Winter Foot Care Tips

As cold weather arrives and our wardrobes change, we need to remember the effect of cold on our bodies.  Snowflakes, winter sports…cold weather can be fun, but it takes a toll on your skin‚ though‚ especially your feet. When your feet feel cold, it means the skin’s blood supply to the top layers of the skin have been reduced to preserve heat.  It’s not just your lips that get chapped.  Also tights and chunky socks pushed into your shoes can torture your toes. Today let’s review a few precautions to care for your feet this coming season.






Care For Your Feet


  1. Keep Them Dry & Clean


Clean your feet daily with soap and water. Be sure to dry thoroughly before putting on socks and shoes. As you wash your feet, inspect them for any signs of ingrown toenails, fungus or any other problems. Seek professional help when needed.  If caught in a rain or snow storm, dry your feet as soon as possible. This will reduce bacteria build-up and keep your feet warm.




2. Moisturize Regularly


Don’t forget your feet when using lotion after your shower.  If you have really dry feet, I suggest using a rich foot cream on a daily basis.  I like to massage the cream in circles into my feet around the toes, arch, and heels.  It feels wonderful.


3. Wear Natural Socks


Wear socks made of natural fibers like cotton and wool.  They are more absorbent and moisture wicking.  This decreases sweaty feet and the foot odor that can accompany it.  Sweaty feet can also cause damp, cold feet.  When my feet are cold, I cannot get warm.



4. Wear Shoes & Boots That Fit


Find footwear that has room up-front so you can wiggle your toes. Shoes that are too tight can affect blood flow to the feet.  This can lead to cold feet and contribute even to frost bite in extreme cases.  If you are buying new winter shoes, wear the socks that you will use in the winter.  The heel, instep and the ball of your foot shouldn’t move in the shoe. Shoes that are too big will allow the foot to move, causing friction. Friction can cause sores and blisters which will inevitably cause pain.


5. Dry Your Shoes & Boots


Wearing damp shoes is a breeding ground for bacteria.  Place your shoes in a warm, dry area away from direct heat and let them dry completely before wearing again. Do not place next to radiator as it can cause damage and premature aging of your shoes.


6. Rest Your Feet


Standing all day can be painful to your feet. When possible sit and elevate your feet.  Try soaking in a tub of warm water.  If you wear high heels or other uncomfortable shoes, consider wearing comfortable flats a couple of days a week to give your feet a rest.


7. Exercise Your Feet


You don’t have to spend hours on an exercise program, but do include a few exercises to get the blood flowing to your feet.  Try a few leg lifts, calf exercise, or movements of feet in a circular motion.  This helps before you got out in the cold but can also help after a day of standing on your feet.  My sister spent decades as a high school teacher standing all day.  When she came home, she made a practice of doing leg lifts and then laying on the bed with her feet on the wall.  This grealy increased circulation and decreased water retention.



Feet, Socks, Living Room, Person, Relaxing, Table





Home Treatments for Your Feet


A. Regularly remove nail polish and clean beneath toe nails. 

Constant use of nail polish restricts the nail’s ability to fight fungus and bacteria.  First remove polish. After a bath or shower,  clear under toe nails with a soft toothbrush in an upward motion. Toe nails build up a collection of soap, dead skin and lint which needs to be removed. Go without nail polish for a few days before re-applying.


B. To fight fungus and bacteria apply nail oil with added anti-fungal properties, such as tea tree oil.  This can help promote and restore a healthy nail.


C. The simplest treatment for dry skin is a mix of olive oil and salt rubbed in circles from the heel to the toes.

This will remove dead skin while replenishing the moisture level of the skin.  Let the oil sink in and then remove the salt with a clean cloth.


D. A more intense treatment for your dry feet with lots of dead skin is a mixture of  vinegar and Listerine.

Sounds weird but the mix of ingredients is great at removing dry, dead skin.   It can also help treat athlete’s foot and other fungal infections should this be an issue.

Mix 1 cup of Listerine with 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. The tub should be bigger than the length and depth of your feet. Soak your feet for around 30-40 minutes (the soak may smell quite strong but this will soon dissipate when dried). Once soaked, gently pat your feet dry and use a pumice stone to remove any hard, dead skin.


E. If you get itchy feet after exercising, use a foot soak of warm water and white or apple cider vinegar.

This will help fatigued feet, fungal toenails and athlete’s foot.  Do not use if there are open sores on your feet.  Seek medical help.




Feet, Socks, Cozy, Comfortable, Family, Legs, Footwear






I hope these tips help you keep warm and happy feet this coming winter.














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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

28 thoughts to “Winter Foot Care Tips”

  1. I’m so glad I found your recipe because this is a constant struggle during our cold Canadian winters. I’m especially glad I read this because I’ve been told multiple times while getting pedicures to put petroleum jelly on my feet every day! Had no idea it clogged the pores so switching to your recipe starts TODAY. Pinning to share your recipe 🙂

    1. When I was young, I used petroleum jelly on my feet and it did help the dryness. I then read about how over 90% of what we put on our skin is absorbed within a minute. We are absorbing petroleum chemicals when using petroleum jelly besides clogging pores. A thick natural jelly works just as well. Good luck with your feet this winter!

  2. Boy, did I need this. I’ve been coating my feet with Vaseline to soften them up. Didn’t know that was not the way to go. 🙂 I do know that the hot baths that I take every night are not the best for my feet, but boy does it ever help me sleep. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. I understand about the baths – I bath every night too and the warm water feels wonderful on my arthritis. Have a wonderful day!

  3. Such an interesting post. I use Cetaphil cream on my feet during the winter as my dermatologist recommended it. I will have to try the Alba Un-Petroleum Jelly

  4. Thank you for the tips, with the Cold Canadian winter I am spending too much on pedicures and my heel is so dry and cracked its bleeding. I will give this a try.

  5. I do have cold hands and feet, always have since I can remember. They are especially cold in the winter months, walking on cold floors doesn’t help. Love taking a hot bath to get them all warmed up, I will be adding epsom salts too, I don’t have cracked heels, but would love to avoid it. Thanks for the tips.

    1. I totally understand as I have cold hands and feet. My mother always said, “Cold hands, warm heart. Dirty feet, no sweetheart.”

  6. Thanks so much Carol, I so need these tips for winter. I seldom wear shoes in Summer so when Winter comes and my feet are all closed my heels end up cracking really badly.

  7. This is the most useful, informative post I’ve read in a blog in ages — maybe because feet are my “issue.” (Or one of them!). The top part was familiar but the home treatments section was new and very helpful. I suspect I’ll be referring to this one again – and again. Thanks, Carol!

    1. I have terrible dry feet and since I live in sandals (that dries out feet more), I fight getting cracked heels. I’m always trying something! Have a great day

  8. Winter feet can be such a drag! But I do like the suggestion to put our feet up – now I can tell the family that I’m just doing something that is healthy. Have this scheduled to share on my FB page later this week.

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