Top Tips on How to Navigate Snow & Ice on Crutches or a Walking Stick
We are constantly wowed by the bravery of our followers. With so many of you boldly tackling physical challenges on your crutches and walking sticks, never seemingly shy of much.
However, as we woke up to another white out up in North Yorkshire this morning, we thought it might be helpful to share some of the things that have helped us navigate the snow & ice with crutches!
1. Feet FirstFinding shoes suitable for snow when you are living with a mobility affected condition or injury is definitely easier said than done. In a dream world, the right pair of shoes would mean:
- No problem getting the footwear on and off, ideally without breaking a sweat or recruiting someone to help.
- Having ample grip to feel confident you can even venture outside.
- Being waterproof and 1000% so if you have limited feeling in your feet you can trust they aren't getting wet even if you can't feel them.
- Being warm to a degree that they will make even those with limited circulation have nice and toasty toes!
- Not breaking the bank given these are unlikely to be hauled out of the cupboard for more than 3 months of the year.
Well the good news is we have finally found a brand which seem to tick most of the above boxes, the truly brilliant Sorel Footwear. I bought the Glacy Explorer (£135) which are so comfortable and warm I thought they were too good to be true. They are super simple to get on and off and perhaps for the first time ever, I can get them off without having to ask someone to help me! Having said that, they are not cheap. Whilst living in the north justifies the investment, if you're looking for a cheaper alternative, traction grips which just slide over your normal shoes are brilliant. These ones from Yatrax (£14.99) are great for walking on both snow and ice.
2. Check Your Ferrules
Ferrules are the rubber bungs on the bottom of walking sticks and crutches. Our ferrules are designed to provide comfort as well as grip but depending on how you use your sticks - weight put through them, frequency of use, two vs one etc. they can and will wear through accordingly. As a result, it is crucial you check your ferrules prior to heading out, particularly in when you may be faced with ice and snow. What are you looking for? Tread depth, definition and ample grip to keep you safe. We recommend checking your ferrules on a monthly basis and replacing them anywhere from each month to every 6 months. To find out more check out Replacement Ferrules (£12).
If in doubt, replace your ferrules to give yourself the most grip and cushioning when you walk. You can buy replacement ferrules via our website.
3. Layer Up to Stay Warm
Layers and thermals are the biggest help for anyone who suffers with circulation issues. Cold feet and legs in particular can be incredibly debilitating so finding some effective layers to help stop you feeling the frost has been our mission! If you're looking for cheap and cheerful then Uniqlo are fantastic, they have a range of thermals designed to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter starting from just £9.90. M&S also have a Heatgen range designed specifically to be lightweight, comfy, warm and for men, women and kids too.
4. Fire Up Your Accessories
Did you know you can now get hats, socks and jackets with built in heat technology? Well if you're anything like us, this will not only help you venture into the snow but might make for an added bonus to a cosy night in:
- Rrtizan Heated Vest, £39.99
- Edupup Heated Socks, £18.99
- Flyeer Heated, Waterproof, Touchscreen Gloves, £20
If you prefer classic hats or gloves, go for waterproof and fur lining - not sexy but ear flaps and fluffy hats are the bomb!
5. Stock Up Your Car
We thought we were well armed last year but this year's weather has brought even more snow and even more days being snowed in. There are plenty of things we wished we had bought at the end of last year, but no more than kit to sort the car! So if you haven't already, make sure you grab a winter car pack - there are plenty to choose from on Amazon but we opted for the AA Emergency Winter Car Kit, £24 because it comes with everything you could want including a big shovel to shift the snow in order to move the car (something we have used most days for the last two weeks!).
With the current covid restrictions in the UK we know it can be incredibly overwhelming at the best of times, not least if you're daily outdoor excursion is daunting as a result of the weather. Whilst the above is of course an option, so is closing the curtains, lighting a fire and putting your feet up with a cup of tea (wine)!