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    The ShoeSmart Library

    Get to the bottom of all your shoe, boot, and foot health related questions. Presented by Shoes.com.

    Foot Health Boots Athletic Shoes

    Best of the Best:

    Best Work Boots Best Shoes for Foot Pain Best Shoes for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Best Shoes for Watching Sports Best Nursing Shoes
    Best Work Boots Best Shoes for Foot Pain Best Shoes for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Best Shoes for Watching Sports Best Nursing Shoes
    Foot Health Work Boots
    Articles Articles
    What Causes Chronic Foot Pain? What to Look For in a Work Boot
    What is Plantar Fasciitis? How Do I Know When I Should Replace My Work Boots?
    7 Tips to Manage Chronic Foot Pain How Should I Break In My Work Boots?
    What is Over-Pronation? How Can I Make My Work Boots Last Longer?
    What to Look For in a Shoe if You Have Foot Pain Should My Employer Pay For My Work Boots?
    How Do I Tell if I'm Wearing the Right Shoe Size? Are My Work Boots Tax-Deductible?
    Best Shoes for Foot Pain Best Work Boots
    Frequency Asked Questions Frequency Asked Questions
    What's Plantar Fasciitis? What's an upper part of a shoe or boot?
    What is the Plantar Fascia? What's an insole?
    See All Foot Health FAQs See All Work Boot FAQs
    Shop Foot Health Shop Work Boots
    Athletic Shoes Hiking
    Articles Articles
    Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes: What's the Difference? How To: Pick a Good Pair of Hiking Boots
    Do I Need Waterproof Hiking Boots?
    What's the Difference Between Hiking and Work Boots?
    Frequency Asked Questions Frequency Asked Questions
    What's Plantar Fasciitis? What is a Lug Sole?
    What is the Plantar Fascia? What is a Toe Cap or Bumper?
    See All Athletic FAQs See All Hiking FAQs
    Shop Athletic Shoes Shop Hiking Boots
    Wide Calf Boots Winter Boots
    Articles Articles
    How to Measure Your Calf A Guide to Finding the Warmest Winter Boots
    3 Rules for Finding the Perfect Wide Calf Boots for Women Non-Slip Shoes: Winter Boots Edition
    Frequency Asked Questions Frequency Asked Questions
    What is Shoe Goring? What is a Lug Sole?
    What is a Toe Cap or Bumper?
    See All Winter Boots FAQs
    Shop Wide Calf Boots Shop Winter Boots


    Foot Health Frequently Asked Questions:

      Q. What is Plantar Fasciitis?

    A. One of the most common foot ailments, it's helpful to identify what is causing strain to effectively treat plantar fasciitis. Here's what to look for.

    Read more here


      Q. What is the Plantar Fascia?

    A. Find out why this fibrous tissue is so important to your feet, and how overuse can become a serious pain.

    Read more here


      Q. What is the Wet Foot Test?

    A. Take this two-step test to find out your arch type!

    Read more here


      Q. What is Supination?

    A. Supination is a natural process that allows us to walk and run properly. Learn how it works.

    Read more here


      Q. What are Shin Splints?

    A. While "shin splints" is not a medical diagnosis, the discomfort being experienced is likely indicative of one.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a Bunion?

    A. We've all heard our grandmothers talk about them before, but what actually is a bunion?

    Read more here


      Q. What is Achilles tendonitis?

    A. The Achilles tendon is your best friend when it comes to walking, running, and jumping, so inflammation of it can be a real pain. Find out more.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Metatarsalgia?

    A. Metatarsalgia is a fancy word for pain in the ball of the foot. Find out what causes this discomfort, and how to treat it.

    Read more here


      Q. What are Flat Feet?

    A. Fallen arches, also knows as flat feet, refers to an abnormal foot arch, and may be the reason for your foot pain.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Arthritis?

    A. Find out how arthritis, including gout, can cause foot pain, especially in the big toe.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Gout?

    A. A form of arthritis, gout most commonly occurs in the big toe. Learn more about what causes this inflammatory condition.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Hammer Toe?

