View Full Version : cold feet......

October 30, 2007, 11:06 PM
I sorta have a problem......

when I go hunting, all the hiking and walking I do to get to my stand makes my feet sweat like crazy. I've been fortunate enough to have decent pair of boots and wool socks that sucks away some of the moisture inside the boot....:o; but after so much sweating, the sock just gets soaked and when I'm on the stand it starts to get really cold, really quick.

so, my question is this....for those who've been in the same situation, any tricks or tips to keeping your feet dry and warm. I've even thought about bringing an extra pair of socks to change when I finally get to my stand, or hiking in another pair of boots and change the whole boot/sock combo once I get close to the stand. Any other suggestions????

October 30, 2007, 11:15 PM
Two pair of socks, one thin pair like dress socks and then your normal wool over top. Helps remove the sweat from your feet. Most sporting goods stores carry what I call the liners but I'm sure someone will come out with a better answer.

I learned this in the Infantry, wore my Class A socks under my wool on road marches. Kept the blisters away as well. Nothing worse than having cold feet when you have to be still.

October 30, 2007, 11:42 PM
You want a thin pair of undersocks - these need to be pure silk or polypropylene - that wicks the sweat away from the body - the outer layer (thicker sock) is wool - preferably merino lambswool.

Another possible solution to try separately or in conjunction is simply taking off your boots and changing from the sweaty socks into dry socks when you stop to hunt.

October 31, 2007, 12:26 PM
Get breathable boots like Rocky Deer Stalkers...

October 31, 2007, 01:39 PM
I wear lacrosse rubber boots all year round with no insulation. I just wear a size too big and put the shake up hand warmers down in the boots before I put my foot it. It takes just a little getting used to, but once you do its the greatest thing ever. I used to get cold feet, but never since I started that practice. Plus deer will smell where you walked with most anything besides the rubber boots.

October 31, 2007, 08:45 PM
+1 on FirstFreedom.

I also get cold feet very quickly once I'm in my stand and I've got the problem solved.

Go to a ski-wear store and ask for polypropylene or silk sock liners. They wick the moisture away from your foot and into the outer sock. I wear the liners and a cheap pair of cotton socks walking to the stand. Once I get there, I take off the cotton sock and put on heavy wool socks over the liner.

Be careful to wash polypro on gentle with something like "SportWash" detergent and never-ever-ever put them in the dryer. It kills their wicking properties.

Also, be careful that your boots aren't too tight. It cuts off the circulation and your feet get cold quicker.

October 31, 2007, 09:22 PM
Sounds like the problem is not with your socks or boots. The problem is with your feet. I'm thinking you have overactive sweat glands in your feet. Try a good anti-perspirant before putting your socks on.

October 31, 2007, 09:27 PM
Foot warmers. http://cozywinters.com/therm-ic/

October 31, 2007, 09:31 PM
Try a good antiperspirant before putting your socks on.

I have heard that also. Spray on under arm.

October 31, 2007, 09:35 PM
+2 on what First Freedom said above. The thin inner sock and thick outer is the way I usually do it if my boots will fit the socks. Changing socks works just fine too. When it's real cold and I have a good hike to my hunting spot, I often take just about all my warm clothes off, frequently down to a tea shirt, hike to the spot; remove the tea shirt; allow the moisture to dry off my bod, then put on the warmer clothes. A small day pack is handy for carrying clothing that you will put on later. I like the insulated Lacrosse boots too, but I don't believe the scent business. Dogs will track you in small game season, why not deer?

October 31, 2007, 10:15 PM
I am allergic to most wool - my feet swell up to where I have a hard time getting offmy boots! Ive had to go to a
gore-tex sock with a cotton liner sock. also I think it is important not to wear too heavy -insulated boots when walking alot. A lot of guys go with the 2000 gram Gore-tex boots - just overkill and will make you sweat and freeze!
try a lighter boot that is breathable and get zip on bootcovers when you get to your stand.

October 31, 2007, 10:18 PM
I don't know if this will help but try some gold bond foot powder. I used it while playing football to keep feet and other things dry. It might work and it might not. You're feet will feel better though.

October 31, 2007, 11:39 PM
Try a good anti-perspirant before putting your socks on.
try some gold bond foot powder

I'm thinking the same thing too.....but do not know any good anti-perspirant. I'll give gold bond foot powder a try and also go with the liner/heavier sock idea.

November 1, 2007, 09:34 AM
I do the liner/heavier sock thing too, but you also have to carry dry socks with you and change them out.

November 1, 2007, 09:44 AM
Try Smartwool brand socks, they combine the warmth of wool with great wicking.

November 1, 2007, 10:19 PM
foot powder.
It will plug the Gore-tex pores and would allow moisture to pass thru.

