Winter Shoes for Cosy Feet: Podiatrist’s Picks
When it comes to winter time in Melbourne there’s a few favourites of ours.
- Black puffer jackets ✅
- Dark beers and mulled wine on our rooftop and laneway bars ✅
- The cold pilgrimage to the MCG to watch our team ✅
- Breaking out the winter shoes! ✅
As podiatrists who can get pretty cold feet at times, we’ve embraced winter shoes for many years. But winter shoes aren’t as popular across the Melbourne population. And certainly not with people who come through to our podiatry clinics with all sorts of winter foot problems (like chilblains) that could be prevented with the right shoes.
So we’re addressing this by talking our beloved clients through their ideal options in clinic to fix all sorts of winter foot problems. But also trying to reach as many Melbournian’s as we can to get the message out.
Winter Time = Winter Shoes
With that in mind, let’s run through three main categories of winter shoes and our favourite pair of shoes in each.
Winter Shoe Types
- Runners for winter
- Boots for winter
- Slippers for winter
When it comes to winter runners, the trail show or off-road variant of your regular running shoes is usually the best. Going for a shoe like the Brooks Ghost GTX as opposed to the standard Ghost gives you an extra layer of Gore-Tex in the upper.
Gore-Tex provides a level of waterproofing that is missing in standard engineered mesh upper runners. Keeping your feet dry is step one of keeping them warm.
A boot that has an insulating layer inside a usually waterproof outer upper layer are brilliant. BOGS and KEEN are two brands who both do winter boots exceptionally well.
You’ll find boots that look like trendy Wellington’s, others that look like fashionable sneakers, and some that are no different from your previous leather ankle boots.
The Walking Company in Melbourne’s CBD have you sorted with a wide range of options.
When searching for your perfect pair of boots you’ll need to make sure you have the winter socks that you’ll be wearing most often with your boots. Trying on a pair of boots with thin socks or nylon stockings is very different to walking around in Merino wool winter socks.
Purchasing winter boots out of season can be a handy hack to get a bargain on sale however be mindful of what socks your wearing, and what you have been doing. If you’ve been on your feet all day and particularly in warm weather your feet will be much more swollen than in the cold weather.
For winter boot materials you have the traditional style of leather boot and those with synthetic or multi layer uppers. There’s pros and cons for these (particularly cons for leather boots if you’re a cow) materials and they often come with their own set of care and instructions. Take the time to talk through the leather or upper care with the sales assistant and utilise appropriate water proofing or leather conditioning products.
Our current favourite winter boot that is fashionable, water proof and vegan are the Merry People boots. The hardest decision you’ll have to make here is which colour to get.
While we have to be careful with slippers as they can lead to slipping and falling, having an insulated winter slipper around the house can really help cold and sore feet.
Look for a sturdy rubber sole and then a real lambswool upper. Synthetic materials do not keep the heat and can also lead to sweating which breaks the first rule of keeping feet warm, keep them dry.
Our current favourites are the Bared slippers. Sheepskin leather and a sturdy outsole made from EVA (one of the main components to running shoe soles) provides warmth and support.
Why You Need Winter Shoes
In previous posts we talked about how (merino) wool socks can be a foot saver for those who suffer chilblains. Well for some a woollen sock is not enough.
If you’re one of many who still get freezing cold toes and painful chilblains then you’re going to need winter shoes. Winter shoes are so much more than closed toe shoes compared with open rubber thongs. A winter shoe also has an insulating and likely waterproof layer inside or as part of the upper.
Traditionally not as common in Australia as the freezing cold climates of the far northern hemisphere, winter shoes are a must for many.
Other Winter Foot Care Tips
Getting your shoes right in winter is an important but not the only step in keeping your feet cosy and happy. As we’ve mentioned already, getting your socks spot on can go a long way in preventing problems.
Other useful foot care tips for winter are to make sure your feet stay appropriately moisturised. While summer time is often associated with dry skin on the feet and cracked heels, it can be a problem for some in winter too. As your feet are spending much more time covered during the day with socks and shoes there’s often less opportunities for our feet to remind us to moisturise them.
Out of sight, out of mind style.
Being in the habit of moisturising your feet and legs after a hot shower can do wonders.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Do not wear wet shoes or socks, ever. OK, maybe in an emergency but that’s it. Wet shoes and socks can lead to fungal pathogens spreading and causing tinea pedis. Tinea is basically a gateway to bad news (see bacterial infections) for your feet and your health. If you suspect tinea pedis starting on your feet get onto these treatment guidelines straight away.
Have Spares Pairs
Have a spare pair of winter shoes and orthotics if possible. If you’re shoes or your orthotics are wet and you need to get outside it’s always handy to have multiple pairs. Not only will your shoes last longer if they get a rest from regular use, you’ll be less likely to cause those tinea or bacterial problems.
If you’re in winter foot trouble our podiatrists are here to help