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When do your feet get cold?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Never had cold feet in ski boots until this current trip. Pretty sure that it's not boot fit as can feel it come on as temp drops and feeling comes back once in a warmer environment - both without any buckle adjustment, and also irrespective of if they're running 'warmed' and tad looser or cranked up tight. Mr G in his snowboard boots notices it about the same time, too. Rough guess is when it's around -6, which seems rather not cold. Intuition liners (as standard), usual 1 pair thin-ish technical style socks (can't get thicker in boots without cramping/pain - pretty close fitting boots), both non-wool and with some wool content.
Usual, or a problem?
Anyone recommend thinnish warm (wool?) socks, preferably not stupid rip-off price, available in size 35-7.
Cheers.
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Smartwool ultralights but they wear fast. Darn Tough if you want socks for life (ignore amazon uk pricing someone is taking the wee wee)
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My theory is that if you have enough layers on your body and legs and your feet are still getting cold, a change of socks won't help (your boot liner provides more insulation than any sock), and that the only solution is boot warmers. If your circulation is poor that's probably the way to go, otherwise you might find that more or better layers helps.
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My feet sweat when I ski, enough to make my socks wet and liners damp so unless I use a boot dryer overnight I start the next day with cold wet liners stay cold most of the day
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Tried all sorts of socks and have a lenz heated pair as well (works good but slighlty uncomfortable for a "use all the time go to kinda sock").

Got this - Alpenheat Boot Cover - and only tested twice in the MK Fridge (weekender - 3+hrs) and my feet were toasty from start to finish. Not tried in the wild yet.

Fitted OK and appeared not to interfere with boot/binding.
Can't vouch for durability over a week/months or season but there are some reports of them not being robust enough, but then idiots can break anything in short order. Time will tell.

Not socks I know but worth consideration if the chill sets in...
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@Tom Doc, rest of me is toasty and well layered in true arctic conditions - wind chill is at times extreme, as is wind, snow is icy on skin, but hands are well happy and exposed face and head coping well enough. All is absolutely fine in temps between say -10 up to -1, wind chill excluded. It's simply my toes.
Not occuring all the time, just starts going when it's hitting the lower temps, usually later afternoon as gets or after dark.
Always had foam liners before these ski boots, so assuming that it is a shell/liner issue. Also not having issues in snowboard boots with 1 pair basic ski-type socks in, in lower temps too.
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I get cold feet any time it's colder than about minus 3 or 4 and I'm sure it's age related so have invested in a pair of "Boot Gloves" which may look a bit weird but have made a huge difference and way cheaper than boot heaters.
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@Grizzler, In your shoes (see what I did there!) I'd have a think about boot heaters - they do work. It probably depends on how much use you think they'd get as to whether or not they'd be worth the expense. Alternatively, try the covers @Jellymorph suggests.
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Tom Doc wrote:
@Grizzler, In your shoes (see what I did there!) I'd have a think about boot heaters - they do work. It probably depends on how much use you think they'd get as to whether or not they'd be worth the expense. Alternatively, try the covers @Jellymorph suggests.


Or why not just whip out your liners each night and stick them on the bathroom towel rail, like I have for the past 35 years...
(I do so like low tech solutions)
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Jellymorph wrote:
Tried all sorts of socks and have a lenz heated pair as well (works good but slighlty uncomfortable for a "use all the time go to kinda sock").

Got this - Alpenheat Boot Cover - and only tested twice in the MK Fridge (weekender - 3+hrs) and my feet were toasty from start to finish. Not tried in the wild yet.

Fitted OK and appeared not to interfere with boot/binding.
Can't vouch for durability over a week/months or season but there are some reports of them not being robust enough, but then idiots can break anything in short order. Time will tell.

Not socks I know but worth consideration if the chill sets in...


