Review by Alan; Product provided byThermaCELL for this review
I don’t know about you, but I happen to be one of those unfortunate people who suffer from easily getting cold feet. No, I’m not talking about the kind you get on your wedding day, I’m talking about my feet, especially my toes, getting cold when the temperature drops down below 50°F. I don’t personally know of another person who’s toes get cold as easily as mine, so I was more than excited when asked if I wanted to review a set of battery powered ThermaCELL heated insoles.
Now what really excited me about these insoles is that there is no separate battery pack to have to strap to your shoe or leg. These are marketed as a wireless and rechargeable heated insole, they should also say that they are self-contained. All last winter I was looking for a product just like this one, but never found anything that would provide the functionality I was looking for, in a package I could live with and use for my multiple winter sports. Most of what I found was geared towards downhill skiing and required you to hook or strap a battery pack to your ski boots. Yes, I ski, but I also snowshoe, fatbike, and snowmobile, all sports where my toes get cold. The other products also would require the person wearing the product to stop what the we’re doing, and unzip their ski pants or gaiters if they wanted to adjust the temperature of the heated product. This is not the case with these as ThermaCELL included a handy remote that you can put in your pocket or clip to your jacket or pack.
So are these ThermaCELL wireless and rechargeable heated insoles the holy grail for cold toed people like me? Not quite, but a definite step in the right direction. As soon as they arrived I pulled them out and noticed how thick they are, I guess you could say this is the downside to them being self contained. I found the thickness not to be an issue in my ski boots or my winter hiking boots as both already had a thick insulated insole. The thickness is an issue however in my mountain bike cycling shoes, but with a thin stock I’ve been able to make it work for two late fall night rides. The other issue is the sizing chart, I wear a size 10 shoe which according to ThermaCELL means I need a size XL which is good for men size 9.5 to 11. I trimmed the insole as much as ThermaCELL recommends you can, and I still have an extra inch of insole beyond my toes,making them a little long for in all my boots and shoes.
The good is that on my two late fall night rides, they have kept my toes warm! The first ride I tried them without my insulated shoe covers, and even though I could feel cold air on top of my toes, the warmth from below kept my toes warm. The ride before my toes got cold and numb without anything but my cycling shoes. The second ride I used the heated insole in conjunction with my insulated shoe covers, and found the remote handy. I started out the ride with the insoles turned off, but halfway through my toes started to get cold and I was able to without stopping reach the remote clipped to my hydration pack and turn them on. Both times I’ve used them on the lowest setting, oddly labeled medium, and according to ThermaCELL is about 100°F. I found this to be enough heat as I didn’t want my feet to start to sweat. Had it not been enough heat, I could have turned them up to high, which ThermaCELL claimed is about 111°F. Runtime is also claimed to be up to 5 hours (lowest setting), which I plan to test as I continue to use them.