Keep Your Feet Winter Safe

ski footwear

Winter weather can cause havoc on your feet. Between the wet snow/ice and frigid temperatures your feet are susceptible to to many problems. Common foot problems we see in the winter are foot and toenail fungus, calluses and corns, and injuries. As much as we try to keep our feet warm and dry, the snow and ice will often find it's way into your shoes and boots.

Wearing socks with trapped moisture can lead to a range of fungus. Also, the friction from your feet and wet socks can cause corns and calluses that may not have the proper environment to heal. Brining extra shoes and socks out with you or by leaving them in your car, you are able to help reduce your chances. 

Ankle Sprains, Heel Pain and Tendonitis

With snow and ice comes injury. We see a lot of ankle sprains, heel pain and tendonitis. Slippery walk ways and steps leads to a large number of injuries and ankle sprains are very common. Be sure to keep these areas clear and well salted. In addition, be selective when choosing your winter gear. Make sure you're wearing the proper size. make sure you invest in slip resistant and water proof. Lastly, bring extra socks with you everywhere and change them frequently.

Some advice for keeping feet healthy in common winter scenarios:

  • Winter is skiing and snowboarding season, activities enjoyed by nearly 10 million Americans, according to the National Ski Areas Association. Never ski or snowboard in footwear other than ski boots specifically designed for that purpose. Make sure your boots fit properly; you should be able to wiggle your toes, but the boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot. You can use orthotics (support devices that go inside shoes) to help control the foot's movement inside ski boots or ice skates. We can make custom ones to fit your boots exactly!
  • Committed runners don't need to let the cold stop them. A variety of warm, light-weight, moisture-wicking active wear available at most running or sporting goods stores helps ensure runners stay warm and dry in bitter temperatures. And remember, it's more important than ever to stretch before you begin your run. Cold weather can make you less flexible in winter than you are in summer, so it's important to warm muscles up before running.
  • Boots are must-have footwear in winter climates, especially when dealing with winter precipitation. Between the waterproof material of the boots themselves and the warm socks you wear to keep toes toasty, you may find your feet sweat a lot. Damp, sweaty feet can chill more easily and are more prone to bacterial infections.
  • Be size smart. It may be tempting to buy pricey specialty footwear (like winter boots or ski boots) for kids in a slightly larger size, thinking they'll be able to get two seasons of wear out of them. But unlike coats that kids can grow into, footwear needs to fit properly right away. Properly fitted skates and boots can help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries. Likewise, if socks are too small, they can force toes to bunch together, and that friction can cause painful blisters or corns.
Finally—and although this one seems like it should go without saying, it bears spelling out—don't try to tip-toe through winter snow, ice, and temperatures in summer-appropriate footwear.  Take care of your feet all year round!
Denise Bonnin, D.P.M.
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Dr. Denise Bonnin is an amazing foot and ankle doctor. She loves to treat children, seniors, and athletes!
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