Even though the temperatures are dropping and we’re trading in sandals for socks, it’s crucial you don’t forget that foot care is a year-round self-care opportunity. While the warmth and humidity of summer mean we can avoid some of the common challenges of mildew and stinky gym gear, the cold and enclosed feet of winter are common sources of a different set of foot problems. Here’s a list of some of your worst enemies during the winter time, at least pertaining to foot care. And we’re sharing some simple and practical tips to prevent and protect you from the harsh conditions ahead.
Many believe that unless they wear waterproof shoes all the time, it’s inevitable their feet will get wet. The truth is, foot sweat is one of the biggest reasons we end up with too much odor-causing moisture. That means waterproof shoes and socks are great for overall foot health, but won’t save us from natural moisture build-up from our feet, now that we’re wearing thicker socks and enclosed shoes. Moisture build-up creates the perfect environment for bacteria. An odor is the subsequent result of bacteria feeding on the perfect dark, moist foot environment we create. When you do have a build-up of moisture, remove soaked socks and avoid using the same shoes before they have dried out completely. It’s always a good idea to carry a second pair of socks in case you step in a puddle and will need to keep your shoes on for a while.
This advice, of course, goes for every season. However, winter is when our body is likely to be subject to harsh conditions. It’s crucial that you choose the right shoes. Winter shoes and boots should have proper padding to keep your feet protected and warm. They should not only help in low temperatures but should offer the right support and not rub the wrong way once they’ve been broken in. Broken or irritated skin is another breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. So, if you always seem to have a raw area on your little toe after wearing your winter shoes, it might be a good idea to play around with insoles or invest in a new pair that is a better fit.
Look for shoes with a balance between protection and freedom of movement. They should keep the heel, instep, and the ball of the foot protected and steady, while at the same time provide just enough room for your toes to move. Shoes that are too tight will most likely affect the blood flow, which leads to a drop in temperature, and increases the possibility of numbness. Shoes that are too big will cause your feet to move inside the shoe, which could lead to blisters and other nuisances caused by the excessive friction. You can see what insoles work for you as well. They can only help optimize the fit of your shoe, and not all insoles are created equal. For example, if you need more arch support and cushion, but your toes end up rubbing, use an insole that is thinner at the toe. You’ll get all the same support and cushion where you need it, and you’ll reduce rubbing and inflammation.
When assembling your winter gear, don’t forget the importance of socks! They should complement your shoe choice and provide a balance between keeping your feet warm and dry at the same time. Socks made of breathable materials like merino wool are the best choice. Many athletic socks offer odor-protection in their manufacturing technology. If you live in a particularly cold climate or a job that requires boots all day, you might consider liners. Silk liners are worn under your warm socks. They reduce friction, add comfort, and are long-lasting, making them worth the investment. Finally, if you are going for long walks look for socks with flat toe seams. If you’re looking into something more technical, seamless socks are a good investment, as they solve some friction problems, preventing blisters.
Foot care products are always an effective way to complement the basic foot care tips mentioned above. A foot moisturizer will help you prevent or treat dry and cracked skin - a common winter problem. If you are struggling with unwanted smells, a foot odor neutralizing powder is also a good choice, as it protects both your feet and your shoes from catching the bacteria responsible for foot odor.
FOOT SENSE all-natural skin therapy cream hydrates, softens, repairs, and protects damaged skin. It’s an all-natural solution for dry, cracked, callused feet that is free from drugs, steroids, and mineral oil. FOOT SENSE Skin Therapy Cream is a safe and effective way to treat dry, painful skin, without the worry of exposing your body to harmful chemicals.
FOOT SENSE all-natural foot and shoe powder kills the bacteria that causes foot odor. It naturally eliminates foot and shoe odor while neutralizing the smell in shoes by destroying and preventing fungus growth. It’s also podiatrist recommended and works great for intertrigo and skin fold challenges.