If you are out in the cold weather for long periods of time for activities like hiking, skiing, snowboarding, or tubing; you will want to consider a pair of boot warmers. I was glad I did.
There are tons of options out there in the market and prices also range from affordable to a bit of a splurge. However, after trying them, I don’t consider them a splurge any longer.
There are models for a leisurely day in the cold, as well as for performance athletes or workers that spend a majority of their time in cold frigid temps. In general, there are two main types of boot warmers: insoles and heated socks. Insoles are situated at the bottom of the boot and your foot rests on top and they work by warming the bottom of your feet. Heated socks fit like traditional socks and warm the foot and calf areas of the body.
We look at the top 5 of the industry’s best boot warmers.
1. Hotronic XLP ONE Heat Sock – Best Choice
It’s worn just like your regular comfortable every day sock. The Hotronic XLP is made from a blend of 70% nylon, 20% spandex, and 10% merino wool, giving you comfort, warmth, stretchiness, and durability.
To maximize comfort and heat dispersion, it implements gradual pressure distribution. Powered by a lithium ion battery, heat is supplied along the lower leg and then wraps around to heat up your toes and finally, the ball of the foot. The battery pack is held securely in place in the sock’s double cuff.
The Hotronic XLP ONE’s battery pack is reliable and maintains up to 90% of a full charge and 90% of its initial capacity after two years of nonuse. Not many other batteries can do that! The battery provides continuous heating power.
There are four main heat levels with the Hotronic XLP ONE. There are also three base levels, plus a timed boost level that gives you an extra boost of heat for a short amount of time.
Honestly, it’s a excellent option to keep your lower limbs warm in a variety of temperature situations.
2. Lenz Products Unisex Set Lithium Pack Heated Sock – Bluetooth Remote
The Lenz Unisex warmer is also made to fit like a your regular sock. The Lenz Heated Sock is soft and comfortable and made from a 49% Polyester/29% polyamid/10% polyprpylen/ 7%merino/ 5% elasthan blend. With this combination of materials, they are flexible and designed so that the heating element does not place too much pressure on your foot.
The lithium battery is strapped securely out of the way in the upper cuff of the sock. You’ll get up to 14 hours of heat with a full charge of the battery–imagine how much fun you can have an not get cold with that time frame. There are also three different heat settings so you can control the temperature to best suit your style.
The Lenz Unisex socks also come with a unique Bluetooth remote control feature that works through the Lenz Heat app on your Android or Iphone phone. You can download the app for a short free trial but unfortunately, the app does have a one time cost $4-5. With that small cost though, it is useful as it lets you see the remaining percentage of the battery life, allows you to quickly adjust the temperature settings without have to dig around in your boots and ski bibs, and, my favorite option, it lets you turn the socks heating element on or off so you only use it when you need.
The merino wool allows theses socks to breath and this helps keep your feet warm while preventing them from sweating. They are also odor resistant and quick drying. These are a perfect option for long days out in the cold weather.
3. Gimilife Heated Insoles with Power Display
The Gimilife Heated Insoles feature a smart power control system. The heated insoles’ can not only display the power, but also intelligently detect the voltage and the battery bag has a thermal control with nice power display. It’s easy to operate and fairly safe, you can use it at any time and any place.
There are two soft ankle straps that serve as battery carriers. It also has a concave-convex surface that is designed to tailor to different foot sizes. Additionally, the Gimilife heating insoles come with 3 clipping areas to cut out without unraveling or fraying, enlarging the heating areas to press close against feet for better warmth. The Gimilife Heated insole inserts are soft and comfortable with no loose threads or pilling.
The Gimilife Heated Insoles’ battery outputs 7.4V low and that is a safe voltage for humans. Plus, it includes a PVC fire protection case to make you very safe during exercise or work. While the insole can be heated and scrubbed while soaked in water, just make sure that the battery is not soaked in water.
In addition to keeping your feet warm, through far-infrared heating, this insole promotes blood circulation in the feet, prevents soreness and discomfort, eliminates fatigue, and relieves arthritis and Raynaud’s to a certain extent. Whether for personal use or work, the Gimilife Heated Insoles are a worth purchase.
4. ThermaCELL ProFLEX Heated Insole – Extra Batteries
The battery is easy to charge as it includes a wall charger or can be paired with any USB port. Simply remove the battery pack from the insole, rather than removing the entire insole, when you need to charge.
