Do Work Boots Cause Ankle Pain?

Are Your Work Boots Causing You Ankle Pain?
Are Your Ankles in Pain After Wearing Work Boots for Extended Periods? Learn What Causes This Pain & What You Can Do To Protect Your Ankles & Avoid Pain From Re-occuring.
Do Work Boots Cause Ankle Pain

Do Work Boots Cause Ankle Pain? It is possible for work boots to cause ankle pain, especially if they are the wrong size, lack the necessary support, or are stiff and inflexible material.

Acute ankle injuries and sprains are among the most prevalent ailments, causing 2 million injuries each year.

Start on the right foot by avoiding disastrous ankle injuries with this essential information on work boot ankle pain.

Through this article, you’ll discover:

    Our editorial crew at MyBestWorkBoots endeavors to bring you the freshest industry trends. That’s why we’ve compiled this badass evaluation of whether your work boots cause ankle pain.

    Let’s get cracking.

    Why Do Work Boots Cause You Ankle Pain?

    Work boots cause ankle pain because the material used to construct them is rugged and sturdy, which is supposed to protect you from workplace hazards but often restricts your feet’ natural movement.

    This leads to poor proprioception1 and increases the load on your ankle.

    Boots with insufficient ankle support will exacerbate this by allowing the ankle to move back and forth, placing strain on the joint and eventually leading to pain in your ankles.

    Diagnosing Ankle Pain

    Diagnosing ankle pain can be done by your doctor; there are several tests they conduct.

    Your doctor will examine your leg with an X-ray to rule out any fractures or other injuries. 

    If the diagnosis is questionable, you may be referred to an orthopedist2 or an ankle specialist. 

    Don’t be alarmed

    If you have edema3 or have sprained your ankle, your doctor may recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). 

    You will also be subjected to blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC), uric acid, and inflammatory indicators like C-reactive protein (CRP). 

    You may also need X-rays of your foot to determine whether you have bursitis.

    6 Causes That Lead to Ankle Pain 

    The 6 causes that lead to ankle pain are:

    • Achilles tendonitis
    • Injuries
    • Bursitis
    • Uncomfortable work boots
    • Inherent malformations

    Let’s take a closer look at these.

    Achilles Tendonitis

    Achilles tendonitis4 is caused by your feet being involved in strenuous work for long periods while wearing your boots. 

    People who run and walk long distances, or participate in vigorous sports, are more likely to have this type of pain. 

    This ailment is treated with suitable footwear and insoles, extending the calf muscle to relieve pain, icing the area to minimize swelling, and rest if feasible. 

    Keep in mind

    To minimize swelling, a warm seat or heating pad can be used. 

    To alleviate your discomfort, your doctor may recommend certain injections or therapy. 

    Pain relievers are frequently used to treat discomfort when acute pain is severe. 


    Resting whenever possible will help you heal faster. 

    The injections may be effective, but they may not always relieve the uncomfortable symptoms.

    To avoid having severe ankle aches, avoid wearing worn-out boots. 

    However, if the pain persists, you should see your doctor.


    Injuries are another condition that can cause any ankle pain you may be experiencing. 

    Slips, falls, mishaps, twisted ankles, and working in fast-paced work environments are common causes of injuries.

    These injuries can result in edema, internal damage, immobilization, a ruptured tendon, and intense agony. 

    Wearing safety boots with slip-resistant soles5 can keep you safe while working by minimizing your chances of incurring such injuries.


    Arthritis6 is a relatively common type of recurring ankle pain. 

    One of the primary causes of this is increased body weight.

    Use insoles that absorb shock and offer your feet cozy cushioning to avoid such discomfort.

    Take it easy

    Body-weight management is essential for reducing arthritic ankle pain. 

    Simple ankle exercises performed daily will help you avoid this.


    Bursitis7 happens when you have a sudden injury, chronic arthritis, or overuse of your ankle, the bursa becomes irritated and filled with excess fluid, causing swelling and pain.

