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Can't keep my wife's feet warm... Help!

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 

So my wife must have bad blood circulation in her feet.  I just can't find a way to keep those puppies warm.   The rest of the family will be fine but she's cold.

 

I have her in new Nordica boots that seem very warm, as well as Smartwool socks.

 

Can someone recommend something I could try?   I'm looking at 3 options:

 

-Full Footbed temporary heaters (these cost about $3 per pair, should last about 5-6 hours

-Secondary pair of socks (don't like this idea as I think it makes your boots not fit as well)

-Battery powered foot warmers or battery powered heated socks.

 

Can someone with experience give me some feedback on these options?  

 

Gotta keep moma happy.  You know the rule.  Happy mom = happy family

post #2 of 87

Intuition liners. If that doesn't work, add Hotronic  battery operated foot warmers.

 

http://www.hotronic.com/

post #3 of 87

2nd the Hotronics.  Made a huge difference for my wife and dramatically extended her time on the hill.  In her words "These were the best equipment purchase you have ever made."  

 

Being a confessed but unrepentant gear whore, I've made a lot of equipment purchases...

post #4 of 87

Try Boot Gloves first, since they're only $29.95.  They work pretty well for an inexpensive solution...as long as you put them on when your feet are still warm rather than waiting until they get cold.

 

If those don't work, I 3rd the Hotronics idea.  In that case, you would then have both tools, if her feet are really stubbornly cold or for unusually cold days.

post #5 of 87
Thread Starter 

Well, we ski in MN so cold weather is unavoidable.   The only places she gets cold are her fingertips and toes.   I've got the fingers worked out (glvoe liners) but the feet are more stubborn.

 

I saw someone wearing boot gloves the other day.  Never saw those before.  

 

I think I'll go for the Hotronics but the pirce is a little more than I expected...  ouch...   Still, I spend about $1 on her everytime we go out on chemical warmers so over a few years these could be worth it.

post #6 of 87
Thread Starter 

Anyone think I'd be able to get a better deal on the hotronics by waiting until the spring end of season sales?   The really cold skiing weather is almost over for the most part, and I'm hoping to not have to use this much this year yet.

post #7 of 87

Boot Gloves are basically junk.  The boot liners keep the heat in.  The plastic shell does nothing.   Insulating the plastic shell does nothing.

 

Get her core warmer and nature tends to do the rest.  Excess heat will be pushed to the toes and fingers.

 

The old saying "Cold feet? put on a hat"

 

Bottom 2 buckles are probably too tight.  Keep enough pressure that the latches close with a single finger.

Get a warmer hat for under the helmet and close the vents. 

Glove liners (I see you did that)

Buy a down filled vest to keep her core warmer

 

All else fails.  Hotronics.

 

Edit

Oh those chemical warmers in the boots are utter crap.  They work ok for the gloves where there is more room and some air flow for the chemical process to work.  But in the boots they just dont work.  They actually make my feet colder since I can't wiggle my toes with them in.  The warmer usually comes out wicked cold at the end of the day but becomes nice in warm after a few minutes being removed from the boot

post #8 of 87

I disagree with voriand on several counts. I have a wife who gets very cold feel, so I've done lots of tests.

 

1. Boot Warmers do somewhat work. They depend on your foot being warm to start so if they get really cold, you're kind of screwed, but I've skied with them on in cold days (and even tried one on one off once to test) and they do seem to make a difference. How much of a difference might depend on your liner and shell.  Some shells work better than others.

 

2. The chemical heat packs made for boots also can work. The ones made specifically for boots are meant to be used with a more limited supply of oxygen so will generally stay warm in the toe of a boot.  The toe specific ones are much thinner than the handwarmers and adhesive so they stay in place, but you do need to make sure you aren't cramping your toes with them.

