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Socks for very cold feet

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Any recommendations for socks for someone with freezing feet?

Just returned from a week on the slopes and found the cold feet unbearable. I have always had cold hands and feet, buying excellent gloves and adding in a pair of merino liners has fixed the problem on the hands but a single pair of technical wool ski socks aren't working for me. I don't mind if they cost a bit more as long as will keep my feet comfortable.

I have my own boots so would be open to any other recommendations in terms of soles and liners too
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@snowwithkids, I use foot warmer tea bags. You can get battery operated thingies and heated socks
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@holidayloverxx do you have them in your boots while skiing or when you take them off? I have them and activate and use when we stop for lunch but cant imagine them in my boots whilst skiing (although the warmth would be amazing!)
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I have occasionally managed to use footwarmer tea bags, but they tend to scrunch up and get in the way. Heated socks are probably the best answer.
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@snowwithkids, Lenz heated socks solved this problem for mini_mg. Very definitely not cheap, but they work and are about the same thickness as a medium technical sock. They run big though, so buy the size down.
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Friends say the same two things about heated socks: they work great, and they break. Make sure you have exhausted all opportunities for keeping your feet warm in the first place by having rest of you properly insulated. Cold core & head = cold feet; warm head & core, you have a chance. It’s all connected. Also, it is much easier to retain warmth than it is to create it. People complain about cold hands while spending half their day with their gloves off taking pictures or on the phone. Sigh.
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Scooter in Seattle wrote:
Friends say the same two things about heated socks: they work great, and they break. Make sure you have exhausted all opportunities for keeping your feet warm in the first place by having rest of you properly insulated. Cold core & head = cold feet; warm head & core, you have a chance. It’s all connected. Also, it is much easier to retain warmth than it is to create it. People complain about cold hands while spending half their day with their gloves off taking pictures or on the phone. Sigh.


I gave up on heated socks after 2 pairs stopped working. Back to tea bags on cold days. Stick them down well and they stay put. The glove ones work really well inside Hestra mittens
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Thank you all. I had same reservations about heated socks and them breaking so preference would be good quality pair of technical ski socks that retain heat.
Rest of me is really comfortable, it honestly is just my feet. Previously hands were also cold but merino liners together with quality ski gloves have transformed that so was hoping there would be a ski sock equivalent for feet! For context, my feet go numb when I visit a snowdome in UK and on super warm days in Alps
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snowwithkids wrote:
Thank you all. I had same reservations about heated socks and them breaking so preference would be good quality pair of technical ski socks that retain heat.
Rest of me is really comfortable, it honestly is just my feet. Previously hands were also cold but merino liners together with quality ski gloves have transformed that so was hoping there would be a ski sock equivalent for feet! For context, my feet go numb when I visit a snowdome in UK and on super warm days in Alps


Sounds like your boots may need a look? I use good quality merino socks by Smartwool and the like and loosen buckles on lifts to allow the blood to circulate, but when it’s really cold they will still get cold
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Numb feet can indicate that your circulation is being restricted by your ski boots (typically over the top of your foot) - are the two clips over your toes/instep reasonably loose?
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Heated ski boot footbeds are available too - but worth getting your boot fit checked first.
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Quote:

good quality pair of technical ski socks that retain heat

if such a thing existed it would have made somebody a fortune.
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I used to also struggle with hire boots so maybe it is user error and I am doing them up too tight.
I do also loosen buckles on lifts, particularly those over the top of my foot.
I had fit checked when I hired skis but have not yet invested in custom liners or footbeds for my boots, was considering this when I had got used to them and used for a little while first
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@snowwithkids, do you recall how tight the bottom two buckles were over the top of your feet? How hard/easy was it to close them, could you close them with one finger for example?
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As @BobinCH says, Merino socks help, as does not tightening up your boots too much which is the biggest problem I think.
I've got heated footbeds, it's a small pad that really only heats up around the toes but does help, get the biggest battery pack though. My toes still got silly cold in Canada in -30!
I've tried really thin ankle socks as well as merino socks but cotton just isn't the right material, if I could find some silk socks that might be better.
Maybe try neoprene covers over the ski boots next as I've heard they work.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Some people just have super-cold feet, it's a circulation problem. I don't - my heated socks were a self-indulgency, but nice. Silk liners can help and take up very little room. But if you have that sort of feet, which go numb even on a warm day, no amount of fiddling with boot clips will make much difference, I fear. I have no experience of neoprene covers but can't see why they wouldn't help.
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gixxerniknik wrote:
Maybe try neoprene covers over the ski boots next as I've heard they work.


