Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gear Review: ArcticShield Boot Insulators

If you spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter, you may have experienced that uncomfortable feeling of cold feet. Some cold weather activities like bow hunting, ice fishing, DUCK HUNTING, or snowmobiling don’t require exertion for generating body heat needed to keep the extremities warm. In these situations, we need to rely on the quality of our foot coverings to keep our toes warm. Even while sitting for hours in my tree stand, my expensive hunting boots are warm, but my feet still get borderline uncomfortably cold. It becomes a test of skills, a game of mind over matter, and thoughts of staying out longer or giving up begin to enter my mind. I usually prevail, and can manage the cold, but it sure would have been a lot more enjoyable not having to think about how cold my feet were getting.

I just discovered the Arctic Shield Boot Insulators. I tested these on a recent ice fishing trip and I think I just found the cure for cold feet! As a test, I had only one pair of the boot insulators on, while leaving the other with just my hunting boots on. I was on the lake for about 6 hours and my Arctic Shield foot was comfortable and warm all day. My other foot, with only my Women’s Alphaburly Sport Realtree HD 800g Hunting Boots. The uninsulated foot was not ‘cold’, since temps were in the mid 20’s, but, they were noticeably cooler than the insulated foot.

A few things I noted:

  • When I ordered these, I thought they looked huge. When I received them, I was surprised how light and slim they folded into my day pack, and they are not the big boat anchors that I was expecting.
  • They were hard to get on, I ordered a SMALL. I learned that I wasn’t suppose to be wearing these with my big hunting boots that have too much insulation! I was able to get them to fit, but it was tight against my Alpha Burly boots. In any event, the results were still good. No complication or heat loss with the fit.
  • The boot insulators are recommended to be worn with lighter boots, or even hiking boots, which have little or no insulation. Boots with too much insulation would cause your feet to sweat and cool your feet. The boot insulators work by insulating youralready warm and dry feet. In this case, I would probably put the boot insulators on after I got settled in, and not while walking to my hunting or ice fishing location. ArcticShield garments do not use insulation, in the normal sense. They use a technology called RE-tain™ to keep you warm. RE-tain™ is a very thin piece of material that acts as a heat barrier and reflects up to 97 percent of your own body heat back to you. This technology allows garments to be very thin – not bulky like other cold-weather garments.
  • The ArcticShield Boot Insulators are windproof, water-resistant and breathable.
  • Adding chemical warming packs add more warmth in the inside of your boots and the boot insulators radiate that warm back to your toes and feet.
In summary, I highly recommend these boots for cold weather stationary activities. Nothing will end or ruin your hunt or fishing trip quicker than cold and uncomfortable feet. I wish that I’d found these sooner! I am willing to bet that anyone that tries these would encourage their friends to try them, they’re that good!

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