Winter Lacing Tip for Hikers

2014-02-20 12.30.57People venturing out into the cold to hike should be careful not to over-tighten their boots or shoes. Over-tightening can put too much pressure on the small blood vessels on the top of the foot and interfere with the blood supply to the toes. This mistake will make the toes more susceptible to cold temperature injuries such as a nip of frost bite. While it is important to wear warm socks in the winter or even two pairs of socks, they are only effective insulators if the toes have ample room to move around inside the shoe or boot. Overly tight lacing defeats the purpose of the extra insulation and may cause the hiker’s toes to become painful or numb. Laces should keep the foot snugly in the shoe or boot, but need not be cinched too tightly.

by Howard Friedman, DPM and frequent contributor to Trail Walker, print edition. Many of his articles are on our website


About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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