We all know what having cold feet feels like. We try jumping up and down, wiggling our toes frantically or even kicking one foot against the other. But nothing works. Here are 12 tips for keeping your feet, your lifelong shock absorbers, comfortably warm and dry.
Wearing layers also works on your feet, hands and head. Go for a thinner, well-fitting sock nearest your foot and a thicker sock over that, one that can absorb moisture from the foot and that traps the maximum amount of air. That’s how you avoid blisters on your feet too, as the friction occurs between the socks instead of against your skin.
Wiggle your toes
When you move both your toes and your feet you stimulate the blood flow, increase the temperature and reduce the risk of local chilblains.
Put on a hat
To keep your feet warm, you have to consider your whole body. When your body gets cold it prioritises getting heat to the heart, brain and other life-critical organs, and reduces the blood flow out to the hands and feet instead. That’s why you usually feel the cold first in your hands and feet, even if the rest of your body feels warm. And, a head without a hat works like a chimney, letting large portions of your body heat escape through it.
Plenty of space
If the blood flow to the feet is hindered for any reason your feet will quickly get cold. Make sure your shoes are big enough and don’t tighten your laces too hard – that can slow circulation to your feet. You need enough space to wiggle your toes.
Care for your feet
It’s important to take care of your feet. Clean and dry feet help you to keep the blood flowing and manage the cold better. It also prevents you getting blisters. Don’t use water-based creams on your feet as the water in the cream can freeze at low temperatures and cause chilblains.
Rest your feet
Take your shoes off when you have a break so that the moisture inside the shoe can evaporate through the opening. It’s also nice to rest the soles of your feet if you’ve walked a long way during the day. Make sure you eat and drink to keep warm.
Change your socks
Change your socks just before you step out into the cold so that they don’t get too damp from the heat indoors. Change your socks several times a day, preferably alternating between two pairs.
Dry your socks
Use your body heat to warm up and dry out damp socks. Put them inside your trousers (waistband) when you move around and your body heat will help dry them. Another tip is to pull damps socks over a warm water bottle, perfect for heating up your sleeping bag at night!
Get away from the ground
A cold surface can draw away much of the foot’s warmth. So, getting your feet as far as possible from the cold ground is really important. Make sure to have an insulating inner sole in your shoes, preferably Woolpower’s felt inner sole, and stand on a sitting pad, a bit of polystyrene or some branches so heat doesn’t get sucked away by a cold surface.
Oftentimes, the problem of cold feet can be linked to poor ventilation. When moisture levels get too high, wool works actively to absorb the moisture from the foot and transport it away through the fabric, until moisture levels are equal on both sides. Socks containing too much cotton prevent the foot’s sweat from evaporating. So the foot gets moist and cold.
Eat and drink for energy
The body needs energy to maintain the right heat balance, so don’t forget to eat and drink. It’s not primarily a warm drink you need to stay warm, rather food and drinks that are full of energy.