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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

Choosing Appropriate Winter Footwear

As the seasons change so do our choices in shoes. You wouldn’t wear sandals in the middle of winter with snow and ice all around. Choosing appropriate winter footwear is important because it can really make a difference not only in protecting our feet from the elements, but also in preventing falls on slippery ice. Take the time to try on different pairs of shoes and boots before making this essential decision.

What to Look For in Winter Footwear

You know that not all people are created the same, and variations will occur in what women, men, and children will need for their feet in winter.

  • For women: Warmth is important, so choose a fabric that will provide that. Velour, velvet, and suede are all good options to keep your feet warm while still offering a fashionable look. Faux fur is another way to get necessary warmth. Above all make sure you are buying a boot that is benefitting your own personal needs. You may need to invest in a few pairs to do that.
  • For men: Look for boots that offer water resistance, such as a rubber duck boot. You can also consider leather boots and casual hiking styles. If you work outside in the elements you will want to make sure your feet are protected against the cold. Your boots or shoes should have very thick, rubber soles that will protect against slipping on the ice.
  • For children: Children also need to be safe from falling in winter weather. There are many winter boot styles that offer this protection and come in a wide variety of colors and styles—kids like to be stylish and fun. For really little ones layer on the socks and booties for warmth.

Warmth vs. Mobility

Depending on your activity you may be looking for a boot that provides more warmth, more mobility, or an equal amount of both. The base of the boot is one of the most important features. It provides the barrier between your feet and the frozen ground. If the base is thick then you are less likely to suffer from cold feet, but it does not allow the mobility that you may need for doing outdoor activities such as hiking.

The amount of insulation will also affect your decision. The more padding the warmer your feet will be, which might be exactly what someone with a more sedentary lifestyle wants. However, people who are more active may not wish to risk having their feet overheat, so less insulation may be better. High boots are all the rage right now, but they may offer less mobility. If you will be moving around a lot you may wish to look for a boot that comes to just above your ankles. You may even attach a gaiter to prevent snow from getting inside.

How We Can Help

If you have more questions about finding the right pair of winter footwear or getting professionally fitted, please call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in our offices in Haverhill, Lowell, or North Andover.