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Hacks / January 22, 2017

Never get cold feet again

Written by: Mattie Schuler

Many of us have resigned ourselves to getting cold feet while skiing. But there are some people out there who know how to keep your feet warm in the cold.

One of those people is Larry Houchen of Larry’s Bootfitting in Boulder, Colorado. Feet are Houchen’s business—he’s helped fit and mold ski boots for more than 30 years.

“A proper fitted and weighted sock ensures warmer feet,” says Houchen, “because you don’t have to over buckle the boots and cut off circulation.” Cold feet are caused by a lack of circulation, so it’s best to stick with thin, moisture-wicking socks. If possible, swap these out at lunch. 

Buckling your boots correctly can help with warmth, too. With your foot in the boot with a lightweight sock, buckle the second buckle down on a four-buckle boot or the middle buckle on a three-buckle boot. Flex the foot several times to get the heel and ankle moved back into the boot, then buckle the rest of the buckles from there.

 

Step one: Buckle the second buckle down from the top.

Step two: Flex and wiggle your foot around. Move your heel into the back of the boot.

Step three: Finish buckling the boot.

“The top buckle adjusts the flex, the next one adjusts the fit, the next helps with pain and how much blood you’ll have in your foot, and the last buckle keeps snow out,” Houchen says.

Houchen also suggests custom insoles, like Superfeet, which support your feet and reduce the need to overbuckle.

“Insoles can increase circulation and increase control of the ski, which all adds to more comfort on the hill.”

If a proper fitted boot still isn’t warming up chronic cold feet, Houchen recommends a few techy gadgets that will ensure warm feet from first chair to last.

 

 

Ski Ultralight Socks from CEP. $55/pair.

Progressive+ Outdoor Merino Compression Socks from CEP. $65/pair.

The Lenz Heat Sock 1.0, with battery pack. $299/pair.

CEP Compression Socks

Try the CEP Progressive+ Outdoor Merino Compression Socks ($65) for a winter hike or a snowshoe trek. They’re made with wool, which helps regulate your foot’s temperature and wicks away moisture. For a day on the slopes, try the company’s Ski Ultralight Socks ($55), which also are built from ultra-thin fabric that allows for direct foot-to-boot contact to help with precision and performance.

 

Hotronic Heating System

Hotronic’s Electronic Heating Systems are rated highly when it come to in-boot, electronic heat technology. The FootWarmer S4 Universal (starting at $249) uses a footbed that heats up when attached to a battery. With these insoles, you can transfer them from any boot so you can enjoy all winter activities without feeling any pain in your feet, and the battery is ready for all-day use.

 

Sidas Heated Insoles

For a cheaper option, the Volcano Heat Insoles from Sidas provide a heated, thin footbed to fit into any boot with a battery that lasts up to nine hours. Insoles and lithium-battery powered heater are sold separately (starting at $55).

 

The Hotronic Heating System. $249 a set.

The Salomon Quest Access Custom Heat ski boot. $650/pair.

Lenz Heated Socks

If an insole sounds cumbersome to you, opt for the Lenz Heat Sock 1.0 (starting at $299). The sock is comfortable and functional, and the battery pack is small enough to fold into the cuff of the sock, right below the knee. From there, control the temperature at the toes and ball of your foot via an app on your phone.

 

Salomon Heated Boots

The most expensive, yet easiest option is the Salomon Quest Access Custom Heat ski boot ($650). The Custom Heat Liner provides heat all around the foot, for up to 18 hours with a simple push of a button. The lightweight boot is ideal for intermediate to advanced skiers.

 

Do you know another way to avoid getting cold feet while skiing? Email us at [email protected] to let us know!

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about the author

Mattie Schuler

Mattie Schuler is an adventure journalist who specializes on the outdoor industry, gear reviews, adventure sports, fitness and health, yoga, and travel. She currently resides in Boulder, Colorado. She has written for numerous publishers including Gore-Tex, Gear Junkie, Outside, Backpacker, Yoga Journal, Gore-Tex, Men's Journal, and Men's Fitness.

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