Minnesota winters are no joke. When you’re bundling up for a walk in those frigid temperatures, it’s important that you focus on keeping your extremities warm, because your body will be focusing on heating your core. Do you have cold feet about going out in cold weather? Use the tips below to learn how to keep your feet warm in winter.
How to Keep Your Feet Warm in Winter
Choose the right material of sock.
Sometimes people look for the thickest socks they can find, assuming that the thicker the sock, the warmer the foot. But actually, fabric is far more important than thickness. Merino wool is a great choice because it’s thermostatic (temperature-regulating), wicks away sweat, and doesn’t itch. Layer on two or three pairs if necessary. Some people like to start with thin, sweat-wicking liner socks and then layer wool socks on top.
Think about your shoes when buying socks.
There are two reasons why you should keep your shoes in mind when buying socks. First, you’ll need to make sure that your socks fit within your shoes. Second, your shoes should affect what type of sock you purchase. If you’re wearing thick winter boots, you won’t need layers of heavy socks. But if you’re wearing sneakers, go with at least two layers of heartier socks.
Invest in warm, winter-ready shoes.
Especially if you’re headed out for a long walk, choose shoes that are well suited to the task. Consider purchasing winter boots with a thick sole, which will prevent heat from escaping through the bottom of your feet. You may wish to add insulating, thermal insoles to the inside of the shoes as well. Additionally, be sure that your shoes fit comfortably with your socks and any insoles you wish to add.
Use toe-warming heat packs.
Available at most drugstores, toe-warming heat packs are single-use inserts that typically provide several hours of warmth. They’re easy to use and conveniently thin – perfect for slipping inside your shoes. If you’ll be outside a while, heat packs can keep your feet warmer for longer.
Keep your feet dry.
Yes, your feet will sweat despite it being cold outside, and a wet foot is a cold foot. Look for socks that pull moisture away from your foot, like merino wool, polypropylene, CoolMax, or technical fabric walking socks. Avoid cotton, which absorbs sweat (plus, once it’s damp, cotton loses its warmth and may even freeze), and be sure that your shoes are breathable so that your sweat doesn’t collect inside them. If you’re going out in the snow or rain, wear waterproof shoes.
Dress when your body is still warm.
Put on your socks and shoes in your warm, cozy home so that they can hold in the heat of your body. If you wait until you’re outside (or in a drafty part of the house), your body will need to work to equalize the temperature. This isn’t likely to be a problem, since people rarely go outside before putting on their shoes, but keep this tip in mind when you’re donning your mittens, hat, and scarf. If your hands aren’t already warm inside their mittens when you leave the house, they’ll struggle to get warm while you’re outside.
Finally, if you’re wondering how to keep your feet warm in winter, remember to keep moving! Physical activity increases blood flow to the extremities and boosts your body temperature. So if you’re outside for a stationary purpose (if you’re watching a parade, for example), consider marching in place to keep your blood moving.
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