how do you sleep comfortably in a walking boot?

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You’ve been wearing your walking boots for two straight days without taking them off even for a second. The itching is coming and going but you’ve grown accustomed to it by now. However, you haven’t had a good night’s sleep since you’ve been wearing them. That brings us to the main question, do I sleep with my walking boot on?

In the first few weeks of the injury, you shouldn’t take off the walking boots even when you’re sleeping. The only time you can take them off is when you’re showering. If it bothers you too much, try loosening the straps or using a gel heel to see if it helps.

I’ve pretty much jam-packed all the information in this one paragraph. But as you can guess, there’s a lot more from where this came from. If you can spare a couple of minutes, stick with me as I explain everything you need to know regarding this topic-

Can I Take My Walking Boot Off At Night?

You should not take off your walking boots at night. Unless the injury is properly healed, you shouldn’t bother doing anything to it. Moreover, if the injury happens to be severe, you shouldn’t take it off without your doctor’s advice.

Even though a walking boot isn’t that serious like a cast. But that doesn’t mean you’re free to do whatever you want. Your foot is still injured, meaning you should do everything to make it heal faster.

3 reasons Why sleeping in a walking boot

Wearing shoes while sleeping, seems weird, right? Well, when you have a broken ankle, you can’t really focus on comfort. Fixing the area ASAP is more of a priority. Nonetheless, some people still have a hard time dealing with this. That said, here’s why you should wear walking boots at night-

reasons #1 – Your Ankle Holds on to Its Shape

When you sleep, your body naturally goes into hibernation mode, relaxing every muscle in the body. It’s nature’s way of healing the body after a long day. Without wearing walking boots, your ankle won’t be in its active state. In other words, it’ll be resting in an extended and pointed position.

This might not be problematic after a few weeks of the injury. However, the muscles will face damage when you put on the boots. Although you can avoid this damage by massaging it beforehand.

Nevertheless, it’s always a better idea to wear walking boots while you’re sleeping. A few weeks of pain is worth it if you can heal faster.

reasons #2 – Works a Subtle Reminder

The human brain is an interesting organ. But the subconscious part of our brain is even more interesting. For example, notice how you can sometimes wake up without any alarms whatsoever. Well, that’s your subconscious brain in action.

The same thing can happen to walk boots. When you sleep with those on, you’re giving your body an extra warning about it.

This way your brain will know the foot is in a recovery stage. And you won’t roll over on that foot.

reasons #3 – Prevents Further Damage

Let’s say you’re not that familiar with your subconscious mind. Well, that’s one more reason to wear walking boots. If you somehow damage the ankle in your sleep, the excruciating pain will be hard to handle. Not to mention, you’d have to spend extra money to fix it again.

Ever noticed how people have to wear casts for a long time without taking them off? It’s because the area is in a delicate stage. Unless you keep it stable at all times, it won’t heal properly.

On top of that, if you sleep with a partner or pet, there’s a chance of unintentional kicking. While that might not be enough to send you back to the hospital, the pain will be enough to convince you.

Can I Sleep Without My Boot After Ankle Surgery?

The internet is filled with opinions from many different people. But know this, the ones who suggest you can sleep without CAM boots are considering comfort as the main priority.

There’s no denying you need comfort when you’re sleeping. However, your body heals itself when you’re sleeping. So, without walking boots, it can’t heal the ankle.

This is even more important in the first few weeks after ankle surgery. That’s when the area is most vulnerable, meaning you need to give it the utmost care. That said, don’t take off your walking boots when you’re sleeping.

What If I Sleep With My Walking Boot Off? Will I Rupture My Leg?

It’s not like you’ll rupture your legs if you sleep with your walking boots off. However, you will be putting yourself at higher risk. You never know when you or your partner/pet might roll over and increase the damage.

Instead of wearing it with a perfect fit, you could wear it loosely. That way, the foot won’t lose its shape and the tendons will be loosened enough to give you a comfortable sleep.

Other than that, you could even try removing the front plate. Remove that and you’ll notice how loosened up your foot feels. Nevertheless, it’s never a good idea to make this into a habit.

Keep in mind that it’s only for a couple of weeks. After that, you can sleep however you like. But if you somehow damage your legs during the recovery stage, the healing period will extend significantly.

How Many Hours a Day Should You Wear a Walking Boot?

You’re supposed to wear your walking boots 24 hours a day. The only time you don’t need to wear them is when you’re showering. There’s no point in getting them wet. But other than that, don’t forget to wear boots even when you’re sleeping.

As a matter of fact, you should give more importance to wearing it while sleeping. During that time you’re not in control of your body. You never know when you’re rolling over. What’s more, someone other than you might unintentionally kick your feet.

The bottom line? There’s always a risk of further damaging your feet. You might limit wearing it when a few weeks have passed. However, don’t even think of walking without those in the initial days.

Should I Use Crutches While Wearing the Walking Boot?

There’s no surefire way to tell whether you should use crutches or not. It depends on the severity of the injury. That said, let’s divide it into two parts-

Use Crutches When-

  • The Injury is Severe

When the injury is severe, you need crutches along with walking boots to ensure the alignment of your foot gets back to its original form.

  • Inexperience with Walking Boots

You might tip over the first time you’re wearing walking boots. The extra weight takes some to get used to. A crutch will assist you in walking.

  • Both Feet are Out of Commission

There’s no alternative to crutches if you injure both feet. You need them for basic stability.

  • Long Walks

Short-distance walks might feel like a long ones when you’re injured. Make sure you have crutches to support you along the way.

Don’t Use Crutches When-

  • Less Severe Injury

If the injury is not that severe and your body can handle some of the weight, there’s no need to use crutches. The walking boots along will take care of everything. 

  • Recovery is Almost Complete

When you’re at the end of your recovery period, you won’t need crutches. If there’s no swelling or pain after a short walk, then you’re good to go without crutches.

Quick links: if you are interested to know more about the footwear guide, visit our other article about crocs sizing guide.

What Size Walking Boot Do I Need?

The size of the walking boot depends on how long the foot is. Instead of explaining one by one, let’s wrap it up with a quick size chart-

SizeFoot MeasurementMen’s ShoeWomen’s Shoe
XS8”-8.75”2-43-6
S9”-9.5”4.5-66.5-8
M9.75”-10.75”6.5-108.5-12
L11”-11.25”10.5-1212.5-14
XL11.5”-12”12-1514+

closing part

Well, that’s a wrap. Hopefully, you won’t injure your ankle once more. But if you do, you’ll know the answer to this controversial question, do I sleep with my walking boot on?

At the end of the day, doctors will suggest you the most ideal option. In most cases, it’s better to follow them. You can give yourself a break from wearing the boots from time to time. But don’t even think about it during the first few weeks.

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