It’s the time of year to trade flip flops and sandals for winter boots and fuzzy socks! But whether you’re walking on warm sandy beaches or shuffling through the winter snow, it’s important to take care of your feet.
Feet are your primary means to mobility. In fact, the average American walks over 75,000 miles by the time they’re 50 years old. It’s no wonder so many experience some form of foot pain. When injury interrupts daily activities, it can cause a decline in overall health.
With its unfriendly weather and harsh environments, winter poses a particular threat to the health of your feet. From navigating winter conditions to caring for your feet in extreme sports, here are a few ways to avoid winter feet.
Proper Footwear Matters
Waterproof boots are a must when dealing with cold, wet winter conditions. When paired with thick warm socks, feet tend to sweat more. Consider adding foot powder to absorb moisture and prevent chills and bacterial infection. Be sure to keep your feet clean with regular foot baths and dry socks.
Fit and Function
We all like to get the most use out of our footwear. But winter feet need to fit properly in the moment rather than having room to grow. You may be able to get multiple seasons out of other pieces like jackets, but loose fitting boots, skates, and ski equipment can cause blisters, chafing, and muscular injury.
Don’t let the elements keep you indoors. With a variety of moisture wicking activewear and footwear, runners can stay warm and dry all winter. But be careful when hitting the trails with icy conditions. It’s tempting to alter the way your foot strikes the ground, but instead, try shortening your stride to maintain stability. Remember that cold weather causes muscles to be less flexible, so stretch and warm up before running.
Over 10 million Americans hit the slopes each year for winter sports. It is important to make sure you only ski and snowboard in footwear designed for that purpose. Boots should fit so that toes can wiggle, but the heel, instep and ball of your foot are immobilized. If necessary, use orthotic inserts to help provide stability for the foot inside boots or ice skates.
Put the summer sandals and sneakers away for the season to avoid exposure to extreme temperatures. Wearing the wrong shoe through snow, ice and frigid temperatures can risk frostbite and injury. Keep feet safe, dry, and well-supported in winter footwear.
Get Healthy Winter Feet With the Foot Specialists
With a little extra care, you can keep feet comfy and safe this winter. Remember to wear appropriate shoes for the activity and weather, and stay dry and warm. If you do experience foot pain, be sure to have it checked before further injury occurs.
The Foot Specialist of Birmingham are here to answer any questions you have about winter feet safety. Contact us today to set up an appointment.