Best Foot and Toe Warmers for Extreme Cold Reviewed

Depending on who you are, winter can either be the most exciting or the most relaxing time of the year. Some choose to spend this season in the mountains or on ice – skiing, snowboarding, hiking or skating. Others prefer to spend it in the yard – bobsledding, building snowmen or having snowball fights with the kids, ignoring the slowly-climbing electricity fee they’ll have to deal with at the end of the month… But regardless of if it’s just shoveling the driveway or if you spend days in a cabin on the mountains, there’s one thing everybody needs, and that is foot protection.

Feature Recommendations

Acorn Moc Slippers
  • Acorn Moc Slippers
  • 5 out of 5
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  • Price: See Here
Heat Holders Thermal Socks
  • Heat Holders Thermal Socks
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Price: See Here
Meister Thermal Booties
  • Meister Thermal Booties
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Price: See Here

The importance of protecting your feet from the cold can often be disregarded. Many people will bundle up in thick snow jackets, wear triple-layers of pants, but only wear one layer of socks with some flimsy boots. In the short term you might just get cold toes, but in the long term, there can actually be many health risks that you may not anticipate. Frostnip, frostbite, and cold injuries can all affect you. In addition, the extremities are most vulnerable to the cold because they lose their blood easily, which can take a hit for the rest of body. However, all these things can be prevented – starting with a good pair of foot or toe warmers. Our list contains several air-activated or battery powered warmers, along with heated slippers, other slippers, and thermal socks.

 

 

10 Best Foot and Toe Warmers for Extreme Cold

 

 

1. Acorn Moc Slipper

First up on our list is a pair of slippers perfect for lounging around the house or quick trips outdoors. A midsole of memory-foam combined with a cushion layer of lightweight EVA ensures maximum comfort, while the raised heel and arch provide structural support and stability to your steps. In addition, its sole offers grip, and its lining prevents the accumulation of sweat. They even come in a wide range of color and pattern selection, so that you can look good and stay warm at the same time.
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Sole
Not only do these shoes provide incredible comfort, they also feature a durable, skid-proof sole that is great for smooth indoor floors as well as outside.

Moisture Release
The soft and cozy microfleece in its lining will wick away moisture so that you can stay warm without having to worry about sweaty feet.

Cost and Value
These aren't so cheap for slippers, but it's important to remember that high quality naturally comes with a higher price. Plus, their durability ensures you won't have to seek out a second pair for many winters to come.
Pros
  • Durable sole
  • Arch support
  • Allows moisture to be released
  • Color selection
Cons
  • Pricey

2. Heat Holders Thermal Socks

After putting on a pair of these thermal socks, you'll never want to buy another cheap pair of fuzzy socks from the dollar store again. Simply put: these socks aren't your average socks. With a TOG rating of 2.34, these are warmer than your basic cotton sock. The manufacturer uses specific materials and processes to provide this level of warmth. In addition, they are extremely soft and can be pulled up the calves to protect your ankles. The only downside is that they are quite thick. But if your boots have the room, then these are definitely worth the purchase.
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Construction
To ensure maximum insulation, Heat Holders Thermal Socks are made with specially developed yarn, knitted using innovative technology, and undergo a brushing process, resulting in a sock that keeps you warm while also providing breathability.

Comfort
With an even thickness throughout the sock, these are great for wearing underneath shoes or just around the house.

Cost and Value
Obviously, these aren't as cheap as most socks. Their price might make you falter, but with over 1200 five-star reviews, we say it's worth the money!
Pros
  • Provides serious warmth
  • Breathable
  • Long
  • Color selection
Cons
  • Thick
  • Takes a long time to dry

3. HotHands Toe Warmers

3. HotHands Toe Warmers
HotHands is well known for their hand- and foot-warmers. This particular product is single use and air-activated, rendering them extremely convenient for all types of circumstances. Their thinness makes them ideal for being outdoors for long periods of time, as they can sit comfortably in your shoes. Their adhesive backing also ensures they don't slip and slide around. Providing up to nine hours of warmth, these are sure to keep your feet cozy for an entire day outdoors.
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Air-Activated
You won't have to plug in the microwave or boil any water to warm up these. Because they are air-activated, they're super convenient for skiing, going on hikes, or even just commuting to work.

Thin
These aren't bulky, so you can easily slip them into your shoes. You can keep your toes warm without having to sacrifice comfort.