 

All that being said, I eventually bought my wife Hotronics and both of us have been much happier since. The other strategies just left more to chance where as if you have a well fitting boot, you can just turn on the hotronics and go.  A very good $200 in my mind.

post #9 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by voriand View Post

Boot Gloves are basically junk.  The boot liners keep the heat in.  The plastic shell does nothing.   Insulating the plastic shell does nothing.

 

Get her core warmer and nature tends to do the rest.  Excess heat will be pushed to the toes and fingers.

 

The old saying "Cold feet? put on a hat"

 

Bottom 2 buckles are probably too tight.  Keep enough pressure that the latches close with a single finger.

Get a warmer hat for under the helmet and close the vents. 

Glove liners (I see you did that)

Buy a down filled vest to keep her core warmer

 

All else fails.  Hotronics.

 

Edit

Oh those chemical warmers in the boots are utter crap.  They work ok for the gloves where there is more room and some air flow for the chemical process to work.  But in the boots they just dont work.  They actually make my feet colder since I can't wiggle my toes with them in.  The warmer usually comes out wicked cold at the end of the day but becomes nice in warm after a few minutes being removed from the boot

Boot gloves are far from junk.  My wife has very cold hands and feet.  She uses hotronics and bootgloves.  The bootgloves work.  Not only do the keep the boots warmer boot they help cut the wind when it is howling.  When it gets to be 5degrees faranheit or less I use them, and I jam myself into a pretty small boots; not much room for warm air to circulate.  I love them.

post #10 of 87

Before jumping into all these possible solutions, I'd recommend taking a look at what's causing the problem.

 

It's possible her boots are too big or aren't fitted properly.  This will cause her to buckle them down too tight, which cuts off circulation and makes the feet cold.  If this is the case, then the right solution is not boot heaters or boot gloves...it's going to the bootfitter and getting properly fitted boots.  Intuition liners would help because they are custom fitted.

 

Another possible situation is her feet sweat a lot, and then they get really cold because of that.  If this is the case, then things like thicker/warmer socks only makes the problem worse, not better.  The solution for this is to add some baby powder to her feet before skiing and wear thin ski socks.

 

Finally, it could be just bad body circulation.  Then a product like bootronics, boot gloves, etc. will be pretty good.

 

In general, don't use a thick sock.  This can cut off circulation, or cause sweating early on.  The liner on a ski boot is much much thicker than a sock....a thicker sock generally won't help much with insulation.  It's better to have a thin sock that wicks away moisture and gives a bit of extra room in the boot compared to a thick sock.

post #11 of 87

My feet are always, always, always cold.  I have NO circulation in them.  As a matter of fact, they are cold right now sitting on my couch in my 70 degree house. When I ski, they are no longer cold.  I have figured out what works for me.  I buy Little Hotties toe warmers at costco and put them ON THE TOP of my foot, over my sock, over my toe area.  I can ski in 0 degrees and when my friends toes are freezing, I am comfortable.  They really work perfectly for me.  I have narrow bony feet, so they haven't been an issue fitting into my boot.  I have used the full foot warmer that goes under your foot, but those did nothing for me.  I find it is my toes that get cold and having the heat on top, not underneath has made all the difference in the world.  Good luck!

post #12 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Intuition liners. If that doesn't work, add Hotronic  battery operated foot warmers.

 

http://www.hotronic.com/

this is a sure thing,  100 percent success with hotronics, thread done now.  

post #13 of 87

oh, one more thing..I gave up thick socks..just in case it was a sweaty foot issue and started buying the THIN OMNIHEAT socks made by Columbia.  They are great.  I FINALLY have comfy toes and I don't have to worry about boot heaters/charging, etc

post #14 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortato View Post

Before jumping into all these possible solutions, I'd recommend taking a look at what's causing the problem.

 

It's possible her boots are too big or aren't fitted properly.  This will cause her to buckle them down too tight, which cuts off circulation and makes the feet cold.  If this is the case, then the right solution is not boot heaters or boot gloves...it's going to the bootfitter and getting properly fitted boots.  Intuition liners would help because they are custom fitted.

