I’d picked up a package of those stick on throw away air activated foot warmers for a recent trip to a Very Cold Place, but I’m not crazy about disposable goods for the outdoors — I like products that generate less trash rather than more. I do suffer from cold feet, even in fairly mild conditions, so I was psyched to get my toes toasted with a pair of Verseo Thermo Soles. Reusable, rechargeable, and with no pesky wires, they kept my feet warm while I stomped around in icy puddles, on snow, in and out of boats, and in generally less than ideal weather conditions. And they’re very lightweight and easy to pack.

Verseo Thermo SolesYou’ll have to charge the insoles for use — I plugged them in overnight and they were ready to go. Depending on what’s happening inside your shoes, you may need to pull out your standard insoles and replace them with the Thermo Soles. Then, I switched them on with the little battery powered remote — it’s cleverly on a key fob — and almost instantly, my feet were toasty warm. And they stayed warm for hours. While my fellow travelers were complaining about poor boot fit and bulky extra socks, I was quietly comfortable.

There are only a few tricky things about the insoles, and mostly, you just need to remember how they work. First, you turn them OFF to charge them, and )ON to use them. You’ll need to remember to switch the insoles to ON before you put them in your shoes. You need to keep them dry, of course, don’t submerge them in water, though a little bit of moisture from your feet will not damage them. It’s easy to forget to switch them off when you’re not in your shoes, though they do last a good eight hours. And if you lose the little remote that turns them on and off — well, don’t lose it, that’s the best plan.

This pair of Thermo Soles was,without question, an item I was very happy I’d packed. They’re great for skiers, day hikers, people working in cold places, adventurers with access to power at night (does your ship have outlets?). Warm feet go a long way towards keeping a traveler happy in bad conditions. I was in some rather extreme weather, but with the Thermo Soles in my boots, I was a happy — and warm — traveler.

Thermo Soles run about 100 US a pair. You can buy them directly from Verseo, or check Amazon for deals.

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