There’s no doubt that the holiday season is a beautiful time of year. From the colorful lights to the magical scenery to the snow glistening under the moonlight, it definitely gives a reason to pause and enjoy the sights around us. However, this time of year can also bring along harsh winter weather. With freezing temperatures, icy roads and slick walkways, it’s important to ensure you are taking all of the safety precautions necessary—including wearing proper winter footwear.
Many don’t realize the importance of what goes on your feet during the cold, wet weather. Whether you are just walking into work or venturing out on an enchanting snowy hike, proper winter footwear is critical for a number of reasons. Keep reading to learn why the shoes you chose this winter should be more than just a fashion statement.
They Keep Your Feet Dry
Good hygiene is a vital factor in overall health. This includes your feet. While regularly washing your feet with soap and water is important, it is just as important to make sure you are able to keep them dry. Fungal organisms are attracted to moisture around the feet and in between toes. By keeping your feet dry, you are able to lower the possibility of fungal infections or painful blisters. These conditions can potentially lead to greater health risks.
To ensure your feet remain free of moisture during wet weather conditions, look into shoes that are built to handle water. Footwear that offers waterproofing technology will be able to keep feet dry for extended periods of time. This is because the outer layers are designed to keep water out. The upper layers also allow for breathability so any moisture from sweating is reduced—ultimately preventing any discomfort.
They Keep Your Feet Warm
The cold weather and holiday season gives many memories of warm drinks, a cozy fire, beautiful snow falls… and the cold and flu. Experts have said for years that the winter months are when individuals are most likely to get sick. And keeping your feet warm is the first step to ensure you stay healthy. Warmer feet open up the blood vessels and allow better blood flow, moving heat to every other part of the body to boost energy and protect your immune system. Wearing proper winter footwear, especially during outdoor winter activities, can help keep you healthy.
There are plenty of ways to keep your feet nice and toasty during the colder months. As a first line of defense, we recommend pairing wool-lined or thermal socks with insulated, water-resistant boots for keeping feet warm (not hot) and comfortable. If you are more sensitive to cold temperatures or just want a little more warmth, there are also other options available on the market, such as:
- Electric heated socks
- Disposable toe warmers
- Insulated footbeds
- Thermal sock liners
- And more!
They Provide Support
When many people are shopping for new footwear for the winter, they often gravitate towards the more fashionable or season-trendy options. There isn’t a lot of time spent researching all of their selected footwear’s features nor do they take the level of support into account. By wearing boots or other winter shoes that do not provide proper support, you are at risk of ankle, foot or shin fractures, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, arch spasms, heel spurs, tendonitis and other conditions. Purchasing the correct footwear can prevent pain from worsening.
When shopping for new winter shoes, you should be looking for items that have lacing, a firm structure and sides that are padded. We also stress that you are getting options that truly fit. Make sure you have enough room to move your toes and the heel does not rub. These types of factors and features will help ensure you are getting a durable, comfortable piece of footwear.
They Prevent Injury
While the arrival of the snowy, wet, and icy winter season causes safety concerns for drivers, it can also provide hazardous conditions for pedestrians. Snow-blocked sidewalks and icy pathways put walkers at risk for the potential of slipping and falling, which can lead to serious injuries. If you know your usual route into the office isn’t always prepped properly after heavy snowfall or isn’t de-iced after a particularly cold night, you should grab the right shoes that will keep you safe.
To prevent injuries caused by slipping and falling on ice-covered surfaces, you should look for footwear that offers anti-slip technology. Extra grip is highly recommended for the winter. It provides the right amount of traction for when slip hazards on snow and ice are more pronounced.
Consult Your Doctor
If you are planning on engaging in outdoor activities this season and are unsure if your winter footwear is causing issues, please contact us. We can evaluate your current health, understand your activity level, and review any previous foot issues to help determine the best footwear for you.
Caruso Foot & Ankle specializes in sports injuries, foot and ankle pain, dry and cracked heels, ingrown toenails, and flat feet. It is our goal to provide excellent care for our patients. We provide help and guidance to stay safe and healthy during the harsh winter months. Schedule an appointment today!