Self-Care Tips

How to Keep Your Feet Warm, According to a Podiatrist

Tehrene Firman

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Photo: Getty Images/Moyo Studio

Technically, winter doesn’t arrive until December 21. But let’s be real—it’s already in full-force. And with the freezing temps and snowy days comes a constant battle to keep your feet warm.

If you struggle with keeping your feet warm, you can do a handful of different things to ensure your toes stay cozy until it’s time to bust out your favorite pair of sandals again. I don’t know about you, but going to bed with icy digits every night that scare you awake every five minutes is no way to live.

With a few swaps, some upgrades, and a little help from technology, these are the best ways to fight off agonizingly cold feet.

How to keep your feet warm like a pro

1. Invest in super-warm boots

Don’t skimp out on getting quality winter boots. While the warmest options might not be as cute as your black booties, they’re key in keeping your feet cozy. Miguel Cunha, DPM, New York City-based podiatrist and founder of Gotham Footcare,  says to make sure your boots and shoes have a thick sole, like Kamik Women’s Momentum Snow Boot ($90), which has more than 1,900 ratings and 4.4/5 stars. They’re waterproof, are insulated, and can keep your feet warm in freezing temps. For even better results, Dr. Cunha says you can also add an insole to keep your feet further from the ground. “More heat is lost from your feet simply by standing on cold surfaces through conduction,” he says.

2. Use toe warmers

Toe socks might not be a thing anymore (#neverforget), but toe warmers are. And despite sounding odd, they’re incredible. If your toes get cold quickly during outdoor activities, these all-natural packets from L.L.Bean ($30 for 18 pairs) fit snug into the toe box of your boots to provide over six hours of warmth.

 

3. Get heated slippers

Who needs a heating pad when you have heated slippers? While there are slippers you can plug into your wall, you can also go the cordless, electricity-free route by popping some right in the microwave neck wrap-style. This pick from Terra-Warm ($32) is the perfect pair for keeping your toes toasty as you’re lounging around the house.

4. Heat up your shoes before wearing them

If you’re all for planning ahead, start heating up your shoes before heading out for the day. “Place your shoes over or near a heating source—like a radiator or heat floor vents—for an hour or so before leaving to warm them up,” Dr. Cunha says. “This will also dry out your shoes from any moisture that may have built in the liner. Even better if you remove the liner and leave it out to dry the night before.” Your toes will be nice and cozy warm all the way to work.

5. Stock up on quality socks

Typical thin socks aren’t going to cut it if you have constantly cold feet. “Wear wool socks, as they’re the warmest material. If needed double, or triple layer in this order: light-weight wicking sock, light-weight wool socks, and then thick wool socks,” Dr. Cunha says. “Just make sure you have enough wiggle room in your boots to allow enough space for the extra layers.” You can also go high-tech with heated socks. Dr. Cunha recommends this option from QILOVE ($39), which uses rechargeable batteries to keep your feet super-warm in sub-zero temps.

If you tend to “run cold,” there’s a reason for that. And if your hands and feet are always cold, it could be the sign of a more serious condition that primarily affects women.

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