Beyond Aesthetics: How Much Arch Support Do I Need in My Leather Boots?

woman wearing leather boots

When it comes to winter boots, usually there are two things that come to our mind: warmth and comfort. The wide range of options makes it a bit tricky to choose the perfect pair, especially when you are not sure what you are looking for. So, naturally, the question arises: How to choose winter boots? When looking through the extensive range of womens boots Australia retailers offer, you’ll probably pay most attention to details like colour, style and material but the one thing you shouldn’t compromise on is comfort. And when it comes to comfort, there are two terms you should be familiar with: orthotics and arch support. Choosing orthotic-friendly shoes should be your top priority because that’s the best way to keep your feet happy and healthy.

What is orthotics?

orthotics and woman's legs

Orthotics are custom-made shoes or heel inserts prescribed by a doctor. A professional medical person can prescribe them to treat your feet, legs or even back problems. They can be used as a treatment for a range of health issues that cause discomfort and pain in the legs and feet. For instance, they can be prescribed for correcting certain deformities in the foot, helping the ankle or foot to function better, providing ankle support, reducing the risks for injuries, treating back pain, arthritis, bunions, bursitis, flat feet and even diabetes. Orthotics are more than just shoes or inserts you can buy from an athletic store. They are highly customized items made specifically for your feet. Even if you don’t suffer from some of the above-mentioned conditions, buying orthotic friendly ladies boots is still a good idea as they will help you keep your feet comfortable, healthy and prevent foot fatigue.

Do I need arch support in my shoes?

Yes – because arch support is one of the most essential parts of ladies boots and footwear in general. Wearing shoes that don’t provide the proper support will damage your feet, ankles and knees. The thing is, we all need arch support but how much is enough for you will depend on the nature of your feet. In order to choose the right arch support, take a look at the middle of your foot. If there is a little bit of an arch to it, you have normal arches, and if there is very little arch, then you probably have flat feet. People who have curled feet even when they are holding them straight have high arches.

arch support for shoes

People with flat feet typically experience overpronation, but that can also happen to those who don’t have flat feet. In flat feet, the heel impacts the ground which means there is not enough support on the instep causing the ankle to roll inwards. Additionally, this strains the toe and ball putting additional stress on the tibia, thus resulting in knee pain and shin splints. On the other hand, high arches lead to under-pronation, also known as supination. This prevents the big toe from lifting the foot which puts additional stress on the smaller toes and outside edge. This condition increases your risk of plantar fasciitis, ankle injury, tendonitis of the Achilles tendon and iliotibial band syndrome.

Ideally, a good pair of leather boots should have a good level of cushioning enabling shock absorption, and a good level of arch support providing you with sufficient stability. But should you look for in boots depending on your feet’s nature?

To correct high arches, you need to look for neutral and flexible boots that will help you flatten out your feet. As boots flex more than other types of footwear, they compel your feet to do the same. Orthopaedic-friendly ladies shoe boots with additional cushioning that allow for custom inserts will also help you deal with high arches. On the other hand, if you have flat feet you need boots with a more rigid design which enables motion control or one that’s suitable for custom inserts or orthotics.

What to use to protect leather boots?

shoe care products

Buying a pair of high-quality leather boots that are orthotic friendly is a smart investment so you should do your best to keep them in good shape for as long as possible. But no matter how careful you are when you are wearing them, you can still damage them. So, the best thing is to clean your leather boots as soon as you get home. For salt stains, make a blend of white vinegar and water and use a soft cloth to wipe the stain. For general dirt, consider using saddle soap and a damp rag.

polishing leather boots

Conditioning your boots is simple but a very important part of keeping them in good shape. When applying the conditioner, make sure you apply it all over your boots. You can also use a protective spray every time you clean them. Last, but not least, store them right. This means that you shouldn’t just tuck them in a plastic bag, instead, allow them to breathe by placing them in an open but safe container.