What causes feet to feel cold?

Written by sophie stillwell
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What causes feet to feel cold?
(Steve Woods, www.sxc.hu/profile/woodsy)

Are your feet cold, even in the middle of summer? There are many reasons feet can feel cold no matter how warm it is outside. You may simply need to put on a pair of socks, but persistently cold feet can be the sign of a serious medical condition.

Poor Circulation

Poor circulation in your legs restricts blood flow to your feet, which can make them feel cold. Poor circulation can be caused by the narrowing of blood veins, obesity and sitting or standing in the same position for a long period of time.


Diabetes can cause blood vessel damage, particularly in the feet. This can often cause your feet to feel cold or numb. Diabetics are more prone to frostbite because the numbness in their feet may cause them to be unaware of extreme cold.


Hypothermia occurs when your overall body temperature falls below normal body temperature. Cold feet and hands are the first signs of hypothermia.


Exposure to air or water that is below normal body temperature can rapidly make your feet cold. Because your feet are at the furthest point away from the heart, they become cold more quickly than other parts of the body because it takes longer for blood to circulate to the feet and warm them.

Inadequate Insulation

Feet generally have very little fat to insulate them. Being barefoot, even in warm temperatures, can cause feet to get cold quickly because there is little insulation available to maintain body temperature. Wearing socks can help prevent cold feet.

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