    The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions and lubricates the movement of bones and is located between your heel bone (calcaneus) and your Achilles tendon at the back of your foot.

    To treat bursitis, try the following tips:

    • Warm compresses should be applied to the afflicted area; this aids in improving circulation and the relief of edema and pain. Do this 4 to 5 times per day for 10 minutes. 
    • Strengthen your leg muscles to increase blood flow to the affected area; this will minimize any swelling and pain.
    • Warm up your feet by performing simple activities such as toe touches, heel lifts, and similar light stretches and exercises.
    • Exercises for bursitis in joints like your ankles entail strengthening flexibility in that region in order to increase the range of motion in an attempt to relieve the pain.

    Uncomfortable Work Boots

    Uncomfortable work boots are a definite cause that can lead to ankle pain.

    Safety boots that are not the correct shape, size, or material could reduce your comfort level, resulting in severe pain and suffering. 

    Take the pressure off

    The hard materials used to make safety boots can cause unnatural movement of your feet and joints.

    This‌ puts too much pressure on your feet, causing intense pain. 

    To avoid this happening, choose your work boots carefully and thoroughly in terms of size, shape, and material. 

    Inherent Malformations

    Inherent malformations can also contribute to severe discomfort, making you vulnerable to ankle pain.

    People suffering from these inherited conditions benefit from exercises and interventions that especially target the joints that are not moving properly. 

    Among these exercises and interventions are:

    • Walking or running on uneven ground allows you to work all the joints in your feet that may have become out of alignment owing to flatfoot, falling arches, and similar conditions.
    • Foot care products such as heel support inserts and orthotics can help relieve pain and discomfort caused by inherent malformations and fallen arches, which occur when a shoe is too low or your toes press against the front of the shoe.
    • Working with a physical therapist or podiatrist8 to develop particular exercises to increase motion in your ankle joints, balance, and strength in your ankles, also goes a long way to relieve ankle pain.

    9 Remedies to Get Rid of Ankle Pain From Work Boots

    The 9 remedies to get rid of ankle pain from work boots are: 

    • Rest
    • Ice
    • Wrapping
    • Elevation
    • Exercise
    • Physiotherapy
    • Flexes
    • Inserts 
    • Injections

    Let’s delve into these a little deeper. 


    Rest as much as possible to relieve yourself of any ankle pain you may be feeling. 

    Avoid excessive movement of your foot and attempt to rest it during the first few days of your ankle pain.


    Using ice to relieve ankle pain is a great method that assists with inflammation too.

    Applying an ice pack to the affected area for at least 20 minutes at a time, 3-5 times a day, for 3 days will provide relief and minimize swelling.


    Tightly wrapping your ankle with an elasticized bandage will undoubtedly alleviate your ankle pain9.


    Elevation is a fantastic method of pain alleviation for your ankles.

    Always elevate your ankle on a pillow stack, right above your heart level.


    General exercises such as rotating your ankle in circles in both directions are ‌beneficial for easing ankle pain.


    Multiple physiotherapy treatments10 can significantly enhance your ankle pain prognosis.


    To hasten your recuperation, gently flex your ankles up and down with your hands.


    Orthopedic shoe inserts or foot or ankle braces can also help to alleviate your ankle pain.


    Steroid injections11 can help reduce swelling, stiffness, and discomfort in your ankle if you have chronic pain. 

    Pro tip

    If all the aforementioned treatments fail, please consult your doctor.

    Precautions to Prevent Ankle Pain From Work Boots

    Precautions to prevent ankle pain from work boots are:

    • Weight management: Attempt to maintain a healthy body weight.
    • Diet: Develop healthy eating habits.
    • Fitness: Maintaining physical fitness and activity is essential.
    • Movement: Maintain a good range of motion in your joints at all times.

    Experiences of People Having Ankle Pain While Wearing Work Boots

    Experiences of people having ankle pain while wearing work boots are deeply uncomfortable and share some common themes. 

    You will experience pain in one or both of your ankles after a long period of inactivity or a good night’s sleep. 

