Sock boots were on the feet of almost everyone at London and New York Fashion Weeks.

The ones to covet are by Balenciaga, but if you can’t quite afford the designer price tag, you’re in luck – as there are dupes all over the high street at Zara, Topshop and ASOS.

[Read more: 4 easy foot exercises to relieve the pain of bunions]

They’re (almost) officially the one pair of boots you need this winter. But as pretty as they might be, they - along with most winter boots - could be a burden on your feet.

 

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Ill-fitting winter boots cause your feet to swell up, ache, squash your toes and be harsh on your soles.

So, whatever the style, how do you find the perfect pair of boots for your feet? Expert podiatrist Michael Harrison-Blount shares his insider knowledge on getting the right fit.

Winter boot buying tips

1. When trying on boots, wear the same type of socks that you’d wear normally.

[Read more: The ultimate guide to buying a winter coat]

2. Try on at least four or five pairs. If they have laces, put the boots on and lace each pair before walking around for a few minutes. Ideally, the best time of day to be trying them on is at the end of the day, when your feet are at their largest – feet can expand by as much as half a size during the day.

3. Stand on your tip-toes and check for movement; there should be no movement of the heel counter of the boot against the back of the heel.

4. Make sure there’s about a finger’s width of space between the end of your longest toe and the front of the boot to avoid damage to the nails and prevent calluses from forming on the top of the toes.

5. If you’re going to be out in bad weather, walking boots are your best buy – the leather uppers mould well to the shape of your foot, are hard wearing but also allow your feet to breathe.

6. The lining of the boot should be smooth, with no round or obtrusive stitching inside.

7. Be wary of flat and furry boots, as they offer little to no support to the foot and ankle. This places pressure on the back, knees, pelvis and ankles and can lead to wear and tear on the joints on the inside of the foot. Wear them in moderation.

Winter boot care tips 

1. Clean them regularly and as soon as they’re dirty from walking in mud, puddles or the rain, clean them.

[Read more: 5 of the most ridiculous winter fashion trends]

2. If they get wet, put newspaper inside them and leave to dry completely before wearing them again.

3. Often, the insole of the boot will become damaged, lose its shock absorbency or even smell. Give your boots a new lease of life with cushioned, shock-absorbing gel insoles such as Scholl’s – you can find these in most supermarkets, high street pharmacies and online.