Rain boots have traditionally had one job to do: Keep your feet dry. But according to Miguel Cunha, DPM, a board-certified podiatric surgeon and founder of Gotham Footcare, that’s only one of the things you should be looking for when shopping for a new pair. While your favorite pair of wellies might be A-plus for keeping your feet dry, like flip flops and high heels, these waterproof boots aren’t great for the well-being of your feet.
“Rain boots can be hard on your feet because the majority of them do not offer the proper shock absorption, arch support, and cushioning,” says Dr. Cunha. Because of this, he suggests putting any pair you’re thinking about buying through a “bend test,” and making sure the boot doesn’t easily flex at the arch. “[A solid arch] will provide more shock absorption, and in turn will result in less foot pain,” says Dr. Cunha.
In addition to opting for something arch friendly, Dr. Cunha recommends rain boots that have a slight, three-fourth inch heel. “It’s actually better for you than shoes that are completely flat because it takes the stress off the Achilles tendon, which can help with the alignment of your posture, ankles, knees, and spine,” he says. “When we wear shoes that are completely flat we pronate for a longer period of time, which then alters the biomechanics and distribution of pressure and weight across the foot.” This imbalance can cause pain in your arch, heels, and shins, and even lead to longterm issues like bunions, hammertoes, and Achilles tendonitis.
The final thing to look for when selecting rain boots is an extra-large toe box. “Rain boots should have wide a toe box to give the forefoot more wiggle room,” says Dr. Cunha. This aggravates feet that have hammertoes and bunions less than other options.
With all of those elements in mind, Dr. Cunha gives the Bogs Neo Classic Rain Boots ($140) his podiatrist stamp of approval, thanks to the fact that they’re shock-absorbing, offer arch support, and are made with a moisture-wicking liner to keep your feet dry. Plus, they’re pretty dang cute. The foot-friendly features come in a wide range of styles and colors, which means you can fill your closet with a different pair to wear every time it rains. Your comfortable, dry feet will thank you for it.
Shop now: Bogs Neo Classic Rain Boots, $140
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