Taking care of your feet probably isn’t your top priority in winter, but it is something that you should give a bit of extra consideration to. After all, even the smallest ailment becomes an incessant nuisance when you have to walk around on it all day. You’re no doubt already aware how unpleasant it can be to spend a day in cold, wet socks, but there is more to looking after your feet than keeping them warm and dry. So we’ve put together a short list of effective-but-easy things you can do to ensure that your feet are well looked after this winter.
Choose Your Socks Wisely
Socks made of either cotton or wool are a much better choice than those made of synthetic fabrics or blends. They are more absorbent and therefore more effective at keeping your feet warm, clean, and dry. Wearing two pairs of socks is also a great way to keep your feet warm and dry, with the added bonus of making you less susceptible to blisters. This is especially beneficial in winter, as you’ll likely be wearing thicker shoes, and for longer periods of time. But make sure they’re not too tight, as the last thing you want is to reduce your circulation. It is also important to change your socks every day, and clean them regularly. You’ll most likely be wearing them a lot more than you would in spring or summer, so they will get dirtier much faster.
Dry Your Shoes Out Properly
This one might seem obvious, and you’re probably not walking around in soaking-wet shoes anyway. But drying your shoes out as soon as you get home makes them much cleaner, as it gives bacteria less time to spread through them. Just because your shoes aren’t dripping doesn’t mean they’re perfectly dry. At room-temperature, the damp, enclosed space is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, so stick them by the radiator or similar and wait until they’re bone dry.
Wash Your Feet Daily
Feet are the most neglected body part when it comes to bathing, purely because it’s inconvenient to wash them in the shower. But bearing in mind everything we’ve said already, giving them a good wash each day will really help to prevent the spread of bacteria. A foot bath might sound like a bit of a chore to some of you, but you may be surprised how fast you start to look forward to it on the journey home after a long, cold day. Just make sure not to use water that is too hot. The water from the kettle should never be more than 50% of the total water in the footbath.
Lay Off the Pedicures
Using too much nail polish can trap bacteria in your nails. Your toenails are already getting far less breathing-room than they do for the rest of the year, so don’t suffocate them completely. That’s not to say you have to stop completely, but cutting back will help prevent infected toenails.
Although we have talked a lot about the importance of keeping your feet dry, the drawback of doing so is that you risk them getting too dry and cracking. You should moisturise your feet once a week, applying the cream in circular motions to stimulate circulation. You should also make sure to remove dead and dry skin with a pumice stone or similar. Be sure to do this when your feet are dry, as doing it while they are wet can tear off perfectly healthy skin.