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Heated boots...worth a look?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've never owned a pair of those ones with the power packs. Do they really work well and are there any downsides (weight, location of power source, etc)? Just wondering if they are worth checking into....
post #2 of 21
There are different brands/styles of boot heaters. I've heard some very good things from some who use them, but I'm not a person who gets cold feet, so I have no personal experience.

On bitter cold days, I've used disposable toe warmers, and they work fairly well, but then they are something I'd only use in extreme cold.
post #3 of 21
My wife uses the ones from REI, can't remember the name. She always had cold feet until the heaters. She never does now. The battery clips on to the powerstrap and is minimal in weight. The heating element is placed under the foot bed with the wire coming up the back inside of the boot and then thu a tiny hole. She loves them. The battery stays charged for over a full day on setting 2 which she has never exceeded.
post #4 of 21
I have the aftermarket Thermic units, which is what's included with a number of the boots.

Do they work - yes. If you mistakenly hit the switch to full ahead, your toes will fry. 2 of 4 is usually sufficient. If you need more, you probably shouldn't be out.

Downside -
1) the rechargeable batteries have a VERY short life, and replacements are expensive.
2) If you need a 3 or 4 setting, they'll only last about 2 hours, so you will need another battery pack - or you'll have to go in.

Solution - find the battery packs that use rechargeable AA's on ebay, and keep extra batteries in your pocket or pack, and change after a few hours outside.
post #5 of 21

Foot Warmers

Foghorn. Have friends with battery footwarmers and they work. I have never had cold feet until last year. I bought new boots last year (Nordica Speedmachine 10's) got cold toes from the lst time I wore them. Didn't want to spend a couple hundred on footwarmers so on cold days I do the following and works very well.

Use the oxygen activated little toe warmer packs, they have adhesive on one side. Place adhesive side on top of toes, on top of sock. Put foot into boot carefully as to not dislodge the warmer packet. Works almost all day. One trick/warning, take pack out of package at least 30 min before you put your boots on. If you don't do this the pak won't get enough oxygen for activation and will go out in the buckled boot. I buy a case (24 ea) for about $14.00. Only use when cold, which is most of the time up here. Works for me.
post #6 of 21
When put in properly electric boot heaters are the best. It may sound silly but make sure you get DUMB batteries, they have no memory and can be charged without draining the battery first.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, some good suggestions here. I guess the bottom line is I don't have to purchase boots pre-wired, I can either do it myself or try the toe warmer things. I just know that getting back into the sport after all these years, the last thing I want is to cut my ski day short because of being too cold...anywhere!
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by foghorn View Post
Thanks, some good suggestions here. I guess the bottom line is I don't have to purchase boots pre-wired, I can either do it myself or try the toe warmer things. I just know that getting back into the sport after all these years, the last thing I want is to cut my ski day short because of being too cold...anywhere!
There are a number of other alternatives not mentioned above, for example

- Outlast phase-change materials in liner, sock, footbed
- Space-blanket style reflective materials & wraps
- Thermal foam, as in Thermoflex or Intuition liners
post #9 of 21
I work in a shop in Winter Park, CO and we sell quite a few of these, and a good number of people I know use them.

I recommend the Hotronic m4 or m3 ... I got the m3 for my mom, who has extremely poor circulation in her feet and usually can only ski for an hour or two even on a warm day, now she has no problems all day.

With the setting on 1 out of 4, still 90 degrees or so, the batteries last for several days.

They're not cheap, almost $200, but if you have chronically cold feet, it's worth it.

As far as the disposable heat packs go, if your boots fit properly, you shouldn't be able to fit one inside your boot. And if you get the heaters, someone at the shop should be able to install them for free if you're at a decent shop
post #10 of 21
FYI- Ken jones had a special offer for Bears, I bought the M4 for $135.00 Skiers I spoke with that had them said they worked very well and can be installed with no impact on the fit of the boot.
post #11 of 21
Climbinjunkie pretty much nailed it.

If it saves just one day of an expensive ski trip, it's worth it!
post #12 of 21
I think probably half the people in my lockerroom run Hotronics. There are days where you wouldn't last very long witout them.
post #13 of 21
I've used Hotronic warmers for the past dozen years or so. They work much better and are far more comfortable than the chemical warmers. The only downside is having to discharge and recharge at the end of every day (they take 12+ hours to charge so one has to be pretty diligent).

Thanks to a broken ankle and some frostbite, I have poor circulation in both feet and would at the very least find skiing difficult without them. I can't tell you my feet are always toasty warm, but they're never uncomfortably cold either; single digit temps don't phase me.

Like most ski gear, they're expensive if you pay sticker price, but there are if one's patient and looks around, deals do crop up (sales, open box items, ebay, etc.).
post #14 of 21
GaryLK and anyone shopping for the new M4, the batteries do not need to be drained in order to recharge. The product was basically "new" last season. http://www.hotronic.com/products/fw/index_m4.html
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by garylk View Post
I've used Hotronic warmers for the past dozen years or so. They work much better and are far more comfortable than the chemical warmers. The only downside is having to discharge and recharge at the end of every day (they take 12+ hours to charge so one has to be pretty diligent).
The M4s and the previous generation don't need to be babied so much. A major plus for the M4 s is they only need 3 or 4 hours of charging time too.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
FYI- Ken jones had a special offer for Bears, I bought the M4 for $135.00 Skiers I spoke with that had them said they worked very well and can be installed with no impact on the fit of the boot.
Link
post #17 of 21
I'm sure this has been discussed in detail, but here's the other question to consider............
how does hottronic effect thermo fit liners?
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
I'm sure this has been discussed in detail, but here's the other question to consider............
how does hottronic effect thermo fit liners?
No direct experience here, but I'm gonna say "not at all".
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
I'm sure this has been discussed in detail, but here's the other question to consider............
how does hottronic effect thermo fit liners?
Definitly no effect because the heating element is on the top of the footbed. It doesn't get close to the liners.

dt
post #20 of 21
DT is correct, I will add that the wire is very flat and you or your tech can carve a little channel on the bottom of the footbed and it will be seemless.
post #21 of 21
I have the Hotronics M4 and my son uses the M3. They work very well. I would recommend them. And as someone mentions, it would be impossible for me to stick toe warmers in my boots. There is no room for that.
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