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The leaves on the trees are a gorgeous mix of red and orange. There’s a thin layer of frost that crunches under your feet and plenty of winter wildflowers to photograph. Just one thing keeps you from thoroughly enjoying this winter wonderland moment.

You haven’t felt your toes for hours.

If you’re anything like me, your toes turn numb just at the sight of snow, no matter how many pairs of hiking socks you wear. Thankfully technology has given us a solution to cold feet in the form of heated insoles.

A pair of heated insoles in your hiking boots will help you keep your feet nice and cosy. We want you to make the most of the great outdoors, even in the coldest season. That’s why we’ve done the research ad put together our selection of the best-heated insoles for 2020.

If you’re looking for a heated insole that you can use in the most extreme cold conditions, the Hotronic S4 Universal Foot Warmer might be the smartest choice for you. It features three base temperature settings. Unlike other models, it also has a fourth timed temperature setting for when you need an extra blast of heat.

On the lowest temperature setting, 29C to 37C (84F to 99F), you can expect the battery pack to last 16.5 to 21 hours which might be long enough for two days of hiking without recharging. On the hottest setting, 70C to 78C (158F to 172F), the battery will last 2.5 to 4.5 hours.

The Universal set includes a pair of one size fits all Heat Ready Insoles that you can trim to fit your boot or shoe. As well as a pair of heating elements, covers, strips, two rechargeable power plus battery packs, and one battery charger with an EU and US compatible plug.

Another advantage is that the heating elements for these can fit any insole. If you use a specialist insole, orthotics, or you already own a pair of Hotronic Heat Ready Insoles, you can save some money by buying the Hotronic S4 Custom set which does not include the one size fits all insoles.

pros
  • Four heat settings
  • Up to 21 hours of battery life (lowest setting)
  • Works with any insole
  • Should fit any shoe or boot
  • You can buy the heating element without insoles
cons
  • Expensive

On the opposite end of the price scale, the heated insoles from Warmfits offer a budget alternative to the Hotronic S4 Foot Warmer. Despite their low-price tag, these heated insoles offer up to 49C (120F) of warmth depending on external conditions.

The insoles come with two lithium-ion polymer batteries that offer 5 to 6 hours of runtime and a battery charger. You can charge the batteries via power bank, car charger, or mains socket which gives you the option of recharging from your tent or campervan after a full day out in the cold.

Also included are two battery pouches that attach to your ankle or calf with a Velcro strap. The insoles connect to the batteries with 16-inch cables. This will be handy when you’re wearing high-rise hiking boots, ski boots, or mid-rise rubber boots.

These unisex heated insoles are designed to be cut to size and will fit shoe sizes EU 36 to 46 (US women size 6 to 13 or US men size 5 to 12). They’re also slim enough to feel like regular insoles. Additionally, the EVA foam makes them comfortable to wear all day long.

pros
  • 5 to 6 hours of battery life
  • Versatile charging options
  • Long power cables
  • Fits EU standard size 36 to 46
cons
  • No temperature settings

If you don’t want to strap battery packs to your ankles then you might want to consider wireless heated insoles instead. The Dr.Warm R3 Heated Insoles have a remote-controlled battery pack built into the heel. A compact remote is included which lets you turn the insoles on and off and switch between the three heat settings.

On the highest temperature setting, 60C to 66C (140F to 150F), the battery runs for 2 to 3 hours depending on external conditions. Set to medium, 50C to 55C (122F to 131F), it runs for 3 to 4 hours or 4 to 5 hours on the lowest setting, 38oC to 45oC (100F to 113F). Although the battery life is not as long as some of the others on this list, it’s still enough for a half-day adventure.

These heated insoles are available in two sizes. The small fits an EU shoe size 35 to 40, and the large fits an EU shoe size 41 to 46 which makes them a sensible choice for people with smaller or larger than average feet. Plus, the small size would be a suitable option for children.

pros
  • Wireless design
  • Made with comfortable EVA foam
  • Three temperature settings
  • Will fit most feet, including children aged 8 or above
cons
  • Battery adds weight to your shoes
  • Slow charge time (3 to 4 hours) considering the short runtime

Maybe you like the sound of wireless heated insoles but you want a longer battery life. In that case, take a look at the Tonha Wireless Heated Insoles. These offer a runtime of 4 to 8 hours and recharge in approximately 2.5 hours. Like the Dr.Warm R3, the battery is built into the heel of the insole and controlled by a mini remote control.

These wireless heated insoles stand out from others on our list because there are no fixed temperature settings. Instead, they adjust by degrees. As a result, they offer greater heat control and a temperature range of 40C to 65C (104F to 149F).

With a maximum load of 250 kg, these heated insoles are suitable for high-intensity sports such as running, snowboarding, and hiking. They’re also made with comfortable EVA material and feature a waterproof sole that should protect the battery, and your feet, from frost and morning dew if your shoes aren’t 100% waterproof.

Overall, these insoles are pretty slim, but with a thickness of 2 cm at the heel, you might struggle to wear them in close-fitting shoes. Tonha Wireless Heated Insoles come in two sizes, small (EU 35 to 40) and medium (41 to 45), that you can trim to the shape of your shoe.

pros
  • Wireless design
  • 4 to 8-hour battery life
  • Suitable for extreme sports
  • Will fit most feet, including children aged 8 or above
cons
  • Adds weight and bulk to your shoes

If you don’t spend much time exploring in cold conditions, but you want to add a heated insole to your day pack in case of emergency, then take a look at the disposable Insole Foot Warmers from HotHands.

These heated insoles don’t rely on electric heating elements. Instead, they’re self-heating. Just open the packet and shake to activate. The insoles provide heat for up to 9 hours. However, it’s worth noting that they take 15 to 20 minutes to reach top temperatures. You’ll want to get them ready before stepping out in the cold.

Although we don’t usually promote disposable outdoor gear, the HotHands Foot Warmers are made with natural ingredients (salt, water, activated charcoal, iron powder, and vermiculite) that are safe for the environment. These disposable heated insoles are also TSA approved so you can put them in your carry-on luggage when travelling light.

The activated charcoal ingredient doubles as an odour absorber and should help to keep your feet smelling fresh (or fresher at least). The insoles are slim enough to wear with most shoes. Additionally, they have a self-adhesive strip which holds them in place.

pros
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Cheap (one pack contains 16 pairs)
  • Has a shelf-life of 3 to 4 years
cons
  • No temperature settings
  • Only available in one size

Are heated insoles worth it?

Nothing takes the fun out of your day like cold feet. If you spend a lot of time outside in cold weather, then heated insoles are definitely worth the money. Heated insoles aren’t just for crazy outdoors lovers. They’re also a useful piece of kit for people who work outside, people with circulation problems, or parents of sporty kids.

FINAL THOUGHTS

A pair of heated insoles can make your time outside a lot more comfortable. The important thing is to find a pair of heated insoles that meet your needs in terms of battery runtime, temperature range, price, and design.
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