Where did you managed to pick those boot covers up from? I wouldn't mind a pair myself...
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@Jellymorph, those look like worth a try - it's not something that'll be solved by warm liners in the morning, just keeping the cold out when it drops. Was well below -10, knocking on -20 late this afternoon, and even my snowboard boots gave up insulating my frozzy toes. Mr G's are still thawing after several coffee and a shower, so I think that I'll be getting him some too Smile
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@Grizzler, Are you drying them out properly overnight, removing liners etc?
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Another vote for neoprene Boot Gloves. Worked in -28 last week (along with 3 down layers on my body). Locals warmth tip was to stick a pair of those adhesive boot toe warmers on your long johns on the back of your calves, just above the boots. Seemed to help without the squished toes that you get when you use them properly.

Asda has adhesive heat patches in their £1 rack - for two - they also work and last all day, and you can stick them straight onto bare skin.
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Great post, we have both suffered this week from completely numb forefeet, despite drying liners each night. I've never suffered before, but have passed 50 and got much snugger the boots at the same. Nearly bought heated socks in resort, but bulked at the€200 tag. Neoprene covers look definitely worth a go. It's so hard to put in clean turns with no feeling in one's forefeet. Thanks
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@Lilledonmarco - Thought I'd linked 'em up:
Alpenheat Boot Cover
If the link don't work for you or your platform, Amazon search " Alpenheat Boot Cover" will get you in the neighbourhood.

Lot of take your liner and dry or boot warmer stuff mentioned in this to solve the problem but been there and already doing that... <- these are very good but don't stop the chill during the day on the hill.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've also had a few cold toes the past few weeks, I don't tend to wear much as I ski hot (most is a thin base t shirt, long sleeve base top and a shell jacket), but below -15C in deep snow off piste I have suffered. I think that if the temps dip again I may get some neoprene boot covers, they work damn well for cyclists.
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Obviously been very cold up the mountain these past three weeks or so - and I've found myself wearing far more than usual, even skinning up!

Hands have been cold and have had to resort to inner gloves, however only dawned on me a few days ago that I've had no issues with feet recently, though if I think back to around New Year feet were cold - but then I was wearing my Alpine boots, and last three weeks or so I've been wearing my MTN Lab touring boots, so do touring boots have more insulation?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
As above, most people only need to be careful below about minus 15. I just waggle my toes when it's cold. That works for me into the minus 30 range, which is as cold as I've experienced. Heated insoles / heated socks / neoprene boot covers are common.

I do use neoprene shoe covers for cycling but that's rather different - they keep out the rain and keep your feet warm in bike shoes, which are generally leaky and designed for summer. FWIW if you get cold toes cycling, then the best remedy is to get off and walk for a while.

It may be stating the obvious, but the time to waggle your toes is when they hurt, and you don't want to tighten your boots much in those conditions. By the time you can't feel them, you may be in trouble.
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Another day of cold and no feeling toes, was 'only' -10 on piste, no wind.
Checked when I got back, liners dry as bone but extremely cold to the touch, both on their outer surface around sides and toe box especially, on the liner's underside and inside at the far front (only: rest well warm - which coincides exactly with where feet, ie toes as far back as bunion area, are cold).
Outside, could just feel the cold seeping in, walking, wiggling, even dancing in them (piste-side disco) didn't help; coming into a warm shop immediately did, back to normal in a minute.
Conclusion, it's just poor shell & liner design, absolutely no insulation at all at toe box area of liner, just a bit of stretchy neoprene Sad
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@Grizzler, wish I had those boot covers today.....toe section is noticeably colder on outside. I wriggle all day, to no effect
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If your feet are cold wear more layers on your body...cold core = cold feet.
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I also get really cold feet. I'm keen to try some of the products recommended.

This may be a silly question but ski socks seem to come in 'light' or 'medium'. What is the difference and which should I choose?

I've seen some socks 60% merino wool and others were 80%. Would the 80% be warmer?

I haven't been skiing for a few years and wanting to have a more pleasant holiday without cold feet!
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I got cold toes this year for the first time, did all the right things, checked for creases causing circulation problems, extra layers of thermals on body and legs etc. only to find that I only got improvement when pushing the top of my socks down to just above the boot.

The elasticated top part of my nice new technical socks were too tight causing reduced circulation to my feet.

