Foot Warming Tips from Lumberjacks

LumberjackOne of our Facebook followers shared an article published in BuzzFeed titled 16 Genius Ways To Keep Your Feet Toasty, According to Lumberjacks and we wanted to pass along some of their tips to fellow Frosties.

BuzzFeed has a formula for maximizing impressions, and lists are one of their favorite techniques for attracting readers.  In reviewing the list of 16 tips, close to half of them have to do with socks, and several are specific to the benefits of wool – specifically merino wool.  So don’t be disappointed if you don’t walk away with 16 separate unique ideas for warming frosted feet, it’s just their way getting your attention (and it works!).

Their love for merino wool relates to its temperature regulation feature (keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer) and its superior moisture management.  Managing moisture is important for keeping feet dry, and wool does a good job of wicking moisture away from the skin.  Some technical terms are used explaining why the fabric is able to both repel and absorb water at the same time, but you don’t need to be a scientific expert to get the concept. By the way, alpaca wool offers similar thermal and moisture wicking features.

Other sock recommendations include:

  • Not wearing socks that are so thick that they put pressure on the foot/toes and cut off the circulation.  OK, pretty logical.
  • Wear thinner socks with winter boots because you don’t need them and thicker socks with sneakers in cold weather because you do.  Not a useful tip for Raynaud’s sufferers, as we still need the warmth of a good sock with well-insulated boots in winter, and wouldn’t dream of wearing a thin pair of sneakers in the snow! (Do lumberjacks really do that?)
  • Suggest seamless Bermuda Stripe 1/4 Sock Light Cushions for runners (made of merino wool, of course!).
  • For dressier occasions, wear REI Merino Wool Hiking Socks.  Guess they are talking to the guys here, because there’s no way to wear even the most delicate hiking socks with a pair of heels!
  • Their mountain guides prefer Ibex socks – come in three lengths and look relatively thin, but still won’t do for a dressy event unless you can get away with wearing boots.
  • For a tall, well-insulated sock (the others aren’t?), they like the Smart Wool brand, specifically the Women’s PhD Ski Ultra Light Pattern Socks which are mostly merino wool, but also contain nylon and elastane for improved stretch and “hold” to keep them from falling down.
  • For wet weather, go for a waterproof sock.  They suggest Showers Pass Crosspoint Waterproof Socks which claim to have a triple-layer construction that protects the feet like a rain bootie.
  • To dry soaked socks at work, use the hand dryer in the bathroom.  What they don’t tell you is how to keep your footsies warm when they are exposed during the drying process to the cold bathroom tile floor (ouch!).
  • Always carry an extra pair of socks because your feet sweat even when you’re cold.  Of course, you’d need to remove your shoes (and probably your gloves) to change socks when your feet are getting sweaty, so exposing raw feet to the cold in order to change your socks doesn’t sound like a great strategy for Frosties.

Other useful tips include using disposable toe warmers (check out our member discounts on Grabber and HotHands warmers), the use of sock liners and winter footbeds.  The footbeds offer a Thinsulate© layer of insulation on the bottom, which helps shield feet from the cold, but the construction of the inserts appears to take up a lot of space in your shoes and has a molded arch support that may not be to everyone’s liking.

In summary, check out merino wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry – they come in a number of different lengths and thicknesses for different occasions.  Better yet, check out Heat Holders socks  – proven seven-times warmer than cotton socks, and are three times more effective at keeping feet warmer than standard thermal socks.  There you have it, 16 tips narrowed down to just one!