Giving Care: Senior & Disabled Caregiver Resource Blog

How to Keep Feet Warm in the Winter

Feet in woollen socks by the Christmas fireplace. Woman relaxes by warm fire with a cup of hot drink and warming up her feet in woollen socks. Close up on feet. Winter and Christmas holidays concept.
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By AlexMaster /

Many elderly people struggle with cold feet, especially in the wintertime when the temperatures drop. If you are trying and failing to keep your feet from freezing, we’ve compiled this guide to help you keep your feet warm in the winter. Here are seven tips to stop your feet from freezing, from wearing wool socks to choosing the right adaptive footwear:

Keep on socks at all times.

If bare feet feel like freedom, it’s because they allow all the heat to escape from your feet. Wearing socks is essential for keeping feet warm in the winter. Choose a crew height sock that covers your ankle for maximum insulation. Ideally, you should choose wool socks if at all possible; since the wool  your feet warm while wicking away moisture. If the socks make your feet more slippery, then opt for hospital socks with grips on the bottom or wear slippers with socks at all times (see the next section).

Wear slippers indoors

Slippers provide an extra layer of insulation for your feet and reduce your chances of tripping and falling. Look for a plush slipper design that offers plenty of padding to keep your feet warm. The slipper should have a raised heel and even a raised shaft to cover more of your foot and prevent heat from escaping. Look specifically for slippers with non-slip soles, which will help to provide traction even on slippery floors.

Wear water resistant shoes outside

Fabric slippers are great indoors, but they won’t cut it in icy or snowy terrain. Avoid shoes made of fabric or mesh and instead opt for water resistant materials like treated leather or nylon. These shoes will protect your feet from moisture and help them to stay warm and dry. If you live somewhere cold, opt for thicker boots with a taller shaft, as opposed to thinner shoes that don’t cover your ankles. The latter allows more heat to escape from your feet, leading them to become chilled.

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Woman and Dog Legs and Feet Hiking Together in Snowy Winter Weather
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By N K /

Try some insulated insoles.

If your shoes for swollen feet need even more insulation, try some well-padded insoles. Not only will these insoles keep your feet warmer, but they’ll also help to promote proper foot placement and can help ease foot soreness and pain. If you need lots of insulation, look for insoles that are specifically made for skiing, snowboarding and other cold weather sports. 

Dry out your feet and shoes.

If your feet do become wet from sweat or water, immediately remove the socks, dry fff your feet and switch to a clean pair of socks. You should also switch to a dry pair of shoes if necessary. While you are at it, dry out your socks between wears by letting them sit for at least 24 hours. This gives sweat and moisture time to completely dry, ensuring that you won’t be putting your feet back into cold, wet shoes, which will further chill your feet.

Faceless woman sits on sofa and puts on slippers. Warm feet
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By Ksana Durand /

Move your lower body.

Movement improves circulation to your extremities, which can help warm up your entire body, including your feet. The key is that you want to move enough that you raise your body temperature, but not enough that you start sweating. The sweat will dampen your clothes, making your feet and the rest of your body cold. Opt for walking, leg lifts and other gentle forms of exercise that will get your circulation flowing without breaking a sweat.

Use foot warmers with caution.

Foot and toe warmers are typically disposable heating packs that can help keep your lower body extremities warm when you are going to be outside or in a cold environment for long periods of time. However, these foot warmers can cause burns when used improperly, especially when placed next to the skin or used for long periods of time. This risk is especially high in elderly people who have insensitive nerves in their feet. Use these foot warmers with caution.

For more resources about foot care for seniors, including information on what causes feet to swell in the elderly, head on over to the Silverts Giving Care blog. If you are looking for warm socks and adaptive footwear that will keep their feet warm in the wintertime, check out the Silverts online store to shop for slippers for elderly men and women.

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