Skiing can be an extremely cold activity. Outer extremities are very susceptible to the cold, especially your feet so what can you do to keep your toes warm? Ski boot gloves are an inexpensive bit of kit available advertised to do so, which may make you wonder if ski boot gloves work.
Ski boot gloves work a little. This mostly comes from the fact that they are an extra layer of insulation to help keep warmth inside your boot. Just make sure that you wear it correctly and it will help keep some semblance of warmth.
You may find that ski boot gloves are not a common sight on the mountain and wonder what’s the point if they aren’t really used. Below we will look at whether ski boot gloves work, if you need a pair, and if they may cause any problems with your other gear.
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What Are Ski Boot Gloves?
Ski boot gloves are an optional piece of kit that you put on over your ski boots like a glove. Ski boot gloves are designed to help insulate your boot. They act as a layer to both keep snow out while limiting the amount of heat escaping from the gaps in your boot at the clips.
Generally, they are made from a neoprene sleeve with two straps, one strap at the bottom and one at the back. Although they are called gloves, they are more like a sock designed to cover only the bottom part of your boot where your foot is.
One of the straps is placed at the bottom of your boot so that it will sit in the middle, just before the heel. While the back straps will either have a Velcro strip or an elastic band which goes on the back of your boot, around your ankle. It is worth noting that while they will keep your feet toasty, they do not have an active heating component as they are purely there to add a layer of insulation.
Should You Buy Ski Boot Gloves?
You should buy ski boot gloves if you find that your feet and toes get chilled easily or have a condition such as Raynaud’s, especially if you don’t really want to pay for heated boot liners. If you find that you never get cold feet then you probably don’t need them.
They can also be useful if you are going skiing in slushy or powdery snow as they will act as a further barrier to help prevent water from seeping into your boots. This can be handy if you are planning on being out on the slopes from dusk to dawn and want to keep the insides of your boot dry.
Some people swear by them no matter the weather as they act as a barrier to protect their boots from bumps and scuffs. Which isn’t a bad side effect for something that generally costs less than $30.
Do Ski Boot Gloves Interfere With Bindings?
Ski boot gloves do not interfere with bindings unless you are putting them on incorrectly. Though they connect to the lower part of your boot, they will not affect your bindings in any way. You can give them a quick test after putting your skis on to be sure.
When you put your boot on you need to make sure that the edge of the glove sits just above the toe of your boot. If you have it any lower, it can interfere with slipping your foot into the front part of the binding. There is an exception however as some of the thinner models that are available can fit.
The best thing you can do if you are concerned is to put your ski on in a safe area, such a s a flat or gentle slope, and give them a quick test. You can do this by flicking your ski up, jumping, and leaning into your ski, using your poles as support.
If your ski boot glove has interfered with the connection then your ski should pop off. If this happens make sure the toe is clear and try again. This will fix most of the issues and just make sure that your binding has actually “snapped on” in the first place.
How To Choose Ski Boot Gloves
When choosing which pair of ski boot gloves, you want the first thing that you need to do is check if they will fit your ski boots. Most manufacturers make them in small, medium, and large, covering sizes 3 – 15. Don’t get one that is too big though as this will not be fit for purpose as the glove should be tight.
The second thing that you need to look out for is the materials that it is made from. The main body of the boot glove should be made from neoprene. Neoprene is still insulating when wet, which is why it is used for wet suits, so your boot glove must be made from a material that is effective.
It is also worth checking out the price as they are mostly identical so you don’t need to buy the most expensive one. There are lots of unbranded ski boots on the market so the cheapest is usually the exact same.
3 Ski Boot Gloves Alternatives
1. Heated Insoles
These are definitely the more expensive option when it comes to keeping your feet warm. They work by a heating element attached to a sole in your ski boot which is then powered using a battery. They can cost anything up to $300 but they will defiantly do the job, and if you used them with a pair of ski boot warmers, you will not be bothered by cold feet.
2. Heated Socks
Like the insole, these work with battery powered heating filament throughout the sock. Once again these are not cheap, but they should only set you back around $110. This is worth it if you have ever had a case of frostbite due to skiing in sub-zero environments.
3. Disposable Heat Packs
Disposable heat pads are not the most environmentally friendly thing to use but they are still very useful in keeping you warm. There are some available with adhesive backing which is ideal to stick on your foot above your toes. Just make sure that your foot is still comfortable with one stuck to your on as it will make for an uncomfortable day’s skiing otherwise.
Ski boot gloves are great if you often find yourself with cold feet. You just need to bear in mind that they are an added layer of insulation and will not heat your feet up. If you really want to keep your feet warm it might be worth investing in a more expensive battery-powered heating element.