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WARM High Performance Ski Boots?! Ha!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Let's not forget about that 50 mph wind chill. If you ski through the trees, chances are you are not going that fast, so -25 won't feel as cold to you.
BTW I remember skiing at -40. I had the hill practically to myself. I wore a parka touque and scarf (around head and face) and goggles and farmer-john snowmobile pants and down mitts. My toes were the only cold part of me. Why don't they make warmer high performance ski boots?
Rather than hijack the sunglass thread in an entirely different direction I'll just start a new one concerning warm boots (or lack thereof).

I may get flamed on this one, but I'm pretty sure that warm high performance ski boots are an oxymoron. It seems to me as though they're diametrically opposite concepts. For starters, how warm can hard plastic shells be? I know they're supposed to be better now with the different plastics in different parts of the shell technique, but still...Secondly, in order to achieve that performance fit (roughly being able to fit 1 finger between the heel and shell of the boot when being shell fit), something must be compromised. The firm wrap of a well fit shell puts some serious pressure on the circulatory system of the foot, which isn't really designed very well for ski boots to begin with (large network of veins and arteries running across the top of the foot).

The circulation systems of people differ as well. Some have no problem staying warm in the harshest of conditions, while others get cold feet on 40 degree days (yours truly). Other variables such as what someone had for breakfast, length of chair rides, time spent standing around (at lineup, for example), and the amount of pressure the buckles are exerting on the forefoot can have drastic effects on the warmth of the foot.

Interestingly, my right foot tends to stay much warmer while snowboarding, while the left one (my front foot) goes warm/cold depending on how much I loosen the binding straps on the lift.

I should disclose that both my ski and snowboard boots are miniscule even when compared to my already small street shoes, although they are not 'too small' by any means.
post #2 of 18
I have no argument against the construction of the boots from the boot to the outer shell, but why can't there be some insulation added outside the shell, that wouldn't interfere with its function. I'm actually thinking about gluing a layer or two of 3/8 inch neoprene on the outside of my boots.
post #3 of 18
Or you could get Bootgloves (TM).
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
I have no argument against the construction of the boots from the boot to the outer shell, but why can't there be some insulation added outside the shell, that wouldn't interfere with its function. I'm actually thinking about gluing a layer or two of 3/8 inch neoprene on the outside of my boots.
You could, and I'm sure it would work fairly well, to an extent. That's the idea behind Bootgloves (TM). Unfortunately, most people would rather suffer through cold feet than have their 700 dollar ski boots look more minivan (function over form) than Hummer H2 (form over function).

The analogy is a bit of a stretch, but it's been a long Cinco de Mayo!
post #5 of 18
If you don't like boot gloves (which really do help) you could try hotronics or other boot warmers. On really cold dates, I actually like using both. Neither will have an effect on the performance of your boots, but your feet will be happier.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by iskitoofast4u
Unfortunately, most people would rather suffer through cold feet than have their 700 dollar ski boots look more minivan (function over form) than Hummer H2 (form over function).
Since BigE's thread I've been thinking about possible transparent materials to overcome this problem.
post #7 of 18

what about thermofits?

Although possibly not as "high performance" as the thin and cold liners in plug boots, I am absolutely sold on Thermofit (Intuition) liners, both for performance and comfort. I no longer get cold feet, and am comfortable all day long with these. I cannot imagine skiiing in a conventional liner again. They have no "slop" and are dense, thin, and nearly weightless, and there is no feeling of cushiness, but since they are molded to your foot they are snug yet comfortable. I know people who use these in ice climbing boots, where fit as well as warmth is critical. Highly recommended.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp
Although possibly not as "high performance" as the thin and cold liners in plug boots, I am absolutely sold on Thermofit (Intuition) liners, both for performance and comfort. I no longer get cold feet, and am comfortable all day long with these. I cannot imagine skiiing in a conventional liner again. They have no "slop" and are dense, thin, and nearly weightless, and there is no feeling of cushiness, but since they are molded to your foot they are snug yet comfortable. I know people who use these in ice climbing boots, where fit as well as warmth is critical. Highly recommended.
Warmest, lightest and best fitting upgrade you can do to your boots. Do a search on "Thermoflex" you will see a ton of info.
post #9 of 18
I wiil try to throw in a few questions:

(i) Is it possible to make warmer boots?
Almost definitely yes.

