How to Keep Your Hands and Feet Warm When Skiing

Do your toes go numb on the chairlift? Do your fingers freeze transitioning on a ski tour? Do cold windy days on the mountain turn your digits to icicles?

There's no need to suffer now we have tech accessories to take the misery out of feeling cold.

Your circulatory system is the main reason why you feel cold because the red blood cells take a lot of heat with them, as well as a lot of food and waste products. If your blood circulation is impaired, the blood vessels in your cold fingers and toes will contract, giving you a numb feeling in your hands and feet.

Apart from your blood circulation, there are a few other factors that affect how cold you can get, such as the thickness of your skin. According to a recent study by the Faculty of Zoology at Tel Aviv University, women on average get cold faster than men. Cold hands and feet can also be caused by generally bad circulation or by the restricted circulation condition, Raynaud's, that affects fingers and toes.

What are the best ways to warm your hands? You could flap your fingers against your body and swing your arms over your head like surfers do. Wear liners inside your ski gloves or mitts. Never take your gloves off especially not on the chairlift to take a selfie and do not get your gloves wet, ever. So don't throw snowballs.

Or, these days, there is the very simple answer, heated accessories that'll stop both your hands and feet getting cold in the first place.

Heated Gloves for Skiing

heated gloves

If you ever watched the horror ski movie, Frozen, about three snowboarders stranded on a chairlift, you'd never go skiing without heated gloves ever again. Even when you're ski touring in Japan up Mt Yotei in 15 below zero  (image above) they are a very simple solution for cold hands. By just pressing a button on the sleeve of the gloves, the heat already starts flowing. The heated gloves have three different settings, the lowest setting lasts no less than 7.5 hours. The electric gloves have a gauntlet cuff design so that the gloves fit well over the sleeves of your ski jacket or puffa.

The batteries of the gloves are also located in this part of the gloves. This makes it easier to change them when they are empty. Moreover, these batteries can be fully-charged within 4 hours. Besides the heated ski gloves, there are many other types of electric gloves, like the heated mittens for extra warmth to avoid those cold hands in the winter.

How to Keep Your Feet Warm

heat performance socks

The easiest and most recent way to prevent your cold toes is with heated socks. With today's new technologies, it is possible to place a super small heater in your socks so that your feet are always warm. These electrically-heated socks are available in different types and sizes. There are special thin autumn socks for chilly days and winter ski socks for the harshest weather conditions.

These socks (image above) are controlled via a small remote control that can be easily clicked onto your key ring. The batteries are located in the ankles of the electric socks, but if you don't like that, no problem. It is possible to put the rechargeable batteries in your pockets by ordering an extension cable.

If you are very attached to your own merino ski socks, don't worry. There are also heated soles that can give you a lot of warmth. By simply inserting a cable into the back of the electrically heated insoles, they are fully charged within two hours. These heated insoles last up to about 8 hours a day, so you will always have warm feet. The insoles are very flexible and fit easily into your ski boots or shoes.

In terms of control, the soles work almost the same as the heated socks, so ideal. The heated soles have three different heat settings, and you should have warmer feet after just 30 seconds. There's even an app you can use to adjust the heat via your mobile.

How To Stay Even Warmer

Heated gloves and socks are great, of course, but how else can you keep warm on the mountain?

cold ski weather
  • A hot cuppa. Grab a hot drink instead of a cold one, so maybe a thermos of hot tea or soup, especially when ski touring, instead of a flask of cold water in your backpack. This way your body has less chill to fight and more time for other organs to keep warm.
  • Spice it up. Various spices also have a warming effect, such as ginger, cayenne pepper and cinnamon, so add these to your tea or soup.
  • Lower blood pressure. It is also important that you eat less foods that cause high blood pressure. Excessive blood pressure can damage your blood vessels and reduce your blood circulation.
  • Keep fit. By exercising or training, your blood vessels also learn to stretch better. Your heart starts beating faster so that your blood is pumped through your body a lot quicker. If you do this often, your blood vessels become more flexible and can switch to different temperatures.
  • Cold showers. Showering first with hot water and then cold works well to improve circulation. Also wild swimming in icy lakes or the sea in winter. Warning: Not for the faint-hearted.

Style Altitude has no affiliate arrangement with any brand or retailer and will not profit from any sales made through links in this feature.