Winter is the time of year for frigid temperatures, snow and ice. While much of your focus will go towards wearing proper clothing to keep you warm and safe, don’t overlook your feet in the process. In order to decrease your risk of medical concerns like frostbite and foot infections, there are a number of key points you want to remember all season long to keep your feet safe and comfortable.
Wear Proper Socks
When it comes to socks for the colder months of the year, you want to steer clear of cotton. Cotton socks only offer a very small level of insulating and moisture trapping qualities. When wearing a cotton sock, if your socks get wet, only some of the moisture will be absorbed; the rest will end up on your feet. In extreme temperatures, this excess moisture will only cause your feet to get colder, faster and increase your risk of getting frostbitten.
A better option for this time of the year is to wear socks made from wool or fleece along with a sock liner. Wool and fleece socks are typically thicker than cotton and naturally have greater insulating and moisture absorbing qualities, keeping your feet warmer. The sock liner will serve as an additional layer of moisture protection as they are designed to absorb and trap moisture so that it doesn’t end up on your feet.
Keep Your Shoes Dry
If you walk through the snow or slush and your shoes get wet, take them off right away and allow them to dry completely before putting them back on. Don’t wear wet shoes in the winter. Similar to cotton socks, the moisture from the shoes will cause your feet to cool faster and again, increase your risk of frostbitten toes or feet.
While most people associate the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus with wet, warm environments, wet, cold environments are just as dangerous. Wearing wet shoes won’t just make your feet smell bad, but contact with these bacteria and fungi can increase your risk of a foot infection. If you aren’t able to take your shoes off right away, once you can change them, make sure you are thoroughly washing your feet with soap and water to clean away any germs.
Foot care should be just as important as your overall health, all year long. Should any issue arise with your feet this winter or any other time, make sure you are visiting a podiatrist, like Klein Stanley Jay DPM, for proper treatment.