Tips for Healthy Winter Feet

Taking care of your feet is important all year long and is vital to our overall health and well-being. During the winter season, our feet can be prone to dryness, injury and poor circulation. Take a step towards bettering your foot health this winter with these tips for winter foot health.

Choose the correct shoes.

Boots are a must-have footwear in our snowy Ohio climate. Many popular winter boots and shoes sacrifice function for fashion. When choosing shoes this winter, try to find something that provides support and is waterproof or water-resistant. Arch support helps to distribute pressure evenly across the foot, which can improve posture, absorb shock and reduce or prevent pain. Look for a deep tread pattern too, which can help to prevent slips and falls while navigating the wet and icy winter ground. Without proper footwear, it may be difficult to navigate slippery, wet or icy areas, which could result in significant injury.

Keep your feet warm, but not too warm.

In cold weather environments, the body has mechanisms to retain heat in our core, but sacrifices warmth and circulation to the extremities, like our feet. Try pairing your winter shoes with a pair of thick cotton socks to help with the thermal regulation of the feet and toes. This can help to keep your feet warmer for longer periods of time. Warmers are a great way to add external heat to your feet but please be sure they are not in direct contact with the skin as this could cause a burn. Many people will use space heaters or fireplaces during the cold winter months. Please do not place your feet directly in front of a heater or fireplace as this can also cause a burn, especially if you fall asleep! If you have nerve damage or neuropathy to your feet, this is especially important.

Listen to your feet.

During the winter months, there is often less humidity in the air which can lead to dry, cracked skin. If your feet are feeling dry, make sure to use lotion on your feet as needed to keep them well moisturized. If your feet or toes are cold and begin to feel painful, please take a break from the cold weather to allow your extremities to warm up. Listen to your body in this regard. Cold exposure symptoms such as pain and redness could cause significant tissue damage even within an hour.