I was going to suggest these as a low tech option rather than fiddle about with wires, battery packs and apps. I've just got some and might try them on our next trip

I've tried the chemical heat bags (specifecially shaped as a footwarmer) but found them of limited use. They can have some adhesion pads to keep them in the right place but can move around into the wrong place and become uncomfortable, also I think they require oxygen for the chemical reaction and not much air, therefore oxygen, tends to get down to the bottom of a well fitting boot, so the heat generating reaction can be inhibited and thereby less effective than you find the handwarmer variety.
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I suffer with cold feet as a result of some tablets I have to take. Biggest difference I have found is to start with warm boots I have my own boot heaters and use them in preference to all but the best boot racks. Boot heaters are popular with forestery workers as well.
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@kitenski I wouldnt be able to recall if could close with one finger but certainly did not take a huge deal of strength or effort to close them (and I wouldnt describe myself as strong)

Any recommendations on a brand of good merino ski socks? I feel I could use an upgrade and would be happy to try another brand, will also look into heated footbeds, neoprene covers and own boot heaters in the hope they last longer than heated socks
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@snowwithkids, one other thought, were you drying your boots overnight? Wet boots = cold feet
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@snowwithkids, I suffered with cold feet, so when I bought new boots, probably 8 or 9 years ago as well as Zipfit liners I had heated footbeds fitted, all by Colin, CEM on here, at Solutions4feet. I have no issues with cold feet now, and even when we had really quite warm weather in Italy a couple of weeks ago I still had my boots turned on. I never fiddle with my clips during the day.
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@kitenski they were on heated boot racks at chalet overnight, didn't feel wet or cold when I put feet in them in morning.
Thanks @pamski, will check both out as sounds like the type of solution I may need
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snowwithkids wrote:
@holidayloverxx do you have them in your boots while skiing or when you take them off? I have them and activate and use when we stop for lunch but cant imagine them in my boots whilst skiing (although the warmth would be amazing!)


Yes, while skiing. I've never had them scrunch up
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Cheapest solution is neoprene boot covers ( yes they do work if put on when the boot shell is already warm). Then heated socks or footbeds. Then those in combination with a known warm aftermarket liner like an intuition or a zipfit with a wool lined toebox.
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Compression socks seem to help me with cold feet, they make the blood flow better. Thin compression socks work just as well in ski boots, as thick ones can constrict blood flow with tight boots. I used to use pop socks when I had really fat feet and tight boots. My boots are different now, and my feet and calves are thinner.
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Metal filing tea bag things, superfeet redhot footbeds, smartwool socks, neoprene boot gloves.

combinations of all/some of these have worked well for me when I have struggled with freezing feet.

Since morton has thrown me a neuroma I’m quite glad of the cold/numbing
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My partner has the Lenz heated socks, and has skied on them (2 pairs of socks, one battery pack) for 100+ days and they are still working fine
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A slightly different suggestion: have you tried putting on another mid layer or similar? If your body thinks your torso is too cold, it’ll keep the blood there to keep your major organs happy, but make your hands and feet correspondingly more cold.

If I get cold feet, I put on a mid layer (I’ve got a gilet I tend to use) and it generally sorts the problem.

Might be worth a try in addition to some of the solutions suggested on the thread.

For socks, Smartwool are very good, and generally on sale on SportPursuit.

Ms T.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
An important point is boots that fit...

Ski boot liners are a fair chunk of insulation, so assuming the rest of you is properly warm (remember your body will try to preserve core temp) then it could just as easily be your boots are too tight and restricting circulation. Assuming they do fit I expect the solution is heaters not thicker socks (given you already likely have orders of magnitude more insulation than socks will provide from the liners... Ski socks should probably be picked for fit not warmth). Fairly sure a few of the people here discussing heaters have mentioned on glove discussions they have Reynauds, so will likely have good advice (no doubt having tried various options keeping extremities warm with poor blood flow...)
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IceBreaker remain the gold standard in all things Merino, IMO. I have about four pairs of their socks, work very well. The advantages of Merino include great wicking of moisture, which is vital to keeping warm, and the ability to wear the same socks for several days skiing (well maybe - works for me at least). Warmth per-se is not so much a function of the sock, though, as already mentioned, given the thickness and insulation of the boot inner itself.

