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Ski Socks

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

Can you guys tell me your remedies for keeping your feet warm while skiing. My feet always get very cold no matter what I do. Can someone reccomend the warmest pair of socks that they know about. For this money will not be an issue as long as I can keep my feet warm. Thank you very much.

Adam
post #2 of 27
Use thin socks for a better fit, and use electronic boot warmers (like Hotronics) for warmth. If you need just a little warmth, boot gloves may be sufficient.
post #3 of 27
njadam,

Welcome to EpicSki!

Here's a past thread with some thoughts on Cold feet

Good luck!

Chris
post #4 of 27
Welcome to EpicSki, Njadam.

For the most part, it won't be the socks that will matter. Wear wool socks, or synthetics, anything but cotton. But if your boots fit well, you won't have room for thick socks without restricting circulation and making your feet colder. Wearing more than one pair of socks can be even worse, as they'll probably just bunch up and cut off your circulation.

Boot fit is critical. Pressure points, especially over your instep, will make you cold. If you haven't had your boots professionally fit, it's well worth it--for this and many other reasons.

Some boots are inherently warmer than others, but the neoprene boot covers will make most boots warmer. They're not expensive. They're a bit of a nuisance. But they're worth a try.

You can also look into boot heaters. Several types are available, and they all work similarly. They involve a thin insole that heats up from a rechargeable battery pack. Old ones didn't work very well, in my opinion, but new batteries and designs are reportedly much better. I can't personally vouch for them, though, because I haven't used boot heaters in about ten years.

Most importantly, make sure you're dressed warmly in general, and that you eat a good breakfast that gives you some fuel to burn, and keep well-hydrated. If you lose body heat from anywhere, your body quickly reduces circulation to your feet, in order to protect your core and vital organs. The old saying goes, "if your feet get cold, put a hat on," and it is very true.

There is a common medical condition known as "Raynaud's Syndrome," in which the normal physiological response to cold is exaggerated and more easily triggered by cold and stress than normal. If you get cold hands and feet unusually easily, you might want to ask a doctor about Raynaud's syndrome.

Interestingly, your mental state can contribute to cold feet. If you just think it's cold, you may trigger the same physiological response as if you really are getting hypothermic. I have spent time with the Inuit people (Eskimo) on Baffin Island, and I'm constantly amazed at how they can keep warm in the coldest temperatures. They attibute it largely to diet (lots of fat!) and visualization. I asked one Inuit man who was particularly well-known for his tolerance to cold, and his first advice was to "think about warm things--don't think how cold it is." I was skeptical, but I've tried it, and it does work. It's pretty cool (pardon the pun). I should have known better than to question an Inuit's advice on staying warm!

Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #5 of 27
Great advice so far, I would add keep your head warm and look into "Intuition" custom liners the warmest liner out there short of a boot heater.

Oh, and take your ski vacations in the Sierras! It is much warmer out here!
post #6 of 27
If you've taken care of any boot fit issues, as already mentioned, it's likely that you just need to dress more warmly overall on cold days. When unable to maintain optimum temperature, the body responds by first shutting down circulation in the extremities. Toes and fingers can survive reduced temperatures for quite a while, and ultimately are more expendable than hearts and brains, hence this adaptation. Typically, you're not actually losing a lot of heat through the feet and hands. Nevertheless, that's what your body sacrifices first.

I often ski with people who complain of cold feet, but refuse to add layers. They give the excuses that they're not too uncomfortable, that they're tough enough to put up with a little cold, that they'll warm up as soon as they get moving, and say that all they want is for their feet to be warm. Wrong. The place you DO lose a lot of heat is through your scalp, which is full of blood vessels. Why do you think you have hair up there? (Assuming you haven't lost it!) So if your feet are cold, think of adding warmer headgear first. I like to carry a thin balaclava, that can go on under a helmet, or hood, or hat. Makes a huge difference, especially as it seals off the draft around the neck. The next step is to add upper body layers, and on really cold days mid-layer pants.
post #7 of 27
Watch for:1) overly tight fit; 2) dampness. Remedies:1) thin socks; 2) frequent changes of socks. I always carry a spare pair. Ski boots don't breathe much, so even the best-wicking sock can get damp. If your feet feel cold during the day, stop and change socks. Always works for me.
post #8 of 27
smartwool makes nice thin ski socks. i tried underarmor's ski socks and was mightily impressed! if you get a chance, try em out.
post #9 of 27

Darn Tough

Support the US textile market and the glorious state of Vermony by buying socks from "Darn Tough".
You won't go wrong with the boys form Roxbury, VT.
And their CEO rips a nasty turn on his alpine board at Stowe!:
post #10 of 27
If dampness is a problem, antiperspirant can really help. Also helps to avoid blisters on summer hikes. Certain-Dri works very well. Other than that, as long as you can still feel your toes, your feet are warm enough.
post #11 of 27
Smartwool ultralight works great for me. On super cold days you can always try the chemical toe heaters.
post #12 of 27
Great comments above. Also, take your boot liners out after you ski to let the shell and liner fully dry. You would be surprised about the amount of moistue that collects between the liner and shell. This can contribute to dampness and cold.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgudaitis View Post
Use thin socks for a better fit, and use electronic boot warmers (like Hotronics) for warmth. If you need just a little warmth, boot gloves may be sufficient.
This is dead-on, but I'd like to add a couple of items.

