The snow is super fun to play in and with the colder weather coming I’m sure the sledges will be getting dusted off and ready to go sledge racing. Many of you will be hitting the slopes well wrapped up in scarves, gloves, jumpers, coats and waterproof trousers, but have any of you considered what you are putting on your feet this winter? You may think Wellingtons are the best option; after all they are waterproof, and they come high up your leg so your trousers won’t get wet. However, have you thought about the insulation properties of your wellies to help keep your feet warm?

Although wellies do keep you dry they do not keep them warm. This is because they are made from plastic and do not have a thick sole and have no insulating properties within them. Therefore, when you wear wellies you tend to put more socks on that you normally would, this is to retain heat. However, when you put more than one pair of socks on it stops moisture being able to escape. This can increase the chances of getting a fungal foot infection as the sweat is not able to wick away from your feet.

Due to the lack of insulation within wellingtons you are more susceptible to getting chilblains because of the cold weather. Chilblains are caused by cold temperatures, this results in your blood vessels narrowing which essentially means your toes have a reduces blood supply. Due to the reduced blood supply your toes start to turn a pinky purple colour. Your toes may also become a little uncomfortable and itchy. These symptoms will ease with time and eventually your toes will return to their normal colour, but it always advisable to see a podiatrist if you suspect you have chilblains.

With a walking style shoe or boot, they have insulation properties and they are water proof. You should not have to wear as many socks with walking boots. Therefore, even in the freezing weather your feet will have a circulatory air system flowing round them constantly reducing the chances of developing a fungal infection. Your feet should also be kept at a more stable core body temperature when wearing walking boots or shoes.

If you suspect you have a fungal infection the visual signs include redness and circular lesions that look like sun burn pealing off your feet. Your feet will also become irresistibly itchy- try to resit the itch even though it is very difficult. If you suspect you have a fungal infection do not panic, they are more common than you think. If you suspect you have a fungal infection see a podiatrist and they will be able to give you the best advice moving forwards.