 

Another possible situation is her feet sweat a lot, and then they get really cold because of that.  If this is the case, then things like thicker/warmer socks only makes the problem worse, not better.  The solution for this is to add some baby powder to her feet before skiing and wear thin ski socks.

 

Finally, it could be just bad body circulation.  Then a product like bootronics, boot gloves, etc. will be pretty good.

 

In general, don't use a thick sock.  This can cut off circulation, or cause sweating early on.  The liner on a ski boot is much much thicker than a sock....a thicker sock generally won't help much with insulation.  It's better to have a thin sock that wicks away moisture and gives a bit of extra room in the boot compared to a thick sock.

Damn, you beat me to it.

 

Get her to a good boot fitter first. Make sure the boots fit correctly. She should be in a light pair of smartwool type socks. I wear the ultra light socks always.

 

Where do you guy's ski, may be one of us can recommend a good boot fitter.

 

I just got a pair of boot gloves, based on my buddies warm feet last weekend in VT. His wife was in Texas, 80 F we were in VT -0F with a healthy dose of wind. He wore her boot gloves on Satruday and had comfortable feet. He didn't wear them on Sunday and wishes he did. She had them both days this

past weekend.

 

 

BTW, My foots fit way to tight to get any thing in, let alone a heat pack. If you can fit a heat pack in your boots, they are way to big.

post #15 of 87
Quote:

 

 The chemical heat packs made for boots also can work. The ones made specifically for boots are meant to be used with a more limited supply of oxygen so will generally stay warm in the toe of a boot.

+1. I have Raynaud's and "Hotties" work for me. I stick them on top of my toes, not under. It's not that cold where I ski (PNW) and the combo of Intuition liners, toe warmers and dressing really, really warmly all over (I'm probably the only person in a balaclava on my mountain at any given time--who wears one when it's in the upper 20s or even 30s? Me). keeps my toes warm enough. However, if I skied in MN I would undoubtedly have Hotronics.

 

 

Quote:

 

So my wife must have bad blood circulation in her feet.  I just can't find a way to keep those puppies warm.   The rest of the family will be fine but she's cold.

Does this sound right? http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/raynauds-disease/DS00433

post #16 of 87
Thread Starter 

She got her boots from Joe's sports in Maplewood, MN which IMO has excellent boot fitters.  They also heat molded the boots to her feet as well.  She loves the way her boots fit and that has never been an issue.

 

She's using medium thickness smartwool socks right now, and I don't believe her feet are sweating, but they could be.  These socks wick away the sweat pretty easily though, I know as I use them myself.

 

I DO believe that she could be buckling her front most buckly too tightly however.   On her boots you can overtighten the front most buckle if you want, and she likes her boots tight.   I'll try having her loosen up the front buckle (which doesn't do much anyway IMO)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

 

 

BTW, My foots fit way to tight to get any thing in, let alone a heat pack. If you can fit a heat pack in your boots, they are way to big.

 

 

 

I don't really agree with this.   Those adhesive backed toe warmers are VERY thin and put over the top of your toes where your boots tightness is not as crucial as it is over the middle of your foot and your ankle.   I bet you could easily fit them in your boot.

 

I find the chemical warmers I have right now don't last very long.   Maybe 2 hours of skiing and they're shot.   I think they might be getting old though, as they are from a bulk pack I bought last year.   It's not the lack of air in the boot doing it as they only last about 2 hours in your gloves as well.

 

I will look into the Omni-heat socks though, as that technology seems pretty sweet to me...

post #17 of 87

Nope, I can feel the liner on the top on my toes. I can wiggle my toes but not very much. Even when my skis hang off the chair lift, I can still feel the custom foot bed under my whole foot. When I think turn my skis react.

 

There's no wasted space in my boots.

