Toasty Toes!

Now, the way we feel (or endure) various temperatures is entirely relative to what the norms are for the season, the climate, etc. It’s also very subjective from person to person. Me, I really like warm, sunny, dry weather. I thrive. I joke with my favorite Auntie that our batteries run sunshine.

Thing is, lucky Aunt Jan, well, she lives just outside of L.A. Me, I live next to the largest forest in France, and while we have what is generally considered a temperate climate, it is a bit cold & wet for my tastes (if only I could teleport Southern Arizona to France…). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a cream puff, and last time I was in Northern Michigan in the winter I went out for my runs in very negative wind-chills and came in with my eyelashes and eyebrows frozen, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!

My biggest complaint when it dips below freezing (-1c, 32f) is my feet. My ballet dancer-past has made them a bit sensitive (and annoying) and I find that if it is below zero Celsius my feet really ache until at least two miles into my run. Now, pain is no biggie, but I find I change my stride because I am sub-consciously bracing myself, and that my dear friends, is not a good thing at all.

Now I have tried layering socks, and that does work with some temps and shoes, but not always, and when things get a bit too crowded in the running shoe it’s not very comfortable for a myriad of reasons (blisters, callouses, poor circulation defeating purpose of three pair of socks). I also know that there are fancy keep-your-tootises-warm socks out there on the market, but I just can’t spend money on ‘me’ right now.

I was reminiscing about my childhood, playing the the snow for hours with my sibs in our back yard, coming in with frostbite on my cheeks but not caring because of having fun, and then it hit me: plastic bags!

When I was little in the late 70s we didn’t have all these high-faloutin fabrics & plastics that we use for boots now. Or maybe we did, but my parents didn’t know. Or maybe because our shoe size changed every 5 minutes they opted for the less fancy boots. Anyway, I remembered my dad sitting me up on the washing machine and getting my feet ready for action- one layer socks (or two), a plastic bread bag, then another pair of socks. Pure genius! The bag kept in the heat, but also kept out the snow, which was a great plus in my non-goretexish world.

It also occurred to me that when I was dancing I would often don a pair of plastic bags and in turn cover them with bulky leg warmers if I had a wait before going on stage or during rehearsals. BINGO!

I am thrilled to say that my little experiment worked wonders this morning. When I woke up at 5 a.m. it was a balmy -5c and raining, so, perfect plastic weather. I put on two pair of thin socks, nylon first, cotton second, then slipped on two very thin freezer bags and then my shoes. It was fantastic! My feet were warm from the start, no jarring joint pain reminding me it was cold outside. Plus, they were dry (well, they were sweaty, but that’s just life), I mean from the rain! My shoes were pretty wet after my hour-long tromp, but the plastic bags saved the day.

I suppose some folks might need to be careful for rubbing or other issues, depending on shoes and plastic bag and socks used, but this solution worked more than well for me!