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7 ways to keep your feet warm to walk this winter

woman standing beside wall and door during daytime

If you plan on exploring new routes or going out on the trails this winter, you will need to be able to keep your feet warm. The colder weather brings with it rain, wind and snow. This can make what was once a casual stroll in the summer more like a trek.

Walking in winter has many benefits, so don’t let the cold discourage you. You’ll be able to enjoy the fresh air and endorphin rush by choosing quieter routes than those in peak season. Frosty weather can boost your immune system, provided you don’t get too cold.

We asked experts to help us stay safe while walking in winter. This applies to anyone who is interested in Nordic walking, whether they are just starting out or if they have been walking for years.



It’s no surprise that warmer walking socks are the best way to keep your feet warm in winter. Dr Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, a specialist in integrative and outdoor therapy, suggests that wool socks with extra insulation will provide warmth.

However, no matter what you do, if your goal is to keep your feet warm and dry, don’t pack too many layers of wool socks. These will only make your feet sweat, which can cause your body to cool down, making it even more colder. Kira Mahal, an outdoor personal trainer, says that it is important to avoid wearing heavy or thick clothing as this can cause you overheat.


While wool socks might work well for combating the cold, it’s best to keep your feet warm if you go out in winter when snow and ice tends to stick to the trails.

“Socks with waterproof outer materials and taller boots are a good idea to keep your shoe’s interior dry,” Bartlett Hackenmiller says.

While waterproof hiking socks are available at many outdoor adventure shops, they are usually made from wool. SealSkinz’s All Weather socks are waterproof and have HydroStop which is a great option for those who are looking to purchase some. The socks are 100% waterproof and have a silicone-free elastic tape around the cuff. This reduces the possibility of water pooling in your socks if it rains.


It’s important to take into consideration the terrain when you are out walking in winter. You should wear waterproof hiking boots that are waterproof and traction to keep you safe as the weather becomes colder and wetter.

Dr Bartlett Hackenmiller says that proper hiking boots are essential for a safe and non-slip hike in water- or ice-laden terrain.

We love the Cloudrock Waterproof Shoes from On Running. They are lightweight and easy to move in. The outer sole has multiple grip styles and zig-zag textures to ensure you are secure when trail conditions may be rough.


Toe warmers are a great tool for any backpack. These handy pads are available at Walmart and Amazon. They sit under your shoes and warm your feet. If you have cold feet, these pads are a great way to keep your feet warm at the house.


Dr Barlett Hackenmiller says layers are the best way to stay warm no matter where you’re located. It’s better to be warm than cool on winter trails. A backpack is a great way to organize your layers and be able to add or subtract clothing as you go.

You don’t need to overheat if you choose the right fabrics. A thin layer of clothing made from moisture-wicking fabric is the best. To keep the warmth in, add a thin layer of wool, then a waterproof but breathable layer.


You can prevent cold feet by wrapping your shoes in plastic wrap, aluminum foil or paper if you take a spontaneous hike and end up walking in sneakers. Although it isn’t the best way to keep your feet warm, this classic trick was used by many competitors to keep warm during the first Tour De France races.

Wrap the material around your toes. For the best coverage, wrap the sides of your foot and extend your leg to the ankle. Finally, place your foot in your shoe and close the laces.

Aluminum foil and plastic wrap are naturally more resistant to water than paper, so be aware if you’re having a particularly wet day.


Exercise increases heart rate, which pumps more blood to the muscles. This natural process makes us feel warmer. Limiting the amount of stops you make on your walks will help you keep your feet and the rest of your body warm throughout the day.

PT Mahal emphasizes that standing still will not keep you warm. Begin the exercise with your feet by circling the ankles, pointing and flexing your toes. Next, you can start walking at a steady pace. You can also weigh running vs walking and start your hike by doing a little jog.

It’s crucial to ensure that your body is refueled with nutrients as you go about your day. She explains that it can be difficult to get warm. “You need to eat enough food to provide energy and heat, but not too much to make you feel uncomfortable.”

She suggests eating foods that are easy to digest but slow in energy release is key. These foods include bananas, oatmeal, peanut butter on toast, and pasta. It is important to ensure that you drink enough fluids throughout and after your workout, as winter can be just as dry as summer.


It’s important to know how to keep your feet warm when you are walking outside in winter. Dr Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, a medical advisor, says. It can cause discomfort and even death if you don’t have the proper protection. In cold weather, slush, snow and ice can make it more dangerous to walk.

Multiple studies, including one by Cardiff University and University of Oulu, show a direct correlation between low temperatures and the likelihood of getting the flu. It’s often not the cold but the temperature that is causing it. It’s inevitable that your feet will get cold.

The review from Cardiff University provides an interesting explanation. The cold can cause constrictions in the blood vessels and upper airways of the nose, which can lead to a lack of proper respiratory defense and common flu symptoms. Being safe in cold temperatures is important for both your enjoyment of the trails and your overall health.

Dr Barlett Hackenmiller offers one last piece of advice for winter walking: Always walk with a friend. Walking with a friend is safer because you can provide support and help one another with extra layers, as well as call for help if it gets too cold. Dr Barlett Hackenmiller also says that a walking partner provides accountability during the winter months when it can be difficult to find motivation.

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