    A. Often caused by wearing tight shoes, a hammer toe is a painful abnormality. Here's what to look for.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Claw Toe?

    A. Often a result of nerve damage, a claw toe is a painful abnormality. Here's what to look for.

    Read more here


      Q. What is an Ingrown Toenail?

    A. Ingrown toenails are a pain, and can be caused by injury, ill-fitting shoes, or improper foot care. Learn how to avoid them.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a heel counter?

    A. The heel counter controls the foot's pronation, and is key to providing foot and ankle support. Find out what to look for.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a shoe's sole?

    A. Every shoe has a sole, which provides protection from the ground with each step. Learn what to look for to get the support you need.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a rocker sole shoe?

    A. A rocker sole shoe (aka a rocker bottom shoe) is a type of shoe that has a thicker sole with a rounded heel. Learn more about the two types of rocker soles.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Morton's neuroma?

    A. A Morton's neuroma is the result of tissue thickening around the nerve between the bases of the toes.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a heel spur?

    A. A heel spur is an abnormal growth of bone on the bottom of the heel bone.

    Read more here



    Work Boots Frequently Asked Questions:

      Q. What's an upper?

    A. The upper is the part of a boot or shoe above the sole...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an insole?

    A. The insole is the fixed inner sole of a shoe or boot where your foot bottom rests...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an outsole?

    A. It's the outermost layer of the sole (i.e., the exterior bottom)...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a welt?

    A. The welt is a strip of material, often leather, which is sewn around the edge of the outsole to attach the upper to the outsole of a pair of boots...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a steel toe?

    A. A steel-toe boot contains protective reinforcement made of steel...

    Read more here


      Q. What are the criteria for safety shoes?

    A. Most safety shoes have symbols on the outside to indicate the protection the shoe provides...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a composite toe?

    A. A composite toe is crafted out of materials such as plastic, carbon fiber, and rubber...

    Read more here


      Q. What makes a shoe or boot slip-resistant?

    A. Slip resistance is determined by a shoe's outsole design, material, and tread pattern...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a rubber outsole?

    A. A rubber outsole is when the bottom of a boot or shoe is made of rubber...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a TPU outsole?

    A. A TPU outsole is when the bottom of a shoe or boot is made from thermoplastic polyurethane...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an EVA Midsole?

    A. Suffer from back pain? Your footwear may be partially to blame. An EVA midsole helps to disperse weight and provide stability, learn more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a Steel Shank in Boots?

    A. A shank is crucial to the functionality of your boots; find out why.

    Read more here


      Q. Which Boots are OSHA-Approved?

    A. Falling objects and other hazards are some of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Find out which boots will keep you safe.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a Metatarsal Guard?

    A. Depending on your line of work, you may want to invest in a metatarsal guard for added foot protection. Learn more.

    Read more here


      Q. Why Would I Need Rubber Work Boots with a Steel Toe?

    A. Working in wet conditions puts your safety at risk, find out why your standard rubber boot might not provide the protection you need.

    Read more here


      Q. What's Thinsulate?

    A. Did you know the same material used in sleeping bags could help keep your feet warm?

    Read more here


      Q. Why is Chemical-Resistance Important?

    A. Learn more about the different types of chemical-resistant boots to choose the right pair for your job.

    Read more here


      Q. Why are PVC Materials Used for Boots?

    A. Learn more about plastic polyvinyl chloride, a plastic that provides a broad range of chemical protection, to choose the right pair of boots.

    Read more here


      Q. Why Should My Boot Be Waterproof?

    A. You prefer to stay dry and warm, right? It makes your day (or night) at work seem shorter, and its healthier. Learn more.

    Read more here


      Q. What is the Direct-Attach or Cementing Method?

    A. This method creates lightweight, comfortable boots that mold to your feet. You'll feel the difference and thank us later! Find out more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's Welting?

    A. This method creates a durable, long-lasting boot. You might not even have to replace your pair once it starts to wear. Find out more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a Blake Welt?

    A. Blake welting enhances flexibility given fewer layers of material used. Find out how it works.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a Goodyear Welt?