Rolled my socks down and immediate improvement.
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Grizzler wrote:
Never had cold feet in ski boots until this current trip. Pretty sure that it's not boot fit as can feel it come on as temp drops and feeling comes back once in a warmer environment - both without any buckle adjustment, and also irrespective of if they're running 'warmed' and tad looser or cranked up tight. Mr G in his snowboard boots notices it about the same time, too. Rough guess is when it's around -6, which seems rather not cold. Intuition liners (as standard), usual 1 pair thin-ish technical style socks (can't get thicker in boots without cramping/pain - pretty close fitting boots), both non-wool and with some wool content.
Usual, or a problem?
Anyone recommend thinnish warm (wool?) socks, preferably not stupid rip-off price, available in size 35-7.
Cheers.


Aldi have silk and merino wool socks in at the moment for £4.99 a pair, they are very thin/technical style.

I get cold feet when my 2nd buckle (from the top) is tighter that the top one or the power strap.
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Well, sadly I'm now home in foggy, damp and dreary Olde England Sad
Managed to pick up a couple of small pairs of Smartwool socks in resort at a good price, but didn't get the chance to test them out. Will book another trip very soon for that sole purpose...wink
Did play around and confirm that it's not boot fit, tight buckles etc - just simply cold seeping in at the front toe box - inside the liners they were literally freezing cold when I got my hand down inside, but just at the front toe box, liners further back were well warm to the touch from foot's own natural heat. (As said above, as soon as got into a warmer room (shop, apartment etc), they immediately warmed up without adjusting any buckles, clothing or anything else. Toes didn't feel cold then and weren't physically cold to the touch when took boots and socks off - though liners at front still were.)
Thinking on it, as I spent a lot of time going up again and again on a longish chairlift with feet dangling in a pretty strong and very cold wind, I think that's how they got and then stayed cold. So that neoprene cover may well be the answer.

@dklemm, - thanks. I'll have a look in Aldis when I next get to go down, maybe tonight - if they do them in small paw sizes.
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i hvae to say we have noticed it a bit over the past couple of weeks with the very cold conditions in the alps... people who have skied without problems in a boot for 3-4 weeks last season are coming to us wanting a little more space... biggest issue is when you make more space when it warms up the boot feels too big

last week in austria my 130 flex boots which is used 4 trips last season felt like a 170 flex boot and were hard a shell to fasten (we did have to have them in the van for 30 mins on the way up the mountain)

good socks
extra layers on body (i rarely ski with anything more than base and mid layer and a shell, last week i had base layer on legs (unheard of for me) and a down layer too
dry liners out properly
boot heaters /heated socks
neoprene boot covers
foil on base board

all good solutions
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@CEM, .....and don't forget a good breakfast. I agree about the drying out and socks comments, my SK4 Falkes are thin but excellent quality, if I saw cashmere Falkes in a 50% sale deal somewhere I'd be in. Someone once told me that you have a good breakfast, keep your core warm, thoroughly dry your boots overnight and keep wrists covered and everything else will be OK......that advice has never failed me. It was -20C in St Anton 2 weeks ago and I have suffered with cold feet in the past, no issues at all. 2 weeks previously over New Year I forgot my boot heaters and had to rely on the less than ideal rack in the hotel and I got cold feet (and it was only -5-6C minimum). It's not about the boots or neoprene covers (not for me, nor on my bike I wear proper cycling shoes look naff too) imo, its about preparation, boots are all pretty good these days, mine are a very small lightweight touring boot shell with a half decent liner (Dynafit Mercurys) and I have never had such warm feet as I did 2 weeks ago, but I WAS making sure my boots were 100% dry.
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I can only seem to find the boot covers in black. I'm not that vain but they don't look very attractive, do they?
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@skilass, Nope.....equally I'd be looking at other things (as above) CEM makes valid points re socks and drying overnight, I cant think for one minute they'd be any use and I'd certainly not waste my money on them.
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@CEM, Do you know of any good strong foil to use? I wanted to try this, but it seems that just plain baking foil isn't going to last 5 minutes.
Would you put foil on the base board or under the liners' soles? Or both?
I could buy some thermal insoles and try to strip off all but the foil layer maybe, but having pretty well-fitted LV boots/liners which are sensitive even to sock thickness differences I don't know by how much I can raise the toe area (unless I mess about with widening it, which I don't want to do as usually it's a good fit with good wiggle room), and it seems that this solution for getting foil might be too thick a raise.
Cheers.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
On the subject of boot covers....... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Black-fake-fur-Ski-Boot-covers-80s-look-/232207544436?hash=item3610a5f074:g:k30AAOSwopRYe~~r
Will these work, too? Very Happy

