Winter has graced our presence again, and while we’re all bearing it (or enjoying it!), many forget precautions that keep our feet comfortable, clean, warm and dry. But worry not; with a reliable winter foot care routine, you can get through the chilly season without risking the most common foot conditions.
Here are some steps to create the perfect winter foot care routine. Be sure to follow it as often as possible for the best results!
- Find the best winter shoes
- Create a workout routine
- Keep your feet clean
- Master your skincare routine
Winter Foot Care Routine Part 1: Find The Best Winter Shoes
The first step in your winter feet treatment journey is securing the best winter walking shoes that accommodate your needs.
In the wintertime, the best walking shoes will generally be boots since you will want to keep your feet toasty warm. That said, brands like Saucony and ASICS make solid winter running shoes for snowy trails, roads and paved sidewalks.
If you spend a lot of time walking and need extra support, you can opt for winter boots with a removable footbed for your insoles or orthotics. Supportive winter boots should also have sufficient arch support and shock-absorbing heels.
Suppose snowy conditions are your concern. If so, select boots made with waterproof material, like GORE-TEX. You should also ensure your winter boots have a good amount of traction to prevent slipping. And lastly, try snug boots with faux fur shearling cuffs and insulating features to keep warm. Failing to shield your feet from the cold can put you at risk of chilblains (painful inflammation of the tiny blood vessels in the feet).
Winter Foot Care Routine Part 2: Create A Workout Routine
Did you know cold temperatures can affect blood circulation, causing foot pain?
Foot care isn’t just about buying high-quality shoes and calling it a day. Sometimes it’s about putting in some strenuous effort that, in the long run, can protect you from discomfort and pain. After all, your feet hold you up daily, so they should be as strong as possible.
That’s where foot stretches and exercises enter the picture!
Incorporating your foot exercises into your general morning routine is a great habit. First, a lot of people get their day started by working out. Second, certain foot conditions like plantar fasciitis can feel worse in the morning, so attentive care can prep your foot muscles for starting your day.
Try curating your workout by mixing and matching these great stretches and exercises:
- Toe Flex and Raise
- Calf Stretch on a Stair
- Forward Leg Swings
- Ankle Circles
- Banded Leg Exercise
- Wall Squats
- Leg Raises
- Cat / Cow Stretch
- Toe Curls
- Golf Ball Stretch
Bonus: The exciting news is that some of these stretches are multi-purposeful! Many can also help alleviate back pain, help with hip mobility, stretch your calf muscles, and more!
Winter Foot Care Routine Part 3: Keep Your Feet Clean
Many assume shielding our feet in winter boots is enough to protect them from harm. But it would be unwise to think this way. When your feet sweat in warm boots for long hours, they’re begging for a hygiene routine, so vigilance is key.
Keeping your feet clean will prevent skin irritation, calluses, cracks, fungal infections, athlete’s foot, and more! And don’t forget, you have to keep them dry as well.
If you follow this simple routine, you should be in the clear:
- Wash your feet daily in warm water and mild, skin-friendly soap.
- Be sure to dry thoroughly and even dust with foot powder. Gehwol’s Foot Powder, in particular, protects your feet from excessive perspiration and can prevent foot odour.
- Thoroughly dry in between the toes.
- Change your socks frequently.
- Try moisture-wicking socks for added protection.
Winter Foot Care Routine Part 4: Master Your Skincare Routine
Is there ever a time of year when skin care is more critical? With heat blasting in communal spaces and unpredictable precipitation catching us off guard, your feet need extra TLC when it’s cold outside.
Try Gehwol’s Med Salve for Cracked Skin or Dermal Therapy Heel Care to tackle any pre-existing skin conditions, like cracked heels and dry skin, right off the bat.
But preventing skin conditions by moisturizing is equally important. Try moisturizers with ingredients like glycerin, propylene glycol, urea and lanolin, all of which work by locking in pre-existing moisture. Many Gehwol foot creams include these ingredients, so you can select the one that appeals most to you.
As for when you should moisturize, the best time is after showering or bathing when your feet are already clean and dry. Apply your moisturizer evenly across the entire foot, avoiding build-up between the toes. You can moisturize before bed if you like, but slip on some socks to avoid getting it on your sheets.
Other skincare tips include:
- Avoid long, hot showers and baths, as they can dry out your skin. Try a lukewarm temperature instead, or reduce the amount of time you spend in there.
- Get a humidifier for your space.
- Drink more water.
- Exfoliate your feet with homemade scrubs or medicinal foot scrubs from Gehwol. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and removes debris that lies deep within your pores.