    You may ignore it at first

    But it will eventually require your attention due to mounting discomfort.

    The skin in the area around your ankle will get reddish and swollen, causing irritation and discomfort. 

    Swelling and severe ankle discomfort can be caused by bone growths on the surface of your heels. These are known as heel spurs.

    Things could get worse

    You may also experience haglund’s syndrome, which is characterized by the formation of a bulge on the heel bone as a result of aberrant heel bone and soft tissue of the feet12, resulting in discomfort and agitation.

    Plantar fasciitis is another common ankle pain occurrence, characterized by swelling of the tendon plate under the soles of your feet, which can cause severe ankle pain.

    Always seek the advice of a medical professional with any of these conditions to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment of ankle pain for your health.

    Test Your Boots Before Buying Them 

    Test your boot before buying them to avoid getting ankle pain from work boots.

    Tests that you can conduct are: 

    • Tests for length.
    • Tests for work boot fit. 
    • Using test pads.
    • Testing the positioning of the laces. 
    • Try work boots on at the end of the day.

    Let’s unpack each of these.

    Test for Length

    Test the length of the work boot before buying a new pair in order to ensure the correct fit.

    Shop at a shoe store where you may try on work boots. 

    Check the fit of your potential work boots by completing the following:

    • With a ruler or a tape measure, measure from the top of your heel to the top of your longest toe.
    • Compare these dimensions to the sizing chart in the toe-width and length booklet.
    • If you need to make any changes, try on several sizes until you find one that fits comfortably and effectively supports your feet.
    • Allow a thumb’s breadth of space between the top of the boot and your shin bone. 
    • Work boots that fit properly will not limit blood flow, will not cut into any portion of your leg, and will give enough ankle support.

    Test for Work Boot Fit 

    To test your work boot for fit, check for the following criteria:

    • Laces should keep your feet snugly in place.
    • The boot’s top should rest on your ankle bone.
    • The toe cap should be worn on the outside of your foot, over your big toe, rather than on top of it or to either side.
    • The boot’s heel should be near your anklebone and not on your toes.
    • When you walk, your foot should be pushed far enough into the toe box so the tops of your toes do not rub on it.
    • Within the boot, the ankle should move about 1/2 inch up and down.
    • When walking or standing, the ankle bone (humerus) should not move over the whole arc of motion in your foot without shifting in or out of the boot.

    Using Test Pads

    To test your work boot using pads, check for the following criteria:

    • Your fingers should not feel any hard or sharp objects, such as nails or splints, inside the boot.
    • The pad should be as close to your anklebone as possible without pressing onto it.
    • The cushion should not dig into your skin, but if it does, you have too much padding in the boot.
    • The pad should be approximately 1/2 inch from the top of the boot.
    • The boot should be flexible enough that your toes do not press against the top of the boot.

    Test the Positioning of the Laces 

    Test the positioning of your laces to ensure the best fit from your work boots to avoid ankle pain.

    The laces should have a wide and open loop. It’s too tiny if you have to stand with your foot at an angle to the top of the boot.

    Try Work Boots on at the End of the Day

    Try on new work boots at the end of the day when you’re at home, when your feet are more relaxed, swelling is reduced, and you may be closer to what you would be if you were wearing no shoes at all.

    • Remove any wool or cotton socks to allow for good air circulation.
    • Putting on new boots without socks allows you to get a good idea of how they fit.
    • Wear them for 15 minutes before deciding if they are comfortable.

    Common Questions

    Why Do My Work Boots Hurt My Ankles?

    Are Boots Bad for Your Ankles?

    Can Steel Toe Boots Cause Ankle Problems?

    In Conclusion

    Poor pronation might cause ankle pain if you wear improper work boots for your job or boots with insufficient ankle support.

    These instances, combined with poor balancing, will increase the strain on your ankles and increase your risk of injury.

    Even if you’re wearing less-than-ideal boots, you can lower your risk of ankle pain caused by work boots in the following manner: decreasing your weight, completing stretch exercises, and avoiding uneven terrain at work.

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