Seriously, as regards the Alpenheat boot covers/gloves (also available on EB) as suggested by @Jellymorph and others, how do they size up? The small size seems to go up to UK 4 and the medium is UK 5-10. I'm right on the 4-5 border (M23.5 boots). Which do I get?
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@Grizzler, I have Boot Gloves, so the sizing is slightly different, but I would recommend going for the smaller size. They might be difficult so get on the first few times, but mine have stretched, and once they get slightly loose the snow will pack up underneath them if it's deep.

And remember to put them on straight out of the boot room - they trap heat in, rather than warming up already cold bits. I love mine, and in -30 in fernie this year nearly everyone on the mountain was wearing them - the town sold out of mediums!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Grizzler wrote:

Seriously, as regards the Alpenheat boot covers/gloves (also available on EB) as suggested by @Jellymorph and others, how do they size up? The small size seems to go up to UK 4 and the medium is UK 5-10. I'm right on the 4-5 border (M23.5 boots). Which do I get?

I went for the Large Alpenheat (UK11-14) as I'm a Mondo 28.5 and wondered which to buy myself, as I'm in the lower-ish band range for the sizing and how stretchy they would be for a tighter fit if went medium.

Do wonder if they will stretch out with use but 2 things:
    > The large were quite a snug fit (to my inexperienced eye/feel) on my Atomics HawkX that I was glad I did get the large but a different size or geometry boot may get a different fit . . .
    > I did experience the snow build-up under the cover (on one boot only on one occasion) but given the forces involved I thought that would be unavoidable all the time/circumstances and did not alter the performance of the cover noticeably . . .more testing required Very Happy
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My feet hardly ever get cold nowadays now that I bought some proper thermal socks with brushed insides. In the past I would wear 3 layers of socks which didnt really do much apart from bulk up my boots.
but these thermal socks are just the beeees knees!! they are wonderful and dont bulk up my snow boots at all.

http://shoewawa.com/product/shoewawa-thermal-socks/


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 10-02-17 14:59; edited 1 time in total
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Great post, this year is the first time I had cold feet, and it made me miserable. I had thermal tights, and good ski socks, and was still cold. Mind you it was colder on top of the mountain than I have seen in quite a while.
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I always suffered from cold feet, then about 7 years ago I splashed out on Thermic heaters. Never looked back - highly recommend and would buy again tomorrow if them broke!
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I have traditionally had problems with snow getting inside my boot when skiing off-piste (all down to wide feet; it has happened with every pair of boots I have owned) and the result being at the end of each day I would be able to take the inner out and pour water out the outer shell.

After spotting someone wearing a DryGuy BootGloves, back in 2007 in a lift queue while I was skiing in Jackson Hole I have been using neoprene boot covers ever since. First a DryGuy pair imported from the USA and more recently the Alpenheat version.

I can report they work wonders at stopping snow getting inside my ski boot and hence I have nice warm feet skiing off piste these days. How well the headline insulation concept works I can't comment on though.

However they don't in my experience last. I would say three weeks skiing, four at a maximum and they are shot to pieces, but that does not stop me from repeat buying them though.
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My feet always get cold in a snowdome but almost never on a mountain. Leaky boots must be sheer hell. Shocked
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@skilass, UK company KOSYBOOT, if they are still going make boot covers in quite a few shades. I only have black but they certainly work very well. Smile
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i use these sometimes. great job https://www.amazon.com/Grabber-Toe-Warmers/dp/B00RE074G2?tag=amz07b-21
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