It is highly water-resistant, made from a polyurethane foam that is breathable, transfers heat efficiently, with great shape retention and shock absorbency. You will receive up to 5 hours of warmth per charge and there are 3 different regulated temperature settings for a variety of heat options. It takes approximately 4 hours to charge and also includes an extra set of batteries.
The insoles are extremely comfortable and can be used for daily wear, even without the heating element. You can get approximately 500 uses out of these heated insoles. The ThermaCELL Heated Insoles come with a convenient remote control that has a 7 foot range so you can mange your heating settings without removed the entire insole.
They won’t get quite as warm as some other boot warming units; however, they are enough to get the job done in mildly cold temps. These are a great mid-level option for someone that may take family vacations to colder environments a few times out of the year.
5. Hot Hands Insole Foot Warmers
Hot Hands Insole Foot Warmers are single-use, air activated heat packs that provide warmth for your feet. They are ideal for when you won’t spend a lot of time in the cold and just need something for a quick trip in the cold.
The insole foot warmers are thin and measure the full length of an insole to keep your entire foot warm.
Most boots warmers are fairly expensive, however, these single use warmers are ideal for those on a budget.
The heat source in these insoles is air-activated and it takes about 15-25 minutes for them to reach full heating power. If the heat decreases too quickly, just re-expose them to the air again for a few minutes while shaking them. That should be enough to re-activate them. Overall, the Hot Hands Insole Foot Warmers provide up to about 8-9 hours of heating for your feet.
These odorless liners are safe and disposable without risk of hurting the environment. However, for safety’s sake, you shouldn’t apply them directly to your skin.
Choosing The Right Boot Warmers
When choosing the right boot warmers, there are a few important features to keep in mind.
Think about how you will be using your boots and where you will be spending most of your time–where will you be using your boot warmers? Will you be hiking, skiing, or simply walking around in a colder climate? Are you someone who likes to get out there every once in a while, to local mountains or trails? If so, you won’t need the same product or requirements as someone skiing or trekking in subzero conditions.
Battery Life And Heat Settings
Battery capacity and its duration is directly connected with temperature levels and duration of heating. Depending on the boot warmer, you may achieve up to 22 hours of heat time on the lowest settings, while others may only provide short 4-5 hours.
It is important to consider if the battery is rechargeable and then factor in the amount of time required to recharge. Some units are nice and include extra batteries. So be sure to look into that if you know you’ll need extending heating time.
Keep in mind, if you’ll be spending a lot of time in frigid temps and doing activities such as skiing, you’ll want a product that has a long battery life, as well as a high temperature options.
You may also want to find a boot warmer that provides heat to whole lower limb–calf and foot.
Ease of use of the product is another considerable factor. Some units are placed inside your boot with a mounted battery to the side of your boot or attached to the heating unit. Most importantly, though, make sure you find a warming unit that doesn’t have an uncomfortable battery location. Boot warmers will do you no good if they are uncomfortable and you don’t want to use them.
Some boot warmers come with a remote control so you can easily change temp settings while others require you to remove to boot to change the temp. I personally prefer, easy access to controls so I can quickly modify the temperature without having to remove my boots or outer wear.
Every boot warmer operates differently. Some come pre-packaged as socks with the warming mechanism comfortably integrated inside the material. Other options are simply an insole with a battery attachment. While some are just an insole that
New boot warmers have plugs easily accessible to make attachment of the battery super easy. Older models might have a little more complicated attachment process as you must attach the wires to the boot with tape and strap the battery to the boot. I haven’t seen those in a while but If you are searching around, you might find some cheaper ones that are still that way.
The ideal warmers should be as comfortable as possible. Ideally, you don’t want to know it is there. Make sure you try them on before going out as you may notice a bit of extra material the first time you wear boot warmers and that will make your work boots or ski boots fit a bit differently.
Conclusion on the Best Boot Warmers
In general, the more durable the warming unit is and the more temperature levels there are, the higher the price.
However, there are still plenty of good quality to price ratio units on the market. Just be sure to thoroughly consider your needs before you purchase a unit.
If you don’t spend a lot of time in frigid temperatures, you will be able to withstand the cold with cheaper solutions.
A great pair of thick socks and a single-use heating option may be the right fit for you. However, if you will be spending a lot of hours with you feet deep in the snow or sitting on the ice doing some ice fishing, you will definitely want a more high-end unit with powerful heating options.