Have you ever seen a distracted hunter sitting dejectedly in his stand? All you can do is wonder what has his mind so occupied that a buck could pass within 10 yards and he probably wouldn’t even notice? Nine times out of ten I would put my money on cold toes.
Deer hunting is already a challenge and if you live anywhere north of Tennessee, it can be downright brutal as temperatures drop well below freezing overnight and thick, wet fog moves in right at sun up. When it’s cold and damp, any part of you can start to chill but your feet, down at the farthest point from your core, have it the worst.
No matter how many pairs of good wool socks you wear, sometimes it’s just not going to be enough. Sometimes you need a little technology on your side. Something to give those toes a little artificial heat so the brain can stay alert and in the game before Bambi senior wonders into your area. Cold toes should never lead to an unfilled tag.
Heated socks have been around for decades but were pretty much useless until modern battery technology allowed them to work for longer than 20 minutes. Those early socks ran on either D cell batteries or 9-volt and the current it takes to heat the element would drain them in no time.
Today, you can get socks that run on the same battery technology as DeWalt power tools and stand a chance at keeping your poor, freezing digits toasty warm all morning. Unlike those older socks, today’s best socks are rechargeable and lack that ungainly battery pack due to lighter weight and more compact lithium batteries.
If your feet get chills, and your boots just aren’t up to snuff and can’t handle another northern deer season, we have rounded up the best heated socks we could find to beat the cold and for a price that anyone can manage!
- Read more: Top 10 Best Hunting Boots 2019
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- 1 8 Best Heated Socks Reviews 2019
- 1.1 1. Lenz Heat 1200 1.0 Ski Sock – Best of the Best
- 1.2 2. Volt Heated Socks – Best Light Weight Sock
- 1.3 3. Mobile Warming Heated Socks – Most Comfortable
- 1.4 4. Flambeau Heated Socks – Best Bang for your Buck
- 1.5 5. GLOBAL VASION Electric Heated Socks – Best Budget Sock
- 1.6 6. Rabbitroom Heated Socks – Warmest Sock
- 1.7 7. Greensha Heated Socks – Best Budget for Comfort
- 1.8 8. Autocastle Heated Socks – Most Affordable
- 2 Choosing Your Best Heated Socks
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 Heated Socks FAQs
8 Best Heated Socks Reviews 2019
1. Lenz Heat 1200 1.0 Ski Sock – Best of the Best
If you are looking for the best of the best with no compromise for your cold weather outings, it’s best to look to sports known for cold weather, like cross country skiing. The Lenz Heat socks were designed for grueling hours spent in the deepest cold and they excel at keeping the blood warm and flowing.
Firstly, the sock is superbly made won’t slip down as the day wears on, even with the extra battery weight. The ergonomic design hugs the leg and fits so well you won’t even notice it has a heating element or battery packs. You may very well forget you are wearing heated socks at all. On top of all that its machine washable.
The elements are isolated around the toes and ball of the foot but will radiate throughout your boot to keep the whole foot warm and, with modern lithium technology, it will keep up the heat for a full 14 hours. It can be controlled directly with three different modes or sync to your smartphone for more fine-tuned control.
No compromises, right? These socks are beyond amazing!
- Very warm
- Long Heat Time
- Remote or Bluetooth Control
2. Volt Heated Socks – Best Light Weight Sock
While not technically a sock unto themselves, the Volt is more of a liner to be worn over an existing sock. That means you have the comfort of your own wool socks and a fabric layer that can gather and hold the heat in. These are a more subtle heat than the Lenz socks but can be quite effective on those colder days.
The sock itself is fair quality and fits well with a thicker wool sock without being too tight. The fabric is moisture wicking and contours well to the leg for a no slip fit. The wires and heating pad are a little more noticeable but you will soon forget they are there.
As for the heat, depending on how high you crank them, they can last up to 10 hours. On the highest setting, you will get a bit less than 4 hours. You can change power settings with the included remote which means no fighting with your pants legs to find the batteries. Heating area is still closer to the toes but does extend back to the arch of the foot for even heat.
- Adequate Heat Time
- Remote Control
- Not as Comfortable
3. Mobile Warming Heated Socks – Most Comfortable
A heated sock isn’t just about the heat. First, it has to be a good quality sock that fits well and is comfortable. Socks do more than keep our feet warm, they protect against rubbing and wick away moisture. If you were to leave out the heating element, the Mobile Warming sock is a hands down great sock.
Not to go on at length about a piece of footwear but the fit of these socks is amazing. They wick moisture well and keep your feet dry. They don’t slide or move around and contour well to the leg. If I could get these socks without the heating element, they would likely be my go to brand.
If you combine great warming technology, long run-time, and lightweight batteries, you get a very comfortable and effective system. With 11+ hours of potential heat, a remote for easy operation, and more comfort than most of its competitors, Mobil Warming is poised to take over this niche market.
