If you’re planning to hit the slopes this winter, ensure you take steps to prepare your feet for rigorous exercise in the extreme cold. Without proper foot care, winter sports can result in all kinds of foot ailments, including sprains, blisters, athlete’s foot and frostbite. We’ve put together a guide on how to prepare your feet for skiing and snowboarding so they stay warm and pain-free during the harsh Calgary winter.
Wear Properly Fitted Boots
Wearing boots that are the correct size for your foot is essential for preventing sprains, aches, blisters and calluses. Boots that are too tight restrict blood flow to your toes, which can cause your feet to become chilled more quickly. If they’re too big, you have a higher chance of injuring yourself or getting snow in your boots. Make sure to break in your boots before a long day of skiing or snowboarding— wearing new boots on a big trek is a sure-fire recipe for blisters.
Invest in Quality Ski Socks
Having socks specially designed for use in winter sports makes all the difference when skiing or snowboarding. Instead of wearing socks made out of absorbent materials like cotton, choose socks made out of wool or acrylic fibres, which will wick away sweat while trapping in heat. This prevents your feet from becoming damp and chilled and thus more prone to blisters and frostbite.
Exercise and Massage Your Feet
Before starting the season, take the time to stretch and strengthen your feet to reduce your chance of getting a strain or injury. Wiggle your toes and move your ankle for a few minutes each day and gently massage your foot with your hands to improve circulation and relax muscles. You can also roll each foot on a lacrosse or tennis ball to release tight muscles.
Take Steps to Prevent Blisters
Wearing shoes that fit correctly and moisture-resistant socks help prevent blisters, but if you’re prone to these painful sores, you should take extra precautions. Lubricate your feet with petroleum jelly to reduce the friction that could cause inflammation and cover up the areas of your foot most likely to get blisters with bandages or sports tape.
Don’t Ignore Foot Pain
If you have existing foot problems, talk to a foot specialist about your symptoms. Your Calgary podiatrist will be able to recommend exercises and diagnose potential issues. At Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic in Calgary, we also make custom-made specialty orthotics that can be designed to work with ski boots so you can get more out of the winter sport season. To make an appointment, contact us today.