When To Replace Winter Boots
Posted by Jenn F. on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
At this point in 2015, frigid temperatures are nothing new. Unfortunately, our little friend Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow back on February 2nd, so we can presume there are still a few more weeks of winter weather left. It’s a good time to check your feet and boots to see how you’ve held up over the long winter—and if you need any footwear upgrades or additional foot care to finish out the season. There are many things you can do at home to take care of your feet, but it’s also good to have a podiatry office you can trust.
How Are Your Winter Boots Holding Up?
The first step to good winter foot care is to wear proper boots all winter long. In our New York podiatry office, people often ask us when they need to buy a new pair of boots. That question is very subjective, of course, and depends upon the individual shoe. We are always more than happy to take a look at the boot treads and general condition to assess wear and tear. A general rule of thumb is to consider replacing your winter boots about every 500 miles or six months—so, roughly every other year. The shelf life of a product declines over time, whether you wear them or not. So if you can’t remember when you purchased your boots or wore them last, it’s probably time for a new pair!
To help you avoid frequent replacements, here are ways to prolong the lifespan of your winter boots:
- Use waterproof spray
- Buy real leather, and polish and condition winter boots every 1-3 months
- Brush salt off suede and nubuck materials right away, and spot-clean with salt stain remover when necessary
- Use vinegar, water, and a cloth to clean salt off synthetic fabrics
Keep in mind the basics—clean, condition, and polish—and your winter boots should stay in good shape! You also want to make sure you are keeping those boots dry and that they are well-fitting. These tips will save you a ton of grief and prevent some of the following foot care concerns…
Special Foot Care Concerns In Winter
As New York City podiatrists, we see the following winter boot-related foot issues arise each season:
- Foot and toenail fungus from walking around with wet feet.
What You Can Do At Home: Use anti-fungal powder and always have dry socks handy!
How A Podiatry Office Can Help: We offer laser toenail fungus removal, prescription antifungal medication that is covered by insurance, debridement for damaged nails, and different types of creams or lacquers that mild cases may respond to. If you’d like to try a natural treatment for foot fungus, we can steer you toward something like pure tea tree oil that some people have found to be successful. Usually, we recommend a combination approach suited to the individual.
- Cracked heels from cold, dry air and failure to moisturize daily.
How A Podiatry Office Can Help: While a mere cosmetic issue for some, cracked heels can be a real problem for others. Patients with diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or a history of foot infections are of great concern here. Elderly or obese patients who have trouble getting down to scrub their heels often come to see us. We offer specialized tools designed to gently scrub calluses off the feet. We can also check to make sure ulcers have not formed, and can apply a healing ointment if needed. When pain is an issue, we prescribe products that will bring relief.
- Bunions and blisters from wearing boots that are too small.
What You Can Do At Home: Toss out old boots that are causing you discomfort!
How A Podiatry Office Can Help: We can get you a professional measurement using a Brannock Device. Blisters can be treated with creams and special cushions that make walking more comfortable. Shoe choice is paramount for preventing bunions from worsening, so we’ll also spend time helping you choose the right footwear. Bunions may be treated with splints, but surgical intervention is typically the only way to correct fully developed deformities. We perform bunion surgery in advanced cases—when the bunion has grown too large for proper shoe fit or too painful to continue regular activities.
New York City Winter Foot Care
A podiatrist is a good friend to have when your feet are feeling downright miserable. At The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine facilities in Manhattan and White Plains, we treat everything from arthritis, bunions, and foot fungus, to diabetic neuropathy, plantar fasciitis heel pain, and acute fractures. We strive to remedy your situation with the most affordable, least-invasive treatment solutions. Yet, we also offer advanced treatments such as laser therapy, shockwave treatment, platelet-rich plasma injections, physical therapy, custom orthotics, and more. Contact us to set up an appointment at our friendly office without delay, so you’ll be ready to pound the pavement once the nice weather hits!
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.