 

 

You talk about the front buckle not doing much anyway. But that's a whole topic for another thread. When I left my big toe to roll my little toe into the next turn...

post #18 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

Boot gloves are far from junk.  My wife has very cold hands and feet.  She uses hotronics and bootgloves.  The bootgloves work.  Not only do the keep the boots warmer boot they help cut the wind when it is howling.  When it gets to be 5degrees faranheit or less I use them, and I jam myself into a pretty small boots; not much room for warm air to circulate.  I love them.

 

Bootgloves DO help, but mostly with wind.  Also, as pointed out, they work better if you put them on before your feet get cold.

 

Checking boot fit is not a bad idea.  If the boots are cutting off circulation she'll NEVER be warm.  Replacement liners (Intuition/Zipfit are the most popular) could be an option.  Some stock liners don't insulate as well as those.

 

A lot of people swear by Hotronics.  The disposable heat pads work too.  For a small number of days/year that might be more cost effective.

 

Don't recommend thicker or double socks.

post #19 of 87
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate all the advise and discussion.

 

Here's my plan:

 

Buy new chemical heater packs to see if they keep her feet warmer and last longer than the older ones I have.

 

Try loosening (or at least checking) the tightness of her first two buckles to make sure they can be closed with one finger and are not overly tight, cutting off circulation.

 

If those don't work I'm going right to the hotronics. I'd rather just buy those (my son could use them as well at times) than the boot gloves, which don't see as sure of a way to fix the issue.

post #20 of 87

I read this thread and was intrigued.  More DIY than I am, but I am thinking about it. 

 

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/100607/diy-boot-heater

post #21 of 87

All good answers except for the one about Boot Gloves not working. Any additional covering that retains heat will help.

 

Body heat is generated by oxidation of carbohydrates in muscles. Blood transfers most of this energy to the body core and the brain.

When the core and brain experience a drop in energy below what is required for proper functioning, the blood flow is restricted to the extremities, i.e. legs and arms.

Hands and feet get cold first.  These parts are the farthest from the core. When the blood is restricted the legs can lose a lot of heat due to the large surface area hitting cold air riding up the chair lift and skiing down hill. 

 

Women's rate of circulation is slower that a man's. This causes women to actually BE COLDER than men given the same conditions. All of the above answers will help but insulating the core properly is the first to tackle. She may say her body core is warm, but if the feet are cold the core isn't warm enough. Take care of the foundation before fixing the roof.

 

To solve the ladies problem first make sure the core is insulated properly. This is hard for ladies to do because of fashion. This is not a criticism of the ladies, just an observation, i.e. tight ski pants, waist hugging ski jackets. Laying of clothing is important. But loose fitting clothing is more important. Wool, nylon, cotton, or a goose down filament doesn't insulate very good. The air that these fibers capture and hold is what insulates and keeps you warm.Large baggy insulated ski pants, over a quilted goose down or synthetic bottom, over a heavyweight synthetic bottom, over a lightweight insulating bottom (silk is the best) would provide proper insulation of the legs. The same for the core. Now she may not be willing to wear that much clothing for whatever reason. Then she can try all the ideas mentioned already.

 

Another problem facing women is a lot of them don't ski hard and fast. The thigh muscle generates more heat than any other body muscle. This helps the people who ski hard or fast to stay warm. When my partner starts complaining of being cold, I ski faster and challenge her to keep up which she does. and then she feels warmer.

post #22 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post

I really appreciate all the advise and discussion.

 

Here's my plan:

 

Buy new chemical heater packs to see if they keep her feet warmer and last longer than the older ones I have.

 

Try loosening (or at least checking) the tightness of her first two buckles to make sure they can be closed with one finger and are not overly tight, cutting off circulation.

 

If those don't work I'm going right to the hotronics. I'd rather just buy those (my son could use them as well at times) than the boot gloves, which don't see as sure of a way to fix the issue.

So every option except the sure fix....   Don't be cheap, get the hotronics for your wife, you would get them for yourself..... 

post #23 of 87
Thread Starter 

I agree LT.  I have already mentioned to my wife she should put on additional layers under her jacket, but she says she warm enough there.   I'll try that as well.

post #24 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

So every option except the sure fix....   Don't be cheap, get the hotronics for your wife, you would get them for yourself..... 

