Posts tagged thermal
The Hi-Tec Sierra Sina 200 WPI shoes are warm, waterproof and durable snow boots designed to keep your feet warm and dry whatever the weather. With a leather and nubuck upper, they incorporate a 200g Thinsulate insulation, a moisture wicking lining, and a Vibram rubber outsole ideal for snowy and icy conditions.
I chose these myself from the current Hi-Tec range after being offered a pair to review. I liked them the most from the selection because they didn’t actually look like snow boots… they are just like skate shoes, which I love to wear thanks to their comfort and style.
Here are a few photos of them before I took them out in the rain…
These were comfortable from the first time I wore them, which was actually to walk to the shop one pretty yucky day in early January. It was raining, was very cold, and even though I was worried about ruining the light coloured nubuck leather uppers on these, I wanted to give them a try. My feet thanked me – they were toasty warm, completely dry, and lovely and snug in these Hi-Tecs.
Actually I needn’t have worried about the upper. Sure these shoes don’t look like new any more, but the uppers didn’t ruin, they just dried out (thanks in part to my Stuffits!) a bit darker than before. They are comfy shoes, not smart ones, so that’s fine.
I also took these with me to Finland, where they have proper snow (and proper winter temperatures)! These were my shoes of choice when wandering around in the evenings – they are much less bulky than normal snow boots like my KEENs so I could wear them with my straight cut jeans, and I reckon they kept my feet as warm thanks to that insulated lining. I’ve come across Thinsulate in gloves and hats before, but this is my first experience of it in shoes – it works.
I found myself wearing these to work for a day too. I decided I needed something properly warm and comfortable thanks to the very icy pavements – I didn’t want to be stuck in the office at lunchtime thanks to unsuitable footwear, or break my neck getting to a meeting. The Vibram soles worked a treat and, even though I was definitely careful – I didn’t want to end up with anything broken, I felt very secure with these on my feet.
I do like these a lot and I have been wearing them a lot while it’s been cold. They an easy-wearing shoe, cosy and comfy, that keeps what’s on the inside dry and warm even if the outside is disgusting.
I was offered a pair of socks by Incredisocks to take to Finland with me. The email said… “high-tech socks that guarantee to keep your feet warm and are soooo comfortable!”. So naturally I had to give them a try.
The packaging said that these are “proven to increase foot temperature by 3.2C in 5 minutes. The world’s best thermo-regulating ski sock. With carbonised charcoal and germanium anion technology for increased blood flow, moisture wicking, odour elimination, improved comfort.”
I was worried about these socks. I’ve said before on Splodz Blogz that my legs are larger than average. I have problems with boots fitting so if these socks used their tightness as an aid to keep your feet warm then would they even pull up? Oh how I wish my legs were smaller. Not shorter you understand, narrower.
Thankfully they did fit. They had enough stretch in them to go over my lovely legs. Phew. They came up just over half way up my calf muscles, and were very comfortable.
The claim that these would be the warmest socks ever was quite a significant considering I was planning on taking these to Ruka in Finland for testing. They’d need to be good. On the morning I put these on the thermometer on the apartment balcony said -16, and it went down from there. My toes had been fine the previous day (-12) in my Trespass socks.
Off we went for a days skiing. And thankfully my toes were happy all day. I did get a little cold towards the end of the day on the lifts, but it wasn’t so bad that my feet hurt as they warmed up or anything (they did towards the end of the week!!) – by the time I’d skied a couple of turns my toes were toasty again. As far as ski socks go I’d say there as good if not better than the best ones I own, they are obviously designed well.
The shape of the socks is good too. When skiing you need your socks to give you protection and padding in the right places – those ski boots can be torture devices otherwise. You can see on the photos below how the different areas of the socks sit on my feet and legs, and these did the trick.
I do wonder based on my experience with hiking socks that a decent pair of merino wool socks might be warmer, but these are good. For £19.95 they are worth the money – I just wish I’d saved these for the following day when the thermometer said -22 at around 2pm and in the evening it was -28 when we were on our snowmobile ride, that would have been an extreme test!
On hearing that I would be spending a week in Finland where the average daytime temperature at this time of year is -14, Damart kindly sent me a set of thermals to try out. I dutifully packed them in my suitcase hoping that a) the forecast was incorrect and b) Damart had sent me a decent product.
The set I tested is a long sleeved top with scoop neck and some full length traditional leggings. They both are considered “soft touch” thermals, which Damart give a rating of 2 (out of 5) on their scale of warmth.
It was suggested that I included a photograph on here of me modelling the thermals. Er… sorry… way to self conscious for that! You will just have to believe me when I say my usual size fitted me very well – skin tight without being restrictive – and they have a feminine look to them.
Both the top and the leggings are made from soft material which has been finished well. They are nice to have next to your skin because the material is lovely – I didn’t experience any static with these which I know is a common problem with base layers.
The top has lovely satiny-feel edging which sits nicely at your wrists and neck, and the leggings are elasticated at the waist and ankles. The top’s scoop neck, although it looks nice, isn’t really something you want on thermals you’re going to wear for activities like skiing or walking as you want warmth right up to your neck, but it does make the top useful for more casual wear under dresses or tops with different neck styles. The leggings have a traditional knitted pattern (like those white socks we all used to wear to school) which left lovely indentations on my legs especially where my ski socks and boots were squishing them onto my skin – this took a little while to disappear but wasn’t sore or painful. Both the top and leggings are very stretchy so you get a good fit.
