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.