TRy loose laces for hiking to stand, as this will act as a pump for cycling air into boot and flushing the moisture away, moderately tighten as stand to keep the heat in.

Have tried Herman survivors, with Gortex and 400gm thinsulate, Red Wing Uplands and Sorel's, still deal with cold feet. Am wearing wool outers and cotton liners.
Use same socks for cross country skiing and have no problem. After skiing will change sock for drive home.

November 2, 2007, 10:19 AM
I have to admit I never figured out how to keep my feet warm on stand. I tried all the tricks. Stand hunting with the inherent lack of movement is just a cold way to hunt - too cold for me.

November 7, 2007, 09:05 AM
As a fellow minnesotan I struggled with the same problem.

This is a general problem with cold weather gear. Dress warm enough to sit in a stand (inactive) for any length of time, and you'll be dressed too warm to be active.

My solution is to not wear all my gear for the hike to my stand. For boots, I wear lightweight, breathable, uninsulated boots and cotton socks. They won't overheat your feet, and they're easier to hike in.

I carry my warm boots/socks and my outer layer in a day pack.

Once I get to my stand, I wait a while to cool off, then switch to a single pair of good warm wool socks, pac boots, and put on my warm outer layer. I put my sweaty boots/socks into a plastic bag in my day pack.

I've tried the fancy sock liners, but for me, a single pair of good wool socks and a good pair of pac boots works the best. Somebody mentioned smartwool socks, which I like, and I like Baffin pac boots.

Another nice part about this is I can shed layers and switch to my light boots for dragging.


ps - I always wear my orange hat and orange vest on the way to and while in my stand. How somebody could mistake a hunter for a deer amazes me, but I guess people do, so no use taking chances.

November 7, 2007, 04:47 PM
This past weekend was the opener for the MN deer season.....this season was cooler than the most recent seasons.

Well, I tried the liner/wool sock idea....and I like it. I bought a new Rocky Gore-tex boot before the season, so at least I knew the boot was good. I found some old dress socks waaaayyyy back in the sock pile. I used that and put on a wool/cotton blend sock that kept me warm. I must say, that this is a pretty good set up.

My solution is to not wear all my gear for the hike to my stand. For boots, I wear lightweight, breathable, uninsulated boots and cotton socks. They won't overheat your feet, and they're easier to hike in.

I carry my warm boots/socks and my outer layer in a day pack.

Once I get to my stand, I wait a while to cool off, then switch to a single pair of good warm wool socks, pac boots, and put on my warm outer layer. I put my sweaty boots/socks into a plastic bag in my day pack.

I'll also be going to the WI deer opener in two weeks. I think I'll use this idea, as it might be cooler so I dont want to sweat too much before I get to my stand. Plus, my stand location in the WI wood is considerably farther than my stand in MN. Thank for all the tips.

November 8, 2007, 12:08 AM
Let us know results.

November 8, 2007, 12:49 AM
FirstFredom has it right .... as taught to me by The Sierra Club mountaineering section years ago. Wickdry and wool.

But, like piercfh I learned while living/hunting/guiding in B. C. for several years that rubber boots, loose enough for the double socks, were my best solution. Used pacs (Sorel) some but found them not as comfortable. Also carried a couple of pieces of Ensolite - one under my feet, one under my butt when sitting! Keeps the cold off the boot soles some.

Even notice that when deer are seen or the ducks begin to come in the cold goes away!!!! :confused::)

November 8, 2007, 07:08 PM
I wear lacrosse rubber boots all year round with no insulation. +1 except for the name brand. Bring an extra pair of socks or two.

The best cold weather tip I ever heard was from my barber (actually he's nearly retired now), a guy who was a Marine in 1950 at the battle of Chosin Reservoir. He said to wear several pairs of socks and when the inner pair started to freeze take them off and put them on the outside. He also said that in extreme cold the smokers tended to get frostbite quicker than the nonsmokers.

November 8, 2007, 08:39 PM
Make sure that you dress warm enough while sitting, but for your walk in, make sure you are cool enough not to start sweating. No hat, jacket off, if you start sweating while walking, take a quick rest break to cool down. A good foot powder might help too.

November 9, 2007, 06:07 AM
Let us know results.

Well.........:( pretty sums up my MN season.

One more week until the WI season.....unfortunately or fortunately (however you look at it) the wait for the opener is not what I'm agonizing over....

It is where to hunt. I've got several stand locations in some county land, and I've also got access to a private piece of property that I know has some MONSTER bucks.


My father shot this buck off the private property about 3/4 years ago. Last season and this season while archery hunting, my father and uncle saw an even bigger buck with double drop tines.

So, I have a couple more days to ponder where to go....where to go...where to go....and keep my feet dry too......

moose fat
November 15, 2007, 06:02 AM
Change into dry socks.

