You might as well stay extra toasty when you're outside in the cold

You might as well stay extra toasty when you’re outside in the cold (Emma Dau via Unsplash/)

There’s nothing worse than heading home early from what should be a great ski day because you can’t feel your toes, or having a tough time focusing at work because all you can think about is the cold creeping into your boots. The best heated insoles can quickly and comfortably take out any unwelcome chills that come your way. These impressively compact creations can be found in a variety of sizes and suited to various activities. Some heated shoe insoles are disposable, some are powered by rechargeable batteries, and some are even water-resistant (we’re looking at you fellow, frequent foot-sweaters).

Heated shoe inserts are safe and easy to use; as long as you follow all included directions, you don’t need to worry about any damage to your skin, socks, or shoes. This makes them the perfect companion for many shoe types, including ski boots, hiking shoes, running sneakers, and more. Plus, most models are designed to minimize bulk or extra padding, so you won’t have to worry about your toes being squished. Heated insoles are a great way to stay warm and stay active even when the temperature starts to drop.

Features to consider when shopping for the best heated insoles

In order to find the best heated insoles for you, think about how often you’ll be using them, what kinds of outdoor activities you’ll be doing, and the temperatures you’re expecting. Do you need something that will last for hours, or do you want to prioritize heat settings? Do you already wear shoe supports and need something customizable? Are you looking for something disposable and budget-friendly? We’ve created this guide to help you answer those questions and get one step closer to warm feet.

Need the perfect boot warmer for your ski trip?

Perhaps the most popular reason for purchasing heated insoles is skiing. Using a heated insole can extend your time on the mountain by preventing pain and cramping caused by the cold.

If you’re looking for a warming insole to slip inside your ski boot, make sure you get one that you can customize to fit the room you have inside the boot, particularly around the toe box. You’ll also want a boot warmer that will last more than a couple of runs; if you’re looking for a full day of skiing, go for a unit that has at least five to six hours of battery life. We also recommend grabbing an insole with a water-resistant battery pack. Even though your feet are likely protected from the snow by your ski pants, there is still a chance moisture will sneak in; waterproof or resistant insoles will prevent damage over time, as well as keep you safe.

If you’re entirely new to rechargeable insoles, you should know that most models come with an external battery that can attach to your shoe or be placed in a pack to wrap around your leg or ankle. They require a set of wires to plug the insole into the battery. If you’re using a heated insole for skiing, make sure you select a pair with super durable wires that won’t stretch or snap if you take a tumble.

Best heated insoles for ski boots: Thermic C-Pack Set

The perfect boot warmer for skiers and snowboarders alike.

The perfect boot warmer for skiers and snowboarders alike. (Amazon/)

This set from Thermic are the best heated insoles for ski boots on the market. The batteries provide up to 17 hours of heat, perfect for overnight trips, and they can fit underneath the strap of your ski boot to increase your mobility and keep you comfortable. There are three heat settings—low, medium, and high—that you can control via Bluetooth from your phone. Plus, the heating element can be used with your existing insoles or arch supports without issue. If this high-end model’s price point isn’t right for you, Thermic has many other options for you to peruse.

Will you be outside in below-freezing temperatures?

Maybe you aren’t a winter sports fanatic, and you need something for everyday use because you live in a freezing locale. If this is the case, the most important thing to pay attention to are the included heat settings.

Many heated insoles will come with a few heat levels; some need to be manually set; others can be controlled via remote. Keep in mind, when you use the highest heat setting on any insole, you will decrease the battery life faster than a cooler heat setting. You’ll still be able to squeeze out a couple of hours with consistent heat, but you might not be able to make it through a winter trek before the battery dies. It’s a good idea to take the insoles out for a little test drive before committing to more prolonged activities like hikes or an errand marathon. That way, you can figure out which setting is right for you, keeping your feet warm, not sweaty.

Best high-temperature heated insole: FUTESJ Foot Warmer Rechargeable Heated Insole with Remote Contro

Designed to keep you comfortable in sub-zero temperatures.

Designed to keep you comfortable in sub-zero temperatures. (Amazon/)

These heated shoe insoles have three different temperature settings easily controlled with an included remote. The highest setting can reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. They come in two sizes that are easily trimmable to fit your shoe. Perhaps best of all, the battery for these guys sits inside the heel, so you don’t need to worry about strapping it elsewhere on your body, though this does tend to add a tiny bit of weight.

Are you constantly scrunching up your toes to get the blood flowing?

While evenly dispersed heat is never a bad thing, some people need to target specific areas in order to get the relief they need. Just like your fingers get chilly before your palms, your toes are usually the first part of your feet to feel the effects of extreme cold. How many times have you found yourself standing outside desperately wiggling your toes, scrunching them up, or jumping up and down just to try and feel them again? If this sounds like you, and you have good circulation elsewhere, maybe all you need is a set of really great toe warmers.

Toe warmers are significantly smaller than insoles, making them a little more susceptible to moving around or getting scrunched up in the shoe; they also have a bit more trouble connecting to a battery via wires (which are connected to the heel in most insoles). This is why we actually recommend sticking to a disposable, adhesive toe warmer. You’ll get the heat you need, for an extended period of time, without breaking the bank or struggling to flatten them out at the end of the day.

