Healthy, Pain-Free Feet Make for Happier Winter Activities

 “Encyclopaedia Biomechanica” is published quarterly by Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre. It features helpful information on different aspects of your body’s biomechanics (how your muscles and joints work together to help you move) and gait (how you walk), the kinds of problems that can occur, and how feet affect your whole body from the ground up.

Are you getting sore feet during your winter sports? Skating and down hill skiing require a snug boot to get the maximum power from your edges. If you have a narrow foot, achieving a good fit can be difficult. In-shoe padding or insoles can help you get a better fit. Even some people with good foot mechanics will need something in their ski boots or skates. For many people, an over-the-counter arch support can make a huge difference. For many others, we need a custom orthotic with correction similar to the correction we need in our walking and running shoes. I personally have a versatile sport orthotic that will fit in both my skates and down hill ski boots, and I also transfer it into my rollerblades in the summer time.

If you are finding that you’re just not enjoying your winter sports as much due to foot pain or fatigue, consider looking into an over-the-counter or custom insole.

Don’t be “sheepish” — wool socks can help protect your feet during winter activities

This winter has been a strange one. The thaws and rain have led to a damper cold than usual. As a result, we have seen a rise in “chill blains”. Chillblains are a cold injury that can happen at much warmer temperatures; for example when feet have gotten wet due to sweat on a warmer day. It looks a bit like blisters, and may itch or burn. It feels tender long after the foot has returned to normal temperature and takes 7-14 days to heal. Sometimes you will need medication to help with the itch if it is severe. To prevent chillblains, make sure your footwear are appropriate. They should be warm, waterproof, and be able to wick moisture away from your feet. Pairing a good winter boot with a wool sock can go a long way to prevent this cold injury. Wool retains its ability to insulate even when it is damp, which can help when you are sweating your way through one of these mid winter or upcoming spring thaws.