November 15, 2007, 08:08 AM
i used to have the same exact problem, untill i bought a pair of underarmor socks. seriously try them

November 15, 2007, 09:56 AM
I have had that cronic problem as well until now. I bought a pair of Rocky Prohunters, Gortex and 800 grams of thinsulate. I wore a thin pair of socks and a light pair of lambs wool socks over it and my feet were toasty warm. I walked 500-600 yards in them to my stand also.

November 15, 2007, 05:05 PM
Marriage tends to do that to you...LOL:p

November 15, 2007, 09:00 PM
Nosualc said;
ps - I always wear my orange hat and orange vest on the way to and while in my stand. How somebody could mistake a hunter for a deer amazes me, but I guess people do, so no use taking chances.
There are just too many hunters that think bagging a Deer is the most important part of being in the bush.
When someone see's a deer, (some are tunnel visioned) checking beyond the target is a requirement that some just don't do well. The Blaze Orange will help the shooter see you.

Hey when it gets cold, I pull out the BUNNY BOOTS (http://cgi.ebay.com/WWII-Korea-Unissued-White-Felt-Arctic-Ski-Boots_W0QQitemZ120182359872QQihZ002QQcategoryZ586QQcmdZViewItem). size XL
I refer to the white felt boots that are so dangerously slippery that one wouldn't dare walk on a packed trail.

November 25, 2007, 06:35 PM
Try a pair of these....http://www.cabelas.com/link-12/product/0020696830362a.shtml
I have found out that they make a big difference when it is real cold and I sit on the stand.

November 25, 2007, 06:54 PM
This may be something everyone knows so forgive me if it's redundent.

In the heal of the human foot there is a sort of swell in the viens that return blood from the foot up the leg to the heart. When we walk the act of putting pressure on the heal of the foot helps "pump" the blood back to the heart.

When we sit for extended periods the heart has to do all the work and what ends up happening is that the blood gets kind of backed up down there. Because of this there is not a continuious flow of warm blood going into the foot and the blood that is there cools down and the foot feels cold.

Most of us wiggle our toes to keep them warm, and that does work to some extent, but what we really need to do is to get that natural return pump working. So along with wiggling the toes try pumping up and down on your heals. This will move the cold blood out and allow the warm to move in. It will also use more leg mussels than just wiggling the toes and that too will help keep you warm.

And no I am not making it up.................................

November 29, 2007, 12:07 PM
i HAVE MUCH THE SAME ISSUE, and you can now buy those hot-hand thingies at wally-world that have adhesive on one side to allow them to be applied to your socks before walking in.

Another possible option is to get those overboots from Cabela's that you just stick your whole foot into once you get there.

December 1, 2007, 07:34 PM
Support hose. Like what old folks use to keep their ankles from swelling up.

December 1, 2007, 10:28 PM
If your boots have removeable sole liners, remove them and cut their shape on about 4 layers of newspaper. Put this under the liner in your boot to add some cold resistance.

The night before you go on a hunt, dust your feet with powder, even baby powder. If you shower before going out, repeat the process once your feet are completely dry. Leave just a thin film of powder will help both with chafing and moisture.

Someone mentioned circulation, smokers and frostbite. If you have circulation problems, smoke or you are diabetic, take one asprin (not tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.) with food before you go out. The asprin acts as a blood thinner and will help your blood circulate thru the capillaries in your feet better. This will not only keep them warmer, but it will also pull excess heat from your feet when moving.

Remember to bring water to your stand as you will dehydrate in cold dry weather just as fast as in hot dry weather.

December 2, 2007, 05:28 AM
i used to wear full rubber pac type boots when it snows here. they had the felt type insul. inside. they worked ok. i outgrew them. my grandad had a pair of l.l. bean pac type boots. they did him alot of good. i ususally wear a pair of sorel pac type boot leather upper waterproofed with sno-seal with a rubber bottom. thick felt insul. inside i can't seem to find this model i have anywhere anymore. i wear them with either a pair of thin under sock and outer heavy wicking type. with a goretex bootie. or 1 or 2 pair or heavy wool socks with the goretex bootie. i have a 1/4 mile walk from my car to my stand. i have a problem also with my feet sweating alot too. i am able to sit still in my stand or on the ground for atleast 3 hours without a problem. on really really cold mornings or afternoons i carry a an old military surplus wool blanket with me. i'll wrap that around my waist allowing it to hang down and cover my legs and feet. sometimes i just stalk hunt instead of sitting down somewhere or in my stand. it depends on if i cut a fresh set or 2 of tracks in the snow. if we get snow. by the way anyone here in nj going out monday? rain or snow?

good luck to all this season