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Put a spring in your step

13 January 2023

Expert podiatrist Dina Gohil shares her top tips to help keep your feet healthy this winter.

Feet in thick socks

1. Footwear focus

Make sure you choose appropriate footwear, such as waterproof and supportive boots, shoes or trainers, to keep your feet warm, dry and protected over the winter months.

It’s also important to consider the soles of the shoes. Avoid any that appear too thin as these will not provide adequate shock absorption. A good sole will also help provide more structure and support for the ankle and foot.

While wellies are great for muddy walks in the woods, they are not designed for long periods of wear, offering little support and structure for your feet. Wellies are also not designed to keep your feet warm, and your toes can end up feeling cold without the appropriate socks. When choosing socks for winter, think about how hot or cold your feet get. If they are on a colder side, a merino wool blend can help keep your feet toasty. It’s best to mix up your footwear choices – avoid wearing one style of footwear too much.

2. Manage the moisture

The combination of colder weather and heavier footwear can really take a toll on our feet – leaving you with dry soles and cracked heels. The best way to prevent and relieve cracked, dry heels is to regularly (every day if possible!) use a good-quality, moisturising foot cream. Vaseline will lock in moisture on the heels, and you can also try products found at home, such as coconut oil, olive oil or honey, to help soothe and heal any open wounds.

3. Keep on moving

During the winter months, it can be tempting to just cosy up on the sofa, but it’s important to keep the body moving, including your feet. Try to incorporate some regular foot exercises, which will not only help with maintaining balance and mobility but also keep areas such as your ankles strong, helping to minimise any injury.

Some simple foot exercises include ankle rotations, where you begin by sitting with your feet flat on the floor. Extend one leg out and gently move your foot clockwise in a circular motion, then rotate in the other direction, 10-20 times. Repeat with the other leg.

Another easy one to try are heel stands. Begin by standing behind a chair, holding on to the back for support, then slowly raise your heels and lower, repeating 10 times. Try not to lean on the chair and aim to keep your body as straight as you can.

If you really can’t face the elements, then be sure to still do some basic leg exercises to keep the blood flowing around the body.

4. Keep your feet warm but don’t put them in hot water

To avoid painful conditions such as chilblains during the colder months, keep feet warm by wearing woollen socks or putting an extra blanket over your feet. Chilblains are an abnormal response by the blood vessels to changes in temperature. In winter, they can be exacerbated by a hot shower or bath.

While there’s nothing quite like a cosy self-care Sunday enjoying a long, hot bubble bath when it’s freezing outside, be careful of overindulging. Excessively hot water tends to strip your skin of its natural protective oils, which can lead to dry skin. So, alternatively, try a warm water soak for your feet to reduce the removal of natural oils and help them to regain their normal temperature gradually. Salt water foot soaks have many benefits, including relaxing and cleansing your feet, and are easy to do at home. Other benefits include reducing pain, aches, and soreness by decreasing soft-tissue stress. A soak of 10-30 mins can be excellent during the week. 

A brilliant way to restore the heat is to use a foot cream in circular motions from the heel up to the toes. This will not only warm and help to stimulate and aid circulation but will also moisturise the feet.

You could try having hot meals too, and using ingredients such as ginger, pepper, and turmeric, to help keep your core body temperature warm. Drink warm drinks and avoid anything cold that can affect your core temperature.

5. Nail It

Don't forget about your toenails. Take the time to look over the nails regularly, checking for discolouration or a change in the texture, as this can be an early sign of nail fungus.

Winter is also a great time to pause on the nail polish because toenails can soak up nail varnish, causing the nail to dry out. When this happens, yeast and bacteria can form underneath the polish, which can cause fungal nail infections. So, in winter be kind to your toenails by letting them breathe and keeping them polish-free for most of the time.

Another great tip that can do wonders for your nails is using vegetable oil to condition and rehydrate. It can help them grow healthier, faster, and reduce brittle dry splits. Simply apply the oil twice a day.

6. Foot MOT

It’s often thought that the feet can be seen as a map of the body, with problems often indicating imbalances, as well as giving a good indication of our overall wellbeing. So, for example, common issues such as dry skin or patches on the soles of the feet could point to dehydration. While ill-fitting shoes could exacerbate dry skin, keeping on top of the problem could be a simple case of upping your water intake throughout the day.

It’s important to check your feet – ideally every day – for any problems that might need addressing. Try to do a ‘foot scan’ when you’re putting your socks on in the morning or when taking them off before bed. Use your hands to softly run over both feet, looking out for key areas of concern, including athlete’s foot, bunions, nail fungus, cracked heels, calluses, tingling sensations or pins and needles (like numbness), pain (burning), a dull ache, swollen feet, wounds or sores that don’t heal. If you spot any of these, book an appointment to see your GP or local podiatrist.