Given that the packaging for both rates these thermals no where near the minus 16 degrees celcius I tested them in (we had colder days, but I didn’t wear these on those days), I would say these are well worth their “thermal” title. Combined with my other ski wear they did the trick – comfortable to wear, fitted well, and helped to keep me warm.
Back home in snowy Great Britain I would say these are ideal for the cold days we’re getting at the moment. I would be more than happy to wear the top under a dress in the office, and the leggings under some trousers (I can’t pull off this style of leggings with a dress, not flattering for the shape of my legs). In fact I’m going to be sat in Lincoln Cathedral later, I think I will definitely have these hidden underneath my chosen outfit.
Bloggers have been invited to take part in a competition to win some Surfdome vouchers… well considering Surfdome sell exactly the kind of gear I like to wear it would have been rude not to!
To enter you have to create a wishlist worth £250 and post about it on your blog. Here’s me…
Yes – that’s ‘me’ stood on the mountain in Arinsal, Andorra, enjoying some winter fun. And I can’t wait to get back to the mountains, this time we’re heading to Ruka in Finland where it is supposed to get very (very) cold.
Now the jacket itself in that silly picture above is worth more than £250 on its own so that’s not on my wishlist (well it is, it’s lovely, but not for the purposes of this competition!) – what I’m after is the fabulous lime green ski pants (£62.99) and the yellow and grey Barts beanie hat (£19.99).
Those two items come to £82.98 so I’ve got a little left… so you just have to imagine that under my ski suit I am wearing some cosy Helly Hanson thermal pants (£49.99) and top (£54.99), some The North Face ski socks (£19.99) and that I have some Oakley goggles (£39.99) ready for some downhill action.
All in that comes just over £2 short of my £250 allowance – I’d be rather happy if I could hit the ‘checkout now’ icon and these things were on their way to me. I’m actually way too tempted by those lime green ski pants. Hmmmm.
If you are a blogger feel free to enter this competition – see the Surfdome blog for details. The winner (it’s the taking part that counts of course!) is to be announced on 11th December… do let me know if you enter yourself after reading this post.
A little while ago I reviewed Heat Holders Socks here on Splodz Blogz.
I loved how cosy and comfy they were and said that I enjoyed wearing them around the house as well as out and about, but later commented on twitter that they were a bit slippery on my wooden floors. So Heat Holders sent me a couple of pairs of their slipper socks to try out (I think they were trying to prevent me from hurting myself!).
They have the same 2.3 tog brushed fluffy inside which is seriously comfy and cosy for your feet. The only difference between these and the ones I’ve already reviewed is the rubbery bits which give these a non-slip bottom. Whereas I could easily slide from one side of my kitchen to the other (on purpose and by accident), the bits on these mean I can walk normally. Phew!
Once again Heat Holders get the thumbs up from Splodz Blogz – they are a joy to wear and now I won’t fall over in my kitchen!
I’m sat here catching up on Masterchef with these blue socks on my feet. They are cosy and fluffy and definitely warm.
Heat Holders sent me a pair of their 2.3 tog socks to try out. I’m not sure I’ve ever worn socks with a tog rating before, but I like the idea of a sock that is rated in the same way as a duvet!
Tagged as “the ultimate thermal sock”, it is the extra heavy bulky yarn, long pile cushioning and intense brushing process which all add comfort and warmth. Tog ratings are used to measure the potential warmth of a product; the higher the rating, the warmer the product should be. A high tog rating is achieved by holding as much warm air in the fabric as possible, which is by Heat Holders are brushed on the inside – not just for a fluffy comfy cosy sock but also for a very warm sock.
To put it in context, the 2.3 tog rating compares to the apparent 0.4 tog of an average cotton sock. Much warmer and much more suited to the winter months.
So how do they feel? Well I’ve already alluded to the fact that they are cost and fluffy and warm. Not a “pretty” sock in that they are thick and add bulk to the foot and ankle, but that’s not what these are about. They are definitely comfortable and that is obvious from the second you pull them on, and that brushed pile on the inside is so lovely on my soles.
I have worn these socks a lot since they arrived. Apart from just slobbing in them in front of the telly, I’ve had them on with shoes and boots to go for walks. With all footwear I found I needed to loosen the laces (quite considerably on trainers) because of the thickness of the socks, and I’d be wary of wearing these with certain pairs of shoes as I wouldn’t want to stretch them. But with walking shoes and walking boots, both of which I wear with thick socks (or two pairs) anyway, there was no problem. When I took them off I was expecting a mass of blue fluff all over my feet, but while I did have a bit of fluff between my toes it was nowhere near as much as I was expecting, and a lot less the second wear. I guess you get toe fluff with every new pair of socks, and I don’t think there was any more than I normally find. Fluff aside, these socks absolutely kept my feet warm. Happy feet!
They are thick socks – definitely casual wear to pair with boots or shoes for a walk, although I was more than happy wandering around my house in these – I reckon they are warmer than my slippers.
Heat Holders are available from The Sock Shop priced at £6 a pair. They are available in a variety of colours. There is also a long version of the sock, and a wellington boot version, both of which I think I need.