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Review Battery operated boot warmers

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Lady Penelope, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    A boy scout’s motto is “be prepared”. So, heading to Canada in January of this year and anticipating bone-chilling temperatures I decided to buy battery-operated boot warmers for the family. No cold feet on chairlifts! These were sourced from a US store, Utah Ski Gear (www.utahskigear.com) who had an extensive range of these items, more so than the more recognisable Level 9. I purchased two sets of Hotronic S4 boot warmers for myself and his Lordship (about US$180 per set). These have rechargeable batteries with a US configuration (so an adapter may be required, depending upon which country you ski in).








    The children (including my then-14 year old) made do with the Thermic Kids Basic boot warmers (which were significantly cheaper at around US$70 per set). The Therm-ic sets require 4xAAA batteries per boot, and reviews suggested they tend to chew through these quickly. I decided to purchase re-chargeable AAA batteries as a result for the sake of the environment and my wallet.







    They require a bit of fiddling to insert them, cutting the soles down to size for the children and creating an incision in the back of the ski boot inners so the connecting wire can thread through from the insole to the battery unit. Various YouTube videos show you how to do this.

    So how did they perform?

    Well, they kept our feet warm and the batteries lasted all day at a medium setting. However, we didn’t quite get the -20 temperatures I was expecting, with the coldest day probably around -13. Given I have Reynaud’s syndrome and suffer from cold extremities, however, I was grateful for the ambient warmth offered by these devices. The idea is to keep your feet at ‘normal’ temperature rather than heating them up, per se. I was particularly impressed with the Therm-ic ones as they clipped firmly to the power straps of our children’s boots and only rarely did the cord become unclipped from the battery unit. The Hotronic units, while effective, were more fiddly. The clips could have been stronger; one of mine came off shortly after I loaded onto a chairlift at Sun Peaks (Crystal, from memory), necessitating an interesting search and retrieve operation afterwards. In addition, the top of one of my battery units became loose and had to be secured with tape. Utah ski gear replaced this when I drew this to their attention upon our return to Australia.

    So would I recommend them? A definite thumbs up for the kids Therm-ic sets, particularly if you are travelling to very cold climates. The Hotronics: 50:50. Worked for me, but again fiddly. Toe-warmers may do the trick for some people; these boot warmers are certainly not cheap, particularly once you factor in postage from the US (otherwise buy from a store over there, although I couldn’t find many in Canada that would guarantee stock availability coinciding with our dates over there).
     
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  2. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    But how do they work with footbeds?
     
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  3. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Btw if you have Reynauds don’t go scuba diving. Sent one young lady off in an ambulance with decompression sickness after 3 days diving to shallowish depths in tropical FNQ. She hadn’t mentioned Reynauds in her medical.
     
  4. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Easy. The elements attach and you put a cover over the top of the whole footbed.
     
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  5. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Am I missing something? Doesn’t that negate the usefulness of footbeds?
     
  6. D-eye

    D-eye Photographer and skier Moderator

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    I'm going to be trying the hotronic heated socks this year.
     
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  7. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not at all. Just adds heating to them.
     
  8. Snowfi

    Snowfi One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I had a fabric cover over the footbed and element. No change to custom footbed shape. It did weaken the footbed at the cut under the ball of the foot so eventually it snapped but I was well overdue new boots and footbeds by that time.
     
  9. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can get the custom footbeds that the elements attach to ... or you can (as @CarveMan said) attach them to your own. I just took mine out and tried the custom Hotronic ones. They were fine.
    Really? I used to SCUBA dive a lot pre-children and didn’t have any problems (mind you, I didn’t go below a depth of 30 metres)
     
  10. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Had this lady told the drs she wouldn’t have passed the medical. She didn’t think it would be a problem because it was warm. But 3-4 dives a day over 3 days and she ended up in the chamber. And no dives below 18m. Anything where your circulation is affected increases your risk of decompression sickness. I was her instructor, she dived within the limits, nothing went wrong, it was put down to the Reynauds.
     
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  11. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I look forward to your review.:thumbs:
     
  12. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m keen to know how they survive the washing machine!
     
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  13. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My wife gets really cold feet and used the lenz heated socks in -25C in Fernie this year and they were great. Crazy expensive but amazing product. They more stop your foot getting cold rather than actually heating. Can control settings from your phone and can buy additional socks and just attach re-chargeable pack to them. Have washed them loads and so far after 30 ski days they are going great guns
     
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  14. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    My better half has the lenz heated socks. They give you a little bag to put them inside when you wash them. You can't tumble dry. So far they have lasted well.

    She likes them, batteries lasted all day in cold canadian whether. As @LDJ mentioned, my wifes opinion is that it is low level heat, stops your feet getting too cold, not super toasty to warm them up when they are already freezing. She turns them on at the start of the day and just leaves them.
     
  15. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    we bought boot heaters back in 2005 when we were headed to CO for the first time. Since then gradually everyone has changed boots and so, anticipating a couple of long cold winters while we were living here in BC, we bought the bag of gear to set everyone up again. They're still in the bag on the bench in the garage 20 months later.........

    we have had a few cold days but I guess, as most of skiing was at Whistler, the majority of the time it's not super cold.

