same,” Sung said.
Your socks can make a big difference
You may be surprised to learn that podiatrists are not fans of cotton socks.
“As podiatrists, we recommend avoiding cotton socks, as these can retain moisture and cause friction blisters,” Tulpule said. She recommends sticking with moisture-wicking materials like wool or synthetic fibers like nylon and X-Static. If your feet are prone to sweating, she recommends using an absorbent powder.
“Socks can prevent or cause blisters on the feet depending on several factors,” Sung said. “Elimination of sheer forces against the feet and skin or controlling perspiration are ways socks can prevent blisters.”
Choosing thicker socks can also help cushion your feet and prevent blisters from forming. Sung noted that you can find socks on the market with increased density or padding with pressure points to reduce friction in blister-prone areas.
Take Time for a Break in Fall Boots
An easy way to reduce the formation of blisters from fall boots is to break them gently. It can be tempting to wear your new shoes everywhere, but having a little patience will reduce your chances of painful blisters. Tulpule recommends wearing new shoes for 30 minutes at a time over the course of a week to allow them to gradually break down.
Shopping for a new pair of fall boots or socks? Here are some options that we’ve got podiatrist-approved.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made through links on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.
Sorel Women’s High-Line Heel Chelsea Boot
An elevated take on the classic Chelsea boot, these Sorel boots offer a trendy look without sacrificing comfort (thanks to the chunky heel and platform design). The lightweight sole provides solid traction, and a heel-pull tab helps you put these boots on quickly and easily. The Sorel brand is what Tulpule recommends to its customers.
Dr. Martens Unisex 1460 Slip Resistant Service Boots
“Dr. Martens are stable when it comes to no-skid soles for fall boots, and because of their long-lasting design and look, they offer the perfect balance of comfort and usability with less risk of blisters. These boots have signature design elements like yellow welt stitching and a scripted heel loop, as well as comfort-enhancing features like moisture-wicking sock liners and strategically placed memory foam pods.
Fry Carson Leather Piping Ankle Booties
This bestselling style from Fry, the brand recommended by Tulpule, is made of soft, full-grain leather, with a supple leather lining that provides a smooth, comfortable fit, as well as a piping detail that gives off subtle Western vibes. The company notes that the pairing didn’t need to be broken up, but we’ll probably still do it just to be on the safe side.
Timberland Women’s Waterproof 6” Premium Luge Sole Boots
Fashionable and functional, these waterproof shoes feature a shock-absorbing midsole for added comfort. The cone design of the soles makes the shoes more supportive and lightweight, and is recommended by Timberland brand Tulpule.
4-Pack of Women’s Colorblock Merino Wool Cafe Socks
Made with moisture-wicking, non-itchy merino wool blended with polyester and spandex, these socks were designed to keep feet comfortable, cool, and most importantly dry. They also have a cushy footbed for extra sole support and Bombus’s signature honeycomb support system that cradles your arch.