Sustainable Fashion

The Seriously Cute Fall Boots That Are So Comfortable, Even a Podiatrist Would Recommend Them

Erin Bunch

Photo: Stocksy / Gabrielle Lutze

I know what you’re thinking—the words “podiatrist-approved” and “cute” are oxymorons, but hear me out. First of all, you know what’s not cute? Limping around a decade from now due to the bad shoe choices of your relative youth. Meanwhile, what is cute is investing in a good pair of fall boots you can actually, you know, wear—not just for a couple of hours or a couple of months, but for many seasons to come. (Sustainability for the win!) So while I’m not necessarily going to ask a podiatrist to go shopping with me, I am going to turn to such experts for advice on how to keep my feet safe and my footwear functional.

Of utmost importance is heel height, says Yolanda Ragland, DPM, a New York City-based podiatrist, foot surgeon, and founder of FixYourFeet.com. “Wearing a completely flat boot is not good for the foot because it can cause plantar fasciitis and provides no support for the arch,” says Dr. Ragland. “Wearing a boot with a heel that is too high is not good because you can wind up getting pain in the ball of the foot—you’re increasing your chances of ankle sprains and plain-old stress in the foot in general.” Choosing a moderate-to-low boot heel is the best option, then, and Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a podiatrist with NYC-based City Podiatry recommends sticking with block heels with a max height of 3 inches. “The higher the heel, the more your weight gets shifted to the ball of your foot and can cause foot pain as well as ankle, knee, hip and back pain,” she says.

To keep your feet happy through the fall and into winter, Dr. Sutera further advises looking for fall boots with wider toe boxes versus those with narrow, pointy boxes, as she says they’re healthier for your feet and can accommodate toe conditions such as bunions, bone spurs, and hammertoes. Dr. Ragland, however, suggests taking a more personalized approach to toe shape. “If the front of your foot is broad or square, then a square-tipped boot or a round toe box is recommended,” she says. “If your feet are more narrow and pointed, then you can opt for a more pointy boot.” In other words, some of you can go for fall’s cowboy boot trend while others of you may be better off sitting it out but luckily, square toe shoes are on point this season, too (or, off point…y toes?).

You’ll want to consider taking this personalized approach with respect to a shoe’s support, too. “If you have a high-arched foot, look for a boot with a high arch, or add inserts,” Dr. Ragland suggests. “If you have a low arch, make sure the arch of the boot is not too high.” Meanwhile, if you’re someone who suffers from ankle sprains or who just wants greater stability in their shoe, Dr. Ragland recommends opting for lace up styles you can adequately tighten around your lower leg.

Shop now: Dr. Martens 1460 Basquiat Boots, $160

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Photo: Dr. Martens

If your feet can’t go to Basquiat because of coronavirus restrictions/complications, you can at least bring Basquiat to your feet. With a low heel, round toe, and laces, this wear-everywhere pair of Dr. Martens checks all the boxes when it comes to podiatrist recs.

Shop now: Dr. Martens 1460 Basquiat Boots, $160

Shop now: Free People Asher Ankle Boots, $178

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Photo: Free People

If museum-worthy prints aren’t the type of *extra* you prefer, maybe dramatic (yet simultaneously also sort of… understated?) detailing is more so your jam. These boots are a lot in white—in a good way!—but if you’re feeling shy, they come in a very sexy black, too.

Shop now: Free People Asher Ankle Boots, $178

Shop now: Pierre Hardy Elton 55mm Booties, $995

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Photo: Pierre Hardy

When you think of the term “podiatrist-approved”, these beauties cannot be what springs to mind. And, yet! Function, it turns out, can comfortably (literally) coexist alongside fashion. If I wasn’t trying to live through a pandemic on a writer’s salary, these ’70s-meets-’20s stunners would be in my cart, stat.

Shop now: Pierre Hardy Elton 55mm Booties, $995

Shop now: Zara Square-Toed High-Heel Ankle Boot, $169

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Photo: Zara

As usual, Zara is hitting the trend nail on the head with these stunners, given that the squared-toe shape is a big one for this new season. (Congratulations if you actually knew it was fall, BTW.) This boot is epic—but mostly sold out—in white, too.

Shop now: Zara Square-Toed High-Heel Ankle Boot, $169

Shop now: Jimmy Choo + Timberland Nubuck Ankle Boot, $595

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Photo: Jimmy Choo

What a collab! Jimmy Choo’s added some jazz hands to Timberland’s signature boot and the result is very apocalypse-chic. Comes in three colorways, too.

Shop now: Jimmy Choo + Timberland Nubuck Ankle Boot, $595

Shop now: & Other Stories Leather Heeled Ankle Boot, $149

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Photo: & Other Stories

Need a more basic, on-trend “going out” shoe? (Where are you going?!?) Try this extremely 2020 pair—in either black or beige.

Shop now: & Other Stories Leather Heeled Ankle Boot, $149

Shop now: Ganni Sporty Hiking Leather and Suede Ankle Booties, $395

ganni-boots
Photo: Ganni

These cuties feel too special to actually take on a hike, but fortunately (?!?) the only place any of us are likely to be walking to this fall/winter is our couch. I want a pair of these boots so badly that if available, I’d take a time machine back to college, would switch majors to pre-med, all so I could become a podiatrist instead of a writer and maybe actually be able to afford them.

Shop now: Ganni Sporty Hiking Leather and Suede Ankle Booties, $395

Shop now: Vionic Lani Lace-Up, $160

 

lani-boots
Photo: Vionic

Vionic is a brand co-designed by podiatrists and recommended by Dr. Sutera. So basically, anything from this shoemaker is automatically approved, including this navy twist on a combat staple.

Shop now: Vionic Lani Lace-Up, $160

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