- Very Comfortable
- Long Heat Time
- Remote or Bluetooth Controls
- Well Fitted
- Higher Priced
- Midrange Durability
- Not as warm as other socks
4. Flambeau Heated Socks – Best Bang for your Buck
While none of the companies producing heated socks are really tried and true, this is new technology after all, some are more likely to innovate and improve their products than others. Flambeau seems like one of better innovators with this solid sock that uses the latest warming technologies.
As for the sock, it’s what you would expect from a good quality, blended hunting sock. It wicks moisture well to keep your feet dry and offers its own insulation to keep things at a good, even heat. The fit is snug but not tight and has no issues with drooping or sliding. It’s all you could want in a sock.
The heating element is where this sock shines. Rather than the old conductive or copper matting, Flambeau uses a carbon fiber mat which is much more durable and heats more evenly. On a full charge, you can expect an even 6 to 8 hours of radiant heat to keep things toasty. The wire is noticeable but was never uncomfortable or in the way, it will annoy you until you forget about it.
- Good, Even Heat Output
- Moderate Heat Time
- May be Less Durable
- Some Seem Issues
- Wire Placement is Awkward
5. GLOBAL VASION Electric Heated Socks – Best Budget Sock
As you begin to move into the more budget friendly options for keeping your feet warm, there are going to be sacrifices but you need to be cautious where you make them. You are going to want a sock that is comfortable but you still need it to heat effectively.
Global Vasion has managed a sock that sits right in the middle of budget vs quality, being cheaper on average for the quality you get but better than most of the brands in its price range. The sock itself is nothing to write home about. It fits well and wicks moisture, stays in its place, and is comfortable.
The heat is where the sock shines. It may not have the long lasting potential of some of the better brands but you can count on a sock that gets hot fast and can really put out the heat if you need it. These are probably the warmest socks on the market if you live in the far north, something like this is a lifesaver!
- Fairly Comfortable
- Adequate Heat Time
- Fast Heating
- Not as Durable
- Poor Wire Placement
6. Rabbitroom Heated Socks – Warmest Sock
Heated socks are a small market and the trouble with small markets is they are often flooded with inferior quality products. It would be easy for a company to take a run of the mill sock and shove some heating technology in and sell it as a heated sock. Luckily, there are a few companies that have chosen to do it right.
For this more budget friendly choice, it’s all about the sock. Rabbitroom socks started with a good sock, one that is comfortable and well fitted, before they added any heat. This sock is machine washable and feels just like your daily socks. If there were any complaint about it, it would be that the moisture wicking is a little less than desirable.
As for heat, this sock is no slouch. For a solid 4 to 5 hours it can put out up to 125 degrees of toe thawing heat. No matter your activity you can ensure warm feet at temperature. The duration is a little lower that would be preferred but for those short mornings in a deer stand, these would be perfect.
- Incredible Warmth
- Machine Washable
- Shorter Heat Time
- Shorter Heat Element Lifespan
- Poor Moisture Control
7. Greensha Heated Socks – Best Budget for Comfort
As the difference in quality narrows toward the lower end of our quality socks, the details become important. We have had good heat and good material, but Greensha excels in a very comfortable budget option for a heated sock.
For a cotton blended sock, the Greensha wicks well and that is the primary way it distinguishes itself from other products in its price range. The material is comfortable and the sock is well shaped and well fitted. It doesn’t slip down or bunch up around the foot. It is the same quality that Greensha puts into its non-heated footwear.
As for heat, they are much like the Rabbitroom socks. They heat about as fast and last about as long but they don’t get quite as warm. If you want a slightly more comfortable sock and aren’t as cold sensitive, these are a quality option over the foot-cooking capacity of the Rabbitroom socks.
- Quick Heating
- Wicks Moisture Well
- Cotton is less Durable
- Could be Warmer
- Less Durable
8. Autocastle Heated Socks – Most Affordable
As we reach the bottom of our list, the market has narrowed almost enough to be indistinguishable. As a matter of fact, the socks could be the same as those made by Greensha. The material and cut are exactly the same. Where you save a few bucks is in the heat.
So much like the last sock, this sock is well fitted and comfortable. It wicks moisture away with the best blended socks out there. There won’t be much slippage and the sock doesn’t gather inside the boot, making it uncomfortable. In short, it’s a good quality sock.
These socks are a little less warm than the last couple of options but do well in any temperature above freezing. They do take a little longer to charge and warm a little slower. How much of an inconvenience that is will depend on your specific use. For me, that matters little and these are a decent budget option.
- Quite Warm
- Good Moisture Wicking
- Very Affordable
- Takes longer to get warm
- Durability / Seem Issues
- Poor Wire Placement
Choosing Your Best Heated Socks
While there are the older style electric socks that use D cell or 9-volt batteries, they do not compare in any way to the modern lithium ion power options. Even the worst lithium models will heat three times as long as the old models.