 

Why buy those if it's something more easily fixed that I could easily try first?   We ski 3 times per week, so trying these isn't that hard and if it works I've saved some money.

 

I wouldn't buy them for myself unless I knew nothing else was going to work?

 

Do you put a new engine in your car if you can figure out what's wrong, or do you check each piece and see if it's something smaller first?

post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post

 

Why buy those if it's something more easily fixed that I could easily try first?   We ski 3 times per week, so trying these isn't that hard and if it works I've saved some money.

 

I wouldn't buy them for myself unless I knew nothing else was going to work?

 

Do you put a new engine in your car if you can figure out what's wrong, or do you check each piece and see if it's something smaller first?

Dude, some people JUST GET COLD FEET.... They actually DO have poor circulation.      

1, chemical,  well okay but what a pain to get in and out, then they shift around etc.... not to mention they just stop working...

2. Losen her boot,  great unless she doesn't like skiing in lose boots.  She should be able to put the boots how she likes them.   "there honey, now ski with those loose boots, how does that feel"   She looks at you after the first 2 turns with "THE LOOK".  

 

I'm just trying to help you out bro...    You will win BIG brownie points with the hotronics... :) 

post #26 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

Dude, some people JUST GET COLD FEET.... They actually DO have poor circulation.      

1, chemical,  well okay but what a pain to get in and out, then they shift around etc.... not to mention they just stop working...

2. Losen her boot,  great unless she doesn't like skiing in lose boots.  She should be able to put the boots how she likes them.   "there honey, now ski with those loose boots, how does that feel"   She looks at you after the first 2 turns with "THE LOOK".  

 

I'm just trying to help you out bro...    You will win BIG brownie points with the hotronics... :) 

 

Point 1:  The heat packs stick to your socks.   They aren't a pain in the ass at all actually.   They do stop working though, correct.

Point 2:   Who said 'loose boots'.   I'm just going to make sure she's not overtightening them.   I have seen her wrech the buckles down the last few times we went.   More than is needed possibly.

 

Of course I'll buy the hotronics for her if these options don't work tomorrow.

 

I should mention that the temps here are going to be the 30's the next few weeks.   I may not have to worry about this for a while...  ;)

post #27 of 87

Are her feet sweaty and cold, or are they dry and cold?

 

Sweaty and cold, I would recommend using a wicking layer sock under the wool to pull moisture away from the foot...dry and cold, she might be cranking the boots on a little too tight, or the boots might not fit her properly.

post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post

 

Point 1:  The heat packs stick to your socks.   They aren't a pain in the ass at all actually.   They do stop working though, correct.

Point 2:   Who said 'loose boots'.   I'm just going to make sure she's not overtightening them.   I have seen her wrech the buckles down the last few times we went.   More than is needed possibly.

 

Of course I'll buy the hotronics for her if these options don't work tomorrow.

 

I should mention that the temps here are going to be the 30's the next few weeks.   I may not have to worry about this for a while...  ;)

Yea, I get cold feet and like my boots race tight, so I have had hotronics,  they are nice and I only put the battery packs on when its cold.  I bought them in the 90's and just put another set into my new boots.    

post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Intuition liners. If that doesn't work, add Hotronic  battery operated foot warmers.

 

http://www.hotronic.com/

This ^^^^.

post #30 of 87

my boots are 255 and I really should be in a 265.  They are a performance women's race boot with a narrow last..98 mm.  When I say the boots are snug, they are SNUG..not an ounce of movement or heel lift.  Shell fitting alone, I can barely get a finger space.  that said, I can get my toe warmer in the boot.  If anything, it works even better because it is really pressed onto my foot.  Good luck..there is hope! Personally, I don't want Hottronics..it is just one more thing to deal with.

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