How To Cure Cold Feet On A Ski Holiday
With cold weather on its way we have decided to share an article written by the Daily Telegraph Ski Section about how to keep your toes warm:
Here is the article:
The curse of cold feet can seriously dampen your enjoyment on the ski slopes. Here are nine ways to turn up the heat.
1. Care for the core
When the mercury plummets, the body’s response is to protect vital organs by focusing on the mid-body – aka core – area, cutting blood flow to extremities. “Feet tend to get coldest because they are furthest from the heart,” explains Lorraine Jones, podiatrist at The Royal College of Podiatry. “If you keep your core warm with the help of a moisture-wicking baselayer, an insulation layer and a waterproof outer layer, you’ll help keep the blood flowing to your toes.”
2. Leave the après till later
A quick schnapps may make you feel warm but when you drink, it dilates peripheral blood vessels near the skin, making more blood (and heat) flow to them, so taking heat away from the core. With all that heat on the periphery of your body, you’ll lose it fast when you venture out in the cold.
3. Don't skimp on socks
Quality ski and snowboard socks are not cheap, but don’t skimp as they make all the difference. Opt for ski or snowboard-specific socks (not sports or hiking socks) that are designed to wick sweat away from the skin and trap heat, as well as being padded to protect shins and Achilles tendon for example.
“Your feet sweat when skiing and if your skin gets damp, it cools quickly,” warns Jones. “A wet body loses heat 27 times faster than a dry body.”
Ski Sock above are Suma Socks made from Bamboo
Look for socks with a mix of wicking artificial fibres and insulating natural fibres such as merino wool, bamboo or silk. “Only wear one pair otherwise you won’t get the insulating effect of air circulating around the foot,” warns Jones.
4. Stand in the bath
Stand ankle-deep in warm water to pre-heat your feet if you really want to get the blood pumping to your toes. If toes are toasty to start the day, your boots, like a vacuum flask, will help them stay that way.
5. Get the right fit
If you’ve been skiing or snowboarding more than once, it’s well worth buying your own boots and getting them professionally fitted. Too tight boots constrict blood flow to your toes and squeeze out that cushion of air insulation. Too roomy and you’ll end up trying to grip with your toes and the ball of your foot, which will push blood away from your skin, making feet colder.
Consider investing in a customised insole or footbed fitted in a specialist snowsports shop. “Insoles will keep your feet stable and relaxed which will encourage better circulation on the slopes, helping to keep your feet warm,” explains David Hughes at footbed manufacturer Sidas.
Some insoles even have a reflective layer designed to retain heat and keep out cold.
6. Dry your boots
Start the day with even slightly damp boots and feet are far more likely to get cold as that excess water freezes. “When you ski or snowboard your foot will sweat pretty much up to a Coke can full of moisture in your liner,” explains Hughes. Nice.
The best way to ensure boots dry thoroughly overnight is to use boot dryers, often provided by chalets and hotels. Otherwise, remove liners and put them near a radiator or invest in a portable dryer. Electric ones plug into the mains, a cigarette lighter or universal charger to blow warm air into your boots, while products like Drysure contain silica gel beads to absorb moisture, drying without the need for power or heat.
The White Collection by Drysure PHOTO: Charlie Bettinson
7. Swap socks
If you're putting in a long day on the slopes, take an extra pair of socks to change into at lunch time. Why? Socks absorb sweat, which will seep into boot liners and cool feet down fast. A fresh pair can make all the difference.
8. Make some shapes
Toes gone numb on the chairlift? Warm up when you reach the top by swinging your legs back and forth with large powerful movements. “Keep going for 30 or 40 swings and it will really help get the blood flowing back to your extremities,” says Jones.
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