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Q:

How can I keep my toes warm while snowboarding?

So, the winter snow will soon be upon us. As a snowboarder, my feet always seem to get extremely cold. I wear SmartWool socks, and I sometimes need to wear two pairs of socks (though not necessarily both SmartWool). Do you think my feet are just overly sensitive to the cold, or is there something else out there to keep my tootsies cozy?

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A:For lots of people, cold feet are pretty much a chronic problem during the winter. You may be slightly more prone to it as women simply generate less body heat than men, so are more susceptible to cold. Additionally, you might have a slight circulation problem in your extremities, therefore exacerbating any tendency to get cold. For that matter, your boots could be making things worse if they're too tight, thereby restricting the blood flow.

Still, you're on the right track. SmartWool socks are extremely warm, and I assume you're pairing them with a good light liner sock made with silk or a synthetic such as Capilene (try Patagonia's: $13; patagonia.com). You might also try socks made with Outlast, a temperature-regulating fabric. Burton makes a skiboard-specific Outlast sock called the Phase ($20; usoutdoor.com). And, you can remove the factory insoles from the boots and replace them with insulated insoles, such as the Insolator (check out Campmor.com, where they're going for only $8), which should be warmer than the stock models.


Those are the basic steps. After that it gets a little more complicated. One route is to wear a vapor barrier liner sock; a waterproof nylon-coated shell that turns your feet into a little terrarium. Several models would work, most costing about $25 and usually available at stores that carry a fair amount of mountaineering gear. Finally, you could always try something like Cabela's battery-heated sock. Made with hunters in mind, these cost $25 per pair and take a few D-cell batteries (cabelas.com).

Anyway, hope that helps. Have a great winter!

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