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rocketparrotlet

Frozen toes

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Every time I go ice climbing, without exception, I lose feeling in my toes. This is wearing 2-3 pairs of socks. I can't afford warmer boots. What's the best way to keep my toes warm? I've heard good things about aerogel insoles, does anybody here use them?

 

-Mark

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try wearing only one pair of socks. you are probably cutting off blood flow to your toes by wearing multiple pairs of socks. if that doesn't help, use toe warmers.

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try wool felt insoles, I have yet to try them in mtn boots but damn, sure do work in my shoes: soak up moisture, keep feet dryer and warmer, and they are cheep, thick cushion, and last. I pooh poohed em because an old friend was always swearing by them; he's eccentric. Just shows 'ol farts aren't always blowing smoke, you just have to decide 4 yerself what is stink. Cabin Brand (The Thrifty New Englander, Ideal For Winter),$2.97, trim to fit. At this price what's to lose?DSCN0424.JPG

Edited by Lucky Larry

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Superfeet inserts might also help. A bit more spendy than the wool inserts, but they give good arch support along with an added layer of insulation between the ground and your foot.

 

http://www.superfeet.com/

 

Never heard of aerogel insoles.

 

I agree with kinnikinnick advice. Do you have room to wiggle your toes? If you cannot wiggle your toes with 2-3 socks on, you are decreasing blood flow and movement, thus colder feet. You need to have enough room to move your toes a little.

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Superfeet replace the insole already in your boot, and are intended to improve arch support, not add warmth. I know they market "red" ones for cold feet, but I chalk that up to marketing and doubt they're going to make your feet any warmer.

 

I have to stand in alpine ski boots all day long when I work snowboard competitions. After nearly getting frostbite one day I finally installed electric heaters. Problem solved. Good for all day long - toasty warm. I wear one pair of very thin socks, but of course my boots have liners.

 

http://www.hotronic.com/products/fw/index_m4.html

 

I keep the heaters permanently in my boots which leaves a small thin inconspicuous flat cable sticking out the top of each boot. I only bring along the battery packs when I need them. They clip to a strap on the back of my ski boot. You would need to figure out a place to mount each battery pack so they don't get in your way. I mount mine high on the rear.

 

You can adjust the amount of heat and I keep mine on lowest setting. Hottest setting will run the batteries down in about four hours.

 

Kinda dorky, but hey, no one notices and my feet aren't just not cold, they're warm. Warm feet and I'm happy.

Edited by pcg

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Thanks for the advice guys. I am wearing Kayland MXT boots. They're better for summer mountaineering, but they work for winter. I'm colder with a single pair of socks and I have wiggle room for my toes.

 

I'm poor. I think I'll go with the wool insoles for now.

 

-Mark

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Aerogel is about the lightest and most thermally efficient insulation material known to man. It is a highly porous form of pure silica that weighs little more than air, but I thought it was structurally pretty weak. How do you not crush them?

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Having had frostbite on my toes before I can say do yourself a favor and find a pair of used plastics in the yard sale forum. They wont cost you much and you will be glad you did. Plastics shouldnt set you back much anyways

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Having had frostbite on my toes before I can say do yourself a favor and find a pair of used plastics in the yard sale forum. They wont cost you much and you will be glad you did. Plastics shouldnt set you back much anyways

 

+1. My wife got frostbite last January and she was in pain most of the summer. Her doctor bill cost much more than a new pair of Spantiks.

 

Watch eBay and craigslist. You can always find cheap old plastics... in fact I'm currently selling a pair of size 7/8 and a size 10/11 Invernos (but I will not ship - sorry).

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I've got s pair of sportive nuptses in a 44.5 (i think) that id also let go cheap. But i can't get them to you until after new years

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Check out some of the local guide companies online- they often have plastics for around 100.00. International mountain guides had some for sale in the spring.

 

Word. I bought a pair of almost new scarpa omegas from whittaker mountaineering for $125 last month.

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If you're poor....get a job....or a better paying one.

 

The cheapest way to stay warm is to simply keep moving and be fast and efficient. Also, climb with like minded partners who are fast and have similar goals of being fast. Don't ever just stand around not doing anything.....unless you're belaying:)

 

I have a feeling that you might be spending too much time standing around if you're feet get cold with 3 pairs of socks on!!! As noted above, please don't try to put on a 4th pair, as this will surely leave you with cold feet because of no blood circulation.

 

Any other suggestions we can give you will cost you money. If you're too poor to remedy this problem with a pair of cheap used plastics for $40-100, how do you afford to go ice climbing with the cost of gas and food these days?

 

Best of luck with your cold feet, have fun and be safe:)

 

 

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I've got s pair of sportive nuptses in a 44.5 (i think) that id also let go cheap. But i can't get them to you until after new years

 

That's my size! How much would you ask?

