Keeping Those Feet Warm | with JH Sports’ Stephen McDonald

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This week from Stephen McDonald, Board Certified Pedorthist at Jackson Hole Sports:

Jackson Hole can be a cold mountain! Cold snowy days, clear cold days and cloudy cold days- we have ‘em all. Cold is great for snow, but not always great for our feet.

The issue I hear most about is frigid feet. As a slopeside certified Pedorthist at Jackson Hole Sports, I see this as the #1 preventable issue keeping skiers and boarders from enjoying themselves on our mountain.

Custom footbeds and custom ski boot liners offer a much greater insulation or “R” value. We sell custom footbeds from Conformable, Masterfit, and DFP along with custom liners from Intuition and Zipfit. These areas are a great place to start with your initial bootfit. Clean socks and dry liners are the foundation to a great day, but often I look to the skiers other equipment and see the answers as to why they are cold.

The human circulatory system has a series of “fuses” that “trip” in the extremities when the mercury drops. Sure some skiers have vascular issues that will prevent them from ever being comfortable- but that’s not case for most skiers. Sometimes being cold isn’t the boot issue skiers think it is.

Is your helmet well fitting? Are your gloves moist or not warm enough? When I encounter visitors who are having a rough time due to temps, I walk them over to the down filled micro puff jackets. There are several manufacturers that make these ultra light down and synthetic insulated pieces. Cold feet? Maybe that’s your body telling you that your core (the important organs) is getting cold. Change your insulation and your feet will likely warm up. Even a small micro insulated vest added to your clothing or new gloves can have amazing warming effects on the feet. Even consider knee pads as a way of “warming” up your blood that flows over your knees, not much muscle or fat over our knees.

Also, heated boot bags are an inexpensive option offering numerous benefits to skiers. As skiers get, ahem, older, the body needs all the help it can get staying warm and pumping blood to the extremities. Starting off with a ski or snowboard boot that’s already pre-warmed can be a real day saver.

If your boots are properly fitted and you still have the chills, the answer may be taking a look at something other than your feet.

Stephen A. McDonald, C. Ped
Jackson Hole Sports

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