Cost and Value
These warmers come in big packs that are sure to last you throughout the coldest months. They are reasonably priced and a great bargain.
Pros
  • Thin
  • Adhesive
  • Air-activated
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Unsuitable for people with diabeties or neuropathy 

4. HotHands Insole

4. HotHands Insole
These may sound suspiciously similar to the previous pick. But although they are from the same brand, insole foot warmers are specially made to be put on the insole while toe warmers only have adhesive on one side. They are perfect for people who spend a lot of time outdoors, doing sports or just shoveling the driveway. They can stay warm for up to nine hours and also adhesive. With these, you'll never have to dread stepping outdoors into ice and snow again.
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Convenience
These full-length foot warmers are designed to use in shoes and boots. This renders them ideal for long hikes and makes sure you won't have to deal with any lumpy discomfort.

Natural
The special pouch material regulates the air exposed to the contents of the warmer. This ensures that warmth is emitted evenly.

Cost and Value
These come in packs of 16 that seems to cost quite a bit at first glance. But when you think about it, each warmer can last for up to nine hours, so one pack will last you quite a while!
Pros
  • Up to 9 hours of warmth
  • Convenient
  • Air-activated
  • Adhesive
Cons
  • May be small for large feet

5. J.B. Icelandic -30 Below

5. J.B. Icelandic -30 Below
Here is another pair of thermal socks that will put your dollar store fuzzy socks to shame. You know they're up for serious protection when they're a bestselling sock in Canada. Staying true to their name, these are suitable for extreme cold weather up to -30 degrees Celsius. It is made of high-quality wool and includes a full cushion for enhanced comfort. In addition, there are different colors to choose from so that you can pick what best suits you.
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Circulation
Its non-binding top ensures you won't have to worry about these socks cutting off your circulation.

Wool Quality
Made of only the first quality Merino Wool, maximum softness is provided with these socks. They feature a full cushion that traps in warmth without itching your skin.

Cost and Value
These come in packs of 2 or 3. They're definitely pricier than your average sock, but are also definitely of higher quality and will ensure maximum protection from the cold.
Pros
  • Allows for circulation
  • Merino wool
  • Suitable for up to -30 degrees
  • Soft and comfortable
Cons
  • A bit bulky
  • Size runs large

6. Hotronic FootWarmer S4

6. Hotronic FootWarmer S4
Unlike our last few items, this next pick requires power, but don't let that turn you away. They may not be as convenient as their air-activated, grab-and-go counterparts, but they offer amazing features as well. They can be installed comfortably in all types of footwear ranging from typical winter boots to ski boots. They can be taken out at any time, and are great at conserving electricity. If you're not good with your hands, you may not be a big fan of this one as it is a custom kit. However, the kit comes with everything, including battery packs, rechargers, self-adhesive strips and Hotronic's Heat Ready Insoles.
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Warmer for Longer
For a single full charge, these foot warmers can stay warm for long periods of time while also offering up to a 30% increase in average temperature.

Conserves Electricity
As they claim to maintain up to 55% of a full charge, you won't have to keep slipping them in and out of your shoe to charge or waste your time waiting for them to be ready before you leave the house.

Cost and Value
Because one kit comes with so much, they are quite expensive. You'll want to think it through before buying one, but once you do you won't regret it.
Pros
  • Custom kit
  • Includes battery and recharger
  • Conserves electricity
  • Durable
Cons
  • Expensive

7. Grabber Toe Warmers

7. Grabber Toe Warmers
These toe warmers are by one of the most popular brands. They are air-activated, which renders them convenient and great for going out skiing or snowboarding. They are also odorless and non-toxic and are made with all natural ingredients. Each warmer can last for up to six hours and can reach a temperature up to 42 degrees Celsius, or 107 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be comfortably worn in shoes and boots and will keep your toes warm no matter the weather.
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Natural Ingredients
Grabber uses only natural ingredients in their toe warmers. It is a safe and non-toxic heat source.

Adhesive
Adhesive backing allows these to be stuck to the outside of socks and worn inside shoes and boots, rendering them easy and convenient for all types of occasions.

Cost and Value
One pack comes with 40 packs of two, each of which can last for up to six hours. They have a great price and are definitely worth checking out.
Pros
  • Air-activated
  • Adhesive backing
  • All natural ingredients
  • Up to six hours
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Heat may be inconsistent

8. Meister Thermal Booties

8. Meister Thermal Booties
If you dread the wintertime because the cold prevents you from going out to cycle or run, then these booties will be for you. Designed to be the ultimate toe warmers, these are great to wear underneath your shoes when doing sports outdoors on a freezing day. Its material is thin and flexible, which provides comfort without sacrificing warmth. In addition, they can also be used to protect the toes during ice baths.
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Thin
These booties are only 2.5mm thick. They will trap in warmth without adding extra bulkiness in your shoes.

