While Washington may not be well-known for harsh winters full of snow and ice that necessitate heavy-duty winter footwear, it’s also far from sandal season. The truth is, there are still days with ice, snow, and freezing rain. To keep your feet dry and warm, while protecting yourself against falls, good winter shoes are a necessity. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares his five top tips for choosing the right winter footwear.
- Make sure there’s room to breathe. Regardless of the season, your footwear should be snug but not tight, particularly in winter. When shoes are too tight, they can cut off your blood supply, making your feet much colder. To keep your feet warm during the winter months, choose shoes that boost circulation, which means leaving about ¼” to ½” between the end of the shoe and your toes.
- They should be able to provide traction. Even if your winter shoes meet all the criteria, if they don’t have good traction, they’re not suitable for winter. If you’re plodding through the rain, snow, or sleet, traction can help you avoid serious injury.
- They should keep you dry. One of the best things you can do during the cold months is to keep your feet dry. When choosing winter shoes, it's important they have a high waterproof rating. Walking in cold, wet shoes is an experience best avoided.
- Consider your socks. If you shop for your winter footwear while the weather is still a bit on the warmer side, you may be wearing a thin pair. When you shop, bring along a pair of thicker socks so you ensure your winter shoes can accommodate the additional size. When shopping online, research whether you should buy a half-size up. Most outlets post reviews that address these types of questions.
- Heavier isn’t necessarily better. This applies to both your winter shoes and socks. There are synthetic materials that are much lighter than traditional materials yet hold up just as long. Not only are the materials lighter, but they also absorb moisture, so your feet don’t overheat inside your shoes or boots.
If you follow these tips, your winter footwear will offer support, good traction, and comfort so you can navigate through the colder months with ease. If you have any questions about which winter shoes are best for you, contact Dr. Hubert Lee and his team at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.