14:35 PM

Protecting Your Feet During The Cold Weather

Autumn Years interviews HSS foot and ankle surgeon,  Andrew J. Elliott, MD, and Tony Wanich, MD, sports medicine surgeon, who discuss the uptick in injuries and foot problems during the cold weather months and how they can be avoided with good practices. 

The first step is to make sure that winter shoes and boots stored away for almost a year still fit well, noted Dr. Elliot. “Our feet change as we get older, and footwear that fit us last year may now be too tight," he explained. “Squeezing your feet into shows that are too snug can lead to foot pain, blisters, bruises and other problems.”

When shopping for new shoes or boots, Dr. Elliot recommended going to the store in the late afternoon or evening because our feet tend to get bigger as the days goes on. He also suggested bringing the socks you plan to wear in the cold weather because they may be thicker and need more room in the shoe. 

Whether returning to a winter sport such as skiing, or trying a new one, strength training and conditioning in advance are essential to preventing injury, said Dr. Wanich. He noted that cold temperatures cause muscles and tendons to become tight and less flexible. “Tightness in the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles put more pressure on your feet, leaving them more susceptible to an injury during exercise. The best way to prevent this is to warm up and stretch before running and other winter activities.”  

Many of his patients are devoted to outdoor running all year round, and he advises them to make sure they wear a shoe with good traction. “Much like the way we change our tires to deal with winter weather, we advise runners to wear the appropriate shoe for the season," he said.” Sometimes that means going to a specialized shoe store, where employees can can help you choose the right shoe and ensure a good fit. 

Read the full article at digitaleditions.walsworth.com