A proper pair of winter boots, two socks, and stockings. And you’re still freezing! Why? It’s what’s on your feet. Classic boots and socks are actually double agents that make your toes cold and tired.
Bundling up your feet?
It makes sense: When you’re cold, you should wear more. But why doesn’t it work for your feet? Because regular winter shoes restrict your feet.
Imagine that someone tied you to a chair so you couldn’t move. That’s exactly how your feet feel in ordinary shoes. They don’t have enough room, especially for your toes, and therefore, they can’t move freely.
Even worse, once you add in a thick outsole, the job is done. Your foot moves like it’s in a splint — it doesn’t get any blood flow and it gets cold.
Your feet need freedom, not a rigid splint.
Free feet don’t get cold
Have you ever tried chopping wood in the winter? If you have, you already know that you don’t need to wear gloves. Your hands warm up quickly with the movement.
Free feet work exactly the same way during the winter. The foot has a total of 29 muscles and over 100 ligaments that naturally activate and get blood flowing when you walk. It just takes a couple of minutes of walking and you’re warm — your feet warm up on their own!
“When you walk correctly, you activate your toes and feet. I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t warm up this way.”
Lukáš Klimpera, physiotherapist
And what exactly do we mean by a free foot? It’s a foot that can work the way nature intended. It’s not restricted by a shoe, elastic, or an overly thick sock. And you don’t have to go barefoot to free your feet. Just choose winter shoes that:
- Provide plenty of space for your toes. It’s not enough to “sort of fit” into your shoes, you need to have room to move freely.
- Adapt to movement. They should be sufficiently flexible and elastic — not just the sole, but the entire shoe.
- Don’t restrict your ankle. Your ankles can only property function and protect you from injury when they are loose and free to move.
Give your feet the freedom to warm up naturally
How adults learn to walk
Shoes that set you free are just the beginning. What comes next is the most important part: healthy and natural walking. The problem is that few of us walk in a healthy way. Classic shoes have “retrained” us to use an unnatural stride that is actually detrimental to our health.
When we walk naturally, we activate our feet. We bounce off our toes and softly absorb the impact. On the other hand, when we walk in conventional shoes, we just throw our feet forward in front of us from our pelvis and land on our heels. Ouch!
The good news is that you can train to walk healthily. Physiotherapist Lukáš Klimpera created an e-book that shows you step by step how to walk naturally. Learn how to do it and you’ll warm yourself right up with a joyful, natural stride.
Barefoot in the winter? It’s possible!
So, how do you set your feet free in the winter when you need to stay warm? Can you go barefoot?
There are people who can walk during a mild winter without any shoes on at all, but it’s not necessary. You can stay toasty warm in real barefoot shoes.
A thin outsole doesn’t mean you’ll be cold. On the contrary. Your feet will start to feel the ground and naturally get blood flow. And if you get hit with freezing temperatures, just add a winter insert (insole) to your shoes. We’ve already tested them — our winter insoles are already helping Ahinsa shoes customers stay warm in Finnish frosts.
What else can you do to warm up?
Healthy shoes and a natural stride are essential, but we have a few other tips you can try.
- Wear socks that don’t restrict your feet. Ideally choose socks without uncompromising elastic or rubber bands.
- Don’t sweat. Sounds hard, but it’s possible with the right shoes. Our winter insoles and our Winter Ahinsa boots are made from fur with a special membrane that wicks sweat away from your feet.
- Look for waterproof shoes and boots. Try our Winter or Jaya winter boots made from waterproof microfiber.
- Stay active. Once you activate your feet, they’ll warm up even if you’re standing still.
Lightweight, roomy, flexible, and waterproof. That’s what makes an ideal winter boot.
Go barefoot this winter
We saved the best for last: You can already start staying warm this winter. That’s right, even those of you who aren’t used to barefoot walking yet. Our physiotherapists developed a winter version of our Comfort barefoot shoe line.
What makes them different from others? They deliver all the same benefits of a healthy barefoot stride while protecting your heels from sharp impact with a special insert (insole) that protects your every step.
Set your feet free. Feel twice as warm — from healthy movement and the knowledge that you’re doing something good for your health.
Choose your first pair now