    A. Goodyear welting allows for more support and water-resistance due to extra layers. Find out how it works.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a Cambrelle® lining?

    A. Cambrelle® is a popular brand of boot liners that is engineered to add comfort as well as insulation for your feet.

    Read more here



    Athletic Frequently Asked Questions:

      Q. What is Plantar Fasciitis?

    A. One of the most common foot ailments, it's helpful to identify what is causing strain to effectively treat plantar fasciitis. Here's what to look for.

    Read more here


      Q. What is the Plantar Fascia?

    A. Find out why this fibrous tissue is so important to your feet, and how overuse can become a serious pain.

    Read more here


      Q. What is the Wet Foot Test?

    A. Take this two-step test to find out your arch type!

    Read more here


      Q. What is Supination?

    A. Supination is a natural process that allows us to walk and run properly. Learn how it works.

    Read more here


      Q. What are Shin Splints?

    A. While "shin splints" is not a medical diagnosis, the discomfort being experienced is likely indicative of one.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a Bunion?

    A. We've all heard our grandmothers talk about them before, but what actually is a bunion?

    Read more here


      Q. What is Achilles tendonitis?

    A. The Achilles tendon is your best friend when it comes to walking, running, and jumping, so inflammation of it can be a real pain. Find out more.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Metatarsalgia?

    A. Metatarsalgia is a fancy word for pain in the ball of the foot. Find out what causes this discomfort, and how to treat it.

    Read more here


      Q. What are Flat Feet?

    A. Fallen arches, also knows as flat feet, refers to an abnormal foot arch, and may be the reason for your foot pain.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Arthritis?

    A. Find out how arthritis, including gout, can cause foot pain, especially in the big toe.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Gout?

    A. A form of arthritis, gout most commonly occurs in the big toe. Learn more about what causes this inflammatory condition.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Hammer Toe?

    A. Often caused by wearing tight shoes, a hammer toe is a painful abnormality. Here's what to look for.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Claw Toe?

    A. Often a result of nerve damage, a claw toe is a painful abnormality. Here's what to look for.

    Read more here


      Q. What is an Ingrown Toenail?

    A. Ingrown toenails are a pain, and can be caused by injury, ill-fitting shoes, or improper foot care. Learn how to avoid them.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a heel counter?

    A. The heel counter controls the foot's pronation, and is key to providing foot and ankle support. Find out what to look for.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a shoe's sole?

    A. Every shoe has a sole, which provides protection from the ground with each step. Learn what to look for to get the support you need.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a rocker sole shoe?

    A. A rocker sole shoe (aka a rocker bottom shoe) is a type of shoe that has a thicker sole with a rounded heel. Learn more about the two types of rocker soles.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Morton's neuroma?

    A. A Morton's neuroma is the result of tissue thickening around the nerve between the bases of the toes.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a heel spur?

    A. A heel spur is an abnormal growth of bone on the bottom of the heel bone.

    Read more here



    Hiking Frequently Asked Questions:

      Q. What is a lug sole?

    A. This type of sole is a key feature to many hiking boots. Find out how it keeps you safe.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Vibram®?

    A. Read how the founder of this popular brand of rubber outsoles changed hiking forever.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a toe cap or bumper?

    A. Similar to the steel-toe found in many work boots, this additional layer of material keeps you safe out on the trails. Find out how.

    Read more here


      Q. What is GORE-TEX®?

    A. This popular brand of waterproof liners keeps your feet dry while also allowing ventilation and sweat evaporation. Find out what it's made of.

    Read more here


      Q. What's an upper?

    A. The upper is the part of a boot or shoe above the sole...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an insole?

    A. The insole is the fixed inner sole of a shoe or boot where your foot bottom rests...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an outsole?

    A. It's the outermost layer of the sole (i.e., the exterior bottom)...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a welt?

    A. The welt is a strip of material, often leather, which is sewn around the edge of the outsole to attach the upper to the outsole of a pair of boots...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a steel toe?

