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how to keep your feet warm

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This info email is right on target center of the 10.

As a younger man, military and as civilian, I have had feet and hands so cold that knowing I had toes and fingers required my looking at each one to see if they were indeed there. Yes, those times affect me to this day.

In the past 15 years I have gone through more mass produced boots & mid-height hikers that were supposed to be “insulated” and contained the super space age product of “Gore-Tex”. Well, I can report that I rarely could find anything that could keep my feet and ankles warm.

What I want to also point out the number of times that I purchased “insulated & Gore-Tex lined” boots that seemed to be neither. My feet & toes would get cold just testing the boots…in my house! On taking those off my feet were damp. Puzzled I begin to evaluate what I had suspected often.

Wearing the boots outside my feet would chill down to the point of 100% discomfort. The Gore-Tex had to be sewn in reversed. No other explanation.

Having the Gore-Tex reversed was the simplest answer. After all, with the demise of many USA manufacturers, the majority of these boots on the market now are assembled in countries whose factory personnel have never worn much else but sandals.

Thanks for the updates! Man would I have liked to have had my Herman Survivors with Lamilite.

Dave M.

In the second paragraph of the previous commentary I left out the word “not”. The sentence should read “who have NOT had cold feet” etc. Thank you Paul for making me aware of the left out word.

I am sure that the experience of Dave M. has been repeated millions of times if you accumulate the number of boots that have been sold for the past 35 to 40 years that have been lined with both of these materials.

The long term ramifications to someone who has cold feet for the first time can and in many cases lasts for years or a lifetime. If you are out when the ambient air temperature is 32 degrees or lower the ground temperature is even lower because cold air sinks. If there is snow on the ground the cold now will surround your feet. We have millions and millions of pores on our body. Moist vapor comes out of these pores and it is warm. Our skin surface gives off heat. When we are active the moist vapor will condense on our skin surface to a liquid. This liquid moisture is water. Water is the most efficient absorber of heat on the planet so the moisture is now absorbing the heat on our skin surface in an effort to keep our internal body temperature at 98.6 degrees F. If you do not want to develop liquid moisture on your skin surface during the cold months wear fishnet underwear which allows the moisture while still a vapor to get away from your skin surface. Unfortunately fishnet socks would not be very comfortable so something else must take its place.

First of all the feet happen to have about 250,000 pores per foot more than any other area of the body so more moisture comes out of each foot than any other part of the body. In addition we wear socks that are form fitting and shoes that are also form fitting so the movement of the moisture away from your feet while in a vapor state is stifled. If you are walking when the ambient air temperature is but 40 degrees F and lower you are okay, but when you stop in a few moments depending upon the air temperature at the ground level and especially if snow is on the ground you will begin to experience cold toes first. Why; because all of the moisture that has come out of your pores as a vapor is now a liquid absorbed by your socks if wool or trapped by your socks if synthetic. If the foot wears, shoes, boots etc. happens to have insulation such as Thinsulate in them the moisture will not necessarily pass through it. Thinsulate is made from polypropylene which does not absorb water. All of the tow lines used to pull water skiers are polypropylene and if you water ski you know it floats very well. If it absorbed water as nylon does it would sink? That is why nylon is used for anchor line. At this point the entire vapor has been converted to liquid moisture which does not get past the Gore-Tex because as they say it keeps the rain out. What is rain other than water falling from the sky? Your feet are now surrounded by cold air which is absorbing whatever heat it can get from your feet. Remember heat moves to cold. So the first parts of your feet that get cold are the digit i.e. toes. The longer you stay out in the cold environment once this process has started the more danger you are in, in general. Unfortunately for us humans our body has quite a memory so each year you encounter this situation the response time to feeling the cold gets shorter and shorter. Your first experience may take place when you are 20 years old but when you are 60 regardless of how healthy you maybe your toes will say it is cold much sooner than you want. Why does all of this happen, because the moisture from your feet is not allowed to move away from your skin surface the way it can from your torso when wearing fishnet underwear. Can anything be done to alleviate this potential negative action; YES.

It is documented thousands of times that moisture migrates through the Lamilite insulation of Wiggy bags and clothing. Reading the testimonials on the web site you will find repeatedly people saying they were wet and their bag was wet and the slept warm and found that they were dry and the bag was dry in the morning. Lamilite socks work exactly the same way. You wear them against your skin and all of the moisture coming out of the pores located in your feet will migrate through the nylon and Lamilite so it is no longer able to touch your skin surface. If you happen to have any of the Lamilite insulated boots that I have had made over the years the moisture will migrate through the Lamilite insulation and then through the leather exterior. Leather is vapor permeable.

All of the companies that used to make sleeping bags and outerwear in the USA never bothered to learn about the human body and how it functions so their sales of sleeping bags have diminished markedly over the years only to find that consumers have an appetite for knowledge and when they are given honest answers to questions and an education in general they migrate to those products. Hence Wiggy’s is by far the largest sold quality sleeping bag in the world. For the past two or three winters the outerwear being sold has gotten thinner and lighter for some pretty cold temperature use only to find they are cold. Now I believe the footwear industry is also ignoring the facts of reality about their thus far continued use of components that I believe are potentially detrimental to the safety of consumers who venture into cold environments especially where snow and ice are present.

Shortly all of the pack boots will be gone. For those of you who have pack boots that have felt inserts throw them away and get the Sunwalkers and Lamilite socks and you will have a combination that will keep your feet warm to as much as -30 degrees F so long as you are otherwise properly dressed for the environment.

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