There are also the socks that use chemical warmers and while they do a good job of warming, some even lasting several hours, there is no adjustment to the temperature. Unless you are in the brutal cold, your feet will probably overheat in minutes and any adjustment will require removing your boots. Chemical warmers are just not convenient for a hunter in the field.
With those considerations in mind, there are still some decisions to make to ensure you are getting the sock best suited to your needs.
All decisions start with price and the advice is always the same, buy the best you can afford. That still applies here as lithium batteries are a growing technology and those who have grasped the latest, and more expensive, technology will have an edge over those using the previous generation of lithium cells.
You can get a pair of socks that will do the job for a reasonable price and expect them to perform well enough but if you can dig a little deeper, the rewards will be exponentially greater. A sock that costs twice as much is often more than two times better.
The kind of materials for socks is a blended poly. It’s slicker and less likely to cause blisters, it wicks moisture better, and it’s more durable. In many cases, it will be cheaper as well. Alternatively, it can be harder to clean well and hold odors more than a natural material sock unless treated with an odor guard.
Wool blends have been a long been the standard for outdoorsmen because of its hard wearing potential and innate warmth. In a heated sock, the warmth is less an issue but the fact that wool holds odors less and is generally a very comfortable fabric is an important consideration.
Cotton blends tend to be more affordable and quiet comfortable but as a sock, they are not as durable as other fabrics and do poorly at wicking away moisture. It’s a balance between upfront cost and long term durability. Most people won’t wear out a pair of heated socks in a single season so even with a small investment, you can have a product that will last you a couple of years.
3. Heat Duration
If you look at socks from the perspective of a hunter, very rarely are you going to be in your stand more than 4 or 5 hours at a time. Even the lower cost socks can keep up with that duration. If you want socks that will last longer, the price will go up.
It’s always better to have more time than what you need but you will have to balance that with what you are willing to pay. The top of the line models can pump out heat for half a day and can get you to and from your stand, even in the deepest woods with time to spare.
Mostly the features you will be looking at is how you interact with the sock. Most of the options on this list are toward the budget end of the scale and you will have to access the battery in order to make changes to the level of heat output. This is a mild inconvenience but nowhere near as bad as the chemical warmers.
Several of the midrange socks offer a remote which is a handy feature to have, especially in the tight confines of a tree stand. The remotes are simple and easy to use even with gloves on. This is one of those innovations that has made heated socks a more viable method of keeping your feet warm.
Of course, the Lenz socks, the best on our list, have the ability to connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone. There you can fine tune your heat output and monitor the remaining power left. This may seem a bit of a gimmick but it’s a useful one. It’s a step up from the remote in any case. I expect this will be a more common feature going forward.
I once knew a hunter that lost three toes one year while deer hunting. Turns out his feet got cold so slowly that he never really realized it was as bad as it was. I have never felt I was in that situation. Most of the time if my feet were cold, I damn well knew it! But it’s still a concern.
While no one wants to lose their toes, the actual motivation for this article was a young man whose feet had gotten so cold from the wind blowing past his stand that he sat motionless and unaware as a decent buck walked not 25 feet from where he was sitting. When your feet are cold, your whole body is cold and that kind of distraction is a sure way to miss your chance. It happens every year.
Don’t be one of those guys that realize too late that a small investment in proper footwear could havemade the difference in a filled tag and a disappointing year. You don’t have to buy the best but you have to do something to keep your feet in order.
Heated Socks FAQs
Q: Can I buy additional batteries for my socks?
In most cases the suppliers to sell extra batteries for their socks, many of which use the same battery but realize that the battery is the most expensive single component in the socks. You would often be better served by getting socks that have a longer run-time than having to deal with extra batteries to charge and keep track of in the field.
Q: How warm do the socks get?
That depends on the brand and can range from flat out hot to very mild. My preference is for a mild heat that lasts longer. If you have a good pair of boots, that will often be enough to keep your feet at a good temperature.
Q: How effective are heated socks?
If you get good ones, they are very effective! Enough to make a difference on the coldest days. It’s easy to add layers to the rest of your body but hands and feet are harder and the cause of most discomfort in the cold. If you have cold feet, the chilled blood will circulate through your legs before it’s warmed again and you can have a very uncomfortable time.
Q: How do I care for my heated socks?
Every manufacturer will have their own guidelines. Some are machine washable and some are not. Always follow the recommended method but generally I gently wash by hand in a mild detergent and hang dry, keeping water away from the battery connectors and not using the sock until it’s fully dry.
Q: If it’s so cold, why worry about moisture wicking?
The easy answer is that moisture conducts temperatures better than when dry. That means that your feet will warm more, maybe too much with the heat on but should your batteries die, the cold will conduct faster too leading to colder feet. Above all things, keep your feet dry.
Q: How safe are heated socks?
While I know of several accounts of chemical warmers causing burns, I have never seen a single case where an electronic sock has caused any injury. Some of the socks get quite warm but well below the temperature it would take to damage skin or cause a fire. It is just not a concern.