The Best Fall Boots for Your Feet, According to Podiatrists
Finding a pair of shoes comfortable enough to wear all day is no easy task—especially if you're looking for a pair of fall boots. With an enormous boot market, it can be difficult to narrow down which options are the right choice for your foot type and specific needs. That's why it's important to look to the experts for their input.
Health tapped several board-certified podiatrists for their recommendations. Generally speaking, they all agreed that the best fall boots are made of quality materials with supportive soles—and can still be stylish without sacrificing comfort.
The 10 best fall boots for your feet, according to podiatrists:
- Best for Walking: Birkenstock Bryson Lace-Up Boot
- Best for Everyday Wear: Mephisto Agatha Ankle Boot
- Best for Wide Feet: Franco Sarto Meyer Boot
- Best for High Arches: Camper Milah Waterproof Bootie
- Best Waterproof: Sorel Addington Waterproof Boot
- Best Combat Boot: Camper Brutus
- Best Leather Option: Mephisto Seddy
- Best for Flat Feet: Pajar Canada Outdoor Boots
- Most Supportive: Söfft Sharnell Riding Boot
- Best for Height: Mephisto Lucilla GT
What to look for in fall boots
There's nothing worse than getting a new pair of shoes, only to be in pain the first time you wear them. Unfortunately, foot pain can be a byproduct of wearing the wrong size, according to Elizabeth Bonarigo, DPM, New York-based podiatrist and clinical instructor at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. "Poorly-fitted and uncomfortable boots can result in musculoskeletal-related foot pain, [and] skin complications such as irritation, blisters, and ulcers."
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research also found evidence that incorrectly-fitted footwear was "associated with foot pain and foot disorders such as corns, lesser toe deformity, and calluses."
And since foot size can vary for different types of shoes, it's important to ensure you're buying the correct size. "No boot is going to be comfortable if you don't know what proper size and fit that accommodates your two feet the best," Dr. Bonarigo added.
Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatrist in New York City, recommends a "four shoe test" to all her patients to ensure a shoe is supportive enough. "Make sure you can bend the toebox upwards, make sure you cannot bend the shoe in half, make sure there is support under the arch, and a wide chunky heel," she said.
You'll also want something with good stability, which is dictated by the midsole and heel, according to Nelya Lobkova, DPM, a podiatrist at Step Up Footcare in New York City. "Fall boots should generally have a semi-flexible to rigid midsole and firm heel counter," she tells Health. To check the stability of the boot, grab the front and back and twist it side to side in reverse; a shoe with a flexible midsole will twist easily. In this case, opt for one that takes some effort to twist (if at all).
When it comes to the heel, it should not be pinchable. "If it is, the heel will be able to move excessively while walking and may contribute to foot and ankle injuries," Dr. Lobkova added. "A rigid midsole and firm heel counter are characteristics that dictate both comfort and boot durability."
How to find the best boots for your feet
Along with these podiatrist guidelines for size, stability, and support, the next step is to look out for options made with quality materials, such as leather. While leather boots tend to come with a higher price tag, they hold up better and will stay in your closet for years to come. Add bonus points if the shoe has a waterproof layer to prevent rain from seeping through, which is a common occurrence in the fall in winter months when boots are typically worn. (After all, no one likes having wet feet!)
Whether you're looking for a knee-high riding boot to keep you warm outdoors or a stylish bootie to wear in the office all day, there's a comfortable boot out there to match your lifestyle. Keep reading to shop the 10 best podiatrist-approved fall boots from brands like Birkenstock, Sorel, and Mephisto.
Best for Walking: Birkenstock Bryson Lace-Up Boot
Dr. Bonarigo recommends the Birkenstock Bryson Lace-Up because of its cork insole and arch support, both of which stabilize the foot. The outer layer is constructed out of durable soft leather that'll conform to the shape of your foot over time, making for a comfortable fit and a shoe that'll last you for years to come.
Best for Everyday Wear: Mephisto Agatha Ankle Boot
According to Dr. Bonarigo, these ankle boots from Mephisto are her "top choice for best everyday wear." Mephisto's signature footbed, also known as soft air technology, reduces impact while walking to decrease stress on your feet and knees. Dr. Bonarigo also calls them "super comfortable" thanks to the Nubuck leather upper that'll conform to the foot with each wear.
Best for Wide Feet: Franco Sarto Meyer Boot
Some boots tend to run more narrow, which can cause pain for people with wide feet. However, that's not the case with this pair from Franco Sarto. "These riding style boots have a protective leather knee-high shaft, sturdy toe box, and low heel, designed to comfort a wider foot type," said Bonarigo.
One concern many people have with knee-high boots is that they'll be uncomfortably tight around the calf, but according to one Amazon reviewer, this pair fits especially well. "Most beautiful and comfortable wide calf boot I've ever purchased," they wrote. "Very well-made and classic style. I will get years of wear out of these!"
Best for High Arches: Camper Milah Waterproof Bootie
Dr. Lobkova likes the Camper Waterproof Boots for people with high arches. "Due to the platform under the ball of the foot, there is additional cushioning. The two-inch heel is a nice option for those with higher arches," she says. What's more, the outer waterproof layer will keep your feet dry on rainy or snowy days.
Best Waterproof: Sorel Addington Bootie
Suitable for winter's cold and wet weather, these heeled ankle booties are comfortable and stylish, and they have a chunky block heel that offers added stability. "Sorel makes comfortable boots that also work well in inclement weather," says Howard Osterman, DPM, a partner at Foot and Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic.
Best Combat Boot: Camper Brutus
If you're looking for a sporty take on your average fall boot, consider this combat style from Camper, which Dr. Lobkova calls a "nice fall boot." Not only are these lightweight, sneaker-style boots made of soft leather, but they also have a wide toe box to prevent your toes from overcrowding (ouch). Dr. Lobkova also likes that they have a supportive midsole and rubber outsole for stability.
Best Leather Option: Mephisto Seddy
If you're in the market for some stylish leather booties that are comfortable and won't hurt your feet, these casual slip-ons from Mephisto are a go-to. "I like these boots because of the comfortable footbeds, sturdy construction, and rubber soles for poor weather and shock absorption," said Dr. Osterman.
Best for Flat Feet: Pajar Canada Outdoor Boots
If you're struggling to find a supportive boot for flat feet, consider the Pajar Canada Outdoor Boots. The Pajar brand comes highly recommended by Dr. Bonarigo because its collections have thick, supportive soles, and this pair is no exception. "People with flat feet are prone to experiencing pain along the arch, as well as tendonitis pain if they do not wear shoe gear that is supportive," she adds. Plus, the waterproof outer layer, non-slip rubber outsole, and faux fur lining mean these boots will stand up to any weather condition.
Most Supportive: Sofft Sharnell II Riding Boot
This trendy pair of riding boots comes recommended by Jacqueline M. Sutera, DPM, a board-certified doctor of podiatric medicine and surgery. "I look for cushion, support, and style," she says. "Sofft [boots] are good for you and cute!" Dr. Osterman also recommends lace-up shoes because they'll add even more support for your feet, and these riding boots have laces that tie all the way up the back. What's more, the boot is lined with soft microfibers that keep it breathable.
Best for Height: Mephisto Lucilla GT
These classic black heeled booties are dressy enough to wear to the office or a night out on the town, and they're still good for your feet. Dr. Osterman recommends the Mephisto brand for walking. "They can be fashionable yet still comfortable," he says.