Our Concord Foot Doctor Shares Tips to Protect Your Feet and Ankles this Winter

December 17, 2019

From ankle sprains caused by slips and falls, to frostbitten toes, it’s safe to say that winter is not a good time for feet. However, taking a few simple precautions can save you from having to wear an ankle brace all winter (or worse—require foot surgery). Below are a few tips from our Concord podiatrist that will keep your feet safe and warm until spring. 

Wear Appropriate Footwear

Winter means a lot of sleek, slippery stairs and icy sidewalks. Therefore, make sure your feet are always dressed for the weather. If you don’t already have them, invest in a pair of good quality, waterproof boots with a traction sole and a low heel. Boots like this will insulate your toes and feet and help to prevent slipping. No matter how fancy your winter holiday party is, we encourage you to stay away from high heels! 

Keep Your Feet Dry 

If you are wearing cheap sneakers which cause your feet and socks to become damp in wet weather, again, we encourage you to invest in a safer option. Wet, damp feet are an excellent breeding ground for toenail fungus, plantar warts, and a host of other issues. Another good tip is to wear moisture-wicking socks regardless of the weather, as these will help keep your feet dry from sweat. 

Ski and Snowboard Carefully 

Never ski or snowboard in footwear other than ski boots specifically designed for that purpose. Make sure your snow boots fit properly; you should be able to wiggle your toes, but the boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot. You can use orthotics (support devices that go inside shoes) to help control the foot’s movement inside ski boots or ice skates.

Buy the Right Size Footwear 

High-quality winter footwear is usually somewhat expensive. You might be tempted to buy winter boots or ski boots for children in a slightly larger size, either so you can wear them and save money, or so your children can “grow into them” for an extra season. However, be aware that unlike clothing, footwear needs to fit properly right away. Properly fitted skates and boots can help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries. Likewise, if socks are too small, they can force toes to bunch together, and that friction can cause painful blisters or corns.

Pay Attention and Seek Help from a Podiatrist 

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet and ankles that doesn’t improve with rest, ice, elevation, and NSAIDs, be sure to visit your podiatrist in Concord as soon as possible. You may have sustained a hairline fracture in your bone, or some other injury that requires medical attention. Be aware that infections in the foot area can be dangerous, too. If you see excessive swelling, blood, or pus around an injury, seek medical help quickly before it can spread and become more dangerous. If you live in Concord NC and would like to request an appointment with Ryan Foot and Ankle Clinic, click here to fill out our contact form