Walking Boots for Foot and Ankle Injuries

By Matt Paulus, ATC

Walking Boots for Foot & Ankle Fractures and Injuries

Medical walking boots are used to protect the foot and ankle after an injury or surgery. They are commonly used for stress fractures, shin splints, fractures to the foot or ankle bone, and severe ankle sprains. Medical walking boots aid in the beginning of the rehabilitation process by stabilizing and protecting the area while it heals. As the foot or leg begins to heal, a walking boot slowly allows weight to be put onto the foot.  Your doctor may recommend a walking cast also known as an orthopedic walking boot instead of a cast. The goal of a walking boot varies depending on the condition, but generally the goal is to aid in healing.

JOI Walking Boot

Walking Boot

Medical Equipment

A walking boot can be stiff or soft, depending on the level of support or immobilization required by the patient. Generally, the stiffer the boot, the more immobile the ankle. The sole of the boot can also vary. Some boots come equipped with a rocker sole, which makes the rolling forward motion easier when walking. Others come with a flat, skid-proof sole that is generally useful for standing but difficult to walk in for long periods.

The variety of the walking boot that your doctor provides you with significantly impacts your treatment. Longer walking boots can cause fatigue and are used for patients recovering from serious injuries such as an Achilles tendon rupture. Shorter boots can help stabilize an ankle after a sprain but don’t typically immobilize the working joint as much.

When wearing a walking boot or cast, pay attention to the other joints and limbs used when walking. You hips, back and knee may need to bear considerably more than their fair share of the movement required for walking. Knees in particular are vulnerable, and you may find your knees fatigue more quickly until you get used to the immobilization of your ankle, especially if you are wearing a very stiff walking boot.

At JOI, as a courtesy to our patients, we offer several different types and brands of durable medical equipment or DME.  If you would a list of the medical equipment that we supply, please contact us.

Tips for Wearing and Fitting a Walking Boot

Need some walking boot tips? Watch this VIDEO!

To schedule an appointment for physical therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045. To learn more about fractures from JOI, please read the types of fractures.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904) JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

By: Matt Paulus, MS, ATC

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