If you have diabetes, this is especially important as nerve damage can affect the feeling in your feet and raised blood sugar can damage the circulation, making it slower for sores and cuts to heal. If problems aren’t treated, they can lead to more serious complications, such as foot ulcers and infections.

One quick tip for people with diabetes is to check inside their shoes before putting them on to make sure there are no stones or rough surfaces that could damage the sensitive skin.

7. Have a check-up

Consider booking in with a local podiatrist for a winter check-up. All year, our feet have worked effortlessly to look after us and get us from A to B. Naturally, they need some TLC. Have your feet assessed, remove any dead skin, replenish the nails, and if any other conditions are detected, have them treated so your feet can feel revived and ready for hibernation. This will also help avoid any problems caused by winter footwear. Remember prevention is key.

Feet-friendly giveaway

Podiatrist Dina ( is a brand ambassador for CCS Foot Care products and uses these in her own practice. CCS Foot Care Cream contains natural ingredients such as Urea, a naturally occurring moisturiser in the body. She also suggests using a small amount of the NEW CCS Warming Foot Cream just before bed.

To ensure your feet are looked after this season, CCS Foot Care has put together a CCS Winter Foot Care Pack. Five lucky winners will receive:

1 x NEW CCS Warming Foot Cream (150ml; RRP: £11.99)
1 x CCS Foot Care Cream (175ml; RRP: £7.99)
1 x CCS Cracked Heel Repair (125ml; RRP: £10.99)
1 x Nailner Breathable Nail Polish in Rosy Red (RRP: £10.19)
1 x Re-usable shoe dust bag

CCS Foot Care Cream contains 10% Urea to help revitalise dry skin and keep it soft and smooth. CCS – widely used by podiatrists and suitable for diabetics – is a Swedish formulation to provide protective, preventative everyday skincare for your feet.

NEW CCS Warming Foot Cream (150ml) moisturises and softens dry skin and cold feet with a pleasant warming sensation and a fresh scent of lavender, juniper and citrus. (If you are experiencing chilblains, do not apply if any of the chilblains have opened or any open wounds are present and consult your doctor if you have any concerns.)

Nail fungus doesn’t mean you need to hide your feet away… Nailner Breathable Nail Polish is a healthy alternative to standard nail polishes and helps conceal damaged, discoloured and dry nails. It allows molecules of oxygen to pass through the polish and down to the nail and nailbed and can be used alongside other Nailner treatment products.

For more information, please visit


Simply send your full name and address to, ensuring the subject line says: ‘Winter Foot Care’, before midnight on Sunday 22 January. One entry per household only. Five winners will be picked at random from all entries. Good luck!

Terms and conditions

1. No purchase is necessary to enter the prize draw.

2. This competition is open from 00:01 GMT on 13 January 2023 to UK (excluding Northern Ireland) residents aged 18 years or over, with the exception of employees of the Promoter or the Supplier, their families, agents and anyone else connected with this promotion.

3. Entries must be received by 23:59 GMT on 22 January 2023. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any entries that are incomplete, illegible, corrupted or fail to reach the Promoter by the relevant closing date for any reason. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. Automatically generated entries or entries via agents or third parties are invalid and shall not be considered. Entries become the property of the Promoter and are not returned.

4. Only one entry per household. No entrant may win more than one prize.

5. To enter, email your name and address to, with ‘Winter Foot Care’ in the subject line.

6. All valid and correctly completed entries received by the closing date will be entered into a prize draw, which will take place on 23 January 2023. Winners will be selected randomly.

7. The prize for the five winners is a Winter Footcare Pack.

8. The prize is supplied by Trinity Public Relations, 34 High Street, Ewell, Surrey KT17 1RWT. (the “Supplier”).

9. The winners will be notified via email by midnight on 29 January 2023.

10. The prizes will be sent to the winners via post by the Supplier within 30 days of being notified of their win.

11. The prize for the winner is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.

12. The Promoter will use any data submitted by entrants only for the purposes of running the prize draw unless otherwise stated in the entry details. By entering this prize draw, all entrants consent to the use of their personal data by the Promoter for the purposes of the administration of this prize draw and any other purposes to which the entrant has consented.

13. Promoter may disqualify any entrant whose entry does not comply with these terms and conditions (in Promoter’s sole opinion) or who, in Promoter’s sole determination, has acted in a manner that is fraudulent, dishonest or unjust to other entrants including, without limitation, tampering with the operation of the prize draw, manipulating or rigging votes, hacking, deceiving, cheating or by harassing or threatening other entrants or a representative of Promoter.

14. The Promoter is Saga Magazine, of Enbrook Park, Sandgate, Folkestone, Kent CT20 3SE.

15 The promoter reserves the right to amend or withdraw the prize draw at any time, without notice. No correspondence will be entered into.

16. By entering the prize draw each entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.

17. These terms and conditions are governed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales.


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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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