Best toe warmers: HotHands Heat Max Toe Warmers

Disposable toe warmers that work wonders locking in heat.

Disposable toe warmers that work wonders locking in heat. (Amazon/)

These toe warmers from HotHands are our go-to when we need a little bit of extra insulation in our shoes. All you need to do is remove them from the pack and shake them for up to eight hours of heat. They are super thin, so you won’t feel any extra bulk, and they contain odor-absorbing activated charcoal, so if you do start to sweat, you won’t notice any stink.

What are the best heated insoles that will last for hours on camping our hunting trips?

Some winter activities require you to be outside in the cold for long periods of time. Hunting, camping, and trekking can leave you feeling frozen, especially if you haven’t prepared properly. Similar to prioritizing heat over longevity, if you need the maximum amount of battery life out of your heated insoles, you might need to sacrifice the highest temperatures or a variety of temperature settings. However, not having tons of levels to choose from means more concentrated, evenly dispersed heat that won’t get cooler with each passing hour as the battery’s energy fades.

You can also look for extra features to keep your heated insoles lasting longer. The best heated insoles for long days will include batteries you can charge in the car. This means you can charge on the way to your trip or activity while also keeping the option open for a quick boost.

Best long-lasting heated insole: Warmfits Rechargeable Heated Insoles

A long-lasting battery with consistent warmth and a custom fit.

A long-lasting battery with consistent warmth and a custom fit. (Amazon/)

These heated insoles from Warmfits can last for up to six hours with temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. They have 16-inch cables to connect to the battery, which can be charged using a power bank or mobile phone AC adapter. Plus, you can cut the .19-inch thick soles to fit your shoes and relax knowing they’re made from comfortable EVA foam.

Do you want to stay warm but keep your current insoles?

Orthotics and insoles are extremely common and used by people of all ages to support their arches, relieve strain, cushion calluses, and minimize symptoms of tendinitis. More serious conditions are often treated with custom-molded insoles prescribed by podiatrists. If you already have insoles you love, but you find yourself needing a little bit of extra warmth, there are options out there.

Some heated insoles come in a pack, and some sell their parts separately. This is great for folks who have orthotics but need a heating element. The packs will instruct you where to place the protected element on your insole, typically on the toe area, and how to connect all necessary cables or wires. You generally won’t need to do anything else; any individual heating element will be safe for you to use without adding anything extra. However, do not try to remove the heating element embedded in traditional heated insoles; this could be dangerous and result in injury.

Best customizable heated insole: Hotronic S4 Universal Foot Warmer

Easily attach to your existing insoles with a long-lasting battery.

Easily attach to your existing insoles with a long-lasting battery. (Amazon/)

These heated insoles for shoes from Hotronic is all you need for custom heat. Though it does include insoles, it also has two separate heating elements that can attach to the toe of your own orthotic, with four heat settings that can reach up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The batteries can last up to 17 hours, depending on the heat output, in cold climates with temperatures that can get as low as -20F.

Best budget heated insoles: What you can get for under $45

You don’t need to spend a ton of money on heated insoles, especially if you only need them a few days out of the year. Disposable foot warmers work great and are a better fit for tighter budgets. Most of them just need a quick shake to combine the chemicals inside before you adhere them to the bottom of your shoe. Disposable insoles have a three- to four-year shelf life, so you don’t have to use them right away. This makes them great for a couple winter vacations.

Best Budget Heated Insole: HotHands Insole Foot Warmers

A cheap way to warm your toes.

A cheap way to warm your toes. (Amazon/)

HotHands heated insoles are air-activated, safely made, and can last for up to nine hours. They’re great for winter sports and outdoor activities like tailgating, yard work, dog walks, and more.

FAQ: people also ask

Can heated insoles get wet?

As a general rule, you don’t want to submerge any batteries in water. We don’t recommend buying heated insoles if you suspect your feet will be soaked by the end of the day. However, some models are water-resistant and work well to wick away sweat and other droplets. To be safe, never assume something is waterproof unless specifically stated.

Are heated insoles safe for children to use?

Yes, so long as your children can verbally express discomfort. Heated insoles are totally safe, but you want to make sure your child can tell you if they start to feel too hot. Look for an insole that says it’s specifically for kids to ensure the right fit and rest easy with the knowledge that all necessary safety precautions have been taken when it comes to the design.

Are expensive insoles worth it?

If your toes are always cold, it is probably worth it to invest in a reliable model that will last. More expensive models typically have better batteries, consistent heat regulation, a more comfortable design, and a longer life overall. If you only use foot warmers every so often, or you’re just looking for something to add a touch of heat, you won’t necessarily need to invest in an insole for the long-term.

A final word on shopping for the best heated insoles

The best heated insoles are going to keep your feet warm so you can enjoy your favorite winter activities. From rechargeable to disposable, these foot warmers are a great way to relieve any pain or discomfort you feel during the coldest time of the year. Consider how much time you’ll be spending outside, how much extra heat you need, and what you’ll be doing while wearing your new foot warmers. Once you can answer these questions, you’ll be ready to purchase a great pair of heated insoles.

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