Shearling Boots Can Damage Your Feet—But These With Arch Support Are Podiatrist-Approved

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Real winter is here (well, has been here for the last few weeks) with below-freezing temps, which means there is only one fashion rule that matters: Comfort. And that very much applies to our feet. To help brave the blustery elements, many of us have ventured into the depths of our closets to find our trusty shearling-lined boots that defined our middle school years. That said, while our decades-old, worn in shoes may feel like a hug to put on, they often don't have the arch support our feet need when walking around all day. Luckily, we've talked to a few podiatrists to find the best shearling-lined boots with arch support so we can fulfill all of our cozy fantasies while still keeping our soles healthy, happy, and pain-free.

Experts In This Article

The appeal of shearling-lined boots is no secret. Sheepskin regulates temperature well, and keeps feet warm during the cold seasons—but it's also surprisingly effective at not getting too warm in moderate temperatures because it wicks moisture well.  Though it doesn't have the same moisture-wicking qualities, the more eco-conscious faux-shearling is just as plush and warm as its pricier cousin.

What to look for in a shearling boot with arch support

That said, while "shearling-lined boots are a great investment during the cold winter months...finding ones with arch support can be daunting," says Najwa Javed, DPM. If you have collapsing arches your foot pain can worsen if your shearling boots are flat. As such, using arch support, built-in or added, can help to keep your foot stable and supported, she explains. You can even add shearling-lined orthotics to increase stability and support.

If you're on the hunt for the perfect shearling boots to add to your collection, there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop and research. First, make sure to at least look for a thick sole. "If you are unable to find a boot with arch support, other key things to look for are a good thick sole for arch and heel support along with a toe box that is wide and deep," says Dr. Javed.

Second: You'll have better luck with higher-quality designs. Some red flags to steer clear of are thin, flimsy, flexible boots because they will inevitably cause foot pain and cause you to slip. Dr. Javed explains,"Whenever you buy boots, make sure that the sole of the shoe is robust. It will provide better balance and grip."

What happens if your boots don't have arch support?

Because the arch of your foot is supported by the plantar fascia, a thick, bowstring-like ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes, "when you wear shoes that do not support your arch, it collapses causing the plantar fascia to stretch like a bowstring away from the heel bone. The cumulative effect of gravity and the repeated stress of weight bearing on the plantar fascia can cause tiny tears in the ligament, which can lead to pain and swelling," adds Miguel Cunha, DPM. To help, it's best to pick out boots that have a 3/4 to 1 inch heel lift or wedge to give you proper arch support, he explains.

Ready to shop? Scroll down for the best, podiatrist-recommended shearling-lined boots with arch support that will keep you comfortably strutting all season long.

Best shearling-lined boots with arch support

Vionic Jaxen Boot — $190.00

This hiker-style boot features functional waterproof leather, an on-trend lug sole, and comes in four neutral shades to match any outfit you have in store. The laces span the whole upper, so it’s great for keeping your feet locked in place as you move.

Ross + Snow Emilina Weatherproof Shearling Blush Camo Moto Boot — $298.00

These boots are the perfect combination of feminine and rugged. They have a thick, rubber lug sole to keep you protected from the elements, and a shearling upper for ultimate warmth.

Sorel Emelie Bootie — $170.00

This zip-up bootie is perfectly minimalist, so you can seamlessly pair it with any jacket and jean combo. The chevron sole has great traction for slippery days, and the tall style keeps your ankles supported as you walk.

Stuart Weitzman Rockie Lift Chill Boot — $508.00

The round cut and front lace-up fastening on this boot are prime for keeping your foot locked in place for any and all winter activities, while the soft lining offers a cushioned footbed, and the insulated leather upper and rubber sole keep you warm and protected against the elements.

UGG Adirondack Boot III — $250.00

Made for outdoor adventures, these boots have the toasty shearling that defines the brand, while also featuring a waterproof exterior, an EVA midsole for durability for stability and arch support, and insulation against temperatures up to 32 degrees celsius.

Koolaburra Tynlee Snow Boot — $110.00

By the same geniuses that made your favorite UGG boots, these Koolaburra snow boots have the same shearling lining that you love, as well as a reliable waterproof construction.

Birkenstock Uppsala Shearling — $195.00

When you’re all bundled up in the winter, there is nothing better than a boot that requires zero effort. These pull-on boots are easy to slip into, plush, shearling lined, and have a thick rubber sole that makes you feel like you’re walking on a cloud.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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