Cold weather, ladies and gentlemen, is upon us and that can only mean one thing: our feet are likely to spend the bulk of the next couple of months nestled in a comfy pair of socks, deep inside a pair of boots.

And that can be a problem.

Just as the summer, with it’s open-toed shoes, sandals and flip-flops, can present challenges with taking care of your feet, so too can the winter. Among those challenges are the dry air, the body’s natural response to being cold and those winter boots we love so much. These challenges, if not properly addressed, can lead to issues like dry, cracked heels and skin, foot odor, and further complications to pre-existing foot issues.

With these things in mind, we put together a quick and simple guide to help you take care of your feet and promote their health this winter.

Start With a Simple Inspection

Giving your feet a quick, daily inspection takes seconds to do and is a great way to identify minor issues before they turn into something major. It’s a good habit to get into anytime of the year, but during the winter, it’s a must, particularly if you have diabetes or any other foot condition. When inspecting your feet, look carefully at all the pressure areas for cracks in the skin, calluses or sores. If you notice anything out of place, speak with your healthcare provider. Check out our At-Home Foot Inspection Guide for more.

Choose the Right Footwear

When it’s cold out, our body’s natural reaction is draw blood away from our extremities to keep our core and internal organs warm. But this means that circulation in the feet decreases, which in turn, increases the risk of other foot issues. This is especially concerning for those with diabetes as circulation in their feet is already diminished to begin with. Prioritizing warmth and comfort are a must during the winter and if it’s snowy or icy out, so too is water-resistance and traction. That’s why we recommend a sturdy, comfortable boot made of water-resistant leather like the HudsonPaige or Ariya.

Keep Your Feet Dry

You don’t typically think of damp feet being an issue during the winter, but it can be. Aside from the usual suspects of walking through slush and snow making your feet wet, there’s also the fact that your feet are spending most of the day tucked away in warm socks and boots. We’ve talked about this before, but odor-causing bacteria love damp, warm and dark environments which can open the door to issues like foot odor or athlete’s foot. To keep sweaty feet to a minimum, we recommend wearing moisture-wicking Copper Cloud socks that are infused with anti-microbial copper fibers.

Moisturize Daily

Even though we just told you that sweaty, wet feet is a concern during the winter, so too is dry feet. How can that be? Sweating causes moisture to leave your skin, and even though that moisture may be hanging around on top of your skin, it’s no longer where it can effectively keep the skin moisturized. It’s kind of like dunking a grape in a glass of water – the grape would come out wet, but not moisturized. To keep your feet moisturized and prevent dry skin and cracked heels, we recommend regularly using a good moisturizer and drinking plenty of water.

By following these four simple steps, you can be sure that your feet are getting all of the attention and care they need during the winter and that come springtime, you'll be ready for the switch back to open-toed shoes and sandals.

Haven't bought your winter boots and socks yet? Head over to ApexFoot.com and shop now!