warm feet question

I have poor blood flow in my feet. So i am wondering what is the very best sock you can buy for my freezing toes. I can seat in a tree stand for 14 hours straight or go canoeing all day long in the freezing water.But i have to endure the coldness of my feet.So do they make a neoprene sock that keeps them warm and toasty and what would be the best way to layer my feet in warmth? thank a lot

Maybe two different problems
Are you asking about keeping warm in both the tree stand and the canoe, or just the canoe? In winter, the canoe really argues for something that is waterproof. Your basic neoprene sock isn’t. That said, I am in the northeast where the common solution is mukluks over goretex booties in a dry suit for real winter. If you are well south, there are more inexpensive alternatives like Seal Skinz water blocker socks that may work Ok for one season, and can be warm enough under a taller boot.

What kind of temperatures, water and air, are you likely to experience?

The biggest problem I see causing cold feet – myself included – is footwear that’s too tight. You need room for insulation and circulation. Insulation doesn’t work if it’s compressed flat. If you don’t need a sung fit for portages, get an oversized boot/mukluk so there’ll be plenty of space.

For socks, I keep coming back to a thin wicking liner sock and a thick wool or wool-blend insulating sock.

Like they say, it is a pain getting old. I never used to have problems with my extrmities, but my feet and fingers are the first thing to chill after long periods in cold.

In really cold temps for treestand hunting I use the battery socks. I have the wool ones, where the cable goes up you pant legs and you hook the battery pack on your belt. The batteries are disconnected until I feel my feet just start getting cold. Then I put in the batteries. It seems to keep the chill off and my feet just comfortable. If my feet start getting hot, the batteries come out so the feet don’t sweat.

Don’t know what to tell you about paddling in extreme cold. When I have paddled in winter Ihave been okay with wool socks under my dry suit.

what kind of temps?
neoprene socks and booties work well down to about 55 for day trips.

I found some neo socks with fleece liner that works well down to about 45-50 degrees for kayaking.

Below that and I’d want to be in a dry suit with gortex booties.

I remember Kokatat was coming out with a gortex launch sock that came up to your knees to keep your feet dry when launching.

Warm Hands or Warm Feet
Got to K Mart and get some Warm Hands or Warm Feet. The chemical tea bag thingies. They’re back there with the hunter’s and camper’s stuff.

Sitting or kneeling? Kneeling (I kneel
mostly) is going to cut down circulation further. So in cold weather, either don’t kneel or land and walk often.

Make sure the rest of your body is so well insulated that your brain has to dilate the extremities to stay cool. That is the answer for both hands and feet.

I take iodine and use thick wool socks.

cold feet
It’s important to determine if is a circulation or perspiration problem, either will result in cold feet.

I canoe almost all year long and would recommend you check into the various watersports mukluks(Chota or other) available. You can insulate your feet with wool or a synthetic sock inside the mukluk. I never had any luck with neoprene socks with temps much below 50 degrees.

I wear a heavyweight wool or synthetic sock inside a bootied drysuit and then an adequately sized boot (8" neoprene) and can go all day.

Smart Wool socks covered with
Chota mukluks.

huge boots or mukluks
In summer I wear a size 10.5 or 11 in winter I need a 12 to 14 depending on the thickness of the socks. The chemical heat packs also work well for me.

Merino Wool…

– Last Updated: Dec-08-09 8:47 AM EST –

...is absolutely the best answer to your cold-feet problem.

We use merino socks all the time - very warm, comfortable, non-itch - they even retain warmth when damp or wet. The ones we use most are Costco's Kirkland brand, and they are excellent value for the money. There are others, like the SmartWool mentioned above, which also work really well, but it's hard to beat the Costco ones dollar-for-dollar.

I have been using RedHead brand …
… socks , bought from Bass Pro Shop .

These are great socks !! Suppose to be a lifetime warranty , but I haven’t been able wear a pair out yet , so we’ll see ??

