Columbia, TN – While most people would like to enjoy the summer sun and flip-flops that go along with it all year long, that’s just not possible. At least not for those who wish their feet to stay healthy during the holiday season. According to Columbia, TN-based podiatrist Dr. Danielle Malin, winter means switching to a different type of footwear altogether.
Snow might be pretty to look at, but where there is snow, there is usually ice, water, and slippery walkways. Foot and ankle specialist Dr. Danielle Malin, owner and practitioner at Premier Foot & Ankle Care, recommends that people skip the fashion statement and wear shoes that combat these potential hazards.
Dr. Malin explains that the cold and wet weather of the winter can take a toll on people’s feet. She notes that good hygiene, coupled with wearing the right type of footwear when the weather is woeful, is the best way to keep feet healthy and safe throughout the winter season.
Wearing the right footwear can help reduce foot and ankle pain. Supportive boots or well-fitted sneakers offer a level of support not found in flip-flops, high heels, or trendy fashion-style boots. Wearing shoes or boots without the right type of support puts people at risk of falling, shin fractures, arch spasms, ankle sprains, tendinitis, and heel pain. The wrong shoes may also cause or exacerbate heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Well-fitted shoes make it more comfortable to walk around for people with plantar warts or who are currently undergoing bunion treatment or Achilles tendinitis treatment.
The foot and ankle doctor also explains that shoes should have the right kind of grip/tread. This provides traction, which can reduce the potential of falling or slipping accidents. One slippery slope with a non-grip shoe is all it takes to break an ankle or worse.
When asked about tips to keep the feet warm and comfortable during the winter, Dr. Malin says, “It’s all about the socks! Many people do not realize that having warm feet allows for better blood flow throughout every part of the body. This, in turn, can help to protect the immune system while boosting a person’s energy levels.” And given that the days are dark by 4:30 PM, energy is in short supply this time of year.
For people who suffer from cold feet through the winter, Dr. Malin recommends wearing thermal sock liners or insulated foot pads. She notes that there are also many battery-powered, heated socks and disposable toe-warming products available on the market. She does caution here, however, to use these products responsibly and discontinue them immediately if they cause discomfort.
Finally, Dr. Malin says that keeping the feet dry is perhaps more important during the winter than ever. While most people can easily remove their shoes and socks during the summer to let their feet experience the open air, the warm socks that keep toes healthy can also harbor bacteria and cause fungal infections if allowed to stay moist for too long. She says this is another reason to wear the right type of shoes, which should allow for both water resistance and breathability.
Dr. Danielle Malin offers a variety of services at Premier Foot & Ankle Care of Columbia. Patients may schedule an appointment for any number of podiatric services, including flat foot treatment, foot and ankle surgery, and hammertoe treatments.
Premier Foot & Ankle Care
1412 Trotwood Avenue, Suite 39
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Herald Quest journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.