Work environments can be cold places! Whether you’re actually in a perishing -40°C cold store or simply walking in through damp work sites, your feet are one of the first parts of your body that feel the pinch of the cold. So, what are the best ways to keep your feet warm on the job? And no, unfortunately we aren’t going to recommend ugg boots!
There are two main best practices: Keep your feet insulated and keep them dry.
1. Buy the right boots
Tip number one (the most important of them all) is invest in a decent set of boots. Depending on the temperatures you are working in, you may require insulated boots. A boot like the Gator has 600g of Thinsulate thermal insulation, which provides serious warmth. However, if the outside temperature rises above about 0°C, your foot is likely to start sweating inside something so thick. A boot such as the WorkCool may better suit more ambient temperatures, as its insulated lining works ‘two-ways’ in that it protects your feet from the cold or heat. A very handy feature!
If you are not working in sub zero temperatures but are still out in the elements, it is wise to invest in waterproof boots because frankly, wet feet lead to cold feet. Shoes or boots with full leather uppers will keep your feet dry and keep out the wind. If you need extra waterproofing protection, you could consider a foot gaiter which completely seals your shoes or boots.
2. Dry your boots between wears
There’s nothing worse than sliding on your boots early in the morning, only to find they are still damp from the night before. So, leave them inside overnight to help them dry and as an added precaution, you can leave scrunched up newspaper inside them to absorb any moisture. Try to avoid drying them using direct heat, such as next to a fire or heater, as it can be harsh on the shoe’s materials and can break down glues used between layers.
3. Wear the right socks
By now you should be getting the drift of this post…wet feet lead to cold feet! Another tip for staying dry is by choosing the right socks. If your job role involves walking around, it is wise to choose socks that will wick sweat away from the skin. Don’t wear cotton socks, as they generally absorb moisture rather than wick it away. Bamboo socks are a great alternative, as they don’t absorb moisture and will insulate your foot to regulate its temperature. If it’s necessary, you could always wear a couple of layers. A popular ‘duo’ for hiking is wearing a thin sweat wicking sock to keep your feet dry, such as a polypropylene type, and a thicker woolen or bamboo sock on top for warmth.
4. Walk faster
The final tip is to just walk faster! Maintaining the circulation of blood through your feet is the most effective way to keep them warm and comfortable.