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Winter Foot Care

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 20 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Feet Winter Problems Common Cracked Skin

The cold, harsh winter weather can affect our feet in many ways. In much the same way that it is recommended that we prepare our feet for the wearing of sandals and less structured footwear in the summer months, it is also a good idea to consider how the colder climate will take affect. Opting to neglect feet could leave them feeling bruised, sensitive and painful.

The Importance Of Correct Sizing

During the summer our feet are able to move more freely in light, open sandals and unstructured footwear. During the cold, winter months however, structured, enclosed outdoor shoes, and heavy boots that provide more support and protection are essential. Going from one type of footwear to another can result in choosing shoes that do not fit properly.

Not exposing your feet to extreme heat or cold means that your feet are able to relax into their natural shape. This enables correct measurements to be taken and makes the selection of outdoor shoes much easier. Wearing correctly fitted shoes reduces the risk of problems developing with your toes and feet during the winter.

Winter Warning

Our feet are probably the most neglected part of the body and yet they are expected to perform no matter the conditions of the weather or the footwear they are subjected to wearing every day. During the winter feet are often bundled up in thick socks and crammed into ill-fitting structured outdoor shoes and boots. Feet naturally become sweaty, sensitive, sore and battered so it is essential that time is taken to make sure they are looked after and pampered.

Walking barefoot, during the winter, is not recommended even indoors. The changes in temperature can affect your feet in many ways so wearing sock and/or cosy slippers, whilst indoors, will help minimise cracked skin and chilblains.

Common Problems

Dry and cracked skin and chilblains are the most common problems our feet experience during the winter. Looking after your feet, by ensuring they are always clean, thoroughly dry and well moisturised will help minimise dry, flaky skin and cracking. Using a good quality foot cream at least once a day, ideally at night, will keep skin soft and supple.

It is also important to make sure you maintain a steady temperature. This means that socks and shoes should be worn whenever you go outside in the cold, even if you are only putting the rubbish out. Wearing shoes that have not dried out properly, after being out in the rain or snow, will also affect your feet. Ensuring shoes have dried out before you wear them again, and alternating the footwear you wear from day to day, is also recommended.

Preparing Your Feet For Spring

In much the same way that we should pamper our feet in order to have them looking and feeling their best for the wearing of sandals in the summer, care and attention should be taken in preparing them for lighter footwear once winter comes to an end. During the winter months feet will have been wrapped up in thick socks and hosiery and crammed into structured, enclosed shoes. Regularly maintaining a good footcare regime will mean that preparation is minimal, as your feet will always be well moisturised and problem-free. You will then be able to switch from wearing heavy boots to lighter, supportive footwear with no problems.

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