I do not like getting cold. I admit, I am that person — the person who is always chilly and wears sweatshirts, even on the warmest summer days. Each hunting season, I use countless packages of hand warmers and foot warmers to help me stay warm. It gets expensive, and creates a considerable amount of waste.
ThermaCELL Heated Insoles provide an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to disposable warmers. Each insole is equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery, operated by a wireless remote. The remote control works within 7 feet of the insoles and provides control between medium-heat (100 degrees,) high-heat (111 degrees) and no-heat settings. Mind you, the insoles do not create a significant amount of heat, but do make just enough to keep feet at the perfect level of “toasty warm.”
It is best to turn the insoles off or to the “no heat” setting when participating in a vigorous activity, such as hiking or snowshoeing, or when heading indoors. I avoided overheating, sweating and developing stinky feet by turning the insoles off during these times.
The medium- and high-heat settings, however, are my new best friends. These settings helped keep my toes warm and comfortable while participating in more sedate activity, like sitting in a duck blind in sub-freezing temperatures. I focused more energy on having fun on my hunts when I didn’t have to worry about staying warm. This past weekend, I hiked the foothills of Mount Hood in search of an elusive blacktail buck. I have a late season archery tag to fill. I kept the insoles on the no-heat setting while I was hiking. The insoles are relatively comfortable, and provided sufficient cushion and support. I hit the medium-heat setting on my remote control to keep my feet warm when I stopped hiking to rest and glass the hillsides.
The insoles are a bit rigid and stiff due to the battery and warming components. This stiffness can make them difficult to slide in and out of certain styles of boots. The good news is that once they are wiggled into place, they are going to stay in place. Tabs at the heels of the insoles allows for easy removal. I wear different boots for different types of outdoor activities, and being able to quickly switch the insoles from my rain boots to my hiking boots is a big plus!
These insoles are available in sizes small through XXL, and can be trimmed to fit almost any boot or shoe, from a woman’s size 4.5 to a man’s size 13. I have relatively large feet and wear a woman’s boot size 9.5 or 10, which calls for insoles in size large. I did not have to trim the insoles to fit my boots. Guidelines printed on each of the insoles make for easy trimming, if necessary.
The insoles are incredibly durable and offer more support than the thin foam insoles that originally came with my rain boots. The ThermaCELL Heated Insoles are not waterproof, but they are water-resistant. It gives me peace of mind to know these insoles will keep up with the abuse I subject them to, repeatedly.
The remote control is the perfect size to slip into a pocket or keep fastened to a belt or keychain. The good news is that if you happen to drop the remote, its bright red color makes it easy to spot on the forest floor. I may have learned the hard way to keep it fastened to my belt.
The ThermaCELL Heated Insoles retail for $129.99 and are available online and at retailers nation wide. At first glance, the price may appear a bit steep. Considering that the insoles maintain a lifespan of over 500 charges, the cost actually averages out to be 5 cents per use.
An experienced huntress, Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer has pursued big game, upland birds and waterfowl throughout North America and Africa. Although Michelle loves to hunt and shoot (both rifle and bow), her biggest passion in life is sharing her love for the outdoors with others. Michelle is the dedicated gear review columnist for Women’s Outdoor News, in a column called “Her Gear.” Michelle’s writings and photography also have been published in a number of outdoor journals, including On Target, Lady Angler, The Gun Dog Journal, The Shooting Channel and African Hunting Gazette. Michelle has been a repeat contributing guest on Outdoor GPS,a live hunting and fishing television program broadcast on Comcast SportsNet NW. When Michelle is not writing, she is serving her time as an outdoor educator. She is an active volunteer for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Outdoor Skills Program. Her primary responsibilities with ODFW are serving as a shotgunning coach and dog handler/guide for ODFW’s upland bird hunting clinics. Michelle also teaches regularly for Women in the Outdoors (WITO) and Becoming and Outdoors Woman (BOW) programs. She serves on the Pro Staff team for Cabela’s, as well as for the NW Ladies Hunt Camp, an educational outreach program hosted in conjunction with the NRA’s Women on Target Program and Extreme Desire TV, and is a member of the field staff for Próis Hunting and Field Apparel for Women. A current member of a number of national conservation organizations, Michelle is a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundations, as well as a life member of the National Rifle Association. She also served as a past director for the Southwest Washington chapter of Safari Club International. Take caution, however, if Michelle invites you along on a hunt. Having been stalked by a cougar and attacked by a cheetah, she tends to live life a bit on the wild side. View all posts by Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer