My best tip for keeping your feet warm in cold weather

>> Monday, 6 February 2012

Can the title of a blog post get any more glamorous than that? Still, I'm all about giving back, so here goes...

I understand it's a little chilly back in Blighty right now.

Obviously 'chilly' is a relative term; to me, 'chilly' was last week's temperature in Moscow - between -16degC and -22degC in daytime - so today's high here of -9degC seemed positively tropical. So much so in fact, that I chose to let Boy #2 play outside for the 20 minutes we had free after he'd finished school today. And no, I wasn't standing inside watching him - I was out there too, quite happily. Ah, how things have changed...

But this was not meant to be a 'you don't know when you've got it good' post aimed at all the people in the UK complaining about the cold weather; I'm the first to admit that 0degC in wintry grey and humid England is just as bad if not worse as -8degC and blazing sunshine in dry-aired Moscow. (No, I didn't believe that until I experienced it for myself, either, but it's true).

Rather, this post is to share with you the best tip I have for keeping your feet warm in cold weather if, like me, you have the circulation of a 100 year old radiator.

It's quite simple, really. Not attractive, necessarily, but simple.

Woollen. Knee. Length. Socks.

Forget your 2 pairs of thermal ankle length numbers; they will give you sod-all protection against the cold. You know why? Because when your feet get cold, it's not because your feet get cold; it's because your calves are cold. And once your calves get cold and the veins in them start to constrict, that cuts off circulation to your feet and hey presto, you have blocks of ice on the end of your legs. A decent pair of knee length warm socks will - in my experience - sort this problem out for you, and as long as you are wearing a decent pair of boots or shoes, your toes will be as warm as toast.

And that's it. Like I said; simple.

Trust me - I live in Moscow...


Iota 6 February 2012 at 16:32  

This must be the universe trying to talk to me. You are the second blog I've read in the past 3 days which has extolled the virtue of knee high warm socks. Now, who was the other one? It was just a passing comment in an "About Me" section...

Iota 6 February 2012 at 16:40  

The universe is definitely trying to talk to me. Third mention in as many days.

This Mid 30s Life 6 February 2012 at 17:01  

Where were you at the start of winter!!! My poor feet are no longer talking to me. x

nappy valley girl 6 February 2012 at 19:48  

I'd add to that sheepskin-lined boots. I wear mine all winter long. (It's funny how the body adjusts, isn't it. I've been reading people's Facebook posts about how cold it is in London and I'm thinking Pah, I go out for a run on days when it's minus 10 degrees.....and I am no fan of the cold...)

planb 6 February 2012 at 20:13  

Interesting. Father Christmas now leaves his presents in cashmere (knee length) socks, so I am all sorted (or would be if it was nearly as cold here in Scotland as they're whinging about down South.

The top tip I had from Muscovite friends was to stand on a newspaper. Not very useful if you're trying to go anywhere, mind, but good at a football match in -15.

You may well ask....

Muddling Along 6 February 2012 at 20:41  

I've rediscovered knee length socks - wonderful way of keeping warm (that and very warm boots and scarves and gloves) - it's all about layers here

MsCaroline 7 February 2012 at 05:02  

I could have *really* used this tip a few weeks ago when we were suffering with -18C temperatures, but I have a feeling I still have ample time for using it this winter. I've been wondering why two pairs of socks still don't keep my feet from freezing after 10 minutes of walking - now I know.

Sparx 7 February 2012 at 09:32  

I had no idea! Thanks for the enlightenment. I do however know that thermal tights/leggings underneath ones trews also do the business. After 15 years of living in the UK I had worn out all my Canadian winter goods and spent the last two winters being cold.

So, this year I invested in 3 pairs of warm boots, a long, down-filled coat and 2 pairs of thermal leggings. We then proceeded to have the warmest winter in Christendom.

If I could have crammed myself into all my boots at once these last few cold weeks I would have done. I have, however, been absolutely toasty.

dulwich divorcee 7 February 2012 at 10:47  

Ooooh this could seriously change my life. My feet are like lumps of ice all year round, and I always sleep in socks, except maybe - just maybe - in August. Now I can try knee-length socks in bed! TL is going to be very pleased with you x

Bush Mummy 7 February 2012 at 11:10  

Potty, am reading Snowdrops and thought of you.. am sure you've read it? It's fabulous and really seems to evoke a feeling of what Moscow must be like.

And how cold?

BM x

Rollercoaster Mum 9 February 2012 at 23:21  

I shall have to try this as like Dulwich Divorcee I have icicles for feet and wear socks in bed nearly all year (so glad it's not just me - OH thinks I am weird!)

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