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Back to Q&A Index of Questions

Q. Cold Feet

First I love the site. I have been riding for about 8 or 9 years now and have never had warm feet. I do smoke and know that that cause poor circulation especially in the feet. I ride Burton Ruler boots w/ a pair of their riding socks. I have also tried different pairs of socks with minimal
success. What do you suggest/
Any help would be great. Thanks
Steve

Jeremy King answers:
I have dealt with cold feet often, I've never bothered to try all those "fancy" socks with all the hype about keeping your little toes warm, because I've seen how much of a let-down they are. Most of the time cold feet is due to your boots being too tight and cutting off circulation.
One suggestion is spend the extra couple of dollars for form fitting insoles.
If you're looking for a cheaper option, there are always those little "hot chillies" pouches that when they hit air, warm up instantly.. the only downside ot those, is that you have the equivalent to a small beanbag in your boots...
A trick I've found is that when my toes start to get cold, I take a quick break inside.. let my boots air out, and most of the time my boots stay warm the rest of the day....

Gavin Ehringer answers:

Wear socks that don't have holes! Seriously, your boots may be too tight, cutting off circulation. Buy boots late in the day, when your feet are swollen from standing all day in front of the burger grille at the McDonald's where you work. Wear the same type socks you plan to wear on the mountain bring your own, if you can, or buy some with the boots. I find that thick socks don't help me and I lose proper feel of my board edge, so I just wear regular ol' athletic socks or even men's synthetic dress socks. Your boot has plenty of insulation.

When properly laced up, your feet should be snug in the boot with no tight spots. You should not, however, feel any movement of your foot back and forth, so that the piggies slam into the toe box. If you have a proper fitting boot but still have cold feet, you can buy electric socks with heating wires built in (popular among motocross riders) or heat packets that fit in the boots and keep your feet toasty all day.

Chickie Rosenberg answers:

I have two suggestions.  One has to do with your feet, the other with your body's heating system.

My feet were also cold in my snowboard boots and I had the proper boot fit, footbed, and socks.  One way I solved the problem was to have a Raichle ski boot liner which was super warm substituted for my Burton liner.  It was the excellent idea of a boot fitter at a ski shop.

The second part of my answer is predicated by a question.  Do you wear a hat?  And better yet, a helmet?  Think of your body as a house and your head is the chimney.  If your head is not covered and kept warm, then all the body heat escapes like heat going up a fireplace chimney.  Because of the loss of body heat, your circulatory system reacts by bringing more blood to protect the body organs (kidneys, etc.) and it does so by calling in reinforcement from the outer regions... your extremities.  It may sound like strange advice, but if your feet are cold, you should put on a warm hat.    

Kevin Ryan answers:
Are you wearing thin moisture wicking socks? I've heard that thick ones can make your boots so tight they block circulation.
Are your boots very tight?
Are your toes cramped?
Have you tried custom foot beds?
Are you anemic?
How cold is it outside when your feet are cold?

Steve answers Kevin:

Yes my socks are thin and are supposed to wick moisture (whether they do or not is a different story)
-My boots are not very tight and my toes are not cramped.
-Custom foot beds???
-Anemic? Thin blood?   No
-Not very cold, this weekend was 7-10 degrees at Stratton They tend to be cold even when its 20 degrees out.
I do like to wear my bindings tight, better responsiveness, but when I stop I always loosen them otherwise it really starts to hurt.

Gavin Ehringer  answers:

Used to be, women had to suffer by wearing men's boots. Women's feet tend to be wider in front and narrower in the back than men's feet, and women also have shorter and thicker calves (sorry, gals, but it's a fact). As women became a bigger percentage of snowboarders, more and more companies began churning out boots that better fit women's feet and calves. All boots are built on "lasts," which are template shapes based on "average" feet. But different boot makers use different lasts, built on different standards of foot anatomy. When you are looking for boots, try on lots of models from different manufacturers to find one whose lasts best approximate your own foot shape.

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