It sucks having cold toes and I would know as I get cold feet almost daily in the winter months. So when I first heard about rechargeable heated socks and heated insoles long ago, I got pretty excited and set out to find the best electric heated socks and the best heated insoles for hunting.
The issue with these heated products is that they tend to be very hit or miss, and since they’re not cheap, you could potentially get something that costs $200 and have it fail on you merely weeks later with only a few uses. Fortunately, there have been some newer heated socks that not only keep your feet warm but also have good durability. But enough rambling, let’s get right into the heated socks and heated insoles reviews.
Table of Contents
- Socks vs. Insoles
- What to Look for in Heated Foot Warmers
- Best Heated Socks Reviews
- Best Heated Insoles Reviews
Socks vs. Insoles
Now, the first choice you have to make is whether you want to get heated socks or insoles. Some of the reasons why you would want to get socks:
- Easy and fast shoe change since the sock is on your foot
- More comfortable than the insoles in some cases
And some reasons why you may want the insoles instead:
- Generally cheaper than heated socks
- No wires to bother you like some heated socks have
- No need for a bigger boot in most cases
You can, of course, always get both if you so desire, for double the warmth. But any well heated insole or electrical sock should do the job fine by itself.
What to Look for in Heated Foot Warmers
Battery Life – battery life is important to know so that you can plan out your trip accordingly and not end up with any cold toes.
Maximum Temperature – this is important to know if you are going to be in places that are very cold or if you want to have warmer feet. Different foot warmers have different maximum amount of heat that they can offer.
Best Heated Socks Reviews
Lenz is one the most known companies that manufacture heated socks. They also manufacture other heated gear, but that’s for another time.
To start off, these socks have an app that you can use to control them via Bluetooth. You can control the heat level from 1 to 10 and turn them on and off whenever you want. The socks don’t fully turn off at first, though, as they go into standby mode first and then turn off later. I suspect this feature is there so you don’t accidentally turn them off during activities.
Regardless, the battery seems to stay the same when in standby mode so it’s not a big deal.
The app also shows you the battery level of the socks, which I like since you can plan ahead. My only issue with the app is that the premium version costs $5. You can use the free version if you want, but you only get 3 heat level adjustments and decreased battery monitoring.
Enough with the app, let’s go to the socks themselves. The socks have some wool in them which means that you won’t feel like you’re walking in a puddle if your feet get sweaty.
Another benefit of these over insoles is that you don’t need to cut through a custom boot footbed, you just put them on and turn them on. You can wear these with snow boots, hiking boots, hunting boots, etc. Best of all, if you want to switch boots you can do so with no issues, which is not something that can be done with insoles.
There have been newer revisions of the Lenz sock including V3, but I recommend sticking with V1 as those ones tend to work better.
These socks are pretty light and comfortable to wear. Some people might notice the added bulk but for most cases, it’s not a problem. The wires are almost imperceptible especially if you are wearing these socks over normal socks. The battery pack itself fits well and doesn’t bother you as well. No annoying bulge or warmth, the battery just stays there.
Regarding warmth, these socks emit natural warmth. By natural, I mean that it just feels like your foot is warm, as opposed to having some warm spots and some cold spots.
The battery states that it provides around 14 hours of heat, but that’s on the low settings. Expect something around 4-8 hours on higher settings.
And that’s about it for these heated socks. Although not perfect, these are some of the best heated socks that you can buy right now. There are even some world cup ski racers that wear these socks and if it’s good enough for them, then it must be good enough for others.
|Thin||Battery life can be short|
|Can be controlled with an app|
|Can see battery left|
|High range of heat adjustment (with paid app)|
|Sock Size||US Shoe Size|
The Volt heated socks are yet another solid choice for anyone looking for a good pair of socks but think that Lenz socks are a little bit too expensive. Made of polyester and spandex, these socks have a pretty comfortable fit, but I’ll go more into how it fits later on.
These socks come with a pair of 3.7-volt batteries with each of them having their own wall charging kit. That’s a big plus as that means that you can charge both of them at once and reduce your charging time by half.
Talking about charging time, these socks take about 3.5 hours or so to fully charge. The length of operation varies depending on the heat setting; max heat gives you around 3 hours, medium/high around 4.5 hours, medium/low around 6 hours and low around 9-10 hours. Considering it’s only a 3.7-volt battery, that’s not too bad at all.
Now back to the fit and comfort. These socks are sometimes advertised as sock liners but I would recommend that you wear these over some other socks as you can sometimes feel the wires. As such, I’d recommend ordering a size up to fit your properly and not be too tight.
While talking about tightness, if you’re not used to wearing layers of thick heavy socks with your boots, you might find that wearing these socks plus an underlying layer might make your boots rather tight. Fortunately, for those of you who already have bigger boots that you purchased before to accommodate sock layers in the cold won’t have any issues with these.
The biggest drawback with these socks, however, is where the battery pack is located and its bulkiness. Unlike Lenz, the battery pack is not as slim so if you have bigger calves and your pants are already tight at the calf, this might make the fit uncomfortable. You can potentially mitigate this by wearing the sock over your pants, but since the battery isn’t waterproof you’re risking damaging this. If you’re in a dry place this isn’t too much of an issue but in places where there are bodies of water or snow, this can be an issue.
|Dual wall chargers||Battery pack uncomfortable|
|Uniform heating||Can only be adjusted using the battery pack itself|
Flambeau Men’s Heated Socks
Last but not least, we have the Flambeau heated socks. These socks are made of wool, polyester and cotton which help to pull moisture from your feet and have carbon fiber heating elements that provide warmth to your feet.