    A. A steel-toe boot contains protective reinforcement made of steel...

    Read more here


      Q. What makes a shoe or boot slip-resistant?

    A. Slip resistance is determined by a shoe's outsole design, material, and tread pattern...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a rubber outsole?

    A. A rubber outsole is when the bottom of a boot or shoe is made of rubber...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a TPU outsole?

    A. A TPU outsole is when the bottom of a shoe or boot is made from thermoplastic polyurethane...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an EVA Midsole?

    A. Suffer from back pain? Your footwear may be partially to blame. An EVA midsole helps to disperse weight and provide stability, learn more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's Thinsulate?

    A. Did you know the same material used in sleeping bags could help keep your feet warm?

    Read more here


      Q. What is the Direct-Attach or Cementing Method?

    A. This method creates lightweight, comfortable boots that mold to your feet. You'll feel the difference and thank us later! Find out more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's Welting?

    A. This method creates a durable, long-lasting boot. You might not even have to replace your pair once it starts to wear. Find out more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a Blake Welt?

    A. Blake welting enhances flexibility given fewer layers of material used. Find out how it works.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a Goodyear Welt?

    A. Goodyear welting allows for more support and water-resistance due to extra layers. Find out how it works.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a Cambrelle® lining?

    A. Cambrelle® is a popular brand of boot liners that is engineered to add comfort as well as insulation for your feet.

    Read more here



    Wide Calf Boots Frequently Asked Questions:

      Q. What is shoe goring?

    A. Shoe goring is an elasticized piece of material that joins two pieces of a shoe upper together

    Read more here



    Winter Boots Frequently Asked Questions:

      Q. What is a lug sole?

    A. This type of sole is a key feature to many hiking boots. Find out how it keeps you safe.

    Read more here


      Q. What is Vibram®?

    A. Read how the founder of this popular brand of rubber outsoles changed hiking forever.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a toe cap or bumper?

    A. Similar to the steel-toe found in many work boots, this additional layer of material keeps you safe out on the trails. Find out how.

    Read more here


      Q. What is GORE-TEX®?

    A. This popular brand of waterproof liners keeps your feet dry while also allowing ventilation and sweat evaporation. Find out what it's made of.

    Read more here


      Q. What's an upper?

    A. The upper is the part of a boot or shoe above the sole...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an insole?

    A. The insole is the fixed inner sole of a shoe or boot where your foot bottom rests...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an outsole?

    A. It's the outermost layer of the sole (i.e., the exterior bottom)...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a welt?

    A. The welt is a strip of material, often leather, which is sewn around the edge of the outsole to attach the upper to the outsole of a pair of boots...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a steel toe?

    A. A steel-toe boot contains protective reinforcement made of steel...

    Read more here


      Q. What makes a shoe or boot slip-resistant?

    A. Slip resistance is determined by a shoe's outsole design, material, and tread pattern...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a rubber outsole?

    A. A rubber outsole is when the bottom of a boot or shoe is made of rubber...

    Read more here


      Q. What's a TPU outsole?

    A. A TPU outsole is when the bottom of a shoe or boot is made from thermoplastic polyurethane...

    Read more here


      Q. What's an EVA Midsole?

    A. Suffer from back pain? Your footwear may be partially to blame. An EVA midsole helps to disperse weight and provide stability, learn more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's Thinsulate?

    A. Did you know the same material used in sleeping bags could help keep your feet warm?

    Read more here


      Q. What is the Direct-Attach or Cementing Method?

    A. This method creates lightweight, comfortable boots that mold to your feet. You'll feel the difference and thank us later! Find out more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's Welting?

    A. This method creates a durable, long-lasting boot. You might not even have to replace your pair once it starts to wear. Find out more.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a Blake Welt?

    A. Blake welting enhances flexibility given fewer layers of material used. Find out how it works.

    Read more here


      Q. What's a Goodyear Welt?

    A. Goodyear welting allows for more support and water-resistance due to extra layers. Find out how it works.

    Read more here


      Q. What is a Cambrelle® lining?

    A. Cambrelle® is a popular brand of boot liners that is engineered to add comfort as well as insulation for your feet.

    Read more here