 

I could pick them up next time I'm in Leavenworth probably.

 

Anyway, I set aside some money for gas to go climbing, that's money that I don't spend on other things. Almost all of my other money goes towards climbing, with the occasional purchase of something else. I just bought a bunch of aid gear and at the moment, I have very little expendable cash. That might or might not change.

 

I'm a senior in high school and I can't balance a real job with everything else.

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try wool felt insoles, I have yet to try them in mtn boots but damn, sure do work in my shoes: soak up moisture, keep feet dryer and warmer, and they are cheep, thick cushion, and last. I pooh poohed em because an old friend was always swearing by them; he's eccentric. Just shows 'ol farts aren't always blowing smoke, you just have to decide 4 yerself what is stink. Cabin Brand (The Thrifty New Englander, Ideal For Winter),$2.97, trim to fit. At this price what's to lose?DSCN0424.JPG

 

Yeah- those work great. I used them commercial fishing in AK. Cold and wet 18 hours a day on the boat deck, but those things helped keep my feet dry and warm. also boots that give you siome wiggle room are great. too tight of boots will not insulate properly... its nice to have some sort of minimal air-layer between your foot and the inside of the boot.

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There is a distinct possibility that I will be heading over to Leavenworth this weekend to visit friends and family. I would be more than willing to do a pick up and transfer and will be coming back through Everett en route to Bellingham on Sunday evening.

PM if you want to work something out.

 

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I've used the aerogel insoles. They do seem warmer than anything else I've tried. But they also crush flat in the heel and balls of your feet in a matter of days. Based on the info about them, that shouldn't affect the warmth, but it does affect the comfort.

 

They've since been moved to my work boots.

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Howdy, have to admire your psych!

 

Went and checked out the boots and they are NOT what you need, keep em if you want for summer stuff tho, especially if they fit your feet well. Great for what they are designed for I imagine but you are way beyond what they are designed for.

 

They (Kayland) say:

 

Mxt.jpg

 

"The boot is equipped with a step-in crampon bail at the heel and so is ideal where short sections of snow or ice are likely to be encountered."

 

In other words these aren't designed for winter climbing, period. Usually this type of boots is great for long approaches, some glacier or couloir work and longer stretches of 3rd through 5th class rock in summer/late spring/early autumn.

 

Also, without the ability to use a toe bail style crampon, you will find these more tiring when you are on your front points particularly on hard (hardness) ice.

 

Don't give up on single boots, just find a new pair on sale or a used pair that is well insulated and designed to take step in crampons. BE PATIENT (I know that's tough for you kids but too bad). The wrong fit in the right boot is just as bad or worse than the wrong boot.

 

You could keep an eye out for double boots, but they are intended for deep cold and particularly multiday use (way easier to deal with).

 

Wearing too many socks are you? That tells me one of two things:

 

1. Your boots are too big anyway or

 

2. They are really tight and circulation is an issue.

 

Many folks nowadays let the boot do the insulating and use lighter socks (midweight) for a very comfortable and high performance fit.

 

Hope that helps!

Edited by Coldfinger

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Having had frostbite on my toes before I can say do yourself a favor and find a pair of used plastics in the yard sale forum. They wont cost you much and you will be glad you did. Plastics shouldnt set you back much anyways

 

I found a pair of Asolo's in the yard sale forum for $30. Just keep an eye out. Thanks again Max!

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The chemical toe warmers and better yet the whole foot warmers really work, but are used up after about 6 hours so you need multiple sets of them especially if you think any chance of being

caught out overnight. I have used these with good success in the

really cold.

 

Make sure they are fresh ones made this year, the old toe warmers

from last year may last a couple of hours then are cold.

 

May try those electric socks read of their usage, best yet if you

have cold toes get another pair boots if you can as noted by others.

 

Also sticking your feet into ice cold boots is a bad start of a

day. IE trail head camping etc. May want to keep them in your sleeping bag with you if really cold..

 

By the way, the possibility of frozen toes is serious business and

can cripple you up for a long time, think carefully about the chances you take if you get caught out overnight and at least be

ready to take your feet out of your boots and warm your toes up

etc, if caught out.

 

Dan

Edited by DanO

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Thanks for the advice guys. I am wearing Kayland MXT boots. They're better for summer mountaineering, but they work for winter. I'm colder with a single pair of socks and I have wiggle room for my toes.

 

I'm poor. I think I'll go with the wool insoles for now.

 

-Mark

let me know how it works out

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Don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but I like to use an unscented spray anti perspirant prior to putting on the sox- Much insulative value is lost when sox or insoles get laden with water vapor. Also helps make the chemical heaters last alot longer as well.

 

MH

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