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qwert


Sep 29, 2008, 9:10 AM
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How to keep my feet warm?
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As some of you might have already seen, whenever the topic of boots comes up, i tend to bitch and moan about how cold and wet mine are.
And now that i winter is here, i realized that it is not only a uncomfortable thing as back home, but it really could threaten the health of my toes.

Any ideas how to keep my feet warm?
Best option would of course be to get me some warm boots, but that is fuckin expensive, so i would like to try other options first.
First thing i guess would be the insoles: As it looks the default one is rather thin and breathable, so i want to get me some better insulating one, to stop the cold from the ground.
And second: the socks. Any ideas here? so far i use woolen socks, often even two pairs, but it doesnt really work that good. One reason for this i would guess is the fact that the wool gets pressed rather flat from walking and sweating, and therefore cant hold much insulating air.
Could fleece socks work better, or would a VBL help? or felted wool? silk insocks? any experiences?

Thats all i can think of, apart from overboots, but i guess that would be similarly expensive than new boots. Also i would think that they add too much bulk to walk or climb in them. Any experiences with that?

qwert


Crimsonghost


Sep 29, 2008, 9:49 AM
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I would have thought vapour barrier socks would help you out in a big way - there's a company called RBH designs that I've heard good things about, but I haven't used their products personally. If you have poor circulation, you would probably be better of buying a pair of plastic double boots. It might seem like a big expenditure at first but it will be worth it the long run. I've got a pair of La Sportiva Spantiks as I always get cold feet. They were 370 (about $700) which is a lot money, but if someone offered you $70 for each of your toes, would you take them up on it? Didn't think so. Plus a good pair of boots will last you for many years so it's good investment.

Other things that will help are taking aspirin when out in winter (thins the blood), staying well hydrated and avoiding caffiene and cigarettes.


swaghole


Sep 29, 2008, 10:17 AM
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What kind of boots are you using? Some are not insulated very well or have a metal shank that make them very cold.
I don't know if this is yourr issue but if you use 2 pairs of socks, it might be too tight in your boot and your feet will lose some blood circulation and get cold. Try losening the laces in less demanding terrain to increase circulation. If you put a new insole in your boot, make sure that it's not too thick or your foot will be too tight and still get cold.

Nothing sucks out heat from your feet faster than damp socks. I sweat a lot from my feet so I bring an extra pair of socks and even insoles on long days.
FWIW, I've been pretty confortable climbing/hiking/sitting around in very cold winter conditions with Smartwool socks.


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Sep 29, 2008, 12:10 PM
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I'll second the smartwool socks. Bridgedale is the other sock I use. I change socks first thing when I stop the stuff that keeps me warm( cardio climbing) or it's time for lunch, or a break, or digging in for the evening.
Never tried the vapor barrier thing but have heard good things about them in boots and for sleeping bags also.
My biggest cause of cold feet is my boots too tight/ too much sock. It cuts down circulation.


granite_grrl


Sep 29, 2008, 1:04 PM
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swaghole wrote:
What kind of boots are you using? Some are not insulated very well or have a metal shank that make them very cold.
I don't know if this is yourr issue but if you use 2 pairs of socks, it might be too tight in your boot and your feet will lose some blood circulation and get cold. Try losening the laces in less demanding terrain to increase circulation. If you put a new insole in your boot, make sure that it's not too thick or your foot will be too tight and still get cold.

Nothing sucks out heat from your feet faster than damp socks. I sweat a lot from my feet so I bring an extra pair of socks and even insoles on long days.
FWIW, I've been pretty confortable climbing/hiking/sitting around in very cold winter conditions with Smartwool socks.
These are the sorts of things I was thinking about. My biggest problem with my boots is that I often keep them too tight...a quick ticket to cold feet. The foot sweat is also killing you, you need to limit that on the approches, wheather that means you wear thinner socks or change them out when you get to the climb.


