How To Keep Feet Warm In Winter ⋆ Expert World Travel
Last Updated: July 27, 2022

How To Keep Feet Warm In Winter

Struggling to keep your feet warm in the winter? Then you’re definitely in the right place because this guide has all the tips you need to make your feet toasty warm even in extremely cold weather!

Which socks to wear, finding the right boots, and nifty little gadgets that provide that extra bit of warmth are all covered in this guide. So, if you’re sick and tired of trying out solutions that only make your feet colder, you’ve found the right guide to help you understand what you’re doing wrong. Read on to see our best tips on how to keep your feet warm in the winter!

Wear the Right Boots

ugg adirondack boots

If you’re dealing with cold feet in winter boots, you’re not wearing the right boots. This is coming from someone who struggled with frozen toes for years, so learn from my mistake and pick up the right pair of snow boots.

Look for boots that are heavily insulated or lined with fleece or wool. Skip Dr. Martens, rubber boots, and any other pairs that don’t feature any lining or insulation at all. Personally, I found UGGs to be the coziest and warmest boots I’ve ever worn in my life.

You can even wear them barefoot and your feet will stay toasty warm no matter how cold it gets outside, so they’ve got only words of praise from me.

UGGs are so incredibly warm because they’re entirely lined with wool on the inside. The fleece lining will also keep your feet warm in cold weather, and even classic shoe insulation can get the job done.

Use Toe Warmers

Toe warmers are a great thing for keeping your toes warm. They’re basically just air-activated heat packs intended for single use, so they’re sold in packs of a few dozen.

They usually have an adhesive, and you’re supposed to stick them on the bottom of your feet. But not immediately after you take them out of the packet – they take about 15 minutes to warm up, and you’re supposed to shake the warmer to activate the heat pack. Only then will it start to heat up and keep your toes toasty.

When a toe warmer doesn’t feel quite as hot as it should be, you just need to expose it to some warm air and it will heat up again. They’re supposed to provide 8-10 hours of heat, depending on the exact brand of toe warmers you get.

It’s a great accessory for camping and outdoor adventures because it provides that extra warmth when necessary, but it’s not something I would consider a permanent solution for cold feet.

The main reason why is that it just creates so much unnecessary waste. Also, these are usually sold in packs of 10-50 pairs, and it’s usually about $1 per pair. That’s about a box of toe warmers per month, and the costs add up quickly.

Drink Warm Beverages

Green Tea

Drinking a nice hot cup of coffee or tea will instantly warm up your entire body, feet included. That’s why it’s a good idea to carry a warm beverage with you wherever you go in the winter, just like it’s smart to carry fresh and cold water everywhere in the summer.

You’ll need a good insulated bottle, so pick up something like the Hydroflask or KleanKanteen. Go with an insulated stainless steel bottle, and make sure that it guarantees at least 6-8 hours of warmth for the beverage. That way you have access to a hot drink even if you’re out in the middle of nowhere without access to a store or coffee shop.

Use the Right Pair of Socks

REI Co-op Merino Wool Ultralight Crew Hiking Socks

If you are constantly struggling with cold feet, maybe you’re not wearing the right socks. Most people wear cotton socks but they’re not actually a good solution for keeping feet warm. Cotton is a very absorbent material that doesn’t have the best breathability. In other words, if your feet do become a bit too warm and start to sweat, the socks will absorb everything.

That will eventually result in wet and clammy feet, which is the last thing you want in cold temperatures. So, go with polyester or wool socks instead. Wool socks are by far the best option for cold feet – they’re a great insulator so you can wear them both in hot and cold air and your feet will be cozy, they’re odor resistant, and they’re very durable.

They’re also some of the priciest socks, so not the best option if you’re looking for an affordable solution for cold feet. But they’re still cheaper than boots.

Polyester socks are also a good option for warm feet. They’re not as absorbent as cotton socks so they shouldn’t get wet if you start sweating, but they are not odor resistant at all. They can be incredibly warm though, especially those fluffy and cozy thick socks that are specifically designed to keep your feet warmer.

In any case, just keep in mind that not all socks are a good choice in the winter, and focus on finding the ideal warm socks for you.

