Living in Idaho, there is plenty of cold weather to go around. We wanted to provide some winter foot-care advice. Over the next month all of us (whether by choice or not) will spend time out in snow and in the cold. We want to provide some advice on how to properly prepare and care for your feet for the upcoming cold.
APMA offers some advice for keeping feet healthy in common winter scenarios:
Winter Skiing and Snowboarding:
- Never ski or snowboard in footwear other than ski boots specifically designed for that purpose.
- Make sure your boots fit properly; you should be able to wiggle your toes, but the boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot.
- You can use orthotics (support devices that go inside shoes) to help control the foot’s movement inside ski boots or ice skates.
- A variety of warm, light-weight, moisture-wicking active wear available at most running or sporting goods stores helps ensure runners stay warm and dry in bitter temperatures.
- Some runners may compensate for icy conditions by altering how their foot strikes the ground. Instead of changing your foot-strike pattern, shorten your stride to help maintain stability.
- Remember, it’s more important than ever to stretch before you begin your run. Cold weather can make you less flexible in winter than you are in summer, so it’s important to warm muscles up before running.
Kids Foot wear:
- Be size smart. It may be tempting to buy pricey specialty footwear (like winter boots or ski boots) for kids in a slightly larger size, thinking they’ll be able to get two seasons of wear out of them. But unlike coats that kids can grow into, footwear needs to fit properly right away. Properly fitted skates and boots can help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries. Likewise, if socks are too small, they can force toes to bunch together, and that friction
- Boots are must-have footwear in winter climates, especially when dealing with winter precipitation. Between the waterproof material of the boots themselves and the warm socks you wear to keep toes toasty, you may find your feet sweat a lot. Damp, sweaty feet can chill more easily and are more prone to bacterial infections. To keep feet clean and dry, consider using foot powder inside socks and incorporating extra foot-baths into your foot care regimen this winter.
- Exposing feet to extreme temperatures means risking frostbite and injury. Choose winter footwear that will keep your feet warm, dry, and well-supported. Do not go bare-foot, wear flip-flops, or shoes with holes in them.