How to care for your feet in winter

Pink cosy socks in winter.

When winter hits the only thing we want to do is snuggle up and get cosy to avoid the cold. Our feet can be affected by the dry, cold air the season brings too. Here are some good tips for how to care for your feet in winter.

Hygiene and skin care

During winter conditions, you’ll need to be especially vigilant about hygiene and skin care.

  • Wash your feet daily. Avoid harsh soaps and get between the toes! It keeps the fungal and odour-causing infections away. 
  • Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly, particularly between the toes, before you put on fresh socks.
  • Keep showers short and not too hot. Very hot water can actually damage your skin and dry it out. 

If you are feeling curious, find out the 5 most common skin conditions our podiatrists treat.

Podiatrist trimming toenails

Nail care

The right nail care is important to care for your feet in winter.

  • Keep toenails trimmed. In colder weather you will most likely wear closed in shoes so it’s especially important to keep your toenails at an appropriate length. This reduces the risk of toenail trauma, like ingrown nails, throughout the season.
  • Don’t use nail polish. Winter isn’t exactly prime nail painting season anyway, so you might as well let it rest until summer. Wearing nail polish for more than a week at a time can actually keep your nails from breathing properly and create a breeding ground for fungi. If your feet are typically trapped in shoes, this effect is magnified further.

Treat dry skin

If you notice your skin is starting to dry out, there’s some things you can do to help.

  • Dry, cold air or heaters can really dry out our skin so Moisturise regularly.
  • Apply moisturiser directly after your shower, when your skin is still a little bit damp. This will lock in the moisture and reduce or prevent cracks and dry skin. 
  • Consider other products. Our podiatrists have had wonderful success with the Callusan Cream Mousse. All our clinics stock this in 5%, 10% and 15% urea. The best thing about the mousse is how it absorbs and leaves the skin dry to the touch.

For more detail, find out why your feet might be feeling dry.


Good fitting shoes

A good fit can go a long way.

  • Make sure your shoes fit properly. In winter we tend to wear enclosed shoes, with thicker socks. They’re often tighter fitting and when you add socks that are that little bit too thick, it means your feet can be really squeezed for space, causing trauma.
  • When shopping for new shoes for use in winter, make sure you try them on with the right kind of socks before you buy them. Those thin stocking-type socks they give you when trying on shoes in stores just don’t cut it.
Wear warm socks to care for your feet in winter

Choose natural socks

To take the best care of your feet this winter, consider your socks.

  • Socks made from natural fibres are better for the cooler winter months. Cotton or wool socks are much more absorbent, meaning if your feet get too hot in them, they’ll absorb the moisture instead of making your feet hot and sweaty. Plus they’ll be less smelly too!

Keep your feet warm & dry

If your feet are warm, the rest of you will be too.

Only bacteria like wet feet in winter! They can build up when feet are left wet for long periods of time. To avoid bacterial or fungal toenail infections, keep your feet as dry as possible. If they get wet while you’re out and about, as soon as you get home, wash and dry them thoroughly. If your shoes get wet, you need to make sure they dry out completely before wearing them again.

Contributed by Podiatrist Pam Denman

Take the first step towards happy and healthy feet.

Ready to give your feet the care they deserve? Book your appointment online or call us and experience our expert podiatry services at any of our six clinic locations.