First up, let’s talk about the battery and the performance of these socks. The battery will last you around 4 hours in low heat and around 1.5 hours in high heat. As you might have guessed, these socks only offer 2 levels of heat adjustment. For some people, high and low are all that they would need, but for me personally, I’d rather have more options to adjust it. Talking about adjusting the battery, you don’t get any kind of remote control as well so you have to manually tweak the heat on the sock itself.
The battery recharge time is around 8 hours which is pretty lengthy and why I recommend purchasing some additional batteries so you’re not left with cold feet on longer trips.
Like the volt socks, these socks also mainly heat the front half of your foot which is the area that tends to get cold the easiest.
The socks themselves are pretty warm even without batteries and are pretty comfortable to wear. You can wear these socks by themselves or over other socks.
A complaint that some people had with these socks is the fact that the wires inside the sock might become dislodged and starts shifting around. As such, you might want to wear a sock underneath to minimize the friction of your foot against the heated sock to prevent this from happening.
All in all, these are pretty decent heated socks and if you don’t mind the 2 levels of heat adjustment and only need it for short trips.
|Good price||Short battery life|
|Can be worn by itself||Wires can dislodge and move around|
|Only 2 levels of heat adjustment|
Best Heated Insoles Reviews
If you’re looking for something to keep your feet warm that is also rechargeable and under $100, then ThermaCell is one of your only options. However, that price comes with a cost, which I’ll cover below. Let’s get into it.
Firstly, this insole heats up using lithium ion batteries and it features no wires of any kind that you can feel when you put it in your shoes, compared to heated socks. You get 3 different heat settings which are off, medium and hot. According to the manufacturer, the medium setting is 100 F (38 °C) and the high setting is 111 F (44 °C).
Regarding battery life, you get around 5 hours on medium and it takes around 4 hours to charge up. Not the best charge to usage ratio but considering its price, it’s nothing to complain about.
These insoles come with a remote controller which is always great to adjust the heat settings or turn your heated insoles off. The remote is also good because it allows you to have an adjustable insole without having to need an external remote source like the battery pack for Hotronics. Since the external controller is a part of the insole, it needs a wire to run from the insole to the controller, which is a potential weak point for possible wear and damage.
However, since the battery pack is part of the insole, you can feel the bump where the battery is when wearing the ThermaCELLs. This can be annoying for some, especially if the shoe is tight.
Now onto the elephant in the room. As I said before, the cheap cost comes with a price, and that price is hit or miss performance. The ThermaCELLs have gotten quite a few customer complaints about the insoles either not working or stopping to work after a short period of time. Their customer service can also use some work.
You do get a 1-year warranty however so you can return them and get a new pair if the old ones fail, which is good to know.
But that is the price that one must pay for a cheap price. When these things do work, they work pretty well. And when they don’t, just send them for a replacement pair.
So if you’re looking for the most affordable heated insoles, then the ThermaCELLs are definitely worth considering if you don’t mind the cons.
|Very affordable||Hit or miss performance|
|Remote control||Long charge times for its usage|
|Battery pack under insole can be uncomfortable|
Finally, to wrap up the reviews, let’s take a look at the Hotronics heated insoles. The new S4 series improves upon the old S3 version by having an average temperature which is around 30% higher, to help combat the most intense cold weather.
There are 4 heat settings available on this app, 3 normal ones and 1 heat burst, level 4 setting. As with all heaters, different heat settings last for different amounts of time so here’s a useful table in showing you the average lifespan under different heat strengths:
|1||84 – 98||29 – 37||16.5 – 21 h|
|2||107 – 121||42 – 49||7 – 10.5 h|
|3||122 – 138||50 – 59||5 – 7.5 h|
|4||158 – 173||70 – 78||2.5 – 4.5 h|
These insoles come in 2 forms, custom and universal. They pretty much share all features with the only difference being the fact that the universal insoles can be cut to fit your shoe whereas the custom ones can’t. The reason being is that the custom ones are just the heating element itself.
At first, it might look pretty expensive especially when you compare it to the ThermaCELLs. But when you compare it to Lenz or even the Volt socks, it actually ends up being a bit cheaper or similarly priced.
The reliability is pretty good with many people across the board not having many issues, a good sign for any heated gear. However, not everything is perfect with this insole, so let’s take a look at what can be improved or the cons.
Hands down, the biggest issue that people have with this insole is damage to the male plug at the end of the heating element. Since you have that wire running through the back of the shoe, you are constantly rubbing and putting pressure against it and it can only last for so long. However, the good news is that proper installation will mitigate a lot of the potential damage to the wires and the plug.
This brings us to the installation itself. The installation has a learning curve, so don’t plan on immediately popping these heated insoles in and then using them right away. It will take around 30 minutes to install properly, and I highly recommend you put the effort into doing it properly to not only have better comfort and fit, but to also prevent any unnecessary stress on the wires. Less stress = less chance of damage from wear and tear.
If properly installed, these are no doubt one of the best heated insoles that you can get right now if you don’t mind the price.
|Very reliable||A little pricey|
|Excellent battery life||Male plug prone to damage|
|High range of heat adjustment||First installation takes a while|
Well there you have it, the reviews of the best heated electric socks and the best heated insoles to help you decide on what you should be getting. Regarding on which one I would personally get, it would have to either be the Hotronics or the Lenz socks. I love the remote feature of the Lenz even if the battery life could be improved and the Hotronics have excellent reliability and battery life even if the male plug is a weak spot.