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Best Winter Gear For Toasty Feet On Frosty Days

Best Winter Gear for Toasty Feet on Frosty Days

Have you seen a frozen toe – one that’s so white it looks dead? That’s been the state of my husband’s toes in short order on every winter outing for years. After our 10 day winter trip to Ontario and Quebec last year, I knew we had to find something that would solve the problem.

John needs toasty feet on frosty days. His problem stemmed from working up north and seriously freezing his toes many years ago. It takes next to nothing to freeze them now – and temperatures don’t even have to be that cold.

We spent a lot of time in warming cabins last winter trying to thaw frozen toes

We spent a lot of time in warming cabins last winter trying to thaw frozen toes

For downhill skiing, he invested in boot heaters a few years ago but they’re not transferable between different types of footwear. I asked cross-country ski shops last year if they had any products and always got a resounding no. I figured we’d have to cough up $450 to have someone customize his cross-country ski boots.

Then in November, my brother mentioned he’d seen heated socks at Mountain Equipment Co-op. I beetled over there and had a look. The salesperson said they primarily carried heated socks for women (a little condescendingly I might add) but they did have a few men’s socks in the system.

The heated socks are manufactured by Lenz in Austria. I’m surprised we have to buy them from overseas considering our cold winters in Canada. But we do. I ordered a pair, knowing I could return them if there were any problems. Considering they’re $300, that gave me some piece of mind.

The heated socks have been a great success.

A set of rechargeable batteries for each sock

A set of rechargeable batteries for each sock

The night before we head out on an outdoor adventure, John plugs in the rechargeable batteries. From experience now, I’d say he gets about eight hours out of a charge, when it’s on the low setting. There are three settings in total – that can be controlled with BlueTooth technology if desired.

They work like a charm, especially since the heating coils go under the big toe and cover almost all of the foot bed. The batteries attach to a small receptacle on the sock. After you attach the batteries, flip over the upper two inches of the sock to keep them in place. The  batteries are very lightweight and don’t interfere at all with movement.

Heating wires go under the big toe and get most of the footpad

Heating wires go under the big toe and get most of the footpad

The battery attaches to the sock just below the knee

The battery attaches to the sock just below the knee

Sock warmers with batteries

Battery stays in place and weighs next to nothing

Despite the high price, this is $300 that is well invested. On a -20°C day, his feet were entirely comfortable. He now talks about using the socks for outdoor hockey and snowshoeing.

According to the Lenz website, the socks are made with merino wool and silk so they feel good next to the skin. They’re quick drying and odourless.

The biggest problem with these socks is finding a pair. It looks like MEC is sold-out except for extra large sizes and so far they are the only store I know of that carries them.

If you have suffered from cold feet, and perhaps tried those toes warmers with moderate success, then this is one product that you might find very useful. With MEC, you can order online and when the product arrives, they will charge your credit card so you don’t have to pay up front.

This post is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share John’s experience with this fantastic product. And maybe someone in Canada can come up with a less expensive version.

Do you avoid the outdoors in winter because of cold hands or feet? Is there a product you’d recommend?

Leigh McAdam

 

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Wow, that is quite a price tag! But, well worth the dough to keep feet warm in our cold climate, especially when spending winter days outside skiing and so on. I am surprised at the lack of manufacturers making these in Canada!

  2. Hello,

    The socks are now priced at $350 for V1 to $390 for V5 at MEC and I really haven’t seen them for less anywhere else… I am wondering if the socks have held up to use and laundering and are still functioning properly?

    Surprisingly, reviews seem few and far between.

    Thanks,
    Stephen

    1. @Stephen They are still the go-to socks for my husband and he swears by them. I have had offers to try – and haven’t yet ThermaCell heated insoles – activated via Bluetooth. You can get more information on those ones here.

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