Don’t Let The Chill Cramp Your Chic Side

Because these boots were made for walking

By Dr. Yolanda Ragland

Fall is my favorite time for the RISE of footwear. That’s right, when the temperatures drop it’s time to go to any lengths--from Mod booties to thigh-hi’s and over-the-knee leg-hugging boots--for showing off your style in NYC while protecting your precious feet from inclement weather. Here is your podiatrist’s tips on breaking out the boots!

No matter what your style or purpose, boots should become your best footwear ally from the time the first autumn leaves drop into the chilly depths of wintertime. A boot is a specific type of footwear that mainly covers the foot and the ankle while some cover part of the calf and others extend up the leg sometimes as far up as the thigh. Thanks to the international status of the UGG brand--flat rubber heels and soles are seen all around town--with their stylish, comfy Australian fleeced-lined, all-weather sheepskin boot styles. The latest UGG style is the LIDA sheepskin boot with its signature Australian shearling inside and overflowing on the outside with Mongolian fur trim!

Boot camp basics: Rubberized water-resistant lace-ups, sturdy leather cowboy boots or hiking boots also generally have lower heels and offer tremendous ankle support and protection from harsh weather. If you’re planning on walking great distances or involved in outdoor activities, wearing insulated thermal socks will add another layer of foot protection against callouses and unnecessary foot friction while you’re trekking along.

For sophisticated style, most boots have a heel that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece. Some of the hottest styles right now are wrapped block heels and wrapped stiletto heels using man-made fibers. Hot off the block is the KENNETH COLE Alyssa Bootie in velvet fabric or patent faux leather which define an essential almond-toe and ankle-hugging shaft. Taking your style even higher are pull-on thigh-hi satiny, microfiber or suede boots with wrapped 4-inch stiletto heels such as ALDO’s Zoania leg-hugging boots or CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN sexy black net lace boots with their signature red leather outsole.

MOD style ankle-length booties also ripped the runway this season and they certainly provide chic ankle support and comfort since most boast a chunky mid-height heel--some of which are  bejeweled and glitterized to the max! Traditionally, most boots were made of leather, suede or rubber, but modern boots are made from a variety of materials such as microfiber and patent leather.  VIA SPIGA’s LARA ankle-length bootie in IVORY or BLACK patent leather with side-zippered closure brings the MOD to modern-day pavement chasing in a sexy way.

No matter what your stylish height preference is, even stiletto boots should be worn both for their style and functionality such as protecting the foot and leg from water, extreme cold, mud or snow--so make sure to buy them in the right size and opt for ones with a lightly padded footbed. When it comes to footwear, boots should never be too tight around your toes and feet. Sure, you can buy a pair of sandals that are too snug because you absolutely love them and will take them to the shoe repair to be stretched, but your feet should not be ``trapped’’ inside a pair of boots that are too tight in the hopes of stretching them out with wear. If the boot doesn’t fit you comfortably when you try it on--don’t buy it! Italian designers such as Dolce and Gabbana and Prada have a tendency to make footwear that runs smaller on American feet with the exception of STUART WEITZMAN or DONALD PLINER--probably because they are American designers who manufacture their footwear in Italy. When it comes to buying new boots, always think big--as in a slightly bigger size. After all, boots are normally worn with socks to prevent chafes and blisters, absorb sweat and to improve the grip inside the boot--or better yet, to insulate the foot from the cold. As a matter of foot fact, when it comes to showing off your winter style, don’t cramp your feet. Let them breathe inside your boots!