sungam


Sep 29, 2008, 1:19 PM
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Bridgedale socks? Super gaiters? silk liners sound good, too. Make sure yer legz r warm- warmer blood getting to the feets.
*shrug*


qwert


Sep 30, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Thanks so far. the boots are Scarpa Freney XT, so not too much insulation to start with.
As i guessed, a lot of common sense stuff, which i am already doing (or at least i think so ;) ).
The circulation thing: i guess that could be among the reasons, but i do get cold feet even when my shoes are rather loose, so that i am even slipping around in them.
I guess i get other insoles and socks and see how that works (and maybe VBLs or plastic bags, but plastic bags are maybe a tad to slippery).
What are super gaitors? seeing the other thread on them, they seem to be some kind of overboots, not covering the whole boot? sounds interesting.
and i found this article: http://www.psychovertical.com/?frostbittenfeet. Lots of the advice in there is already covered by you folks, but what about the garlic suggestion in there? that sounds nice Sly

But i guess my feet are not that bad. It seems like i nearly killed my nose last sunday (according to my fellow travelers it was completely white) and when i touched it, it felt like some cold, alien plastic piece on my face, whereas my feet where just mildly uncomfortable. but still want them to stay warmer ...

qwert


carabiner96


Sep 30, 2008, 11:28 AM
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I too have cold feet, and an awesome solution is matching the winter superfeet with some gator-toes under a thin-midweight sock.


sungam


Sep 30, 2008, 1:14 PM
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There's also a very nice and very compact electric blanket insole out there- it won't make your feet warm, just stops them being cold. Dunno if they are out yet, my friend was testing them, though.
<- jealous

Expected price was 350 (700 bucks). Scarpa, I think.


qwert


Sep 30, 2008, 2:18 PM
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carabiner96 wrote:
I too have cold feet, and an awesome solution is matching the winter superfeet with some gator-toes under a thin-midweight sock.
Waht are gator toes? A google search just brought up, well, gator toes (from the animal).

qwert


harpo_the_climber


Sep 30, 2008, 3:31 PM
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Anyone use chemical toe heater packs? I have molded my Alpine Touring Ski boots inner booties with extra volume, so the chemical packs would fit, and I had good luck with them last winter. I tried them on top of my socks in my summer, uninsulated mountaineering boots and they seemed to fit without taking too much volume. If they fit ok over the course of a long day, they would extend the temprature range of my summer boots considerably. They last 8+ hours. Any thoughts?


iron106


Sep 30, 2008, 3:44 PM
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Gator toes are neoprene covers that go over your toes and up to the ball of your foot. Like a neoprene sock that is only 4 inches long 10 cm?. Seems to me you would get sweaty toes. I have never used em.


sungam


Sep 30, 2008, 3:44 PM
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harpo_the_climber wrote:
Anyone use chemical toe heater packs? I have molded my Alpine Touring Ski boots inner booties with extra volume, so the chemical packs would fit, and I had good luck with them last winter. I tried them on top of my socks in my summer, uninsulated mountaineering boots and they seemed to fit without taking too much volume. If they fit ok over the course of a long day, they would extend the temprature range of my summer boots considerably. They last 8+ hours. Any thoughts?
I've been tempted and intrigued but never tried them.
I wouldn't want to rely soley on on thing to keep my feet warm and functioning, if that thing had a time frame. The last thing you want when you get epic-ed is to have an extra time frame nagging at your head.


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Sep 30, 2008, 8:21 PM
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I've been using RBH socks. They work.

Best, Kim


sungam


Sep 30, 2008, 9:07 PM
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Those looks nice. Really nice.
Are they durable?


reno


Sep 30, 2008, 9:31 PM
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qwert wrote:
Any ideas how to keep my feet warm?

A couple thoughts:

1. I've seen lots of folks make the mistake of "over filling" the space in the boot. Two pairs of thick wool socks, for example. If you do this, you've put compression on the foot (foot + socks + more socks + padding in boot in a fixed space = compression.) That will reduce blood flow, and thus make your feet cold. I'd suggest, instead, a thin layer sock under a mid/mid-heavy wool sock. Make sure your foot has space, and isn't crammed in tight.

2. Adequate hydration. 'Nuff said.

3. In a similar vein (heh.... vein) as #1 above, make sure you're not cutting off circulation above your foot. Pants too tight? Constriction around the calf? Laces pulled too tight?

4. Fuel the furnace... eat enough quality foods that will ramp up the metabolism.

5. You mention your boots getting wet. Are they leather? Do they need a waterproof treatment applied? Are the seams waterproofed?


Partner kimgraves


Sep 30, 2008, 10:17 PM
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sungam wrote:
Those looks nice. Really nice.
Are they durable?

