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As winter approaches, it's crucial to pay attention to our footwear choices to ensure we step through the season safely and comfortably.

“Choosing the right shoes may sound simple, but with snow and ice presenting unexpected challenges through the winter, making the right choice can prevent serious discomfort or even injury,” says Dr. Jason Hymowitz, foot and ankle surgeon with Holy Name Orthopedics.

Here’s what to look for in winter footwear to keep you healthy and your feet happy!

1. Embrace the Ankle Boot Advantage: Ankle boots are not just a stylish cold-weather accessory; they provide essential support and stability. Look for boots with a low heel, good arch support, and a non-slip sole to prevent those unexpected icy slips.

2. Warmth Meets Comfort with Insulation: Opt for winter boots lined with insulation materials like Thinsulate to keep your feet warm, without sacrificing comfort. Insulated boots not only protect you from the chill but also provide a cushion for your feet.

3. Waterproof Wonder: Winter often means navigating through rain, slush, and snow. Choose boots made from waterproof materials such as Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry. Dry feet are not just a comfort factor; they also reduce the risk of fungal infections.

4. Traction is Key: Slippery surfaces are a common winter hazard. Select footwear with a solid, slip-resistant rubber sole to ensure optimal traction. This small feature can prevent big falls, while safeguarding your joints from unnecessary stress.

5. Room for Your Toes to Wiggle: Ensure your winter footwear provides enough room for your toes to move comfortably when wearing thicker socks. Overly tight shoes can lead to various foot issues, including painful bunions. Your winter shoes should be snug but not constricting.

Following these tips will help fill your winter season with warmth, style, and most importantly, prevent unexpected injury.

“When the weather is cold and snowy, wearing the right footwear can be just as important as putting on a coat,” adds Dr. Hymowitz. “Your feet are the foundation of your body, and taking care of them is crucial for overall orthopedic health.”

If you have concerns about your feet, ankles, or any orthopedic issues, schedule a personal consultation with Holy Name Orthopedics.