If you think that boots and shoes only cause blisters or shoe bites around your heels and ankles think again. In fact, boots can cause problems in other areas as well, particularly in the calf area. This is our guide telling you how to stop boots rubbing calf with some simple tips and strategies to make your footwear more comfortable.
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How Do I Stop My Boots From Rubbing My Calves?
In order to prevent rubbing caused by your boots, it is always a good idea to identify why you might be experiencing the problem in the first place. Boots rubbing indicates that there is a problem that needs to be fixed so you will need to play detective to work out which you are experiencing friction or chafing before taking action.
We know that the number one reason for problems with boots rubbing your calves is because of sizing issues with your footwear. However, issues with moisture, dry skin or even the height of the boot on your leg can also play a part
We’re going to talk about 10 of the most common solutions to these problems which should hopefully prevent your problems and solve the issue of friction burns and calf pain. These include:
- Picking the Right Boot Size
- Breaking In Your Boots
- Wearing a Boot or Shoe Insert
- Softening Your Leather Boots
- Reducing Moisture In Your Boots
- Using Boot Cuffs
- Applying Talc
- Using a Friction Stick
- Using Boot Liners
- Buying Boots That Are The Right Calf Height
How Do You Prevent Boot Rub? – Check The Fit of Your Footwear
If you want to know how to stop boots rubbing calf then it is important to start thinking about buying the right size boots when you are shopping.
If you don’t buy boots that fit properly then it is almost inevitable that you are going to experience problems with friction and chafing. So if you are looking to buy a new pair of boots schedule the time to try on a number of pairs and make sure that you aren’t tempted to buy boots that aren’t quite right.
Choosing the proper fit doesn’t have to be difficult providing you pick the right size for your feet and pay attention to whether the boots are too loose or alternatively too tight.
Walk around in the boots in the shop and assess whether the boots are rubbing either your legs or your feet. Make sure that the boots are firm enough against your legs that they aren’t moving up and down.
Also, you should check the boots don’t feel so tight that you feel as if they are pressing against your calves. Make sure there is no awkward stitching inside the boot that feels uncomfortable or could rub in the future.
Remember that when you are trying on the boots make sure that you are wearing similar clothes or socks to what you intend to wear with that footwear in the future. This enables you to assess whether there is any friction or problems because of clothes such as jeans or thick socks.
When you have taken the time to assess the right size boots for your particular needs and thoroughly tested them out in the shop you are less likely to have problems with boots rubbing your calves.
Stop Boot Chafing By Breaking In Your Boots
Whenever you buy a new pair of shoes or boots it always makes sense to break them in first before wearing them in your day-to-day life. New boots are usually a little stiff and need wearing in to make them take the shape of your feet and calves. Leather boots in particular should be worn around the house first before walking long distances in them.
Aim to wear the boots gradually over a couple of weeks. So start with wearing them for say an hour at a time and build that up until they start to feel more comfortable. Learning how to stop boots from rubbing calf and creating pain can often be helped by gradually wearing your new footwear instead of trying to wear it straight away for longer periods of time.
Wearing thick socks when you are walking around in your new boots can also help the breaking-in process.
If the boots are rubbing slightly in the calves or any other area then put on a band-aid to help reduce friction. If this doesn’t work you can try some of our other methods below.
Hot To Stop Boots From Rubbing Legs With A Shoe Insert
If you want to know how to stop boots rubbing calf after you have bought them then you might need to consider wearing a shoe insert.
Yes in an ideal world it would have been great if you had bought the right size boots in the first place but if you are stuck with a pair that are problematic then a shoe insert can help in some circumstances.
Shoe inserts come in different thicknesses and either cover the whole of the foot or alternatively part of it such as the heel area. You need to assess what type of insert might work in preventing friction and making your boots feel more comfortable.
If your boots are loose on your foot then a thicker insert can help to reduce the room in the inside of your boot so that your foot doesn’t move around as much. This can help to prevent blisters and rubbing.
Heel inserts or thicker inserts can also raise your foot slightly higher in your boot which means that certain parts of the boot shaft will touch different areas of your calves. This difference in positioning can make all the difference and stop chafing and rubbing.
Softening Your Leather Boots To Prevent Friction Burns On Calves
If you are wearing new leather boots then you know that the hard material can sometimes feel stiff especially when you are first trying to break them in. If you gradually increase the time you are wearing them you should find they start to loosen up but if that isn’t doing the trick then you need to think about softening the leather.
