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Top 5 Things to Consider for Your Winter Footwear

Top 5 Things to Consider for Your Winter Footwear
It’s that time of year when people are out and about in colder and wetter conditions. This could mean trouble for your feet if you don’t have the right shoes. If you haven’t already, it’s time to transition out of your warm-weather shoes into something more substantial for the winter months. Exposure to cold temperatures and wet terrain can lead to a host of issues if you aren’t prepared. Your foot and ankle health is always important, but it’s especially critical to ensure that you have proper winter footwear.

During the colder months, your feet are more susceptible to frostbite. More rain and snowfall could mean an increased risk of slips and falls. The footwear that you choose could make all the difference in making sure that your feet stay healthy during this time. We’ve compiled a few thoughts to keep in mind as you choose your winter footwear this season. We want each of our patients to have the best chance of maintaining their foot health all year long, and we do our part to educate people about how they can best protect their feet.

Why the Right Shoes Matter

The shoes that you wear can have a significant impact on your overall foot health. Improper fitting shoes can lead to a host of issues, such as the development of bunions or other common foot conditions. While you should always take the time to identify the best footwear for your specific needs, the winter months bring about other concerns that should be taken into consideration as you choose the right shoes. This time of year, we see many patients come in with avoidable issues.

The winter months are colder and wetter. If you don’t have the proper footwear, you are putting yourself at risk of being uncomfortable, developing frostbite, or an increased risk of falling. One fall could lead to a lifetime of foot and ankle issues. You definitely don’t want to expose yourself to unnecessary pain and discomfort. Instead, you should put in the effort now so that you don’t have to deal with foot issues later. Of course, we are happy to help along the way. Here are our top tips for choosing the right winter footwear.

Comfort

There’s nothing quite like the comfort of a good-fitting shoe. A comfortable fit is always important when it comes to choosing the right shoes or boots. Be sure to check out the comfort ratings for your winter footwear to learn what conditions it is designed for. Consider what temperatures or activity the footwear is intended to withstand to be sure that you have a comfortable fit for the weather in your area.

Make sure that you try on the shoes before committing to a purchase. Take a moment to walk around in the footwear to be sure that they are a good fit. Keep in mind that your lifestyle and everyday activities will influence how comfortable particular footwear may be for your specific situation. For instance, certain footwear is designed for more physical activity. If you regularly participate in outdoor activities during the winter months, you should choose footwear with a comfort rating for those types of experiences.

Be aware of your particular needs when considering the comfort level of footwear. Consider if you need more arch support. Some winter footwear may come equipped with proper fitting arches, but you may need to purchase additional internal supports to ensure the best fit. We can help you identify additional support that your shoes may lack.

Appropriate Sizing

There’s nothing worse for your foot than wearing the wrong shoe size. You definitely want to be sure that you choose an appropriate size for winter footwear. Ill-fitting shoes can cause discomfort and could even lead to accidents in certain conditions. If you haven’t already, make sure that you have your feet properly measured to know your correct size. However, keep in mind that specific footwear may fit differently than others. In some situations, the toe area is wider or narrower. It’s imperative to try on any shoes and ensure that they are the appropriate fit.

When it comes to appropriate sizing, you have to be sure that you’re trying on shoes during the best time of day for your feet. Some people tend to have swelling as the day goes on, so you’ll want to be sure that you try on shoes earlier in the day to get a more accurate size. Also, set aside plenty of time for trying on multiple pairs of shoes. This process shouldn’t be rushed. The Footcare Depot at Weil Foot & Ankle Institute is a convenient one-stop shop for all of your foot and ankle care needs. Make sure that your fit is done by a professional. While many people can estimate their shoe size, getting it wrong can have big consequences. Our staff has the tools and experience you need to make sure that we find the right shoe for you. You can also contact the staff at the Footcare Depot directly, by calling 847-627-4998 or emailing us at fcd@weil4feet.com.

Waterproofing

Of course, rain and snow are more common during the winter months. You probably don’t want to get caught wearing flip-flops or sandals during this time of year! It is essential to protect your feet from getting wet, especially in freezing weather. Check out the waterproof rating on your shoes to learn if there is any built-in protection. You will achieve the best results by choosing footwear that is waterproof and has breathable material.

Exposure to damp and freezing conditions can wreak havoc on your foot health. It could even lead to frostbite or other health concerns. It’s best to invest in a high-quality waterproof shoe so that you don’t have to worry about these issues in the future. If you expect to participate in a significant amount of outdoor activity, waterproof footwear is especially important.

Insulation

Cold feet can take a toll on a person, so it’s essential to make sure that your shoes have the right insulation level for the weather and your activity level. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it could lead to foot and ankle concerns. Insulation can be another added layer of protection for your feet. Your best bet for keeping your toes toasty during the colder weather months is to ensure that the shoe is insulated to trap in body heat while simultaneously allowing moisture to escape. Only the best footwear designed for winter wear will have this type of quality. Some shoes even include temperature levels that they should be worn in. If you aren’t sure about the features, always reach out to the manufacturer, or stop by our office, and we may be able to help.

Take a moment to evaluate the shoe as a whole to best determine the level of insulation that it has. Consider the type of material that it is made with, how well it is stitched and if there are any visible issues with the shoe itself. Take a look at the sole and determine whether or not it is stitched or glued on (or both!). These factors will ensure that the footwear is adequately insulated and most likely to last through the winter season and beyond.

High-Quality Tread

The winter months are when people are most likely to slip and fall during regular activities like walking to the mailbox or going up to their driveway. You want to avoid slips and falls on icy surfaces this winter because those falls can lead to severe sprains and strains in your feet and ankles. Such injuries may lead to a lengthy recovery and the potential for other issues in the future – the best way to protect your foot health to ensure that your shoes have high-quality tread. Tread could make all the difference in avoiding falls in winter conditions.

Check the soles of shoes to evaluate their tread, especially in the heel area. The more grooves and crevices, the better! Protect yourself from the potential of falling by assessing the tread and only choosing winter footwear designed for icy and slippery conditions. Don’t forget to check your existing shoes to see how much tread is left on them. It may be time to upgrade your shoes if the tread is worn down too much.

Contact Us Today

The winter season can certainly pose a number of health risks for your feet and ankles. While it may feel tedious to put this level of preparation into your footwear, doing so will help you avoid any future issues. You’ll thank yourself later!

While you certainly can’t avoid every foot and ankle issue, we’ve learned that a little preparation can go a long way. Healthy feet begin with the right shoes, and we are happy to make sure each of our patients has the right footwear for their needs. If you aren’t sure if your footwear is appropriate, we are pleased to offer additional guidance and provide you with the proper inserts if you need more support.

We care about your feet all year long at Weil Foot and Ankle Institute. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can keep your feet safe and healthy, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact our office today and allow our knowledgeable staff to answer your questions and schedule your next appointment. We look forward to helping you live your most active life with warm and dry feet. Contact us today to learn more.

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