When temperatures drop, your feet will likely notice right away. In fact, it’s possible your feet are the only body part that struggles to keep warm in the winter.
Do you have poor circulation, or are you sedentary for most of the day? Maybe your job requires you to be on your feet for many hours at a time, and they just can't seem to keep warm against the cement floors or the colder outdoor temperatures. Alternatively, do you play an outdoor sport during the colder seasons? Maybe your extremities struggle against the colder temperatures, despite being active with sport. Regardless of the case, your feet inevitably fall victim with the onset of colder temperatures.
Many foot warmers on the market are designed for at-home use, but what about when you’re out and about and wearing shoes, like in these scenarios? How do you keep your feet warm then?
In this article, we review various options on the market, and highlight which we think is the best foot warmer for shoes.
- Best overall choice: Aurora Heat’s Reusable Foot Warmers
- Toe Warmers: Disposable Toe Warmers
- Electric Warmers: Foot Warmer Socks
- Insole Warmers: Disposable Foot-Warming Insoles
Best Overall Foot Warmer for Shoes (5/5)
Wait - beaver fur warmers are the top choice?! You bet!
Beaver fur has been an effective strategy for keeping warm for centuries. In fact, this is how Indigenous peoples often keep warm in -40 degree temperatures in Northern climates. Natural fur is a valuable tradition that has stood the test of time.
In the tanning process, the coarse outer hairs are removed and the soft underfur reveals 10,000 filaments per square inch. Sheared beaver fur does not create or add heat, but rather helps to retain the heat that your body is naturally generating. So, you’ll never have to worry about sweating while wearing them, as they help to maintain a comfortably warm temperature against your feet.
Features & Benefits
Aurora Heat harnesses the insulating power of beaver fur to offer a remarkable product: Reusable Foot Warmers. Not only do they provide natural insulation and everlasting warmth, but they are also versatile, eco-friendly, and affordable.
- Versatile, discrete, and easy to use - they can be worn with any and all footwear, including boots, runners and slippers! They are ideal for all scenarios, whether you’re out and about in the cold, or sitting at your desk all day.
- Reusable, sustainable, nontoxic, and hypoallergenic - they are the most eco-friendly warmer on the market.
- Affordable - Aurora Heat’s Reusable Foot Warmers start at $69.99, and while that may seem like a steep price for some, it is on the lower end of reusable warmers on the market. Plus, you’ll wear them in so many different settings year after year, that the return on investment is unmatched; you’ll never have to worry about them falling apart or “running out of battery”, as they truly do provide everlasting warmth. In fact, Aurora Heat’s first customers in 2015 are still keeping warm with theirs!
Note that if you do decide to replace your warmers one day, you can put the fur in a recycle bin or under a bit of dirt in the forest and they will return to the earth in short order.
How Do I Wear Them With Shoes?
Simply adjust the position of the warmers so that they cover the vulnerable parts of your feet. For most people, this means having them directly on top of the foot, covering the tops of the toes as well. Slip them into your socks in the exact spot you’d like them to be, with the fur-side touching the skin; the grippy texture of the leather will help to keep them in place. Then put on your footwear of choice, and you’re good to go!
2. Disposable Toe Warmers
Least Expensive Foot Warmers (3.5/5)
Air-activated, charcoal warmers are a tempting choice for many in the winter cold, especially since they are inexpensive and highly effective at creating heat.
Simply tear off the packaging, shake them, and insert inside your shoes, and they will generate heat after 15 minutes from activation. Since they apply intense heat, it is recommended to wear thick socks, so as to not burn your skin.
Pros & Cons
The Toe Warmers provide exceptional heat, but because of this, they actually lack versatility. They are best worn in colder conditions, such as when skiing or snowboarding, since they provide intense heat for up to 6 hours. They are not recommended indoors or for the less extreme cold. Plus, If worn for extended periods of time, you run the risk of overheating and sweating, which can in turn make you cold as the sweat cools. Not ideal! Their saving grace, however, is that they can be removed from footwear more easily than other foot warmers on the market.
Although 20 pairs come in a value-pack, they cannot be reused after wearing them. So while the low price of $17.99 may seem appealing, they will actually cost you more in the long run, since you’ll have to purchase new packs season after season. Meanwhile, Aurora Heat’s Reusable Foot Warmers require a one-time purchase, and they’ll last you up to 8 years and counting - an unbeatable return of investment, in comparison.
The disposable nature of the Toe Warmers is also not ideal for the environment. Oftentimes, mountain-tops are littered with these disposable warmers and their plastic packaging. The amount of waste they create makes them a less appealing option compared to the reusable, sustainable, and biodegradable beaver fur warmers.
These Toe Warmers are highly effective at what they do, but because they lack versatility, cost more in the long run, and are not ideal eco-friendly, they earn a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
3. Electric Foot-Warming Socks
Electric Foot Warmers (4/5)
Made of polyester-elastane, electric foot-warming socks are another solution for those pesky cold feet. Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, they offer 6 unique heat settings, allowing you to customize their temperature to your liking. On the lower temperature settings, they can provide heat for up to 6.5 hours, while on the higher settings, they last about 2 hours. Just ensure the battery is charged before using them, and you’re good to go!
Pros & Cons
Since their temperature is adjustable, these socks are versatile and great for all kinds of use cases and footwear. They are also reusable, which earns a great return on investment.
However, they still earn a 4 out of 5 stars due to the charging component. Yes, it is fantastic that they are reusable, and won’t be discarded after a single use. But it is not so convenient having to consider their battery level each time. Our lives are busy enough as it is, and having to remember to charge them is not so ideal. And if you forget, you may miss out on an opportunity to wear them when you were hoping to. The shorter life span also limits the time in use, so longer or outback weekend trip are out of the question. Meanwhile, Aurora Heat’s Reusable Foot Warmers do not require such charging, and can be used conveniently at any time or place, and for any length of time, which explains their 5/5 rating compared to the electric warmers.
4. Disposable Foot-Warming Insoles
Foot Warmer Insoles (3/5)
These air-activated insoles offer almost the same value and benefits as the Toe Warmers discussed above. Simply open the packaging, and they’ll warm up after 15 minutes. They report up to 9 hours of added heat, which can be ideal for those long days in the extreme cold. But again, they require thicker socks, so as to prevent burning your skin.
Pros & Cons
A value-pack offers 16 insoles, valued at $63.00. Each insole comes with an adhesive backing to help keep them in place while wearing them. They are easy to use, and versatile in the sense that they can fit into almost any footwear. But their intense heat may lead to overheating and sweating, which can actually make you cold as the sweat cools, putting you at risk for hypothermia in extreme cases.
Although 16 pairs come in a pack, they are not reusable after their first wear. So while it seems like you’re getting a lot for $63.00, you’ll have to continually purchase them season after season. On the other hand, you can make a one-time purchase for Aurora Heat’s Reusable Foot Warmers for approximately the same price as 1 pack of Foot-Warming Insoles, and they’ll last you season after season - up to 8 years and counting!
While the Foot Warmer Insoles seem effective at keeping your feet warm, they earn 3 out of 5 stars for the inconvenience of their excessive heat, their plastic packaging, and their low return on investment.
In summary, beaver fur warmers provide the best shoe-warming option on the market for its effectiveness, versatility, reusability, sustainability, comfort, and everlasting warmth. While other warmers have their own benefits for being worn in shoes, they simply cannot beat the well-roundedness of the beaver fur warmers.