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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Thermosoles Rechargeable Remote Controlled Heated Insoles

Say hello to my second-most guiltiest pleasure in the backcountry.

by: Will Rochfort

Thermosoles Rechargeable Remote Controlled Heated Insoles (Courtesy Photo)
Thermosoles Rechargeable Remote Controlled Heated Insoles (Courtesy Photo)

The Specs
$189 (but currently on sale at verseo.com for $119)
Sizes: S-XL
Weight: 5 oz. (pair)
Verseo.com (search for "insoles")
It’s 2011, and although we don’t yet have flying cars, we do have the next best thing: heated insoles with a remote control. The product name really says it all, but to be clear, these are removable insoles that warm up your boots and feet with a key fob that looks like most remote entry keys for your automobile. Just trim the soles for a perfect fit, drop them in, and select medium (100°F) or high (111°F) heat. I couldn’t resist smiling the first time I tested them out in sub-zero temps, even after being told to ‘wipe that smug grin off my face’ by my tentmates as they trudged in circles in a futile attempt to warm up. For the record, these also warm up your down booties quickly too, but I opted not to mention that to the rest of my group.

The manufacturer claims six hours of continuous heating on the medium setting, but I rarely left them turned on for more than fifteen minutes at a time. The insoles have integrated lithium-ion rechargeable batteries; you literally plug the heels into the wall, wait about two hours, and you’re good to go. They continued to function superbly over the course of three days in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, even after extended use during cold mornings and long stops to watch wildlife. These should work just as well in all of your ski, snowshoe, and mountaineering winter boots. Although I didn’t get a chance to test these on a resort-style trip, I would surmise they are truly ideal for days where you could spend extended periods of time on lifts or in lift lines.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of support offered by the insoles. I have annoyingly flat feet, and I always have to buy aftermarket insoles if I expect to be comfortable. Although the polyurethane soles aren’t as thick or cushioned as some of the other brands I used, I skied sixteen miles through Lower Geyser Basin with nary a complaint. I was concerned they might feel stiff due to the amount of electronics spread throughout, but that proved to be a non-issue as well.

I know heated insoles don’t really support the “I’m a tough outdoorsy-type” image, but these are just too good to pass up. If you don’t get them for yourself, consider them for the significant other that avoids trips in the snow “due to inevitable frostbite and/or misery,” or something of that ilk. The price point may be higher than what you spend on some summer boots, but if Mother Nature’s coldest season is forcing you to be a denizen of the Great Indoors for four to six months of the year, I can guarantee they will make a material improvement in both of your life.

And a final note: as far as my number one-most guiltiest pleasure in the backcountry...let’s just say that what happens at the top of Yosemite Falls, stays at the top of Yosemite Falls.



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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Susanna
Nov 17, 2013

Hey thank you. Good review! Summer Soles are new to me. Maybe I give them a try.

I just know Zederna Cedarsoles made from antibacterial cedarwood as a remedy for sweaty/stinky feet.

Star Star
Cold Feet
Dec 07, 2012

I am on my thrid pair of thermosoles and the last two pairs both failed after only a few uses. The soles work well to heat/keep feet warm but battery is very very unreliable. Both previous sets of insoles packed up on one foot completely after 4 or 5 uses. Very expensive for such poor quality.

Steve
Jan 06, 2012

Extremely poor quality. No disernable warmth and definately no battery life. in short I've been ripped off. So very disappointed

Steve
Jan 06, 2012

Extremely poor quality. No disernable warmth and definately no battery life. in short I've been ripped off. So very disappointed

Samantha
Jul 29, 2011

I LOVE these insoles! It is totally worth the price (you kind find them for cheaper on ebay). I use these as well as a <a href="http://patchone.com">detoxification foot patch</a> after a long, 5+ hour hike back down.

SirVive
Apr 20, 2011

The price tag makes me hesitate a little but I LOVE this idea!! I wear work boots to work every day (completely wear out 2-3 pair a year, who knows how many hundreds/thousands of miles I put on them)and every night summer or winter they go straight onto the Peet shoe dryer when I come home. Yes I am spoiled rotten. Warm and TOTALLY Dry boots are probably the biggest thing I miss when on the trail day after day.

Bob
Apr 19, 2011

The writer is a good source as he used them. Should we not trust him but rather trust a few cranky people on Amazon. 8 people do not like it out of the tens of thousands that have been sold?

Scott
Apr 19, 2011

"casting doubts on the longevity" without having actually used them for a long period of time is hardly good information in a review...it's simply somebody's unfounded opinion. No different than the"value". We all value things differently. Good reviews only state facts. I read far too many reviews that state "while I haven't used it yet...".

Paul
Apr 19, 2011

While the initial impression of these might be good. The writer would have better served the reader by doing a quick check on the Amazon site where real purchasers have cast some serious doubts on the longevity and overall value of these foot warmers.

Chuck Stampfle
Apr 19, 2011

Gary,

How do these work? I can only assume your have a pair :).

Chuck

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