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Here’s the concept: string a little wire through an ordinary pair of wool socks and apply a little direct current from a D-cell-powered battery pack, and bam! You’ve got warm feet. Most manufacturers claim that the amperage is so low that shock isn’t really a concern. In fact, a number of stores sell ’em for us in waders.

But though I’ve seen these in stores many times, I’ve never actually owned a set. A set from Hammacher Schlemmer claims to run for 12 hours on a set of two D-cells, but is that realistic? And how warm do these get? Warm enough to make it worth carrying around the battery pack? Or is a chemical solution better?

Let me know in comments. I’m big on not being cold, and if this is a valuable tool in that arsenal, maybe I’ll shell out $25 for a pair.

12-Hour Heated Socks [Hammacher Schlemmer]
Lots More [Google Products]

 

17 Responses to Hot or Not? Heated Socks

  1. tscheez says:

    Never tried a pair but I think I’d like having warm feet, but not like having a D cell slapping my legs every step.

  2. Old as Dirt says:

    My son had a pair and he said his feet got to warm. he disconnected them until his feet got cold.

  3. Blair says:

    I have a friend that likes them, for me heavy socks, and good insulated boots have always been sufficient, even in the coldest of weather.

  4. tmib_seattle says:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing myself for a while. I was out fly fishing on the Nisqually last weekend, and the wool socks under the waders weren’t enough.

    It was a cold day- the guides on the rod were icing up every time I brought the line in, and the water in the felt soles of my wading boots were icing to the ground if I stood still too long. I got in the habit of lifting my feet every few moments to break them free of the ground.

    I was just reflecting on how cold my feet felt when a cold wind kicked up and the temperature dropped faster than I thought was possible. About that time, my fly was reaching the end of its drift, and as it swung across the current, I got a heavy pull on my line. I set the hook and started fighting to bring the fish in. It headed downstream as my fly reel buzzed and spun, sending ice crystals flying through the air in a small cloud around me. I let it run a bit against the drag, then tried to bring it back in towards me a bit. I saw it leap in the air- a monstrous fish, the chrome scales bright against the dark water. As I heard the splash, my line went slack, then *twang* the line flew back at me. I figured the fish had spit the hook, but when I looked at the end of the line on the ground in front of me, I saw it had been cut or broken off.

    I looked out where the fish had jumped, and saw the oddest thing- he was still there! Hanging out over the water in a frozen splash of ice, as the morning sun glinted off the cracks, there he was. The giant fish was suspended in midair, frozen. The end of my line was protruding from his mouth, flapping lightly in the wind as it stuck out of the ice surrounding him. Icicles stood like stalagmites from the water in a circle around him, the frozen splash like a spikey crown around his tail.

    I marveled in silent wonder, watching the glitter of ice specks in my breath as I exhaled in the pale light. The river rolled on, carrying the soft sounds of moving water through the silence.

    Then a loud “crack” sound echoed up the river, and the frozen spectacle shattered and broke into countless shards. With a sudden leap, the giant fish broke free from the ice and tumbled back to the frigid waters. I just stood there dumbfounded, holding the fly rod loosely in my hand as I watched him, now freed from his icy prison, a glint of silver shadow beneath the water’s surface.

    And that’s why I didn’t catch any fish that trip…

  5. Chris W says:

    Shock wouldn’t be a concern with 3 volts. The current is irrelevant. You can put a wire carrying a thousand amps in the bathtub with you if the supply is only 3 volts. Of course, don’t try it if you wear a pacemaker. The wire might get hot, but you won’t be shocked.

  6. Jim says:

    My father loves them. tried the heavy socks and insulated boots. Claims they work better. Plus, you can turn them off when returning to work indoors without sweating your feet off. I can relate, the same is true for the heated vest I use when motorcycling. Unpluging it or regulateding the thermostat is alot easier than stopping and removing clothing.

  7. Rick says:

    Wouldn’t this, by definition, be HOT.. (^_^)

  8. Cody says:

    Chris W, you got that backwards. It’s the current that’ll kill you, not the voltage. It can take as little as 10 milliamps to kill you.

  9. Corey says:

    Well Cody and Chris W., your both right.
    While yes, after 10 mili-amps you will start to feel pain when shocked, there can be a thousand amps going through the resistive-heating wire embedded in the sock and there is no potential risk because the voltage is much too low; in most electrical code books, the safe maximum “low voltage” (A/C & D/C alike) is 36 volts. The worst you should get from this product would be a burn.

  10. flarney says:

    An unintended use for these socks is winter paintball. You put one over your air tank to keep the pressure up, and if you’re nice you use the other one on the hopper to keep your paintballs from freezing.

  11. michael Toth says:

    I have a pair. I was building a house in January and the temp. was about 0. If it hadn’t been for those socks I wouldn’t have survived. My feet never got since I put the socks over a normal pair of socks. I couldn’t even tell they were on, except that if I turned them off my feet would go numb. I think they are worth it and I am always looking for more heated stuff. Someone just came out with some heated apparel that uses lithium ion rechargeables. I am looking into those now.

  12. Mac says:

    Hot!

    A godsend while hunting. Got mine from Cabela’s years ago after my toes turned burple (blue/purple) and my buddy laughed at me for laughing at him for having heated socks.

    Never used them for anything else (I’m a worse fisherman than I am hunter) so I can’t tell you how long the batteries last.

  13. BigEdJr says:

    *tmib_seattle* very nice….

    I got tired of being cold in PA so instead of getting heated socks I decide to move to Phoenix. Problem solved.

  14. The Other Michael says:

    I’m not positive, but I think flarney just dropped the comment of the year…

  15. Greg Smith says:

    I have a pair that looks similar to the one in the picture. Mine work on D cells and have a wire that runs under the toes. While the wire warmed up, the heat didn’t spread so wire became uncomfortable.

    I would check out the heating elements before purchasing another pair.

  16. joe says:

    hot socks at dicks do not work i went hunting with them and i dont even think they leave any heat at all

  17. seraph037 says:

    i was skeptical of these until i tried them last year while duck hunting. they can get a little too warm inside of neoprene waders, but it beats having numb feet! i use them every cold-weather duck hunt now.

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