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Walking Boot

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

A walking boot is a type of medical shoe used to protect the foot and ankle after an injury or surgery. The boot can be used for broken bones, tendon injuries, severe sprains, or shin splints. A walking boot helps keep the foot stable so it can heal. It can keep your weight off an area, such as your toe, as it heals. Most boots have between 2 and 5 adjustable straps and go mid-way up your calf.

Walking Boot


Call your doctor if:

  • You have pain or discomfort that does not go away when you deflate the air chamber.
  • You cannot seem to get the boot to fit correctly.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

How to put on the walking boot:

You may want to wear a large sock.

  • Sit down and place your heel all the way to the back of the boot.
  • Wrap the soft liner around your foot and leg.
  • Place the front piece over the liner.
  • Start to fasten the straps closest to your toes then move up your leg.
  • Tighten the straps so they are snug but not too tight. The boot should limit movement but not cut off your blood flow.
  • If your boot has one or more air chambers, pump them up as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Stand up and take a few steps to practice walking.
  • Deflate the air chambers before removing the boot.

What else you need to know:

  • Check your foot and toes often. Check your foot and toes for redness and swelling. If your toes are red, swollen, numb, or tingly, loosen your straps or deflate the air chamber. Over time, the swelling from the injury or surgery will decrease. When this happens, you may need to tighten the straps.
  • Be careful when you walk on wet surfaces. The boot may be slippery.
  • Follow the instructions to wash the liner. Remove the liner and wash it by hand in cold water with a mild detergent. Do not use a washing machine or dryer. Place the liner flat to dry. Wash the plastic parts with a damp cloth and mild soap.
  • Ask about removing the boot to bathe or for motion exercises. You may need to leave the boot on when you bathe. Cover it with a plastic bag and tape the bag closed around your leg.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.