(ii) Could there be warmer boots uncompromising performance?
Maybe.

(iii) Would a new, warmer construction/solution justify the costs involved?
Don´t know.

(iv) Would new warmer boots significantly increase the sales or even the number of (new) skiers?
I don´t think so.

(v) Are the present solutions (Thermoflex, bootglove, heating) sufficient?
Don´t know.
Personally, I´m quite satisfied with my plug Langes. Otoh, we seldom have real biting frost where I mostly ski (and when we had them in February I cowardly waited at home till the worst days were over).

As usual, almost everything is possible. IMHO it´s mostly a cost-related issue.
Just my semi-qualified opininon. I wonder what the boot gurus and pros think.
post #10 of 18
The scientific reasons why people get cold feet, circulation.

1. They don't have proper coverage on there head for example a beenie or stretch cap on under the helmet. When the head is improperly insulated it will loose up to 80% of the bodies heat. The human body has a fail safe mechanism that will force blood to the head to save the brain thus cutting of blood flow to the lower extremedies. The legs are considered an exendable item. This is one of the main reasons people with congestive heart failure have swelling in the legs and stomach. The body is protecting the heart and the brain by slowing blood flow to the kidneys and liver and the end result is you can't waste fluids which the body stores.

2. The other primary reason is low iron in the blood stream. Iron helps the body conduct heat. This is the primary reason why woman tend to get colder feet then men. Because of there minstrial cycles they tend to burn up more blood then men, and thus loose incredible amounts of Iron.

I have a friend of mine that could not ski more then two hours without complaining about his feet getting cold. Even with a wool beenie on. I recommended he try Iron supplements, the kind that don't constipate you. He went on them and the next time we went skiing not one complaint. He was stunned.
post #11 of 18
Iron helps the body conduct heat?? I have never heard this before and would like to see the scientific evidence for it, as iron in the body is largely bound to hemoglobin, and does not conduct anything, as far as I am aware- it carrys oxygen.
post #12 of 18
As a matter of physiology -- I will say that my menstrual cycle is often what saves me on bitterly cold days. A woman's basal temperature increases significantly during this time and it helps keep her warm!
post #13 of 18
KLK, I believe you, but that just doesn't seem a complete explanation.

There is blood loss (ever given blood in the summer and feel cooler afterwards?) and we're talking about an extremity that relies on blood flow, not core temp. What else could be going on?
post #14 of 18
Another factor two prominent bootfitters told me about should be the growing sensitivity of todays people to cold (and to pressure in boots which was the main point in our conversations).
Spoiled by civilization...
post #15 of 18
I try to eat foods that help keep my iron up. Now I know another benefit to that. Thanks watersurgeon. It take's a lot for me to get cold when skiing. I'm usally the last one to want to go in. I have skied on day's with wind chills to -75 and temps in the -30's. I also find that if I move my clothing around under my outter lays it helps the blood to flow better. Sitting on the chair lift all bent up you can have layers of clothing pressing on the blood vains. Just adjust the clothing and it may help.
post #16 of 18
Performance fit alpine boots should cut off blood flow to the foot. Quit whining!
post #17 of 18
Do you allways get cold feet, like even at just freezing conditions? Then it might be the too tight knuckles on a too soft shoe. Meaning not enough blood entering. Jeez that happens to me very often while snowboarding. Once I loosen up the knuckles my feet get warm again
post #18 of 18
Regarding Thermoflex-type liners. They most probably will solve any warmth issues and if you've never tried Intuition's liners that use Ultralon foam you should really give them a shot. They are much firmer (read that as higher performance) and lighter than Raichle's original Thermoflex (or the newer Dual-density Thermoflex) liners.
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