A couple of years ago, we wrote a post about how smart wearables would soon make life easier and more tolerable for Raynaud’s sufferers. One of the earliest products we found in the wearable category was Digitsole, and they’ve just become available in the U.S. market.
Digitsole offers the first connected, interactive, heated insoles that can be controlled through your smartphone via Bluetooth technology. You select a temperature for your shoes and say goodbye to frigid toes! They heat up to 113°F and, once charged, last for 2 to 6 hours, depending on their settings and usage.
But that’s not all – these smart soles also track your activity, and after entering some basic personal info into the app, they tell you how many calories you burned that day. These are nice-to-have features, but for Frosties, it’s all about warm feet!
What’s great about this concept is that you can easily control the temperature throughout the day. So if you’re standing outside waiting for a train or a bus, it’s on a warmer setting. Once you board, you can turn it down for travel time, then increase the temperature again when you’re leaving the station and heading back out into the cold. Once you’ve arrived at your final destination (office, hotel, restaurant, etc.), you turn it down again, or off. And it’s all done without taking off your shoes or adjusting them – just swipe your phone!
Those of us who’ve juggled disposable toe warmer in our shoes, dealt with the changing environmental temperatures throughout the day, and arrived at a location where you need to stop in the restroom to remove them before a meeting or a meal can understand the beauty of this concept!
For Frosties who are eager to try these toasty insoles, we want to prepare you for the user experience based on our testing. In the spirit of full transparency, our testers were moderate to relatively low-tech Raynaud’s sufferers. Our first impression was extremely positive: The packaging is of the highest quality, much as you’d experience with an Apple product, which is the gold standard. The app is generally user-friendly, and pairs nicely with the insoles.
But we did have some technical issues, and we want to ensure that those who try the product can avoid some of the difficulties we experienced, and also manage users’ expectations. So here are some suggestions:
- The product is made in France, and comes with a small instruction booklet that is all pictures (likely to avoid translation issues). Most of us needed more explicit instructions. We suggest you go to the company’s web site and view the tutorial videos.
- The insoles first need to be charged before you can pair them with the app (not covered in the instructional video). When they arrive, they will give off a green light when turned on, but they are not yet charged. Allow a couple of hours after you plug them in using the enclosed USB cables.
- The typeface size on the app screens may be a bit small for older Frosties, so referencing the sequence in the videos can help guide you through the process.
- The insoles are very thin around the toes, but are thicker under the arch (to house the batteries and technology). They will not fit in all shoes or boots, you’ll need to experiment. We found the best fit to be with mid-height UGGs or Bear Paw style boots where they were quite comfy. One tester also found they fit well into her sneakers. But don’t expect to use them in an evening shoe or a pair of ballet flats. Taller boots are also a challenge because you can’t easily get the right angle for lowering the insoles into the foot section. Also, if you already wear orthotics in your shoes, they will need to be removed and replaced with the Digitsoles. One of our testers did this and found they were a good fit. Once inserted, the insoles are quite comfortable to walk in. They are designed to optimize the natural movement of the foot and improve foot stability.
Most importantly, we want to manage users’ expectations on the temperature warmth. The product is designed to keep feet warm by protecting them from the cold, not to explicitly warm the feet. This may appear to be a nuance, but it’s a key factor in understanding how the product works, and there’s an important reason for this design feature. With safety as a primary concern in designing the product, medical experts were consulted, and they determined that 113° F is the highest temperature level that is safe for being in contact with the feet. We further confirmed this fact by checking the temperatures of disposable toe warmers. Their maximum temperatures are stated as 115° F, with an average temperature of 100° F. Compared to hand warmers that reach 135°-156°, toe warmers are in an enclosed area with body weight on top. It’s a different environment.
Our testers were expecting the insoles to be hot to the touch, and were concerned that they weren’t heating properly. But turn the app temperature up to 95 to 100° F, and once inside the shoe or boot, your feet should feel them working. And they must be doing the job: We had to wait until now to introduce the product to fellow Frosties because Digitsole’s inventory was totally sold out after our testing was completed in February!
Special Discount for Our Members
Offer Code: RA20
Digitsole insoles sell for 199€ in Euros, that’s about $240 in U.S. dollars, but the value can fluctuate. Available in Eurosizes 36 to 47 (can be trimmed to adjust for a better fit). This is a great value for a rechargeable heated product, as many quality heated gloves sell for over $300. But it gets better because as a Sponsor of the Raynaud’s Association, Digitsole is offering our members a 20% discount. Just use the Special Promotional Code RA20 during checkout.
For international Frosties, the company distributes across the globe. Just input your address and they’ll take care of currency conversions and calculating the shipping costs to any country.
This is the first of many new and exciting products Digitsole is developing. So we hope you’ll give their heated insoles a try and let us know how they work for you!
13 rue Héré
Nancy, Lorraine 54000
Phone: +33 (0)3 83 36 72 72