Wintertime is when Chicago's runners either head indoors or brave their favorite Windy City spots bundled up as warmly as possible. Whatever your exercise activity of choice, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure you are protecting your feet, even when it's winter.
You Are What You Wear
Winter exercise protection is all about wearing the proper shoe and sock combinations that keep your feet warm, dry and free from fungus and bacteria that love to linger around the feet. Your goals for socks should be to choose a sock type that will both wick away moisture from your feet (yes, they still sweat in winter) and protect you from moist conditions. Avoid cotton socks in favor of technical-fiber socks, such as polypropylene or CoolMax. These superfibers will keep your feet healthy and are a favorite at our Chicago podiatrists' office.
If you will be running outdoors, it's imperative that you choose a shoe that will give you added grip and traction in the snow. If you can't do without your favorite running shoes, you could look for add-on options like Yak Trax, which are stretchable grippers that go on over your shoes to prevent falls on snow and ice. When the Chicago winter's over, you can simply remove the Yak Trax and enjoy your shoes.
Keep Your Feet Dry and Warm
Winter and workouts both provide opportunities for the feet to become easily wet. This can increase your risk for fungal infections because the fungus that cause athlete's foot are attracted to wet places, especially the feet. After you finish exercising, always remove wet or moist socks and gently clean and dry your feet before applying dry socks. This will reduce your risk for fungal infections and other foot care concerns.
Protect Your Feet
If you choose to exercise at the gym, you still must protect your feet when you are going from the gym to the car, train or other mode of transportation. Many of our Chicago podiatrist patients report wearing summer-appropriate shoes, such as lightweight sneakers or sandals after a workout, which can harm the feet and do not provide enough support.
If you have more questions on how you can keep your feet healthy during the winter months, call our Chicago podiatrists' office at (312) 923-1100