(imported from the old forum - still useful information!)
During winter training, wearing the correct footwear is important. Marion recommends wearing waterproof footwear such as aqua shoes. "I see a lot of people wearing incorrect footwear when they are paddling, I've seen anything from Crocs, flip flops and even trainers for winter training." Water sport footwear are designed to provide warmth, protection and traction for moving safely across slippery surfaces. Wicking socks or waterpoorf socks will also increase protection to your feet. Marion says, "Don't wear cotton socks because they will not wick the moisture away and increase frost bites".
If paddlers do not keep their feet warm during winter training and competitions overtime, they may develop cold injuries to their foot such as chilblains and superficial frostbites. A few members experienced cold injuries during their O1 training just after 2 hours of paddling. A cold injury such as chilblains can lead to more complicated problems. The loss of fluid within the skin increases, blood flow to the foot reduces and there is a likelihood of tissue breakdown and infection. Marion also recommends that you remove all wet items from your feet immediately after training and SLOWLY warm the affected area. This is especially when the foot has changed colors or has become numb, this will prevent any further damage to your feet.
Cold injuries can be serious and can lead to amputation,especially in paddlers that have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or any health problems that weaken the immune system.
Tip: If your trainers are wet after paddling. One easy way to dry them is buy putting newspaper inside the shoes, and this will absorb the moisture faster.
Podiatrist Specialist (Lower Limb Specialist)
Special thanks to Wai Kuen for editing