The Worst Winter Foot Problems and How to Solve Them

Winter is a rough time of year. These cold months can be tough on your motivation, cruel to your health, and worse to your feet.

The season brings with it a host of problems that can harm your feet. Read our list of the most common winter problems complete with our suggestions for how to solve them.



Chilblains present as red, inflamed areas on your toes. Chilblains happen when cold skin experiences warm air quickly. The small blood vessels in your toes leak blood into the surrounding tissue causing the area to feel itchy and become red or swollen.

Chilblains occur when moving from frigid outdoors with little foot protection to the intense warmth of indoors. People with circulation issues develop Chilblains more easily.


Keep the Chilblains away by keeping your feet at consistent temperatures. Avoid direct heat, especially just after leaving the outdoors. Allow extra time for your feet to warm slowly. Anti-itch cream helps with affected areas.

Athlete’s Foot


Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection typically found on the underside of your foot or feet. The summer heat brings on many cases of athlete’s foot. The layers people pack on in the cold offer chances for fungal growth in the winter months as well.


Choose acrylic blended socks to avoid fungal or bacterial infections on or around your feet. These socks will wick any sweat or moisture away from your body. Winter runners and outdoor workers should take extra care to use these socks during the season.

Cracked Heels & Dry Skin


Cracked heels or dried out skin are typical in winter. Men are even more likely to experience this than women. Cracked heels, or “heel fissures,” can be unsightly and painful while walking.


Applying moisturizing lotion after showers and when needed is the best preventative step you can take to avoid dry skin on your feet. Choose shoes with solid heel counters. Extra thick socks can pad your feet and reduce the impact of walking. A pumice stone rubs away calluses.



Fractures are common winter injuries both for sports enthusiasts and anyone who walks outside. Winter sports such as skating, skiing, and snowboarding present risks for ankle and metatarsal fractures.


For sports nuts, make sure to train and adequately warm up before jumping into your activity. Good form becomes even more necessary in the winter to avoid accidents. Both winter runners and walkers alike need to watch for ice and uneven surfaces.

Avoid most injuries by using perfectly proper shoes and padded socks. Ice grips on your shoes improve traction and reduce risks.

Here at Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, our foot doctors, Anthony Benenati, DPM, Neil Shaw, DPM, Julie Mrozek, DPM, and Adam Thompson, DPM can help keep your feet safe throughout the cold weather. Are you experiencing winter foot problems? Contact us to make an appointment today. We have offices conveniently located in Saint Clair Shores, Warren and Macomb, MI. Check out our Patient Education section for more helpful tips.

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