I received the following question appended to a recent comment on a blog post. I removed it from the comment and placed it here. I thought it deserved its own response and discussion:
I just have one question–for boots that fit like a glove already but are boots that are either higher heeled (two pairs of Lucchese boots) or have little to no support in their soles to begin with (a killer pair of All Saints Damisi boots–a famous UK manufacturer of anything from footwear to clothing), how do you make enough room for the Dr. Sholl’s supportive slip-ins? I want to buy and install the gel one’s but I’ve got a “smaller foot size” problem. I wear a women’s 6.5 and the boots that need extra support already fit like a glove–great if I’m on a date and only have to walk a few minutes here and there but truly hell if I”m supposed to be properly mobile and functional for longer than 15 minutes.
Any advice would be appreciated! Cheers, Jennifer
My response is after the jump…
…Since I have no experience with women’s boots, but have some boots that “fit like a glove” and feel tight on my feet, I know what you mean when you ask how you can fit an insole into a boot that has little or no room for it.
In my opinion and from my personal experience, there are three options to deal with this situation:
1. Look for the newer “ultrathin insoles” that are made of space-age material with very thin gel padding. I have used these insoles with some degree of success. The only problem I have had with them is that they seem to lose their soft qualities after about 50 hours of wear. So depending on how often and how long I wear those boots, I will have to replace the insoles again.
2. Choose thinner socks. While I recommend wearing socks made of three materials (wool, cotton, and nylon), sometimes thinner socks are called for. Thin nylon, dacron, rayon … “whatever-on” synthetic materials will provide durability. They don’t absorb sweat and do not have the comfort of cotton, but they’ll do. (Since this question was written by a woman, I don’t know a thing about what they wear as alternates to men’s socks. I don’t know how stockings or “nylons” work, when they are worn, or whether worn with boots. I’m just a clueless guy, after all.)
3. Get rid of the boots that don’t fit. I know, I know… you love them. But if they don’t love you, it’s either “them or you,” and I suggest you choose the “it’s them” option. So much better than the alternative 🙂 Seriously though, you will find that as you age, your feet change shape and boots that once fit, even a tight fit, just do not fit without causing agonizing pain and discomfort. If that happens, thank the boots for their years of wear and give them a new home — either resell them, donate them to a charity that accepts clothes and shoes, or just discard them.
There really is no way to stretch the insides of the feet of boots. There are some “shapers” and “foot stretchers” out there, but none of them have worked for me.
The above are my recommendations based on years of experience.
Life is short: wear boots that fit!