Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. But sometimes it doesn’t. For those days, we’ve prepared some handy tips to help keep your feet dry all year round.
From March-November, most Canadians experience rain, with the exception of snowy days. For those in warmer climates, like Vancouver or Victoria, rain is a year-round element that locals need to battle. And then, when the rain subsides, we get to deal with snow and slush puddles.
This goes to show you: soggy feet can strike at any time. But, fall, winter and spring – at least in Canada – are notoriously known for wet weather. With that in mind, it’s critical to keep your feet dry to fend off common foot conditions like:
By following our how-to guide below, you’ll be able to keep your feet dry all year round.
Upgrade your rain gear
Like we always like to say, dress for the weather. When it’s wet outside, we typically think of rain boots. These are waterproof, typically calf-length rubber or plastic boots that repel rain. However, rain boots do not typically provide adequate support and are not foot-friendly. They also don’t breathe, which means your feet can still get wet from perspiration, which is bad for foot hygiene. Thus, while standard plastic rain boots may protect you from the rain, they don’t protect you from other common foot conditions, which is why chiropodists do not recommend them.
Fortunately, there are great waterproof footwear options now that are supportive, stylish, weatherproof, and breathable. Many companies offer shoes made with GORE-TE X technology. GORE-TEX is a specially engineered high-performance material technology that is highly waterproof, lightweight and versatile. Unlike plastic and rubber, it is also breathable. Many companies, like ASICS, Saucony and Mephisto, use GORE-TEX in their hiking shoes to keep feet dry on the trail, while making sure they can still breathe. Other companies, like ARA, use GORE-TEX in many of their dress shoes, dress boots, and winter boots, so you can look stylish while keeping your feet dry. Sorel and Clarks use full-grain, coated leather that is also waterproof and breathable. These options give you the best of all worlds: waterproofing, good foot hygiene, and great style!
Carry an extra pair of footwear
If you do find yourself commuting in wet weather, and the waterproof footwear options available don’t accord with your workplace dress code, bring an extra pair of shoes to the office. This ensures that if your feet do get wet, they won’t stay that way all day. Just make sure to follow proper office etiquette by making sure you don’t accumulate a build-up of shoes under your desk or in your locker.
Waterproof your shoes
For those who don’t want dedicated rain footwear, many companies make a dress rubber overshoe. These rubber slip-ons transform your regular dress shoe into waterproof footwear. This is handy for commuters, and those going out on the town who want to stay dry but also dress up. The downside: rubber is not breathable, so – like your stereotypical rain boot – this option can cause sweaty feet if you’re wearing them for a long time. They also typically don’t rise above the ankle, which means they won’t protect you from deep snow and big puddles.
There are also solutions you can spray onto your shoes to waterproof them. Treating leather and textile footwear with a quality oil or silicone spray can make them wet-weather resistant. If your shoes are canvas, you can rub them down with an even coat of all-natural beeswax. Not only can these solutions help with water-proofing; they can also protect your footwear from stains and scratches so they last longer.
Regularly remove the liners from your shoes
You should allow adequate time for your shoes to dry after each use. One critical component to this is removing the inner liner (if it’s removable). As the liner absorbs moisture and it’s the first point of contact on your feet, you’ll want to dry them to ensure dry feet.
Use proper socks
What’s your first (and last) line of defense between your feet and your shoes? Your socks, of course. These important accessories can be a game-changer for keeping your feet dry. Ideally, you’ll want to wear CoolMax socks that help wick moisture away from your feet. Think of them like a vacuum of moisture. Merino wool is also a great material for socks. Merino wool transports sweat and moisture away from the skin as a vapor. These fibres are inherently porous.
Now, if you want to go one step even further, did you know that waterproof socks exist? They do! Waterproof socks are comprised of three elements: a knit exterior sock, a waterproof membrane, and a knit interior sock. Because of this, these socks are thicker than athletic socks. Showerspass is one such example of a company that manufactures waterproof socks.
Dry your shoes between uses
Properly drying your shoes after each use helps remove moisture, and discourages the growth of odor-producing bacteria and fungus. This can help prevent athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, blisters, and cracked heels. There are a few ways you can do this:
If you have time before you have to wear your shoes again, you can let them air dry on a stand. Some laundry drying racks actually have designated attachments for drying out your shoes. You can also use a good old-fashioned hairdryer to help the drying process along.
If you don’t have the time to sit over your shoes with a hairdryer or want something that dries them faster, you may want to consider a shoe dryer or boot dryer. A shoe dryer or boot dryer is a machine used for drying shoes and usually functions by blowing air on the inside of the shoes. The airflow causes the shoes to dry faster. The air can be heated for even faster drying. These can be a good alternative to putting your shoes directly into a dryer (using a regular dryer can damage your shoes but if you take the proper precautions, it can be done safely).
These small appliances can be placed in your mudroom and foyer and can be left alone between shoe uses. It’s great for rainy seasons, or if you rely on 1-2 pairs of running shoes that regularly get wet. This way, you can put your shoes right into the dryer as soon as you get home, instead of forgetting.