The holidays are over, but most regions of the country face a few more months of winter. Whether you’re slogging through deep snow and sub-zero temperatures in the north, or contending with dampness, chill, and muddy conditions in the south, it’s important to take care of your feet all winter long. You’ll want them to be healthy and ready for action when spring finally arrives.
Most Americans will have walked 75,000 miles by the time they turn 50, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Is it little wonder, then, that a 2014 APMA foot health survey found that foot pain affects the daily activities—walking, exercising, or standing for long periods of time—of a majority of Americans?
“Each season presents unique challenges to foot health,” says Jeff Merrill, DPM, a podiatrist at Klamath Falls Foot and Ankle, LLC and APMA member. “Surveys and research tell us that foot health is intrinsic to overall health, so protecting feet all year long is vital to our overall well-being.”
APMA offers some advice for keeping feet healthy in common winter scenarios:
Finally—and although this one seems like it should go without saying, it bears spelling out—don’t try to tip-toe through winter snow, ice, and temperatures in summer-appropriate footwear.
“More than one news show across the country aired images of people in sneakers, sandals, and even flip-flops during severe winter weather,” Dr. Merrill says. “Exposing feet to extreme temperatures means risking frostbite and injury. Choose winter footwear that will keep your feet warm, dry, and well-supported.”
Jeff Merrill, DPM, is a podiatrist at Klamath Falls Foot and Ankle, LLC in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Call 541-850-6463 or visit kffootandankle.com to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.
Klamath Falls Foot and Ankle, LLC Staff