Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions foot pain

What should I do to prevent my feet from hurting in the snow?

During the snow, I end up walking long distances. What can I do to prevent my feet from hurting?

8 Answers

The hurt is the beginning of frost bite. Wear better insulated shoes. Try wearing thicker socks or wear two pairs of socks. Try warmers, which are these gel packs that you put in shoes, gloves, or in your pocket
Clearly excessive cold exposure to the extremities can produce pain. Our body tends to shunt blood to vital organs when in the cold leaving extremities such as hands and feet vulnerable. Prolonged cold exposure can produce conditions such as Chilblains, a reversible thermal injury of tissue to advancing degrees of frost bite that in extreme cases can cause death of tissue. There are certain conditions that may predispose an individual to increased cold sensitivity such as Raynaud's disease or phenomenon. Individuals with this may have an underlying connective tissue disease or simply develop increased spasticity of the small blood vessels particularly to the fingers and toes in response to cold exposure. The reduced blood flow prompts the pain. It is important to note that the chemicals and salts applied to the roadways and sidewalks lowers the freezing point of water. Persistent immersion of feet in puddles with lower than freezing water temperatures can heighten risk for injury. Prevention is to keep extremities warm with appropriate layering of socks and use of footwear resistant to water. If extremities should get wet, it is best to dry as soon as possible.
Properly insulated shoes is important for the temperature change during snow. Proper stability and support (arch supports) inside the shoes is also very important for long distance walking as to prevent fatigue.
I would find a better boot and/or possible inserts in your current shoes.
Make sure you wear supportive lace up hiking style boots and you may also need an insole if your soreness continues.
Do you have pain when you walk long distances in warmer weather? If the answer is yes you may have a biomechanical problem. If it is the cold only you may have a vascular problem. You should be evaluated ASAP.
Walking in snow is a unique challenge. The sidewalks are slick and the walking surface can be very uneven depending on how the snow will pile up. I recommend wearing supportive shoes, especially high top boots for extra support. Also, it will be a good idea to be evaluated by a foot and ankle specialist (podiatrist) to see if there are other biomechanical influences contributing to your pain
Well, the main reason that your feet might hurt in the snow is from pre-frostbite/decreased circulation to the toes and extremities. Your body goes into a self-preservation mode as it gets cold, and saves blood and oxygen for the internal organs, and decreases the circulation to the extremities, hands and feet. If you must do this, you should wear 2 layers of heavy socks, and you should switch out your socks at least twice a day to remove the moisture that may make your feet even more cold when the socks become saturated with sweat. But if the problem is severe, you should visit a cardiologist/vascular surgeon to have your circulation examined.