As the weather gets colder, icy cold feet can be a serious problem. We’ve got a few tricks and tips for you this season, so read on!
1. Stay Dry!
First, protect your feet from outside moisture. The best way to do this is to wear waterproof boots and shoes. Look for something that is breathable, like GORE-TEX technology or boots with Waterproof treated leather uppers, like Sorel boots and Timberland boots.
Breathability is important because feet that can’t breathe will sweat, producing moisture that will make your feet get cold! Your feet sweat even when they’re cold, so carry an extra pair of socks and swap them out.
2. Know your materials.
When it comes to warmth, what makes up your sock or shoe lining is way more important than how thick it is.
Cotton = Cold ! Cotton easily gets wet, especially if your feet are sweating. And once cotton gets damp, it no longer keeps its warmth. That means frozen toes! Cotton socks have their place, but being outside in cold, damp or wet conditions requires something else.
Wool = Warm ! Merino wool is our favorite material for cold-weather socks, because the wool fibers manage moisture and regulate temperature naturally. It’s also less itchy when compared to other wool materials. You’ll find Merino wool in our SmartWool and Darn Tough Socks.
3. Layer Up
Sometimes one sock isn’t enough to do the job. Instead of picking one heavy weight sock, it’s usually better to start with a lightweight, moisture-wicking sock (liner sock) and then add a wool sock on top. If you’re heading out in seriously cold temperatures, your best bet is to use three layers–a lightweight moisture-wicking sock under a lightweight wool sock, with a medium to heavy wool sock on top.
When layering, it’s important to make sure that your feet are still comfortable. If your shoes or socks are fitting too tightly, skip the extra layer. Too much pressure on your foot will cut off circulation to your toes, which can be dangerous in some conditions and defeats the purpose of wearing multiple socks to keep your feet warm. You want enough space that you have a layer of warm air between your socks and your shoes–enough space to wiggle your toes easily in socks.
4. Add some sole.
A wool or sheepskin insole will keep you warm in cool weather. Most winter boots have a thick sole to prevent too much conduction on cold surfaces. The further away your feet are from the cold ground, the warmer they will be. Look for antimicrobial technologies that keep your feet dry, comfortable, and odor-free!
Make sure to pull out liners and insoles when you take your boots off so that they dry properly!
5. Foot Warmers
You can always buy foot warmers to keep in your shoes, but there are a few other ways to warm up your feet at home. You can make your own footwarmer out of fleece material filled with rice or flax seed. Pop it into the microwave and then wrap it around your feet. You can also fill a water bottle with hot water and then roll it under your feet. Make sure you have socks on or that there is a layer over the water bottle to protect your feet. For more foot warming ideas, see our Pinterest Board: Cozy Toes.