They seem to be. It's a sock though. Even if you go though one pair a season that's still good.


sungam


Sep 30, 2008, 10:38 PM
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kimgraves wrote:
sungam wrote:
Those looks nice. Really nice.
Are they durable?

They seem to be. It's a sock though. Even if you go though one pair a season that's still good.
True.
Did you send them a fax of your foot?


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Sep 30, 2008, 11:34 PM
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sungam wrote:
Did you send them a fax of your foot?

Yes, I did. But it turned out that even with my wide feet I took a standard size. These are MUCH thinner than you might expect - shockingly so. It was hard for me to believe they would work. I even wrote to Andy and said WTF? But he told me he had had good luck with them. I've worn them several times last season. You do have to take care of your feet with foot power after if you're prone to problems.

Kim


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Sep 30, 2008, 11:35 PM)


gunkiemike


Oct 1, 2008, 12:17 AM
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I also have Freney XT's. They are not as warm as my old (heavy leather) Salomons. But the thing I noticed as I spent time in both boots is how cold the F-XTs are UNDER my feet. So I put some cheap, thin (made for dress shoes) foam insoles in there underneath the standard sockliner (AKA insole). It made a huge difference when wearing crampons.


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Oct 3, 2008, 7:00 PM
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You get what you pay for in boots.

La Sportiva Nepal Evo GORE-TEX Mountaineering Boots, tied not to tight and smart wool mountineering socks.

No problem, no issues, no worries. Only time I ever had a problem was mountaineering in the bugaboos where a sudden heat wave made the snow very wet and there was no way for the feed to breath (goretex part)

Still a properly fitted boot and those socks and no blizters.


harpo_the_climber


Oct 3, 2008, 11:47 PM
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sungam wrote:
harpo_the_climber wrote:
Anyone use chemical toe heater packs? I have molded my Alpine Touring Ski boots inner booties with extra volume, so the chemical packs would fit, and I had good luck with them last winter. I tried them on top of my socks in my summer, uninsulated mountaineering boots and they seemed to fit without taking too much volume. If they fit ok over the course of a long day, they would extend the temprature range of my summer boots considerably. They last 8+ hours. Any thoughts?
I've been tempted and intrigued but never tried them.
I wouldn't want to rely soley on on thing to keep my feet warm and functioning, if that thing had a time frame. The last thing you want when you get epic-ed is to have an extra time frame nagging at your head.

You could bring extra - they don't weigh much.


tarsier


Oct 4, 2008, 12:53 AM
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shots of hot sauce or other vasculo dilators might help if its circulation related


qwert


Nov 16, 2008, 3:05 PM
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so some update about my feet:

I tried some thick wollen insoles.
Adds a lot of warmth, but also bulk. In fact so much bulk that i couldnt wear the shoes anymore. Used them anyways, for my daily walk to university, in a hope to compress the wool a bit, but didnt work.

then i got me some real real thick socks. Made for hunting or so ...
Seems to do it. fills out the complete boot still, but since they are soft, i dont have that uncomfortable to thight feeling as with the insoles. however i havent been out much the last weeks, since it already is dark all the time, and its so hard to motivate people to go out for longer times.
so the real try will be after christmas. Kandersteg here i come!

And what i have learned apart from all this: I should have bought some shoes with more insulation, and more space.
I will kepp that in mind for my next shoes.

But i am still interested in informations about garlic, or hot sauce.

qwert


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Nov 18, 2008, 3:28 PM
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sungam wrote:
harpo_the_climber wrote:
Anyone use chemical toe heater packs? I have molded my Alpine Touring Ski boots inner booties with extra volume, so the chemical packs would fit, and I had good luck with them last winter. I tried them on top of my socks in my summer, uninsulated mountaineering boots and they seemed to fit without taking too much volume. If they fit ok over the course of a long day, they would extend the temprature range of my summer boots considerably. They last 8+ hours. Any thoughts?
I've been tempted and intrigued but never tried them.
I wouldn't want to rely soley on on thing to keep my feet warm and functioning, if that thing had a time frame. The last thing you want when you get epic-ed is to have an extra time frame nagging at your head.

i've used heat packs. there wasn't enough room in my boots for them so they cut circulation and I think i was actually colder.

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