Originally Posted by SierraJim
FWIW, the biggest cause of cold feet is ill fitting boots that are too large. The over-buckling causes localized pressure that can cut off circulation. IAC.....FIT is the key not a heater
Women and cold feet.
Semi-derailment here. If people think too far off-topic, send me to a new post. Two comments about cold feet - a simple obvious one and a more interesting, potentially controversial one. Even by bringing it up I risk accusations of sexism. Not guilty, I maintain.
1) Sometimes it's just really cold. Happens a lot in interior northern New England. Below-zero (F) days, plus wind on top of that, are common - not anomalies - at the base of Sugarloaf or Wildcat, for example, never mind the summit. You've got a few days off, scheduled way in advance around many family and work obligations, that's when you go. It's four degrees out, you ski. On those days, it matters not a whit how well your boots fit; you do everything you can to keep your toes warm, including heaters if you've got 'em. (I use those little packets with the iron filings, but whatever works.)
2) Think of the women you know who are really good skiers. Not good "for a girl," but really good. I hope you know some. Are they really all that more prone to get cold feet than your male buddies? My observation is "no, they're not." My observation is that some serious skiers are prone to cold feet and some aren't. Some are male and some are female. The ones who are prone generally have tactics that they use to deal. Sometimes it has to be "take a run without me while I take my boots off and stick my feet into the hot dog steamer at the snack bar," or whatever it takes. Whatever.
Now think about the skiers you know who are not so good - men and women. (The OPs S.O. or daughter or whatever appears to fit this category: "She's an intermediate, skis mostly blue groomers at a slow/medium pace.") A great many of the women have problems with cold feet; fewer of the men do. Right? I can explain this. Men, even the ones who are not great skiers, tend to "go for it" physically. They exert a lot of vigorous physical effort when they ski. They try to overcome their weaknesses with more horsepower. They tend to feel that part of the thrill of skiing must come from speed, so they try to go fast, and end up dealing with the forces thus generated, for better or worse. They may not be efficient or effective, but they are putting their all into it, physically. Women, on the other hand - and I KNOW I'm making a generalization here, but I stand by it - do NOT, as a rule, do this. When they feel challenged and less than competent, they shrink back. Their movements become shyer, smaller, less strong, less vigorous. They back away and slow down. They stop more frequently. Indeed, sometimes it seems like they're stopping more than they're going. They are physically timid in the face of potential mistakes, falls, overbearing male instruction, etc. Even if they don't feel overwhelmed by the technical challenges of skiing, many of them very simply do not like to go fast, ski challenging terrain, or put a lot of oomph into their turns. I maintain that all these things lead to a very simple observation: women's feet get cold because their heart rates are low. When most men ski, regardless of ability, their hearts are pounding and they're sweating, just like they would at the gym or whatever. Therefore they're warmer, including their feet. When most women of lower ability and experience ski, ESPECIALLY women who were girls before the Title IX revolution, they're not expecting it to be a true athletic activity that requires intense and prolonged muscle participation or elevated heart and respiration rates. Women overall simply are not as likely to be familiar with what it's like to "go all out" athletically, and do not fall into that level of intensity naturally. This is not a criticism at all; just an observation about the way things end up in our culture, with girls socialized the way they are (though less and less so, thankfully). Equally obvioius is that men often could benefit from the slower, more thoughtful approach that women take to learning. But the point of this post is not about how well or fast the different sexes learn to ski (women are quite likely better here); the point of the post is to present a hypothesis about why women get cold feet while skiing. Obviously what I'm saying here is not true of all women. Good skiers of both sexes have obviously figured out how much energy is required, as stated in my first bullet.