The key elements of keeping feet warm are good fitting and well-dried boots. Clips too tight reducing circulation is a frequent problem, and the number of people I come across who still don't think to bring their boots into a warm environment overnight never ceases to astonish me. If you're prone to sweaty feet get some heaters to ensure that they really completely dry out after every use. We have a couple of sets which have lasted decades - oddly used them last week for the first time in ages, warmer days mean sweatier feet and the heating is off, so dusted them off and they worked fine.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Tue 19-04-22 10:49; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I used to suffer so bad with cold and numb feet. Then I watched this video and realised that I'd been doing my boots up wrong my whole life. The bottom buckles now are looser, plenty of space for foot warmers. Also got some small boot dryers out of decathlon as hotel 'dryers' never do the job completely. Just fine now with cheapest wool mixed socks. I hope this helps!

http://youtube.com/v/-NsF8oDta8c
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we sell a lot more heated insoles (elements to go onto custom insoles) than heated socks, with the socks although they have got better a lot of people feel the seams and the cables and if they go wrong it gets expensive, the heated elements can go wrong like all things electric but if it is the element it is a simple, cheap replacement part

other things to make sure of or try , are the boots fully dry, slight dampness (it doesn't need much) will make a boot feel cold all day, avoid the big resort driers but drop in personal ones can remove all the moisture, try changing socks at lunch time, moisture on the skin is the enemy and if there is perspiration in the sock it can make the foot feel cold, you can also get neoprene covers for over your boots which might look a bit weird but they will insulate the boot a bit more and will increase the temperature inside by a good few degrees.

here is one for the dr's and pharmacists out there, in the USA i hear of colleagues who have clients who have been prescribed calcium channel blockers which can help, not sure if it is even a thing over here
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CEM wrote:

here is one for the dr's and pharmacists out there, in the USA i hear of colleagues who have clients who have been prescribed calcium channel blockers which can help, not sure if it is even a thing over here


Sounds dodgy to me (not a dr, but worked in pharma dev for many years). They're prescribed to lower blood pressure by stopping the artery walls from constricting, so I can see they might be used off-label for some types of circulation issue, but I can't find any studies to suggest that they are.

Reading up a little, it seems that although they may help keep the arteries dilated, veins are not so affected, so there can be a build-up of fluids in the extremities, which may temporarily warm them but it a_bad_thing. And the effect for people not suffering hypertension may be an unwelcome lowering of their normal healthy blood pressure.

So yes, I'll stick with my initial reaction, doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
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Chaletbeauroc wrote:
CEM wrote:

here is one for the dr's and pharmacists out there, in the USA i hear of colleagues who have clients who have been prescribed calcium channel blockers which can help, not sure if it is even a thing over here


Sounds dodgy to me (not a dr, but worked in pharma dev for many years). They're prescribed to lower blood pressure by stopping the artery walls from constricting, so I can see they might be used off-label for some types of circulation issue, but I can't find any studies to suggest that they are.

Reading up a little, it seems that although they may help keep the arteries dilated, veins are not so affected, so there can be a build-up of fluids in the extremities, which may temporarily warm them but it a_bad_thing. And the effect for people not suffering hypertension may be an unwelcome lowering of their normal healthy blood pressure.

So yes, I'll stick with my initial reaction, doesn't sound like a good idea to me.


as i said, heard about it being used in the USA not my area of expertise
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I suffer terribly from cold toes. I´ve had the heated soles but they left my toes cold, and were difficult to take in and out of the boot. I bought the ThermIC socks but turned out they also only warm up from heel to the ball of your foot, leaving your toes cold, so they too were useless. I tried the neoprene boot covers but they only helped to a point and then it got cold again. I put some heat packs inside the ski boots but it got too crowded in there so the packs stopped working due to lack of oxygen. Then I got Lenz socks and they have been brilliant. They warm up the toes, and that´s all that is needed. Problem solved. Though I haven´t been able to test them in really cold weathers yet, but I´m hopeful! Maybe I´ll combine the socks and the neoprene covers when it gets arctic. And if I really want to overdo it maybe I´ll slip a heat pack between the boot and the neoprene!!
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I have neoprene boot covers and find that they work/help & don't affect the fit of the boot.
My current boots were thermally custom fitted & can be worn quite tight without cutting off circulation like my previous boots did.
Well fitted, not just "your own" boots and neoprene boot covers are two things I have tried & definitely help, it is probably good to try a number of options as a package.
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I’ve had boot heaters fitted by Colin and they’ve been a game changer. Love them. Would never be without them again. Only next time I’ll get the fancy remote controlled or app controlled ones.
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