As winter approaches, you’re probably packing away your thongs and digging out your boots and fluffy slippers for those chilly winter days and nights. For those of you who are worried about your feet hibernating for the next 6 months or so, we’ve compiled this handy guide to looking after your feet in winter.
Here are some good tips on foot care and footwear for this winter season, which is just around the corner, straight from our podiatrists in Sydney!
Winter Foot Care Tip #1 – Footwear That Fits
Make sure your shoes fit properly. This may sound simple and even a little ridiculous, but think about it.
In winter we tend to wear enclosed shoes, with thicker socks. Often we choose boots that are ankle height or even higher. They’re often tighter fitting and when you add socks that are that little bit too thick, it means your feet can be really squeezed for space.
When shopping for new shoes for use in winter, make sure you try them on with the right kind of socks before you buy them. Those thin stocking-type socks they give you when trying on shoes in store just don’t cut it.
Winter Foot Care Tip #2 – Choose Natural Socks
Socks made from natural fibres are better for the cooler winter months. Cotton or wool socks are much more absorbent, meaning if your feet get too hot in them, they’ll absorb the moisture instead of making your feet hot and sweaty. Plus they’ll be less smelly too!
Winter Foot Care Tip #3 – Keep Your Feet Warm & Dry
No-one likes wet feet in winter. But bacteria do – they can build up when feet are left wet for long periods of time. If you want to avoid bacterial or fungal toenail infections, keep your feet as dry as possible. If they get wet while you’re out and about, as soon as you get home, wash and dry them thoroughly.
Winter Foot Care Tip #4 – Avoid Damp Footwear
If your shoes get wet, you need to make sure they dry out completely before wearing them again. If you’re spending lots of time outdoors, hiking boots can get very wet during the winter months. Place these somewhere near a heat source like a gas or electric heater to dry out for at least 12-24 hours before you wear them again.
For some tips on finding the best hiking boots for you, read our blog about choosing hiking boots.
Winter Foot Care Tip #5 – Soak, Exfoliate & Moisturise
Give your feet a bit of extra TLC in winter. Soak them in warm water and then exfoliate the skin to get rid of any dead or flaky skin. After that, moisturise them using a specialised foot cream or oil. Do this before bed time, pop some socks on and allow your foot to soak in all that moisture overnight.
Winter Foot Care Tip #6 – Treat Cracked Feet As Soon As You Notice Them
If your feet are prone to cracking, treat them as soon as you notice them starting to form. Invest in a good heel balm and apply daily, or more regularly if recommended by your podiatrist.
We hope you’ve found this guide to looking after your feet in winter useful.
If you’ve got any concerns about your feet, book an appointment with our podiatrist in Sydney today. We can help diagnose and treat your foot problems, and get you on the road to management and recovery.