For many of us, the winter means hiding our feet away from the world in thick socks, heavy boots, and fuzzy slippers, not to be seen again until the warm days of April or May. But while we may want to wrap up our feet, tuck them away, and forget about them completely during this time, without proper care and maintenance these chilly months can lead to our feet becoming cracked, sore, and in some cases even, infected. Here are our best tips to keep your feet soft and in shape so that when it’s time to break out the sandals, your feet are ready to make their seasonal debut.
Proper fitting shoes!
It is important to wear shoes that fit your feet properly at any time of year. However, ill-fitting shoes can prove to be particularly problematic during winter. Shoes that are too tight can lead to decreased circulation, which can cause your feet to go numb and, in severe cases, may even lead to frostbite (depending on the temperatures in your region). This can become a potential hazard in slippery winter conditions since you may not be able to feel where you are walking if your feet have lost feeling. If your feet are wide, or you struggle to find a pair of shoes that aren’t too narrow, you should opt for a wide-fitting shoe. Our shoes feature a wider toe box area, allowing you to wriggle your toes more freely, as well as memory foam padded insoles and breathable arch support that all make for a more comfortable shoe. This means no lost circulation and no frozen toes! Our collection of wide-fitting women’s shoes include pumps, flats, and booties perfect for any occasion. You can browse our website for further styles.
While wearing proper wide-fitting shoes is the first step to taking care of your winter feet, it is important to follow-up with some pampering at home. Exfoliating your feet is a great way to get rid of scaly, dry, cracked feet suffering from the winter conditions. Here are three of our favourite ways to exfoliate:
Probably the most effective method, all you need is a tub of warm water with some Epsom salts and essential oils if you’re feeling especially luxurious. After soaking your feet for ten minutes, begin sloughing off the dead skin with the Pumice stone. Be careful, however, as over-scrubbing can lead to raw skin that can be painful
On the days we feel like pampering ourselves a little more, a sugar scrub is our go-to. To make the exfoliator, mix sugar and Epsom salts in equal parts together in a bowl. Add a spoonful or two of oil of your choice (we like coconut oil) and honey. Mix together until it forms a thick paste; if you find you have added too much oil or honey just add more sugar and vice versa. Once your concoction is complete it’s time to exfoliate! Rub onto recently soaked feet for about fifteen minutes, then rinse off and pat dry.
Lemon juice and aspirin
Another great exfoliant to DIY is a lemon juice and aspirin scrub. The lemon juice acts as a chemical exfoliant, while the aspirin is good for inflammation and soothing itchy skin. For this recipe, just crush about five or six tablets of aspirin so that it is an even and fine powder. Mix in a teaspoon or two of lemon juice so that it creates a watery paste, adding more if needed. Then cover your feet with the mixture, paying more attention to any calloused areas. If you want, you can wrap your feet in plastic wrap after applying the mixture, or just let them be free. After about ten minutes, rinse off the mixture and enjoy your new, soft feet!
Moisturising daily is necessary to maintain soft feet and is especially crucial after exfoliation. One of the best ways to transform the skin on your feet is by slathering on a moisturiser of your liking and putting on a pair of special moisture socks (make sure to check that they are also anti-bacterial). Go to sleep wearing them and when you wake up, your feet will already feel smoother and softer. This method is one of the easiest ways to attain baby soft feet because it works while you sleep. If you are one who prefers to sleep without socks however, nightly moisturizer before bed should do the trick! In the morning, opt for a heel balm to lock in moisture before you take on the day.
Give yourself a massage
Massaging your feet not only feels amazing, but it also brings blood flow to the area and improves circulation. If you find your feet going numb from the cold during the winter months, this might be especially helpful for you. Follow these steps for a quick, easy, and relaxing massage:
- First, grab your foot with both hands. Use your thumbs to begin rubbing the ball of your foot in small circular motions, applying pressure as needed. Note: massaging should never cause undue pain or discomfort, so don’t use more pressure than is comfortable for you. Moving from the base of one toe, work your way down to the heel, and then repeat with the following toe.
- Cup the heel with your hands using the thumb and forefinger and begin to squeeze. Hold this position for ten seconds and release. Repeat as many times as needed. The heel can handle more pressure, so feel free to apply more here than you might for the rest of your foot.
- With one hand, grasp your toes and stretch them. Begin to rub the sole of your foot and find any areas that may feel particularly tender. Gently massage these spots using circular motions and the fleshy part of your thumbs. For a more intense massage, you may use your knuckles to rub these areas.
- For the final step, slide your fingers between your toes beginning at the tips. Slowly slide your fingers to the base of the toes and to the base of your fingers, mimicking a hand-holding position. This makes the toes spread and causes lateral stretching. Then, use your fingers to rub the fleshy areas between your toes for about five seconds. Repeat this step as many times as desired. These steps should only take about five minutes, so feel free to repeat the process again for a more thorough massage.
Keep your feet dry
In the winter, you may opt for a more insulated and thick shoe to protect your feet from the cold. While this may lead to cozy toes, it can also lead to an increase of sweat, ironically. Damp feet, especially in the winter, can lead to a whole host of issues. What happens is the sweat creates a moist environment for bacteria to thrive (gross!) which can cause fungal or bacterial infections to occur. Wearing cotton or wool socks so that your feet can breathe instead of feel smothered will help to combat this issue, along with roomier, wider shoes like the ones we offer. Keeping your shoes in a dry area and never putting on a pair of shoes that are wet will also help make sure your feet stay healthy this winter season.