What better way to think about ski boots. But before we digress into a discussion of thermal conductivity and virtues of ski boots versus snowboard boots, let us get to the point: warm feet. And rather than discuss how to keep your feet warm (see this post), lets just get to the option of heated socks.
Our research leads us to believe that there currently exists 2 main types of heated socks available: in the simplest of terms, in the most convenient definitions, those that cost a lot (relatively) and those that don’t.
- Google search for electric socks (page 1 results) revealed 1 sponsored ad, 4 advertisers, 2 forums, 1 manufacturer, 4 online retailers and of course amazon and ebay. Google search for heated socks (page 1 results) revealed Google Shopping results, 5 advertisers, 1 forums, 1 manufacturer, 1 retailer video, 5 online retailers and of course amazon and ebay.
Typically speaking as with any type of product, we must establish the basis for which to compare in order to come to a logical conclusion:
- The Sock
- Construction, quality, fit, materials
- The Heat
- Power – “D” cells or rechargeables
- Control – On/Off or a variety of settings
- Wires – Round or flat
- Heating Area – toes or soles, toes, sole or all over
- The System
- Battery location, functionality and performance
With the help of the acclaimed internet, our analysis has been crafted from manufacturer’s claims, retail descriptions, customer reviews, forum discussions as well as personal interviews. Here’s what we’ve got:
- TYPE 1 – $50 and under
Speaking frankly, terrible. The majority of reviews and forum comments leads one to believe that they do not work – poor heating areas, irritating wire placements, clumsy battery packs, heavy “D” batteries, short-lived heat, strange fit – most folks seemed to have purchased, tried them once and moved on.
- TYPE 2 – $200 and over
“…if you have the means, I recommend these highly.” Seems to be the response by those that have cared to comment. The higher cost is revealed in the quality and the research that results in a comfortable, longer-lasting, very functional heated sock. From the lighter rechargeable batteries to the multi-level controls, the integrated battery location to the sock construction, even the warranties provided by the higher-end manufacturers makes this the obvious choice for those serious about keeping your feet warm.
Boot heaters, heated insoles and heated socks all have their place. We are of the opinion that a heated sock makes the most sense, ensures a versatility that the others do not offer. Therefore, we will examine the world of foot warmth through the use of heated socks, quite possibly offering the best of the best for the coming season. You are welcome.