Healthy Winter Feet

October 13, 2018

Winter is coming. Here in Colorado, many of us are taking inventory of our cold-weather footwear line-up, always looking to maintain that perfect balance of fashion and good sense. The seasonal transition from sandals, lightweight tennies and sling-back pumps to loafers, stylish boots and the always practical snow boot can be hard on our feet.

 

After enjoying airy, lightweight shoes – most with little support – for months, our feet will soon be stuffed into closed shoes or boots made of a heavier material, with soles designed for traction. With our feet more tightly encased, even quality footwear can irritate existing foot problems and create new ones. Now is the time to try on your shoes and boots, checking for proper fit and any damage to the material; confirm that the tread is intact.

 

Wearing quality, well-fitting footwear is essential to maintaining foot health. In Colorado, it’s even more important. Our months of snow and cold create slippery conditions and uneven terrain, leading to serious falls and injures. Staying on your feet is just as important as staying warm. Here are some guidelines for keeping feet healthy and happy this winter:

  • Shoes should not be too tight or too loose.
  • If footwear is too tight, toes can be pushed into the nail, causing ingrown toenails. Too snug a fit also creates a warm, moist environment that allows fungus to flourish.
  • A shoe that’s too loose allows the foot to move around inside the shoe; the pressure can create corns, which can be painful and difficult to remove.
  • Good foot hygiene is important. Keep feet clean, warm and dry during winter months.
  • Use foot warmers with caution. They can cause painful burns, and possibly nerve damage and infection.
  • Your feet need good arch and heel support. A good arch is a must for walking distances. Inadequate support can cause knee, hip and lower back pain. Heel support is especially helpful if your calf muscles are tight or you have Achilles tendon issues. Custom orthotic inserts can correct all of these issues.
  • Shoes need a wide enough “toe box.” You should be able to move your toes.
  • Winter and rain boots often have no support. Custom orthotic inserts will provide superior arch and heel support, improve balance, and stabilize your feet.
  • Insulated boots protect your feet from getting too cold. When you come in from the cold, though, feet can overheat, causing excessive sweating and odor.      

 

You’ll be wearing sturdy shoes and boots for the next several months. If they are flimsy or don’t fit well, the negative impact on your feet will be almost immediate. Those trendy, high-heeled boots may look great, but they can alter your posture, cause blisters and bunions, or trigger a fall.

 

Our footwear affects our everyday health. This winter, let’s be careful out there. If our feet are healthy, we’ll be able to enjoy the activities and sports that make Colorado such a fantastic place to live.

 

If you have a foot or ankle injury, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Not seeking treatment can have long-term consequences. Cold-weather season is the perfect time to get Foot Doctors Orthotics custom-made inserts for your winter shoes and boots. Email customerservice@footdoctorsorthotics.com or call 877-598-2471.