Athleisure Wear

The ‘Foot Condom’ That a Podiatrist Says Will Save Your Feet From Blisters in the Most Brutal Fall Boots

Photo: Getty Images/Royalty-free
While saying goodbye to sandal season means that I can press pause on my bi-weekly pedicures, it also means that my feet are going to be trapped in the sweaty, chafe-inducing cages known as "boots" for the foreseeable future. Now, don't get me wrong: I love a pair of over-the-knees as much as the next gal, but the blisters that tend to come along with them after the first few wears of the season? Not so much. The fix for this type of boot-induced woe, according to a podiatrist, is outfitting your foot in, um, a "foot condom."

Technically called a "heel protector" (which, IMHO, is a far less clever name), these $8 silicone socks go over your heels and protect them from rubbing against the backs of your shoes. Initially introduced to us by TikTok user @habit_forming_stylist—the inventor of "unsexy styling tips"—she's a fan of the rubber socks because they "cushion every step and keep you from getting blisters," she says. "It’s the perfect thing to wear with chunky combat boots, tall boots, or even high-top sneakers."

@habit_forming_styRepost if my first viral video bc it’s boot season! #stylehack #shoehacks #boothack #footpainrelief #bootseason #fallstyle #comfystyle #styletiktoks♬ original sound - habit_forming_style


This, according to Jaqcueline Sutera, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member, checks out. "These could be helpful to cushion, moisturize, protect and reduce friction and rubbing which can cause blisters," she says. But, it's worth adding, this is only the case if you're wearing them properly.

"My concern would be if they don't fit well, or if the feet are sweaty," she says. If the heel protector doesn't fit properly, it can move around while you're walking and bunch up, which could lead to those same-old boot-related woes and then some. To combat this, you'll want to make sure the pair you're investing in fits snug—not tight, not loose—and that you're cleaning them with soap and water and letting them dry before each use. Dr. Sutera also suggests trying them out for short periods of time before you go all in on a 10,000-plus step day, and examine your feet after each use. "Discontinue if any irritations or skin changes form," she says.

Boots season, it seems, is about to become a lot more bearable. Just don't forget your protection.

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