Published on January 22nd, 2014 | by Greg0
ThermaCell Heated Insoles: Getting Warmer, But Not Quite Hot
It’s the middle of a blizzard here in New York City, the second one in the past couple of weeks, and a reminder that no one is immune to Mother Nature and Her polar vortexes. It’s been freezing cold, if the snow wasn’t bad enough, with temperatures dipping way below freezing and a wind chill that has most folks staying inside around a space heater when they can. That’s not always possible- we have to go outside sometime- and we’ve been testing a way to make those ventures a little more pleasant.
The ThermaCell Heated Insoles sounded like the perfect antidote to the chill, an easy way to warm up our feet during the trudge to the subway. And they seem like a nifty idea, a modern take on the traditional heat packs that can get overly hot and certainly can’t really fit in your shoes. They fit inside just like any other insole and can be cut to fit, are available in a few sizes of course, and even come with a nice remote control. There are dual settings for medium and higher heat output, and no wires, velcro, straps, or hefty battery packs. The smaller rechargeable lithium ion internal battery means a more limited duration, to be sure, but four hours or so between charges is more than enough for our uses. They aren’t waterproof, but are water resistant.
There are some major downsides though- these are really thick, and you’ll probably want to (or need to) wear thinner socks in order to make use of them. More importantly, they simply don’t get that warm- their listed goal is to get to 111 degrees and, but the heating area is fairly small. Even on the high setting, we found ourselves wondering if they were really working- there seemed to be a small area of effect but our toes were getting quite chilly. We didn’t expect them to get “hot to the touch”- their FAQ is clear- but still were disappointed. The remote is easy to use and small enough to put away, though we worry about losing it. Charging via a normal outlet is simple, and they do feel fairly well-made and comfortable.
Still, we wanted more- and for around $100 as tested, expected it from the ThermaCell Insoles. Available now, online.