Winter Foot Care: How to Find the Right Boots and Self-Care Tips for Your Feet


From selecting the right winter boot to easy self-care tips we can employ at home, we ask the experts how to get our feet ready for the winter. Photo: filistimlyanin/Getty Images

Our feet take a pounding, especially during the winter months. Dry air, sweaty socks and heavier winter boots can all contribute to not-so-happy feet.

We asked Neil Naftolin, a doctor of podiatric medicine and the president of the Ontario Podiatric Medical Association, for his tips on ensuring the best fit when looking for winter boots. And for when you slip out of them after a long day, we asked an osteopath for some easy self-care tips to help you take care of your tootsies.


The Importance of Fit


Naftolin and the OPMA have tips on how to buy boots to fit properly, especially if the individual has custom orthotics. 

“Picking the wrong boot could lead to foot agony and damage,” says Naftolin. “Choose a pair of boots with a cushioned, removable insole, a deep heel cup and slip-resistant bottom treads.” 

What should I look for when trying boots on?

Many snow boots are designed to just slip on. Because they slip on, snow boots are generally made slightly larger than other types of footwear to allow you to get your foot in comfortably. Try them on first and walk about to get the feel. Comfort comes first. Don’t be tempted to size up too much as movement of the boot can cause sores. 

So is my boot size the same as my shoe size?

Sticking to your everyday shoe size should be fine, but it also depends on the style and make of the boot. Snow boots are designed to be a wider, roomier fit to make room for the thick fleece lining. 

What about socks? Do I need to leave some room?

Always fit snow boots while you’re wearing appropriate socks (as in the socks you’ll be wearing when you wear the boots). Make sure you have enough room to wiggle your toes comfortably. 


An Osteopath’s Top Tips for Winter Foot Care


Dr. Liza Egbogah, the Toronto-based manual osteopath, chiropractor, myofascial release therapist and clinic director of the[fix], who also specializes in body and posture shares her cold-weather tips for putting your best foot forward.

1. Invest in good socks. Thick socks that have some compression will help with circulation to keep your feet warmer and prevent discomfort.

2. Moisturize. The drier conditions that come with winter weather can result in dry and cracking heels, so moisturizing regularly is key. Try putting on a thick cream or balm on your feet under cosy socks before you sleep. When you wake up, your feet should feel a lot better.

3. Massage. Massaging your feet with a massager or rolling them on a massage ball will help them feel better. This can also help with stability and balance as your feet work better when they aren’t tight.

4. Exercise. Last but certainly not least, don’t let winter stop you from moving. If it’s too cold or slippery to go outside, try dancing, doing calisthenics or yoga at home. This way, it won’t be a shock to your feet or body when spring comes and you spend more time walking outside.