Flexible Material
Made of a mix of Neoprene and Polyester, these will fit snugly according to the shape of your foot, providing maximum comfort.

Cost and Value
These are pretty decently priced and are sold in pairs. They even come in different colors so that you can pick what best suits your tastes.
Pros
  • Can be used for ice baths
  • Material flexible
  • Great for running and cycling
  • Thin; virtually unnoticeable
  • Color selection
Cons
  • 'One size fits all' may not fit all

9. Smoko Narwhal

9. Smoko Narwhal
If none of the other foot and toe warmers suit your preferences, these adorable narwhal slippers might do the trick. Of course, these can't be worn outside, but they're perfect for working (or surfing the net) at your computer on a frigid winter's day. They are USB powered and have an extra long cable so that you have room to stretch out. They aren't too heavy and are made of cotton and polyester. What's more, some can even light up! There's nothing better for working or lounging than these narwhal slippers.
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USB-powered
These adorable slippers require only a USB to keep them powered and heated. Its extra long 57" USB cable can plug right into your laptop or computer without getting in the way.

Convenient
If you have to get up to grab a coffee or a snack, you can simply unplug the cable and go.

Cost and Value
These are around the same price as your average heated slipper. If you spend a lot of your wintertime in front of a laptop or computer, these are definitely worth the consideration!
Pros
  • USB powered
  • Cotton and polyester
  • Adorable
  • Long cable cord
Cons
  • One size fits most
  • Indoor only

10. Little Hotties Adhesive

10. Little Hotties Adhesive
Last but not least, our final pick is another great toe warmer that's perfect for being outdoors. These provide over five hours of natural, non-toxic heat that will keep your feet toasty warm no matter the weather. Their adhesive backing allows them to stay in place in your shoes or boots without sliding around. However, keep in mind that they are a bit thicker than most other toe warmers, so they might not fit into shoes that don't have room to spare.
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Easy to Use
These warmers come in packs of two. Simply open the plastic wrapper, remove the paper backing from the toe warmer and stick the adhesive side on the outside of your sock.

Long-lasting Heat
Although these warmers can only be used once, they can stay warmth for over five hours at a time! That gives you plenty of time to go out, do what you need to do, and get yourself indoors again before they lost their heat.

Cost and Value
These come in 30 packs, each with a pair of the toe warmers. They are a great bargain, so hurry and get yourself a pack before they run out!
Pros
  • Five hours or more of warmth
  • Adhesive backing
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Thick; might not fit into shoes

It is crucial to keep yourself protected from the cold during the wintertime. Extreme cold can be unanticipated, especially for those who do sports such as skiing, snowboarding, or hiking, and it’s important that you keep yourself prepared. Our list contains many different types of products that are sure to do the trick. We hope you’ll use our list to guide you this winter and to stay warm and cozy no matter the weather!

 

Criteria For Evaluating The Best Foot and Toe Warmers

 

Depending on the quality of the warmer and the source of its heat, the length of time it stays warm can vary by a lot. Most warmers will maintain their heat for five to ten hours. However, depending on the manufacturer or the quality of the batch you receive, this time period can often be shorter. We recommend you check out the reviews and see if the warmers stay true to their word.

Source of Heat

  • Air-activated
    The majority of air-activated foot warmers are made of cellulose, iron, water, activated carbon,  vermiculite, and salt. This may be a lengthy list of ingredients, but the process they undergo is simple: when the iron is exposed to the air, it is oxidized and produces heat in the process. Therefore the more they are exposed to the air, the warmer they can get. The salt is used to speed up the process of it warming up. After an hour or two, the heat begins to diminish a bit, but most will stay warm for up to ten hours.  If they are inside your shoes or boots, taking them out and allowing them to be exposed to the open air can make them become warmer again. Air-activated warmers are great because they’re easy to use and convenient for when you’re out doing sports and can’t be lugging a battery around.
  • Battery Operated
    Warmers operated by battery use special devices to convert the electric energy into kinetic energy. Many foot warmers use batteries, and they are great because the heat is guaranteed to be emitted evenly and for a set period of time. In addition, they are reusable and most come with rechargers. Although they have a limited amount of recharge cycles, one pair can still last you the whole winter and for many winters to come as well.  The downside is that they are bulkier than their air-activated counterparts, so you’ll need to double-check if you have enough room inside your shoes to fit them in before you buy yourself a pair.
  • USB Powered
    Heated slippers are most often powered by USB. The slippers connect to a computer’s USB port with a long cord to warm up. Because of this, they’re ideal for working at the desk for long periods of time. However, you can still get up for a quick stretch or to grab something from another room without having to take them off. Most heated slippers will include a quick disconnect on the cord, allowing you to unplug and leave without having to unplug it from the USB port and drag the cord on the floor around with you. These are perfect for working from home or just for lounging around and watching Netflix. In the long run, they can save you money compared to disposable, air-activated foot warmers that are better for on-the-go use.

