The 9 Best Heated Socks
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in December of 2016. If you're planning on working or hiking in particularly cold temperatures for extended periods of time, then these heated socks will ensure that your lowest extremities stay comfortably warm, thanks to their integrated heat sources. Whether you're looking for a pair with the latest high-tech features, like Bluetooth connectivity, or you want something more basic, we've got you covered. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best heated sock on Amazon.
The Importance Of Keeping Your Feet Warm
These extremities have particular types of blood vessels that can open up and rapidly move a lot of blood.
So, while your feet can transfer warmth throughout your body, they can also become cold faster than any part of your body.
Keeping your feet warm isn't just something that makes winters a little cozier. The temperature of your feet actually plays a big role in your overall health, especially for your immune system. Not only has research found that having cold feet can reduce your white blood cell count, but it also states that keeping your feet warm [can prevent complications in some blood diseases. Other studies even found that people are far more likely to come down with the flu if their feet are cold for just a little during flu season.
While we may not look down at them often, the feet are very powerful. These extremities have particular types of blood vessels that can open up and rapidly move a lot of blood. This is important when your entire body is cold because, if your feet are warm, they can quickly transfer their temperature through the rest of your system. Look at them as wonderful little heat transmitters: you just have to provide them with the warmth, and when the rest of your body needs it, they'll deliver.
You also must remember that your feet, like your hands, have very little muscle. Muscle produces heat and without it, your extremities are left pretty vulnerable to cold climates. That's why both good socks and gloves are important in cold climates. So, while your feet can transfer warmth throughout your body, they can also become cold faster than any part of your body. As you can see, keeping these extremities warm affects your overall comfort and health on two fronts. When your feet are too cold, they also trigger pain receptors in your body. If you have ever noticed that your feet feel sore when they are cold, this is why.
What To Look For In Your Heated Socks
If you want to match your heated socks to your gloves, there is a variety of different materials and colors to choose from. Since these are for warming purposes, you may as well look for ones made from naturally warm fabric, like wool and acrylic. Don't feel like you're locked into one temperature, either. Some heated socks come with multiple temperature settings, and even a remote control to let you adjust these. For your safety, some socks have a timed automatic shut-off. If you'd rather people not know you're wearing heated socks, there are plenty of options with discreet battery packs. But if anybody does tease you, you can tell them they're missing out, since heated socks are good for your health and may even lift your spirits.
If you're particularly active, look for socks with reinforced heels and toes to stand up to all the wear and tear you'll be putting them through.
Heated socks don't have to be heavy. Some are very lightweight, yet still efficient, making them a good option for people who need to wear heavy footgear like hiking boots. Speaking of outdoor activities, if you plan on wearing your heated socks out in the rain or snow, make sure they are safe to get wet, and that they dry quickly. Wet feet can be just as problematic as cold feet, increasing the risk of several infections. Don't forget that you sweat even when you're cold, so look for heated socks that breathe well. You want your feet toasty, not swampy.
If you're particularly active, look for socks with reinforced heels and toes to stand up to all the wear and tear you'll be putting them through. If you love warmth and technology, you might enjoy a pair of heated socks that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth, enabling you to check their battery power and control the temperature. If you plan on spending extended periods of time out in the cold, it may be smart to choose a model with a long battery life. Some can stay on for over 12 hours.
The Different Types Of Heated Clothing
Traditional warm clothing items only keep the wearer warm by trapping pre-existing heat. But if the wearer stops moving, thereby ceasing to generate their own heat, these clothes may no longer keep them warm. Heated clothing works to solve this problem with three very different methods, each of which allows garments to remain warm, even when the user isn't active: batteries, gels, and chemicals. Battery-powered (otherwise known as electric) heated garments are exactly what they sound like. They make use of a battery, most often rechargeable, to power small heating elements strategically dispersed throughout the garment. Many battery-powered models are adjustable, which can be a nice touch. This allows you to gently warm yourself when it isn't too cold out, and then crank up the heat when you really need it.
The packet is inserted somewhere inside the item of clothing.
Gel heated clothes make use of a small gel pack that must be externally heated in some method, most often in the microwave. Right before using this type of garment you heat up the gel pack and insert it into a designated pocket. The heating strength of these type of garmets varies depending on the thickness of the pouch and the weather conditions, but on average they tend to stay warm for about a half an hour. This means they won't suffice for a full day on the slopes, but are good options for a quick walk, or when you're simply waiting for your thermostat to start working.
Chemically-heated clothes rely on a small packet containing a chemical capable of making heat. The packet is inserted somewhere inside the item of clothing. Typical ingredients include activated carbon, cellulose, salt, iron, water, and vermiculite. These chemicals interact with air in a way that produces heat. These are called often disposable hand warmers, but can be placed in boots, sweaters, and more. The exact chemical pouch you use will determine how hot the clothing can get, and for how long it stays warm. Some can reach temperatures as high as 107 degrees.
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