We have a whole article about how to soften leather boots around the ankle which has some tips that can also help when it comes to preventing rubbing on your calves.
There are plenty of products that can help to soften stiff leather including leather oil, leather conditioners, petroleum jelly, mink oil and even rubbing alcohol. When these are applied to the boot that has the problem you should find that the rubbing will lessen or go completely because the leather is so much softer.
Just pay attention to the points we make in our other article about how some leather softening products can change the color of your boots slightly so if that concerns you only choose the methods that have no impact on the shade of your footwear.
Using a boot and shoe stretcher can also work if there are certain pinch points in knee-high boots. These can help to reduce tight areas so that your boots don’t rub your skin.
Stop Moisture When You Are Wearing Your Boots
An often overlooked reason for boots rubbing calves isn’t related to the boot itself but moisture caused by sweat which then creates friction.
A prime example of this common problem would be when someone wears non-breathable socks that don’t allow moisture to escape. This starts to mean that sweat can build up on your legs and calves and cause your socks to move up and down creating rubbing or blisters.
Wearing breathable socks in this case can make a difference as they will allow the moisture to escape and keep your calves and feet dry.
Buy Or Knit a Pair of Boot Cuffs
Whilst boot cuffs are not necessarily well known they can be a great solution to stop boot rubbing towards the top of the calf or around the top of the boot.
Boot cuffs are generally made from knitted wool and they give the illusion of socks without you actually wearing any at all. Think of them as a long sock that has been cut so that the wearer only puts on the very top portion and not the foot section.
Boot cuffs are a good solution if you don’t want the bulk of thick socks but do need a product that will prevent boots from rubbing your calves.
You can buy boot cuffs from places like Amazon but if you are creative there is no reason why you can’t knit your own for a relatively low-cost solution to prevent pain.
Use Talcum Powder On Your Lower Leg
Wearing boots that rub doesn’t always mean you have to use start thinking of complicated ways of altering your footwear or protecting your skin. Sometimes simple solutions can resolve the pain quickly and easily.
So in our tips list, we couldn’t overlook the fact that baby powder can often make a difference and is simple and easy to apply. Just apply a coating of talcum powder to any sections of your leg where the boot may touch it and that should be enough to prevent rubbing.
Just remember that talcum powder should be used sparingly especially when you are wearing dark clothing as it can show up easily as marks.
Apply Anti-Chafing Products To Solve The Problem
Whilst beauty products such as talcum powder are great at preventing rubbing they have not been specifically designed to do the job which is where anti-chafing products come in.
Talc generally lasts for only a short time so it makes sense to use a product that you can leave on your calf for longer to help with boot rubbing.
If you want to know how to stop boots rubbing calf then think about Anti-friction sticks. These are useful because they stay on the skin for longer and have been specially created to be used on the body. Some of the best come in stick form which you just rub over your skin to help stop blisters or shoe bites.
As many of these sticks are easy to carry you can also bring them with you and reapply the product to your skin if necessary throughout the day.
Use Boot Liners To Stop Friction Burns On Calves
For the colder months, you might want to think of boot liners as a way of solving the problem of boots rubbing. These are inserts that can be placed inside your boots to keep out the cold.
Whilst boot liners can be used for the warmth they can also be used to stop moisture in wet weather so that your feet stay dry. They also act as a barrier between your skin and boot which can prevent problems with the two rubbing together.
Boot liners do however add a little extra bulk so if the cause of your problem is due to your boots being too tight these might not be the best solution for you.
Buy Boots That Have The Right Size Boot Shaft
Finally, if you want to know how to stop boots rubbing calf skin think about buying boots with the right length of boot shaft.
Buying footwear such as cowboy boots for example means that you are going to be wearing something that sits on the mid-calf rather than just under the knee. This means you are more likely to have the calf rubbing problem than if you were wearing boots that finished higher up your leg.
Think about the design you are buying and make sure there are no calf pinch points if you choose to wear boots that only come halfway up your leg.
Hopefully using this tip as well as our other suggestions can keep your skin smooth and pain-free no matter what footwear you choose to wear.
More Articles to Stop Footwear Problems
Should Boots Be A Size Bigger?
What To Apply On New Shoes to Prevent Shoe Bite
How to Stop Walking Boots From Rubbing Your Ankle
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