“One way to keep your feet warm is to wear a hat.” Our Senior Podiatrist, Tram Phan, explains below.
Brisbane has just been hit with the coldest day in May since 1922 and has us Queenslanders rummaging through our cupboards for our winter woolies. While our Melbournites are thinking, you call that cold? But it would be fair to say that living in the ‘sunshine state’ makes us unprepared for sudden extremes in cold weather.
One common question that we [podiatrists] get asked a lot is how do I keep my feet warm when it’s cold.
In extremely cold weather, some people may just experience a sensation that their feet and hands are really cold and uncomfortable but for others, especially if they have an underlying medical condition, it could mean purple toes and numbness to the point where there is no feeling at all or they experience intense pain.
When your body is exposed to cold weather the part of our brain that controls our body temperature starts sending messages to our blood vessels in our extremities to constrict in order to reduce heat loss from those areas.
This happens at the expense of your feet.
While your feet are important our body chooses to keep our vital organs such as our brain and heart protected even if it means not having enough blood flowing to our extremities. This can possibly result in frostbite and amputation in extremely cold conditions.
So why is wearing a hat going to help keep your feet warm?
While keeping our brain warm is crucial, we still manage to lose quite a bit of heat through our heads. This is part of the reason why it’s not recommended for babies to wear hats indoors as their heads can overheat under a hat.
So if our heads lose heat easily then it makes sense that wearing a hat will help stop that from happening. Once your head warms up, your brain will feel less need to constrict blood supply to your feet.
The next thing to do to keep your feet warm is to wear socks made from thick wool or bamboo fibres. Our patients have reported that these types of socks are best at retaining heat during the cold.
Lastly, protect your feet from getting wet. When we have moisture on our skin (from sweat or just water) it will evaporate when exposed to the open air. This process cools our skin down which helps during warmer weather but it’s the last thing we want when it’s cold.
So here is a summary of how to keep your feet warm in cold weather:
1. Wear a hat
2. Wear socks made of wool or bamboo fibres
3. Protect your feet from getting wet
At Happifeet Podiatry, we strive to help you be happy, healthy & active through caring for your feet. If you would like more information on this topic or any other foot related concerns, please don’t hesitate to send us a message. Our podiatrists will be more than happy to help you.