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Frozen Toes - What to do?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi folks,

 

I tend to be rather cold natured, I rarely get cold...unless ill.  Now, my toes get absolutely numb while skiing; usually it's limited to my big toe and the next one on each foot.  It's starting to interfere with my skiing; making me hit the lodge a lot sooner than I would want to!

 

I wear SmartWool ski socks with no liners.  I try to start out with my boots adjusted a little loosely, then tighten them up after a couple of runs.  The last few tiems out it's been 15-20 F.  I recently tried some Toastie Toes, but I didn't put them in until AFTER my toes had gotten very cold and numb - well, they didn't help at all.

 

So what have you found to be helpful if you've had similar problems.

 

Thanks much!

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by LEMII View Post

Hi folks,

 

I tend to be rather cold natured, I rarely get cold...unless ill.  Now, my toes get absolutely numb while skiing; usually it's limited to my big toe and the next one on each foot.  It's starting to interfere with my skiing; making me hit the lodge a lot sooner than I would want to!

 

I wear SmartWool ski socks with no liners.  I try to start out with my boots adjusted a little loosely, then tighten them up after a couple of runs.  The last few tiems out it's been 15-20 F.  I recently tried some Toastie Toes, but I didn't put them in until AFTER my toes had gotten very cold and numb - well, they didn't help at all.

 

So what have you found to be helpful if you've had similar problems.

 

Thanks much!


I use Body Glove neoprene Boot Glove covers.  As long as I put them on when boots are warm first thing in morning, they really hold the heat in and keep the cold out.

post #3 of 13

I would search Hot Tronics, intuition liners, boot gloves and boot fitting/circulation. That should point you to lots of discussion on cold feet.

post #4 of 13

I finally broke down and installed Hotronics in my COLD boots.  They are expensive, but they work. No cold toes evan at 6 degrees for several hours. Previosly they would be cold at 35 degrees.

post #5 of 13

The problem with those heat packs is, as you discovered, that once your feet get cold it's too late.  The same applies to Hotronic boot heaters.  Or just about anything else.  You have to use them before you think you need them.  I used to have Hotronic heaters and quickly found out I needed to have them on the second setting when I left the lodge for the first run.  Then I got Intuition liners and dispensed with the heaters.  Some people swear by Boot Gloves, neoprene overcoats for your boots.  Some overlap boots don't seal well at the toe and let cold air in so the boot glove should solve that.  I seem to recall that some Lange models leak air.  It's also very important you not let the interior of your boots get cold before you put them on.  Here in Montana I've seen people show up to ski with their boots in the bed of their pickup truck or they drop all their gear, including boots, at the drop-off area and then go park.  I watched a pair of boots, sitting upright, accumulate about 1/2" of snow once.  The guy who dropped them off wasn't back by the time I left the area.  Before I got my Hotronics I would put my boots in front of a heater outlet with very warm air coming out.  It not only made the interior very warm but softened the shell making them easier to put on.  Those may be hard to find most places.

post #6 of 13

I tried different socks; didn't help.  I tried Boot Glove; didn't help much.  I tried Intuition liners; didn't help much.  I tried Hotronics warmers; AWESOME.

 

Expensive, but much cheaper than frostbite problems.  Go with Hotronics and you'll be happy.

post #7 of 13

+2 for Hotronics;  I used to use the Boot Glove/handwarmer pack thingee, it worked soso, cold toes would still be a distracting reality.  This year I went for the Hotronics, my toes don't cross my mind anymore until it crosses my mind that my toes aren't on my mind...  For a chronic frozen toes person, it's a Big Deal, kind of like when I got lasik eye surgery.  Made me wonder why I didn't take the plunge before.

 

Mtcyclist makes a good point about using them in a prophylactic way; get them doing their thing before you click in.

post #8 of 13

Quote:

Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Some people swear by Boot Gloves, neoprene overcoats for your boots.  Some overlap boots don't seal well at the toe and let cold air in so the boot glove should solve that.  I seem to recall that some Lange models leak air.  It's also very important you not let the interior of your boots get cold before you put them on.

 

This was key for me. The Cochise 120 leaks. I immediately can tell the difference when I have or don't have my Boot Glove on - you can almost feel the air flow once you know what it feels like with the Boot Glove on.

 

Another factor that the Boot Glove helped with, was when skiing untracked snow, snow would get shoved into the little crevices, and would melt, and leak into the boot. At the end of the day, I'd have a very small puddle of water inside my shells, and the liner around the toe box would be soaked. Wet toes = cold toes, especially when coupled with airflow (evaporative cooling).

 

The Boot Glove solved both of these problems and now my feet stay warm enough.

 

Intuition liners are essentially closed cell foam. This means that they don't let water or air in/out of the liner. I'd bet that they'd solve my problem as well. Your feet also stay warmer because it effectively becomes a vapor barrier (look up the term). This is why they stink so much, if you don't air them out.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Wow, I appreciate all the great responses.  I think my strategy will be to start with Boot Gloves and a boot dryer/heater to get the boots warm BEFORE I put them on; if I still have problems, I'll make the purchase of some Hotronics.  I am fortunate if I can get out six to eight times a season down here in NE TN; I suppose that if I ever get to make another trip out west, I'd invest in some Hotronics anyway.

 

Once I get the Boot Gloves and give them a try, I'll repost with an update.

 

Again, thanks!

post #10 of 13
And make sure the boots fit well. If your toes are numb, it could also be a circulation issue from their being squashed too much in the wrong places.
post #11 of 13

To check out other relevant threads, click on the tag for Cold Feet (right of Post #1).  Plenty of skiers have similar problems, but there are solutions.

post #12 of 13
This subject has been beaten to death and just about the only thing that works for cold toes and feet is Hotronics. There are at least 10 threads on the same subject and while some have had success with the boot glove and intuition liners, if you really have an issue and want to stop bandaid solutions, just get the Hotronics.
post #13 of 13

I use Sidas boot heaters. I've only had them a few weeks and now regret not getting some sooner.

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