As a winter steelhead fisherwoman I am no stranger to fishing in cold weather, but I have to admit that I hate the cold. My hatred for cold extends to avoiding the freezer isle in the grocery store. When I first started fishing my husband said I would not be able to handle the bitter cold days spent chasing steelhead. I am not sure if he said that knowing I would have to prove him wrong, but it was a big motivator to dress smarter and fish harder.
My first season of winter steelhead fishing I wore the heated socks that were more trouble than they were worth. They constantly burned through batteries and were a hassle to turn off and on. The bulky battery pack also started to make wear marks on my waders. Those were quickly thrown away and I had decided to deal with cold and numb feet while chasing amazing fish.
The cold and I were still not on good terms. I have Reynaud’s Disease which causes the smaller arteries to the skin to constrict in cold weather. It can be incredibly painful when the circulation comes back to the areas that have restricted blood flow. Hiking and fishing when you do not have circulation in your hands and feet is very challenging. After much research I decided that ThermaCell insoles might make the cold bearable and maybe even enjoyable.
When I opened the package of ThermaCell insoles I was surprised at how light the batteries were and was very impressed by the USB charging system for the insoles. The remote control is bright red and is the perfect size to slip in a pocket. The buttons on the remote are the perfect size, they are not too small and are easy to use when your hands are frozen.
I have to admit I was a little skeptical about keeping the insoles straight in the stocking foot of my waders. It was not an issue at all, the insoles fit perfectly in the feet of my Simms G3 waders. I wear a women’s size 9 and ordered a size large. I did not need to trim the insole to get the perfect fit.
Putting my boots on took more care than normal. I opened up the boot more than usual and put my foot in the boot while holding the back of the insole through the wader feet. This was a really easy way to get my foot and the insole into my boot. I did push my foot around in my boot a few times to get the fit just right but that did not take more than a few seconds. At first the insole was noticeable but not uncomfortable. Within the first hour I forgot it was even there.
I finally turned them on after I had been standing in water up to my waist at the boat launch. My feet were starting to go numb within minutes of standing in the water. I got in the boat and used the remote to turn the heat onto medium. I did not feel much heat if any at all but my feet had circulation again in about 15 minutes. Normally it is a few hours before I know that I have feet again after they get cold. The temperature of the heat from the insoles was not so warm that my feet hurt when I got the circulation back. During the day I was in and out of the water and my feet had circulation the whole time. It was amazing!
Battery life was not an issue for me when I used the ThermaCell insoles. The float was about 4 hours long and I could tell they were on until I turned them off. ThermaCell says that the battery will last for 5 hours with continuous use on the medium setting. Next time I am on a longer float or am bank fishing for an extended period of time I will be using the remote to change the setting in order to extend the battery life. Charging the batteries is very easy and it is nice knowing the batteries take 4 hours to charge. I am a weekend warrior and do not have a lot of time Saturday nights to get things done. It is easy to get these charged during the busy night between fishing days.
I am very happy with the ThermaCell insoles. The comfort, ease of use, and the quality of these insoles have earned themselves a spot in my boots on any cold weather fishing trips. I am so thankful for these insoles they definitely help me dress smarter to fish harder in cold weather.
Toasty Thermacell Insoles keep your feet warm even on the coldest days.
Check out ThermaCell products at: http://heat.thermacell.com/
I received my ThermaCell insoles for free in exchange for this review.