Stay Active

A Running Woman

Staying active is key to keeping your entire body warm in the winter. We always feel a little hotter when we’re constantly moving, be it during a hike or an intense vacuuming session. Staying active ensures better blood flow, which in turn guarantees that your feet stay warm even in extreme cold.

So, the next time you’re dealing with cold feet, get up and start walking around. Go for a jog, hit the gym, vacuum the house, or just get up and do jumping jacks – getting your heart rate up will warm up your entire body, feet included.

Use Gaiters

Gaiters are a good option to try if you want a quick solution for cold feet. They’re supposed to keep snow, dirt, pebbles, and everything else out of your boots. They basically ensure that your feet stay dry as long as you’re wearing waterproof footwear, and keeping your feet dry is crucial to ensuring they stay warm.

Gaiters come in many different shapes and sizes, from small ones that are suitable for quick hikes to below-the-knee insulated gaiters that will keep your feet warm and dry even if you’re walking through knee-deep snow. Check out all the different options and find a pair that’s suitable for your needs.

Keep Your Feet Dry

Your feet can only be warm if they’re dry, so it’s essential that you ensure your feet stay dry in wet weather. This means wearing only waterproof footwear in the winter, especially when there’s snow on the ground.

When it comes to waterproof winter boots, your options are endless. There are way too many waterproofing technologies out there, but Gore-Tex remains one of the best options. The technology has proven excellent at insulation and breathability, meaning that Gore-Tex boots are the perfect solution for keeping your feet dry and warm in wet weather.

But, Gore-Tex isn’t your only option. Many quality brands have their own proprietary waterproofing and insulation technologies, so look at options from Columbia, The North Face, Keen, Sorel, Panama, Timberland, and all other reputable brands.

Also, pick up a waterproofing spray for shoes. You can get it for $10-15 in any shoe store and on Amazon, and it will last you a while. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid – every year I will apply a new coat of waterproofing spray to my boots, ensuring that they keep my feet protected in wet weather.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that you can buy entirely waterproof socks. They’re a good solution for hikers and outdoor adventurers who are always finding themselves in a situation that includes getting their feet wet, but they’re not the warmest or most comfortable socks you can wear.

Bring Extra Pairs of Socks

Wool Socks

When one pair of socks fails at keeping your feet warm, you always have the option of putting on an additional pair. It’s certainly not the best solution to cold feet, but it is the quickest one. If you’re dealing with cold feet right now, just go on and put another pair of socks on and you’ll instantly feel better.

The main downside of this solution is that, even though it will ensure warmer feet, it also adds bulk to your feet. You might not be able to fit into every pair of shoes you own when you’re wearing more than one pair of socks, and depending on just how tight the socks are, they might cut off your blood flow a bit.

So, maybe don’t wear two tight pairs of socks on top of one another. Instead, go with thin, breathable socks for the inner layer, but choose a thicker sock to wear on top.

Wear Layers of Warm Clothes

Outfit Layers

Layering up is always the right thing to do in cold and wet weather. But most people don’t pay attention to the kinds of layers they’re wearing, which ultimately results in them being uncomfortable because they’re too hot or they’re still cold.

Start with the most basic layer you can think of – underwear. Invest in Merino wool underwear (tops and bottoms) and start with that. If you can afford it, pick up a Merino wool t-shirt and socks as well. It’s a great insulator and it’s incredibly breathable, so it will definitely keep you both warm and dry.

Pair the Merino underlayers with whatever you want, but just make sure that you always have the option of stripping down to a t-shirt, in case you start feeling a bit too warm.

Bring a Down Blanket

Winter Camping Blankets

If you’re struggling to keep your feet warm when you’re out camping or hiking in the winter, you need to start bringing a down blanket everywhere with you. Pick up something like the Rumpl, or a similar blanket that has clips so you can wrap it around yourself. When your feet start feeling a bit cold, just wrap them in the cozy down blanket and let the insulation do its job.

It’s worth noting that this is a good solution only in dry weather. Down doesn’t work quite as well in wet weather, and you’re better off using something with synthetic insulation if it’s wet outside. But if you have a shelter from the wet and you can manage to keep the blanket dry, it will do wonders for your cold feet.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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