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I tend to get very cold feet when stood waiting at my peg on a driven day and as a result, I have to constantly move around to keep them warm. With the harder weather coming up, I would like to be able to concentrate on my shooting instead of my cold feet. Do you have any advice or recommendations for footwear which may help me?
THE SPARSHOLT TEAM replies: When your overall temperature drops, your body’s physiological response is to reduce blood flow to extremities in order to keep vital organs warm, your feet and hands bearing the brunt. Give your feet the advantage by wearing appropriate winter socks. People often think that wearing multiple layers of thick socks will therefore keep your feet warmer, however, too many layers of socks can lead to tighter boots, which in turn, leads to cold toes! If your boots are too big there can be a tendency to keep curling your toes and tightening your feet and thereby restricting the blood circulation; it is therefore essential to find boots that fit you properly – remember to look for half sizes if needed.
Look at wearing socks made with merino wool which is a non-itchy wool that provides good insulation. Try to stay away from cotton-lined wellingtons; they provide little insulation on those colder days, especially when you can be stood for long periods of time. Look instead for neoprene-lined models; these are far better at keeping your feet warm.
By far the best footwear option for keeping your feet warm and dry, and what we recommend to our students here at Sparsholt College, are the leather lace-up boots; they offer the most ankle support when walking along uneven or slippery terrain and the lace-up system enables you to find the best possible fit. The breathable liner allows your foot’s perspiration to escape, which further helps insulation.
It’s a glorious time to be out with the gun – cold, hard, frosty mornings and educated, high-flying pheasants. Ensuring you are prepared and wearing the right kit should mean you can enjoy your shooting and forget about the cold.
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