First, change your socks just before you put your boots on. Socks get damp quickly, and putting damp socks on is perfect for making your feet cold.

Second, look into boot warmers that have battery packs that take AA batteries. I do this so that if I get cold, I can jack up the heat, and know that I have spare batteries available. The rechargables are pretty pricy, and in my experience don't do a good job of retaining a charge after a season. Oh - and use rechargable AA's to keep the cost down.
post #14 of 27
Additionally dont leave your boots in the car over night, bring them in and keep them warm. I say warm, not hot, too much heat (say in front of a fire place) might deform the shell. Starting the day with prewarmed boots will be one more layer of cold-feet prevention.
post #15 of 27
I think wet boots are an underappreciated problem. If you have good socks and good fit but your feet are still cold I suggest you take your liners out to dry every night.
I think most of the moisture is internally generated but the Boot Glove can also keep the boots dryer by keeping the snow out of the boot. I know that many here think they are Gaper Gear but they are about the cheapest thing you can do to keep the snow out, improve the insulation of your boot and not effect the fit.
post #16 of 27
I bring along my boot heaters on every trip. As soon as I get inside they're in my boots until the following morning.
post #17 of 27
Ditto on the boot heaters. They allow you to avoid having to constantly remove and insert the liners to dry them, which can break them down. But, also make sure your boot heater/drier dosn't operate at too high a temperature because that can have the same effect.

Also, I sprinkle talcum powder (actually, I guess it's corn starch powder because talc can be a carcinogen) on my feet before I slip my ski socks on.
post #18 of 27
There are a couple of types of boot dryers that work well overnight so you don't have to pull the liner. I've got both the ones that blow warm air and the ones that are small warming elements. Get either, especially the ones with fans if your feet sweat a lot.

Referred to above but not mentioned directly is the fact that warmth in the feet comes from your blood circulating through your feet. Anything you do that hinders this blood circulation in your feet will help chill the feet.

So...one pair of medium or thin non-cotton socks, get the boots properly fitted so you don't have to buckle too tight, if it's a wet day, put duct tape over the lower buckles to keep water out, neoprene boot covers, maybe Hottronic boot heaters or chemical foot heating packs, dry your liners overnight. You might also try the thin insoles that have an aluminum foil face, a minor help but does help, or maybe a thin piece of water resistant cardboard-like material wrapped in foil.
post #19 of 27
Ah, the annual "ski socks cold feet" thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
I bring along my boot heaters on every trip. As soon as I get inside they're in my boots until the following morning.
I think Snofun meant "boot dryers". I also put a boot dryer in my boots at the end of every day of skiing. I use a dryer similar to the following, except mine is an older model:

http://cozywinters.com/shop/th-2020.html

The fact that the dryer warms the air has always made me a little bit nervous as I would hate to deform the boot's liner. However, I haven't seen any problems from using my dryer.

The following link is an example of a thin ski sock. I ski in similar thin Thorlos socks, except mine are an older model. When I travel for a ski trip, I bring a clean pair for each day of the trip.

http://www.backcountry.com/store/THR...ml?id=ItdVIt6L
post #20 of 27
Erm, I saw the thread title and I thought it was about a certain ski magazine and someone made a typo.
post #21 of 27
Try five-toe socks, very comfortable and I find they keep my feet warmer than ordinary socks.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post
Try five-toe socks, very comfortable and I find they keep my feet warmer than ordinary socks.
Are those the ones that the Japanese baseball players have popularized in MLB?
post #23 of 27
Yes, Hideki Matsui has about half the Yankees wearing them now. I switched to them two seasons ago. They feel a little weird the first time you put them on, but only for a minute or two. The on/off process takes some getting used to, but it's well worth the extra 10 or 12 seconds. My feet tend to sweat a lot, and used to get cold pretty easily; haven't felt cold at all wearing these.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post
Yes, Hideki Matsui has about half the Yankees wearing them now. I switched to them two seasons ago. They feel a little weird the first time you put them on, but only for a minute or two. The on/off process takes some getting used to, but it's well worth the extra 10 or 12 seconds. My feet tend to sweat a lot, and used to get cold pretty easily; haven't felt cold at all wearing these.
Seems contrary to what they say.....well for our other appendages, hands. Mittens are supposed to be warmer than gloves since they keep your fingers against each other allowing for less heat radiation. Maybe, since the toes are inside a boot, where there really isnt much convection, the heat is further retained, and definitely kept more dry, by the added insulation separated toes afford.

I might give them a try, do they come in technical materials or made for skiing styles?
post #25 of 27
`do they come in technical materials or made for skiing styles?'

technical materials? mine are some kind of polypro (I think), certainly not cotton or wool. available from various makers; I think several different thicknesses can be found.
post #26 of 27

Dakine

I have an entire drawer of Ski Socks 30+ Pair.

The best of the bunch Durability, and Confort are the Dakine THINLINE SOCK.

You cannot go wrong with these.

I just read the original question.
The Thinline are not the warmest. Just the best. I would still look to the heavier Dakine Ski Socks.
http://www.dakine.com/softgoods/guys/socks/
post #27 of 27
2 words: Merino Wool.
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