Press "Enter" to skip to content

First Impressions of Electric Socks

It's easier to stay warm than to get warm.


I learned the hard way - as I tagged along on my first big adventure - that staying warm on a cold night is a whole lot more pleasant than trying to recover from a freezing evening by hunkering down in even the warmest of comforters when I finally went to bed.

At least, that's when I should have learned. In reality, it took me a good couple of years, camping with guys who don't mind - or even relish - the cold, to realize this simple fact. It wasn't all their fault though. No matter the temperature, if we're having a wood fire, I always stand upwind of the warmth, preferring that my clothing, bedding, and the interior of the Tacoma not smell like campfire in perpetuity.

It didn't take long for me to bring along warmer clothing, and soon I was able to keep most of my body warm. Even in boots however, my feet - always on the cold ground - remained a problem.

Hoping to solve the problem once and for all, I picked up a case of Little Hotties and started putting one in each sock, in the hopes that the exothermic reaction would keep my toes toasty. Alas, it seems that there's not enough circulating air for the reaction to occur when they're tucked away like that, and they wouldn't warm up until I was shoeless and in bed.

Since then, I've had no solution. Until recently.

I happened to be browsing amazon for a nice Christmas present for @mrs.turbodb, and thinking back to my motorcycle days - when I had heated gloves that plugged into the main motorcycle battery - I thought that perhaps the proliferation of LiIon batteries might mean that a more portable solution might now be available.

Turns out, there are dozens - hundreds even - of brands of heated socks. Predictably, the photos and descriptions are strikingly similar - only the brand name differentiating the offerings - and they all appear to come from the same factory on the other side of the world.

I decided it was a fitting present to come from Santa in the cold north, and if he was going to bring her a pair, he should probably drop one off for me as well.

What I Got and Why

Yep, they are socks.

I picked up these electric socks, but as I mentioned, there are many that appear to be the same. The boxes that these checked were the following:

  • USB-C charging. I've recently decided that it's time to (as much as I can) get away from micro-USB - where the connectors wear out quickly, and USB-A - where you have a 50-50 chance of orienting the connector correctly, yet somehow get it wrong 75% of the time. USB-C solves both of these, and I recently found a charger that I really love.
  • A pocket to hold the battery, with a button closure. Some of the socks seem to come from a factory door with pockets but no buttons. I wanted to make sure the battery wouldn't fall out if I got horizontal and wore the socks to bed.
  • Heating elements on the top and bottom of the foot. Because who wants to have only one side of their foot be warm?
  • Several heat levels. I don't think this narrowed down the choices at all; they've all realized that sometimes it's cold out, and sometimes it's really cold out.

First Impressions

After using the socks on two trips, I feel like I've got a reasonably good sense of how they work in medium-cold conditions. That is to say, I've used them when it was cold out (down to about 29°F), but only when sitting in the unheated cab of the Tacoma, and not yet standing around the campfire.

So, with that caveat, here are my first impressions:


  • The socks do a great job of keeping warm feet warm. With four heat settings, I find that if I start with warm feet, I can use the lowest two settings to keep my feet very toasty warm.
  • The batteries last a long time. At the lowest two settings they last for many hours (nearly through the night when sleeping). At the highest setting, they last for at least three hours, which I suspect would be enough time for me if I were standing around a cold campfire.
  • The USB-A-to-dual-USB-C charging cable splits and charges both sock batteries at the same time. This is nice, as we only have to keep track of one charging cable rather than two.


  • The socks don't do a great job - at least, in shoes - at warming up my feet if they are extremely cold. That is, if I can't feel my toes anymore, it takes a reasonably long time - an hour or so - at the highest setting to warm my feet up.
  • The batteries take a long time to charge. These are not large batteries - perhaps the size of a cell phone battery - but they take something on the order of 4+ hours to fully charge, even with a high-watt, fast charger. Surely for a couple dollars, faster charging could have been included and they could have charged in an hour or less. Still, even at 4+ hours, we can charge both pair over the course of the day, we just need to keep an eye on the progress and remember to change the batteries half way through the day.
  • They can get too hot (is this a con?) if you leave them on high and go to bed. I've woken up twice with my feet feeling as though they were going to catch on fire because I left the socks on the highest setting when I climbed into bed.

Neither Pro nor Con (for me)

  • I wouldn't wear these socks if I were active (hiking, skiing, etc.) They say that they can be used in those situations, but I wouldn't want to risk breaking whatever the resistive heating material is during those activities. I just wear them when I'm "lazying" around camp though, so this isn't an issue for me at all.


So far, I'm very happy with these socks. They are way better than the Little Hotties (which didn't work at all for me). I'll report back once I've had a chance to wear them around a cold campfire as well!


Related Reviews


Related Modifications, Maintenance, or Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *