ThermaCell ProFlex Heated Insoles
Review by Jeff Senterman, Regional Programs Manager and Catskills Program Coordinator
This review was first published in the Winter 2015 print edition of Trail Walker.
Have you ever hiked in the winter and wished your feet could just be a bit warmer? I know I have, and that was the reason I was excited to try out the ProFLEX heated insoles from ThermaCELL.
“Heated insoles?” I hear you asking. The thought conjures images of wires, batteries, and all sorts of uncomfortable things in your boots. However, ThermaCELL has done a decent job of tackling these issues. The insoles are run by rechargeable batteries that fit into the insole itself, and the temperature of the insoles is regulated wirelessly by a small remote control that you carry. The remote is small, light, and easy to carry. The lithium ion batteries are located below your heels and are padded, so when they are inserted into the insoles, you notice very little difference between the battery area and the rest of the insole.
There are three heat settings for the insoles—standby, medium, and high—and there is an internal thermostat that regulates the insoles to keep them from overheating your feet. The goal of the insoles is to keep your feet at your regular body temperature; the colder it is, the harder they work. On the medium setting the batteries last for about 5 hours, but I have found that I rarely use them continuously, so they last longer.
What about comfort? This is probably the only place I am a bit disappointed with these devices. I do not find them to be as comfortable as a good pair of regular insoles in my hiking boots, but I have been on a couple of hikes with them now without any serious problems. They just feel a bit more stiff (most likely due to the heating elements inside) than a regular insole and take some getting used to. They definitely keep your foot a bit higher up in the boot, so you will have to adjust your lacing a bit.
Overall though, they do keep your feet warm as advertised. And for someone who is often chilly during winter activities, I will be looking forward to having these with me this winter.
Rating: 3 boots out of 5.
ThermaCELL ProFLEX Heated Insoles are available in sizes small to XXL and can be trimmed to properly fit your boot. They are available through most outdoor retailers and sell for about $170.