Cooler weather and wetter conditions call for a change in your foot care routine. It is important to keep your feet sufficiently warm and dry during the winter season because failing to do so can lead to unpleasant foot conditions and infections such as athletes foots, heel cracks, fungal nail infections and more. This is especially the case for those who suffer from diabetes, Raynaud's disease or poor circulation since they tend to be more susceptible to these types of skin conditions than others.
To keep your feet in tip top condition this winter and to avoid getting any troublesome infections, follow our helpful foot care tips below.
Pick the Right Footwear
Making sure you have the proper footwear is the first step to ensuring your feet stay healthy this winter. In particular, boots are a must-have for dealing with winter precipitation. When it comes to materials, it is advisable to choose leather and suede over synthetic material since natural materials allow air circulation to the foot. In addition, avoid thin soled shoes which allow the cold ground to reach your feet. You should wear at least 2mm soled shoes on very cold days. Ideally they should have good grip on the sole and fit securely. A lot of people make the mistake of going for a slightly larger size when buying winter boots, thinking that they will need the room when wearing thick socks, however boots need to fit securely on the feet if they are to do their job properly. Finally, for icy conditions, it is vital to consider the ankle support in a shoe or boot.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Some winter boots can cause the feet to sweat more as a result of the increased insulation in the boot. If feet are allowed to remain damp they can chill more easily and become susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections. To keep feet clean and dry, it is worthwhile using foot powder inside socks and incorporating extra foot soaks into your foot care regimen during the winter. Also, keep an eye out for high quality footwear brands like Clarks that offer a breathable waterproof GORETEX® membrane in a selection of their outdoor shoes, ideal for keeping your feet nice and warm in wet and damp conditions.
Have Occasional Foot Soaks
As mentioned above, it is recommended to treat your feet to occasional foot soaks as part of your foot care routine in winter. This will help to thoroughly clean your feet. You should try to maintain a lukewarm water temperature of 32 degrees Celsius for the soak and leave them bade for about ten minutes – this is the safe amount of time to prevent over-drying or maceration of the skin. Also, always ensure to dry your feet carefully after bathing, paying particular attention to drying the area between the toes since this is where athlete’s foot most commonly develops.
Moisturise Your Feet
Cold weather can often cause cracks around the heels of the foot which can be painful and also, are prone to infection. In order to prevent this problem you need to moisturise your feet regularly with a good quality foot moisturiser. In particular, it is advisable to use an extra emollient moisturizer on the feet. Avoid moisturizing between toes since added moisture encourages bacterial and fungal skin infections. Of course, if you’re unsure about what moisturiser to choose, ask a certified foot care nurse or doctor to recommend one.
Choose the Right Socks
Feet continue to sweat in colder temperatures so it is crucial to wear socks that promote air circulation and wick away perspiration. Thick but breathable socks are the perfect choice when it comes to the winter time.
Finally, incorporating the above tips into your winter foot care routine will ensure healthy and happy feet. It is likely that you’ll be more than enthusiastic to show them off when the summer time comes around.