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hotronic m4's and molded insoles

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just got a set of hotronic m4 electronic boot heaters, and I'm planning on installing them this week.  I have thermoformed insoles in my boots that are basically a thin sheet of hard plastic which is molded to my foot with a thin bit of padding on top.  I will have to modify them a bit to install the heat pads and wiring.  I'm not so concerned with that, but more with the heating element possibly getting hot enough to reform the insoles. 

I can't imagine that it would be too big of a problem, because the element is only at the toe, and I'm not going to run it hot enough to burn me, but I don't really know the temperature needed to cause the insole to reform.  Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with this situation?
post #2 of 12

What company custom footbeds do you have? Does the thin padding have an imprint of the contours of your toes or is it just a foam padding over a hard moldable plastic? I don't think it'll be a problem but better safe than sorry. Check with manufactuer at what temp the plastic will get soft enough to mold.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
It's Fastech.  The toe area is contoured a bit, and I'm actually not sure if the heating element will contour to match, but we'll see.  I'll do a search for the mfg. later today.
post #4 of 12
 It's easy and you should have no problems and be done in about 15-30 min.  I use hotronics in several boots with a variety of custom insoles with no problems.  I rarely run my elements above setting 2.  You shouldn't feel heat from the element or your foot will sweat and get cold.
post #5 of 12
 I just did some M4 in some InstaPrints in my Thermoflex liners, the heat is not a concern for me. 
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Awesome, I'll give it a shot tonight.  I'm really looking forward to not having numb toes.   Unfortunately the fastech website seems to suck, and not really have any product info.
post #7 of 12
the heat needed to form most custom footbeds is greater than the maximum heat that the hotronics put out ( approx 140 f. on # 4 )

normally you would not run your heaters past #2.

#3 or #4 would typically be used to "jump start" your warmth for 3 to 5 minutes and then you would put the adjustment back down to #1 or # 2 which you could leave on all day.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sounds reasonable.  The heat element seems relatively stiff, is there a chance of breaking it by putting weight on it and pressing it over a contoured insole? or does it flex enough to not be a problem?
post #9 of 12
No they won't crack. They'll be fine. You commented about having numb toes. Are you sure its just the cold or are you cutting off circulation? Does yor 2nd and middle toe go numb first. Thats almost a sure sign you're you have some fit problems.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have poor circulation in general, which probably stems from my low blood pressure.  I'm sure that if I spent a lot more time and money I could get better fitting boots, but I'm pretty sure that I'd be getting diminishing returns past what I've already done with my current boots.  The hotronics will at least mitigate the pain caused from cold.
post #11 of 12
I've installed three sets for family members with no problems. They love'em. You will not want to leave them on high - too hot and too fast of a drain on the battery. I think if your goal is to keep your feet from getting cold you will be pleased - if your goal is to keep your feet warm and toasty you will be disappointed. Frankly I think warm and toasty is an unrealistic expectation anyway.
I got mine mail order for Christmas presents a year or two back. Went skiing for the first time that year a few days later and found out I could have bought them for the same price installed (including fitting to an insole) at the ski  shop at the base of the mountain.
post #12 of 12
You mentioned that toe area of your insole is contoured. You want to make sure when you install the heat element in the toe area of your insole that you sit it as flat as possible. The contour in your insole may make the toe box feel snug after installing the element.  It should be no problem....Stay warm..........
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