The best footwear for winter sports
Winter can be a tough time for our feet. The colder temperature, rain and (sometimes) snow can be unforgiving on our feet. If you’re a lover of winter sports you may find yourself in these climates more frequently than most; read on to see our podiatrist’s advice to keep in mind to take care of your feet while making the most of the winter weather.
CHOOSING THE SHOE
In general, the ideal footwear for cold weather is sturdy, waterproof, insulated shoes such as walking boots. Insulation within shoes creates a protective barrier between your feet and the cold outer of the shoe. Waterproofing will keep the inside of your shoe dry which is very important as wet socks and feet can lead to unwanted problems such as athlete’s foot and blisters. If you are outside in the elements, perhaps on uneven terrain, shoes with a solid structure will provide ankle support.
If you tend to grab your thickest, fluffiest socks on a winter’s day – you’ll want to hear this! Instead of one pair of thick socks, wear two pairs of thinner socks as this will trap a small gap of air between the socks which warms up and in turn creates a barrier between the cold air and your foot.
Opting for two socks also reduces the risk of chilblains occurring by insulating the toes and feet and keeping them from getting too cold. Corns and blisters are also less likely to occur if you layer your socks as they will reduce the rubbing in your shoes (a useful tip all year round!).
THE MAIN OFFENDERS
So, what are the most common foot issues created during winter sports? Some of us are crazy enough to love hurtling down a mountain either on skis or with a snowboard. Whichever way you choose to take the mountain, you will be wearing tight, stiff boots. Unfortunately, snow boots are notorious for causing foot and ankle injuries. Their solid structure and lack of flexibility is also the perfect environment for blisters and corns to form.
Ice skating is another winter activity that many of us love. But, if you’re anything like us – we enjoy it for about an hour and then get cold! Even during a short hour on the ice, ill-fitting skates can easily cause blisters and potentially aggravate a long-standing corn. When trying your skates on, it’s always important that you stop to think if they feel too tight – even if the size is correct. We recommend trying on a couple of sizes so you can compare how they feel on your feet before hitting the rink.
If during your winter activities your feet have unfortunately fallen victim to any foot issues or injuries, contact us on 020 8693 6000 or book an appointment with a podiatrist on our website.