We finally got a stretch of weather here in the Pacific Northwest worthy of being called winter. Still mild by the standard of bearded northmen, but cold enough I finally got to put Thermacell’s Proflex Heavy Duty heated insoles to use.
Thermacell has a pretty neat setup here. The padded Li-Ion batteries fit in the heel of the insoles. A little heating element winds its way through the insole. The whole unit is controlled by bluetooth using an apple or android store app. After opening the box, charging the batteries and reading the manual, I found a couple of things I really want to keep an eye on as I test these out.
- There’s a battery in the sole. When I’m out travelling on the leather express slapping pavement with my hobbit feet, am I going to feel these things digging into my feet?
- The manual talks about the heating element warming your feet but keeping mild enough that it doesn’t cause your feet to sweat (then subsequently freeze). Will the heat be sufficient at the various levels of control provided by the app?
Setup is pretty easy. Put the batteries in the charger. Trim the insoles as needed to fit in your boot. Download the app to your smartphone. Once the batteries are charged, insert them into the insoles. I sync’d then to my phone in under a minute. Slip the insoles into your boots and fire them up!
To start with I turned the insoles up to high. I put one foot on the cold floor and the other on top of an insole. After a minute or so, I thought I felt a little heat. I took my foot off the insole and put it back on the floor and realized just how much warmer it had been. Subtle, yet effective. The same can be said for the number of times I’ve worn them out in freezing temperatures. It’s enough heat to make a positive difference, not enough to bake your feet.
So far, I’ve used these for more than a week in sub-freezing temperatures. I really like them and am just waiting for another patch of snow to give them a much more thorough testing phase. I’ll get back to you with updated results once I’m able to.
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