If you plan to wear boots this cold season, it's essential that you protect your feet from poor circulation and pain. You can do so by taking better care of your ankles and feet before, during and after you wear your boots. If you don't, you might end up at your podiatrist for care and treatment. Here's how you get your feet ready for fall and winter the right way.
Wear Better Fitting Boots to Prevent Poor Circulation in Your Feet
Your feet depend on good blood circulation to keep them warm during cold weather. But wearing boots that are too tight on your feet, ankles and calves restricts or slows down your blood circulation and your feet stay cold. After a while, you develop tingling in your toes, spasms in your soles and cramps in your calves.
In addition, wearing boots or any footwear with high heels compresses the nerves in your feet and toes. The bones in your feet also push forward and downward, which crams your toes together until they hurt. Eventually, your feet and toes become numb, and your ankles swell up with fluid.
The best way to increase the circulation in your feet, ankles and calves is to wear better fitting boots with the features below:
The heels of your boots should be 2 inches in height or lower to avoid placing stress on the bones of your feet and toes. However, don't wear boots with very flat heels because they can overstretch the arches or natural curves of your feet. For safety and future reference, you should follow these recommendations for all of your footwear and not just boots.
Comfortable Fitting Calves
Also, wear boots that fit the width and thickness of your calves properly. It's best to purchase and wear boots with zippers instead of pull-on boots. If you can't zip up your boots without pinching the skin over your calves, or if your calves spill over the edges of your boots' tops, don't buy them.
Plenty of Toe Room
Finally, purchase boots that give you plenty of room to wriggle your toes around freely when you stand up or sit down. If you wear thick socks or stockings with your boots, you may develop blisters or cramps in your toes when you walk.
Massage Your Ankles
After you take off your boots, take time to massage the muscles in your ankles. Your ankles can tense up or cramp from standing on your feet. Massaging your ankles with natural oils improves circulation in your ankles.
You want to choose natural oils with antiseptic properties, such as tea tree oil and peppermint, for your massage. These types of oils contain menthol, which is an active ingredient used to alleviate pain and discomfort.
In addition, the menthol in peppermint and other essential oils cools the surfaces of your skin. Inflammation can lead to swelling in the joints of your ankles.
Most essential oils require a carrier or mixing oil to dilute them before use, such as olive or coconut. When you purchase your essential oil of choice, be sure to follow the diluting instructions on the bottle precisely. Once you do this, follow the steps below:
- Soak your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes. You want to open up the pores of your skin to help the oil penetrate your muscles.
- Place 1-2 drops of your diluted essential oil into the palm of your hands.
- Rub your palms together to warm the oil, then apply it to one ankle at a time.
- Massage your ankles slowly with the pads of your fingertips for 5 minutes.
- Give the oil time to absorb into your skin, then place a pair of cotton socks on your feet.
If you have time, massage the muscles of your calves to relieve tension in these body parts. For the best results, massage your ankles and/or calves every night.
If you want to know more about protecting your feet when you wear boots, contact your podiatrist today or visit websites like http://www.westmorelandfootdoctor.com.