Reusable Versus Disposable

  • Reusable
    One pair of battery-powered warmers can last you for the entire winter. They can cost quite a bit, but they can ultimately save you a lot of money if you use them every single day. They are a worthy investment for commuters, ski fanatics, and all other people who will be using their warmers frequently.
  • Disposable
    Air-activated warmers are all disposable, meaning they can only be used once. Because of this, they may seem like worse of a bargain compared to reusable warmers, but they also cost much less. In addition, they can be made much thinner, which renders them more comfortable to slip into your shoes. If you’re using your warmers for outdoor sports and activities, and won’t be using them too frequently, these will be great for you.

Adhesive Backing

The big distinguishing factor between hand warmers and foot warmers is that the latter includes an adhesive backing. This allows the warmer to be stuck onto the bottom of your sock, which then keeps it in place. They are prevented from slipping around inside your shoes when walking and ensure that you stay comfortable. But although all foot warmers claim to have adhesive, some simply don’t stick well enough. We recommend you take a look at the reviews to find out if the product you’re looking to buy has a good adhesive that will keep the warmer in place.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Q: Can air-activated foot and toe warmers be reused?

All air-activated warmers are disposable. However, some have succeeded in preserving the warmth for later by sealing the warmer into a plastic bag after a couple of hours, when it is still warm. Because it isn’t exposed to the air as much, it will gradually cool down. However, the next time you take them out they may continue to produce heat until all the heat that can be released from the warmer is released. This means that you could use your warmer in intervals, but ultimately the amount of time the warmer will emit heat will be the same.

Q: Are foot and toe warmers safe?

You should never place warmers directly against your skin, as the heat released in the chemical process could cause burns. You can avoid this by using them in your shoe outside of your socks. Apart from that, the heat is safe and non-toxic, but make sure to read the instructions to ensure you’re using them safely.

Q: Could I just use my hand warmers as foot warmers?

Technically, yes. Air-activated hand warmers contain the same ingredients as air-activated foot warmers. However, the former isn’t designed for wearing inside of your shoes. They are bulkier and have no adhesive backing to fix them into place. This will result in discomfort that can ruin even the most exciting hikes or ski trips. If you know you’ll be using them for your feet, it’s best to just opt for the foot or toe warmers.

Q: Can I put them in my pocket alongside my phone?

Too much heat can never be good for your phone. We recommend you put your phone in a small pouch or sock to protect it from the warmer in the same pocket. In addition to keeping your device safe, the warmth might also prevent its battery from dying too quickly.

Q: How long do they stay warm?

A typical air-activated hand warmer can last anywhere from five to ten hours, and some for even longer. Heated slippers that are powered by USB will obviously last for as long as they are plugged in.

Q: Can I just wear really thick socks instead of using warmers?

This will depend on the person. Some people are naturally inclined to have cold feet, in which case even thick thermal socks may seem useless. For these people, foot and toe warmers are ideal because they provide heat instead of simply trapping in your body heat. However, if you’re already inclined to have sweaty feet, these may not be necessary. A pair of high-quality thermal socks might be all you need. We recommend you try out different products to find what best suits you.

Q: What’s the difference between typical socks and thermal socks?

Thermal socks are usually made of wool and are much warmer and more protective than typical cotton socks. They provide insulation that traps in the body heat released by the body. Most will also provide some sort of ventilation that ensures moisture can be released while heat is still trapped in, which will keep you comfortable on long winter days. They also tend to be softer and will thus reduce the risk of blisters, friction, and other discomforts. Overall, thermal socks are a great investment for any frequent hikers, skiers, or other outdoorsmen.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia, Hand warmer,
  2. wiseGEEK, What are Thermal Socks?,
  3. East Mountain Sports, How to Use Hand & Toe Warmers,
  4. HealthLinkBC, Cold Temperature Exposure,

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