The RedHeads are probably alot like most Merino wool type socks , these have about 83% Merino wool in them . They sure are comfortable too , they are puffy and my feet like them .

It’s kinda strange to me that some people wear these in hot weather conditions because of the way they keep your feet dry … I wear them to keep my feet warm in cold weather , and after a whole day they are still dry … and they don’t smell either .

Agree that it’s important to not have a tight fitting boot or sock if you want maximum warmth and comfort , as has already been said by others , keep it on the loose side .

Wool socks in hot weather

– Last Updated: Dec-07-09 11:35 PM EST –

Funny you should mention that. Years ago I never would have considered wearing wool socks in summer because I always thought they'd be too warm. Of course, even now, I usually don't, but for serious walking, I find wool to be wonderful in the summer. Like you say, it seems like your feet stay drier, or at least, the moisture that is there doesn't have the same soaking effect as when wearing cotton socks. By the way, I like polypro liner socks under the wool socks, because the liner socks are easier to wash and air-dry on the go. Hand washing can really "beat up" your socks, and the polypro is tougher in that regard.

Maybe there's some common sense behind the fact 100 years ago, lots farmers and the like wore wool longjohns under their work clothes all year long!

cover your legs, too
All the previous suggestions are good as far as feet themselves go but don’t forget that the blood that has to go to your feet moves through your legs and, also, your body is programmed to “sacrifice” your extremities by constricting circulation to them in order to keep your core body temperature intact.

I used to teach winter backpacking and mountaineering and still advise construction workers on dressing for the cold. The old line that says “if your feet are cold, put on your hat” has a good deal of truth to it. Besides good sox, a layer of synthetic longjohns and windproof pants, plus a good insulating layer over your torso, a scarf around your neck and a hat on your head will go a long way towards preserving the comfort of your feet. A handy cheap additional option is to carry the heavy knit leg-warmers that hockey players use (like a macho version of the ones ballet dancers and teenagers wear.) You can pull them on over whatever pants you have on when you are going to be inactive or start feeling chilled.

Covered Head…

– Last Updated: Dec-08-09 12:08 AM EST –

....as mentioned definitely helps. I like my Chotas Muklucks that are 1 size larger than my feet with 2 pairs Merino wool socks. Again, as mentioned if the boots are too tight your feet will get cold. I've tried every kind of socks known, but the Merino works best and is most comfortable IMHO. If it's really cold, I add "Toasti toes" foot warmers to the mix. They stick to the sock and stay warm for several hours. I buy a bunch in the wintertime. WW

NRS makes some
socks of neoprene as well as the material they make their Rash-gard shirts out of. Wet or dry, they’ll keep your feet warm in cold weather. For warmer weather, I’d go with plain old wool socks. This time of year, I use my Chota mukluks over plain old acrylic socks and my feet are always toasty.

warm feet question
thanks for all your answer’s!! So i need to buy me a pair of mukluk lights and some polyopro base layer then 2 pair of merino wool socks.Sounds good to me. I wear a size 12 so i need to get a 13 and make sure the socks go up my leg as well.It is mostley for canoeing in the winter time and hanging around the camp fire so again thanks for all your good answers!

At the risk of flogging a dead horse
Yes to wool socks.

Yes to mukluks.

And yes to wool socks in the summer! At work I wear a walking-type shoe on concrete, and wear LL Bean ragg socks year round. Wick in the heat, toasty in the cold.

Did I mention mukluks?


about the Merino wool sock size …

– Last Updated: Dec-08-09 7:56 PM EST –

....... the RedHeads I mentioned (sold at Bass Pro) .

I've been buying the size 13-15 in all socks now , especially the RedHeads cause they are puffy .

My foot size is a 12 , and I used to get the 9-12 size socks ... but I find that the 13-15 feel and fit much better after a couple washings .

So what I'm saying is ... get the larger size , it's better .