With temperatures dropping, nights drawing in, and Christmas decorations already popping up in the shops, it’s time to start thinking about winter. With socks, slippers, boots and wellies being par for the course over the next few months, it’s easy to forget how your feet are looking and feeling. But just because they no longer have to be flip-flop ready, doesn’t mean you should stop looking after them.
Here are our seven top tips for keeping feet healthy through winter.
1. Wear Natural Socks
Let’s be honest, your feet will probably spend the majority of their time tucked up in socks during the colder months. Wearing socks made from natural fibres, such as wool or cotton, will help your feet ‘breathe’ and be less sweaty and uncomfortable. However, if it’s warm enough, try going barefoot at home from time to time to give your feet a natural airing.
2. Keep Them Dry
After showering, ensure you thoroughly dry your feet, especially in between your toes, before putting socks and shoes on. This lessens the chances for bacteria to settle in those tricky areas. With our changeable climate, it’s likely you’ll get caught out in the wrong footwear during an unexpected downpour. If this happens, dry your feet properly once you’re back inside and leave your shoes in a warm spot to dry out naturally.
3. Make Sure Your Shoes Fit
‘Tis the season for sturdy footwear! But little is more painful than an ill-fitting pair of boots or shoes. The NHS lists tight-fitting shoes as a main cause of ingrown toenails, which can make even standing uncomfortable. Take thick socks when trying on new shoes to ensure there’s plenty of room to wiggle your toes inside, and look for non-slip soles that will help when tackling potentially slippery surfaces.
4. Take Your Vitamins
Vitamins C and D are essential for skin repair and strong nails, while Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from infection. Either ensure that your daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables provides you with enough of the good stuff, or take supplements during winter to boost your quota.
5. Stay Hydrated
In summer, it’s easy to drink plenty of water – you need it to keep cool, after all. But did you know it’s equally important to keep hydrated during winter? Dry skin on your feet can cause painful cracked heels and peeling cuticles around your toenails. If your fluid intake isn’t helping, try applying an alcohol-free moisturiser at night and putting on cotton socks to help lock in the moisture.
6. Look After Your Nails
They may not be on show as much during the cold, dark months, but that doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of your toenails during winter. Trimming them straight across – rather than shaping them at the sides – when necessary, and carefully cleaning them daily can help prevent fungal infections and ingrown toenails. This means your sturdy, enclosed winter footwear will feel more comfortable.
7. Keep Them Warm
It’s often said that your feet control your body temperature, so it’s worth doing what you can to keep your feet warm in winter. Chilblains – small, sore, itchy lumps – can be a sign that your feet are too cold. Try wearing thermal socks or indulge in a warming footbath to keep them toasty and boost your circulation.
Getting existing conditions, such as fungal nail infection, athlete’s foot, and dry, cracked heels under control now, will make winter much more comfortable and enjoyable.
If it’s time you booked your feet in for a MOT, our London chiropody services can help get your feet winter-ready.
For professional help to prepare your feet for winter, call Feet By Pody on 0207 099 6657 or book your appointment online.