Do Your Feet Hurt More in Cold Weather?

Person standing barefoot in the snow

How Cold Weather Affects Foot Pain & Plantar Fasciitis

When the temperatures start to drop, you might experience a flare up in your foot pain. Freezing weather can worsen painful foot conditions like plantar fasciitis. You may develop some foot problems for the first time this winter. Learn more about common winter foot problems and how you can use PowerStep® wool insoles and orthotic slippers to prevent and relieve foot pain from cold weather.

Can cold weather make your feet hurt?

Woman outside in snow holding foot and ankle in pain

Cold weather affects your feet by triggering the body’s natural response to low temperatures. When you feel cold, your body slows the rate of blood flow and concentrates your heat and blood at your core to keep vital organs warm. In doing so, it constricts the blood vessels in your hands and feet and contracts tissues that pull on nerve endings, causing increased sensitivity to cold and pain.

Often, people have cold feet and foot pain at the same time. Cold foot pain could be related to several medical conditions including Raynaud’s syndrome and diabetic neuropathy. If you have cold feet that are painful, talk to your healthcare provider or foot doctor about potential causes and treatments.

People with arthritis in their feet often experience more symptoms and pain in the winter having reduced blood flow to their joints and the tightening of connective tissues or muscles. You may also be more prone to injuries during the wintertime with slippery ice and snow.

Does cold weather affect plantar fasciitis?

Just like plantar fasciitis can get worse in summer, so can heel pain from plantar fasciitis in the winter. Some podiatrists see an influx in new patients for the condition during the winter season, and though it may not be clear exactly why, there are a few explanations for how cold weather affects plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Nerve conditions making plantar fasciitis pain flare up
  • A lack of blood flow to the feet increasing pain sensitivity
  • Undiagnosed but related foot conditions like heel spurs
  • Exchanging summer sandals for closed toe shoes that may not fit and restrict circulation
  • Reduced physical activity weakening foot and lower body muscles
  • Going barefoot inside without sufficient arch support to take pressure off the arch

People focus more on their pain in the winter because the cold makes them more sensitive to it or because they are less active. Winter activities are a great way to prevent and even relieve foot discomfort. Doing stretches for plantar fasciitis also helps improve blood flow and keeps the plantar fascia strong and flexible.

How do you stop foot pain in cold weather?

Wool insoles with arch support on snow

Winter is a wonderful time for gathering with loved ones and enjoying all the sights and activities the season has to offer. Don't let foot pain interrupt your winter fun. PowerStep helps you put an end to foot pain in cold weather with our podiatrist-recommended insoles for plantar fasciitis and the following tips for relief:

  • Wear wool insoles: PowerStep Pinnacle Wool Insoles with arch support keep feet warm and dry with insulating wool fabric that wicks away moisture. Premium cushioning and stabilizing support comfortably align your feet to relieve and prevent pain in all your winter shoes.
  • Use slippers with arch support: Wearing slippers with arch support indoors helps you avoid walking on cold floors and relieves plantar fasciitis pain in the morning. PowerStep plantar fasciitis slippers for women and men’s slippers offer the same trusted support as our insoles with a cozy lining, anti-slip traction, and a slip-in fit.
  • Choose winter boots for plantar fasciitis: A good pair of winter boots protects your feet from the elements, keeps them dry, and fits well with adequate support and traction. Replace your boots if they’re worn and use a wool insole inside for added warmth and relief.
  • Moisturize with arnica cream: Keep your feet moisturized in winter with Doctor Hoy’s Arnica Boost Recovery Cream. With the power of natural arnica, Arnica Boost is the best lotion for pain relief that prevents dry, cracked skin, and helps relieve inflammation and pain from neuropathy, joint discomfort, and more.
  • Stick to an exercise routine: Exercising in the winter keeps your muscles and joints strong and flexible, which is key to preventing and relieving many types of winter aches and pains. Consider indoor exercises like yoga stretches or running on a treadmill.
Woman and man wearing orthotic slippers with arch support in beige and grey

Other Common Winter Foot Problems

A lot of cold weather foot pain is preventable with a proper foot care routine and wearing pain relieving orthotic insoles. Be aware of the other common foot ailments the wintry weather can make you more susceptible to:

  • Toenail and foot infections: Nails become dry and brittle in the winter and may break off. Along with wearing thick socks that make your feet sweat, this increases your risk for toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.
  • Dry, cracked heels: Wintry weather can dry out the skin on your feet, making it rough. Cracked heels are common for those who work on their feet, and it can cause bleeding and pain.
  • Morton’s Neuroma: Cold can make nerve pain feel worse especially when you wear shoes that constrict the feet like wearing high heels. Many women might have Morton’s Neuroma flare ups in the winter.
  • Chilblains: If you work outdoors in the winter, you might get itchy red patches or blisters on your hands and feet. Called chilblains, this winter ailment happens when your blood vessels become inflamed after prolonged exposure to the cold.
  • Raynaud’s syndrome: Mentioned before, Raynaud’s disease is linked to circulation problems and causes the small arteries supplying blood to your hands and feet to become narrow. Your toes and fingers might become white or bluish and feel numb or tingly.
  • Toe deformities: If you wear thick socks that make your boots fit too tight, the compression can cause toe deformities like bunions or hammertoes.
  • Calluses and blisters: Ill-fitting and hot winter boots can also create constant friction as you walk, leading to calluses and painful blisters.

Prevent & Relieve Foot Pain in Cold Weather with PowerStep

Cold weather aches and pains make enjoying the winter season difficult. With PowerStep wool insoles and orthotic slippers, you can prevent and relieve foot pain from cold weather and enjoy every day free from discomfort. For worsening foot pain like plantar fasciitis, talk to your podiatrist or healthcare provider about how PowerStep insoles can help.


Nall, R. (2022, November 10). It’s Not All in Your Head, Heel Pain Can Feel Worse in the Winter. Well+Good.

Tulodzieski-Ahlstrom, J. (2020, December 7) Cold feet: Common winter foot problems and ways to avoid them. Summa Health.

How To Stop Cold Weather Foot Pain. (2022, January 31). Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC.