0207 099 6657 [email protected]

Winter is around the corner and foot problems increase at this time of year. Cooler weather causes old issues to flare up or new ones to set in, so it’s time to take precautions.

Winter doesn’t need to be tough on your feet. Here are some things to look out for.

Lower Temperatures Affect Joints and Nerves

There are numerous joints in your feet and toes, and cold weather really doesn’t suit them. Joint tissues and ligaments may contract in the cold, which constricts your nerves and leads to numbness, tingling and circulation problems. This isn’t good for anyone but for those with conditions like diabetes, arthritis, Reynaud’s Disease or Morton’s neuroma it’s particularly unhealthy.


These itchy, sore patches of swollen skin are usually found on hands and feet. Chilblains are common for people with circulation issues, but anyone can get them.

The tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin constrict in the cold. If you warm up too quickly the vessels struggle to expand, causing blood to seep into the surrounding tissue. This causes a painful swelling, so try to warm up gradually to give vessels time to adapt.

Watch Out for Dry Skin and Nails

Lower temperatures dry out the epidermis (outer layer of skin) leaving rough, flaky skin and the potential for infection. This often occurs around the heels.

Toenails also dry out and become brittle. This is how ingrown toenails occur as tiny nail shards break off and become embedded in the surrounding skin. Make sure you cut toenails straight across rather than in a curve, and carefully smooth the edges. This prevents any jagged bits from causing problems.

The Right Shoes and Socks

The obvious solution is to keep your feet nice and toasty with warm winter socks. However, just like your footwear, socks must fit properly. Too tight and they’ll create pressure in all the wrong places; too loose and your feet will slip about leading to further pressure and discomfort.

Make sure your socks are soft, warm and fit comfortably. Your winter shoes or boots should have sturdy soles with a good grip. And don’t be tempted to squeeze your feet into last year’s worn-out footwear. That won’t support or protect you properly.

Don’t Forget Moisturiser

Even with the right footwear and socks skin can still suffer in the cold. A good foot moisturising cream soothes, softens and rehydrates dry skin to prevent roughness and cracking. This helps keep infection under control.

Make sure you pay attention to all dry areas but don’t apply cream between the toes. This can lead to dampness and that causes infection.

Avoid Fungal Infections

Warm, damp conditions encourage fungal infections like athlete’s foot, and moisturiser isn’t the only culprit. Any dampness left over from bathing or problems caused by bad footwear will have the same effect. Always dry your feet carefully, including between the toes, and wear breathable shoes and socks to wick away unwanted moisture – after all, damp, chilly UK weather is never far away!

Winter Problems Start in Summer

Sandals or flip-flops are great on a hot day, but they often lack proper support. This puts tendons and muscles under constant strain. You may not realise at the time, but this will catch up with you later, so it’s wise to keep an eye on your foot health all year round.

What’s Best for You This Winter?

Don’t wait until it’s freezing. For a comfortable and healthy winter talk to an experienced podiatrist at Feet By Pody. Call or book online today.