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What is a Cast Boot?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A cast boot is a shoe which has been designed to fit over a cast, typically a walking cast. People wear cast boots to protect their casts and to help them walk as normally and comfortably as possible while wearing the cast. Orthopedists often have cast boots in their offices, providing them to patients during treatment, as do doctors who specialize particularly in the care of feet and legs, such as podiatrists. They can also be obtained through medical supply companies.

The cast boot is typically a low boot which may have an open or closed toe. It is usually made with a series of velcro straps which allow people to fully open up the boot so that the cast can be slipped into it, and then to adjust the straps so that the cast boot will fit snugly. The sole of the cast boot can vary in height and design and may come with inserts which can be used to position the cast inside the boot for maximum comfort.

People may need assistance from someone else to put on a cast boot, depending on the nature of their injury, the size of the cast, and their level of flexibility. In this case, it is important that the person doing the fitting take the time to make sure that the cast boot is evenly and snugly placed on the foot, and that it will not wobble, slide, or come off while the patient is walking. The goal is to help the patient be ambulatory during healing, as walking can be beneficial for the patient and it will make the process of healing less of a hardship.

While walking, the cast boot can help to keep the bottom of the cast clean and in good condition while walking over wet and dirty terrain. It can also insulate the cast and leg somewhat from impact and vibrations, which will reduce pain and promote healing.

When a leg is fitted with a cast, the patient should discuss allowable activities with the doctor. There may be specific directives about activity levels which should be followed to give the leg the best chance of healing well. If the cast is an ambulatory cast which permits walking, the doctor may have recommendations for cast boots which can be worn with it. In some cases, a boot is actually built right into the cast as a nonremovable feature.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By accordion — On Jul 17, 2011

One of my best friends has injured himself at least once a year for the last 3 years, and has needed a boot more times than I thought possible for one person. He is a cast shoe-boot professional, and these days the fact that he hurt himself again is almost not even a surprise to those who know him well.

The good thing is that this means he can walk in them easily and they don't impede him much.

By runner101 — On Jul 17, 2011

@geekish - I had a full blown serious stress fracture in my heel, also from just running and training for marathons.

My heel fracture became serious because I ignored it and just tried to ice it. So it doesn't sound like you have the same fracture severity as me.

I had to wear my cast boot walker (and same as you, I just had to wear the boot and did not need a cast) for 8 weeks! I was not allowed any weight bearing activity that entire time so I would ride a bike at the gym with my boot on!

One of the great things about my boot was it was an air cast boot, so I could pump air into it and the air would surround the back of my foot and up to a couple inches above my ankle. It had a deflation nozzle if too much air was pumped or it became uncomfortable.

But most of the time the air just added pressure which felt good and seemed to stabilize my foot even more.

The best news - after 8 weeks of the boot, I went back to running and my heel hasn't hurt since and I have already run one half marathon!

By geekish — On Jul 16, 2011

I just went to a orthopedist to find out why my heel was hurting. I previously had plantar fascitis and thought it was possibly just a renewing and worsening of its condition; however, my heel had begun to hurt on its sides which was new.

I run quite a bit to train for half-marathons and wasn't surprised when I found out I had a stress fracture. My doctor recommended that I get a boot, and I love it. It looks just like the cast boot walkers but I don't have to get a cast as well. So my cast boot only covers my foot.

I had never seen these boots before and was curious where they came from. I wonder if the started out as cast covers and then became removable cast-like apparatuses for people like me with only bone fractures and not bone breaks which require complete hard casts.

The doctor thinks I will only have to wear it for 3 weeks. Here is to hoping it is only that long. Has anyone else had to wear a cast boot walker and for how long?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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