Part 1 - Your Feet

What to Wear When Cold Colder Coldest

Greetings Fleet Feet Friends

This week I will be sending out mini education debriefings on what to wear when cold colder coldest. Each Fall I give this seminar in person, and it is one of our most popular talks. When living in Upstate NY, you need to find a way to remain active all year. This educational debrief will help teach you on what to wear so you can walk or run outdoors all cold weather season long. The Fleet Feet Team is always ready to help you in store to find the right gear for you.

I will also share that this coming season is one of the BEST times to get outdoors. So, read on for some tips.

I will start from the bottom of the body, working from inside out and work our way up, so today is


Proper Socks

One common theme of what to wear during Cold, Colder, Coldest is NO COTTON. Cotton is rotten. Well, not really, but it is not a helpful fabric when cold. It holds moisture thus keeps you cold, which is not helpful in cold temperatures. You can, if exposed for a long time in the cold, cause frostbite and damage to your feet.

What to wear instead?

  • Wool - wool is an incredible organic fabric that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. I joke and say, animals wouldn't have it as their "hair" if it didn't work. In addition, manufacturers have fine tuned how to make this fabric as soft as possible without losing it's wool properties.
  • Some of our top wool brands include: Smartwool, Darn Tough, Feetures
  • Polyester - polyester is a man-made fabric which has marvelous moisture wicking properties. Most polyester socks will also have an "elastic" type fabric woven in to help stretchability onto the foot.
  • Some of our top polyester brands include: Balega, Feetures & Sky
  • Sock Height - it is highly advised to where a taller sock in the cold conditions, whether above the ankle, low calf, mid calf or below the knee. This will protect any exposed skin and keep you warmer. The taller socks can also serve as extra compression for the calves.


If there is no snow nor ice you can easily run/walk on the roads with your regular road shoes. However, once the snow falls and ice forms, your footwear choice may adjust, along with your traction choice. I'll discuss footwear first.

In general the first place to start with footwear is a shoe that actually fits your foot. Allow our Fleet Feet Team to assess your foot using our 3D scanners to get your correct shoe for your size, shape, width etc... This is step 1 no matter what.

  • Trail Shoes - Snowy winters often bring out trail shoes, not just for trails but for the snowy roads too. Trails shoes have a deeper tread which allow for more stability on uneven, snowy, rutty surfaces.
  • Shoes with GoreTex Uppers - Conditions where it is very wet and you want to try to keep your feet dryer can be supported through footwear that has a GoreTex type upper. This is a fabric membrane that is constructed to deter water from entering the shoe. There are trail shoes that have this type of feature as well so you get the best of both worlds.

Traction Choice

Once the snow flies and ice forms, many will introduce traction devices into their winter toolkit. Honestly, we at Fleet Feet highly encourage traction devices to help keep you upright and more secure on snow/ice.

There are several types we offer to assist. These can be used for running/walking/hiking or even walking your dog or child to school. Each style has a different application. You may need one or you may need all depending on what you do.

  • YakTrax - These are a coil type product with wires that go OVER your shoe. We have the YakTrax Walk which is ideal for walking up to 3 miles or walking your dog or even in a parking lot to and from the building
  • Stabilicers/Nano's - These are another over the shoe style with deeper tread. Perfect for longer distances, trails and deeper snow or thicker ice.
  • Studding - We offer a service in the store where we will screw sheet metal screws into the bottom of a lesser worn shoe that is ready to be retired from regular rotation. Once you get shoes studded you can not remove them. But it is a pretty secure method to remain stable in the toughest of conditions. Simply drop the shoes off and we will take care of the studding.

Whichever traction you choose, please never wear them on your hardwood, linoleum floors as they can scratch the surface of them. But indeed choose something as a better winter is one where you remain upright!

Now you have the debrief on what you should wear on your feet as the temps dip and precipitation flies.

As mentioned, the Fleet Feet Team is ready to help! Stop in anytime.

In Part 2 - we will move up the body and discuss what type of bottoms to wear.

Thank you for reading Part 1 of What to Wear When Cold Colder & Coldest.

Regards, The Team at Fleet Feet

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