    I might look into those socks though for the girls - they seem to be the ones who get affected most by cold toes on the really cold days.
     
  16. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    :eek: - Holy crap! Those Lenz socks are exxxy!

    I rode the gondola one day with a family who were discussing best socks in cold weather and one of them said she'd never had cold feet since she changed to these socks.

    https://www.farmtofeet.com

    Might just grab a few pairs of those first and consider the Lenz ones later......
     
  17. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    My wife also has these as she suffers from cold extremities. She loves them and has experienced no negatives at all aside from the initial price.
     
  18. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    yep but happy wife happy life and more ski days
     
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  19. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bit of a tangent, but I have some of the Farm to Feet midweight everyday socks. They're basically a lighter, more fashionable, extremely comfy Explorer sock. They don't seem to pill either. Big fan.
     
  20. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    my wife would shoot me if I paid $300+ for a pair of socks, even if they were to keep for her!
     
  21. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    Yes. My wife is not a spender at all (aside from expensive overseas ski trips that is). She's happy to knock about in non-brand name clothes, happy to drive a modest vehicle, happy to live in a relatively modest house despite being able to easily afford much 'better'. She shelled out the big money on flash heated socks because cold feet had made something she loves very very uncomfortable - so much so that she would opt to stay in and not ski if it was too cold. It was a game changer for her.
     
  22. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wow - looks like the boot heaters are cheaper than the socks :eek:. Now I might have to look into heated gloves as one area that does really suffer in colder temperatures (still) is my thumbs. Warm mitts - tick. Hand warmers inside - tick. Inners - tick. But my thumbs still freeze to the point of hurting. Sigh ...
     
  23. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    it was a present so she doesn’t know otherwise I would get shot. Apparently we already spend far too much on skiing gear and holidays
     
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  24. Townsend

    Townsend One of Us

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    I prefer the Lenz socks to the Hotronic heaters. They are much easier to work because you can adjust them with an app. I only ever use them overseas and set them at a temperature that does not feel warm but stops them feeling cold. At -20 degrees cold feet has been known to send me inside!
     
  25. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm using my $40 Ebay heated socks first time tomorrow. Came with rechargeable lithium ion, 3 heat settings, batteries.

    Ive worn them at home after fishing to warm my feet. And they were epic. I think I'll take above advice and just set them to medium, and leave on all day.
     
  26. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can’t believe how expensive those socks are.
     
  27. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Everytime you get on a lift, curl your hands up inside the mitten, so that the four fingers wrap themselves around the thumb, to make a fist with the thumb inside. That way, the fingers work as natural heater for the thumb. Works wonders for me when it is cold, and it works much better in mittens than gloves
     
  28. Mitchell Pearce

    Mitchell Pearce One of Us

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    Hopefully Aldi sell them next year.
     
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  29. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOLYes!
     
  30. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    link? Even the Farm to Feet socks are $35 USD so $40 AUD for heated socks is a no brainer if they are any good.
     
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  31. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Got a link for the socks there young fella??
     
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  32. zac150

    zac150 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If Aldi sell them they’d probably set fire to your boots..... on :whistle:

    Has anyone spoken to a boot fitter about these? I ask as a mate of mine got a stern lecture from Andy as he was putting his boots in a drying closet and it kept resetting the plastic
     
  33. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo Ski Pass: Gold

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    At the snow. I'll post when I get home along with a performance report. :thumbs:

    Just checked. Still selling for $43. I paid $39.
     
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  34. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, I do that (still cold, though :().
     
  35. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is a very good price ....
     
  36. hipo

    hipo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Had a quick look at some of the cheapies on Ebay early in the year. there is a lot of dodgy stuff. A unisex sock is not going to be a good fit and cotton because of its moisture retention, has no place in the the snow.
    Still be interested to see @Astro66 report
    https://www.ebay.com.au/i/132476709250?chn=ps
     
  37. Townsend

    Townsend One of Us

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    Zac The heated socks are not warm eneough to affect any areas where the boot has been blown out. Nothing like the heat in a drying room.
     
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  38. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok so here's the verdict.
    I set the batteries to Hi whilst I was having coffee and it was a wonderful feeling having the feet nice and toasty before heading out.

    I turned them down to Low before heading out and it was adequate to keep the heat there. But I reckon you'd need medium in colder environment.

    They did last for 5hrs. And I've actually got them on now, on Hi ,just to see how much longer they last. But I'm impressed with the battery life of the LiPo batteries. The wires and seams in the socks were undetectable in my boot.

    One downside, is I'm going to have to find a better way to secure the batteries, as they unplugged themselves from the sock plug, in all the bumps today.

    So, I'm going to say I do recommend them for the price.

    Don't get ones Hipo posted. They don't have the LiPo heat control batteries. They just have a battery box and no batteries.
    These are my ones. $43.
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Electri...831208&hash=item48ad1c3b7d:g:4f0AAOSwwTlbBnhb

     
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  39. hipo

    hipo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is a link to some of the dodgy heated socks, some which have multiple heat settings.
    For a review of some of the better socks see here.
    It will give an overview of what to look for regardless of price range