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Preview: Hotronic / Bootcap Skiboot Toebox Insulators--Coming Fall 2024


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Sometimes the easiest answers are the most obvious ones. I saw the Bootcaps on a few coaches and professionals last year and they peaked my interest. Those who are on snow as a profession along with those who suffer from cold toes know the pain and discomfort that goes with having cold digits. Last season, two pros I spoke with said the difference these small little boot caps made felt significant. Hotronic claims a 20° increase in warmth, and those claims were substantiated by those I spoke with who tried them. When I heard that claim from the pros 6 months before the packaging was designed I made a mental note. Heck, even if the Bootcaps provide a 10° warmer pocket for the toes, isn't that worth it?

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The design of the Bootcap could not be any simpler. It is a high R-Value insulation that is flexible and attaches to the toe of the shell with double-sided tape. Let's be realistic, these will not keep your toes L.L. Bean-furry-slipper-in-front-of-a-fire warm, but the Bootcap will help minimize the cold in the toe area. Of course, preparation is still the road to success. Starting the day with a warm boot from a Kulkea Thermal Trekker or Hotronic toe heaters or Hotronic heated socks is a guarantee for warmer toes. But for $50, you have an extra level of warmth or insurance against discomfort from cold.

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Installation of the Bootcaps is quick and simple. I just wiped off the toe area with rubbing alcohol and I also made sure the shell was at room temperature. Note that in the design there is a specific left and right in the shape. In the initial discussions HERE, the naysayers swooped in like seagulls to a fat kid holding a funnel cake on the boardwalk saying there was the question that the double-sided tape might not hold on in the cold. Not only did it hold in the cold, but after an hour in my Kulkea Thermal Trekker, the adhesive wasn't affected. (another sponsor plug).

The Bootcaps are a one size fits all. I put mine on a Fischer RC4 BOA 25.5 shell. I did see how they would go on Tricia's 23.5 and I am confident the BootCap's flexibility would create a good contact. The package says that there is "No Buckle Interference." I can attest that a BOA closure is not affected either.

These are avalable directly from BootCap or ski shops that are Hotronic dealers. If your shop does not carry them, feel free to ask them to.
  • Who is it for: Those who get cold feet who are open to every option.
  • Who is it not for: The vain, they do look like add-ons on the boot. In my case the "Safety Yellow" on the yellow Fischer RC4 blended quite well. We cannot say that about all color options. You can go with a basic Black, Cyan (Blue), Orange, Magenta or Blaze (Redish).
  • Insider Tip: As mentioned, the tape is strong, so taking them off could be a chore and I am not sure they will be able to be put back on.

We put some of these out in the field with regular skiers to test them out in all regions and report with real world experiences. So, please follow this Preview/Review article for their findings.

Here they are...
@Pat AKA mustski
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I tried out the bootcaps today. I did start out the day with warm boots from my heated boot bag. It was 16 degrees and chilly enough that we went in for a warm up after a couple of hours of skiing. I have a circulation problem in my left foot and have used Hotronic boot heaters for years - primarily to protect against frostbite when I lose feeling in the toes. Stupidly, I left the batteries in Big Bear so I did not have boot heaters today. It's the first day that I tested the bootcaps, and I am very pleased. My right foot did not get cold at all. The toes on my left foot, with the usual circulation problems, felt slightly chilly. Basically, my feet felt the same as they would have with my boot heaters on. I have never been able to use boot gloves, due to the above mentioned circulation problem; buckle adjustments are needed to keep the blood flowing to my toes. I'm not gonna lie. I'm pretty excited about these and they do look a lot better in person than they do in the picture.
About author
Philpug
I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time as a Gear Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.

Replies

Thanks for spreading the word, my daughter has Reynauds in her feet. Even with heated boots and boot gloves some days she has to finish her day while there are many hours left in the day. This seems like a no brainer opportunity to keep her feet warm and extend the day on the slopes.
 
Thanks for spreading the word, my daughter has Reynauds in her feet. Even with heated boots and boot gloves some days she has to finish her day while there are many hours left in the day. This seems like a no brainer opportunity to keep her feet warm and extend the day on the slopes.
Raynauds here too but more in my hands. I feel for your daughter.

On the caps, I can’t find them anywhere yet.
 
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On the caps, I can’t find them anywhere yet.

 
I’m definitely going to try them as I always have cripplingly cold toes. My Sidas heated soles have died and I needed either a replacement or something else altogether. This would also solve the issue of the battery making it cumbersome to tighten the boot strap. Also more convenient than a boot glove (which I’ve also tried).
 
Last couple seasons my toes have been taking a cold soak and took hours to come back to life. Boot gloves looked like a hassle. Will order these for a try
 
Just received and installed mine and will test them out Friday at Cannon.

One complaint: the paper membrane that covers the two sided tape for shipping and storage isn't the best solution. When removing the paper, some of the tape ripped and pulled off with the paper in two locations on one of them. So, I don't have the full contact in a couple of places. Hopefully they stay on

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Just received and installed mine and will test them out Friday at Cannon.

One complaint: the paper membrane that covers the two sided tape for shipping and storage isn't the best solution. When removing the paper, some of the tape ripped and pulled off with the paper in two locations on one of them. So, I don't have the full contact in a couple of places. Hopefully they stay on
did u test drive them? very curious about these . thanks
 
did u test drive them? very curious about these . thanks

I did, but it was probably 25 degrees out. My feet can get a little cold at those temps, but not too bad. I want to say they felt slightly warmer, but it was difficult to tell. Maybe if I only had installed one, Id have a better comparison point.

I think what my basic plan will be is to only use these down to say 20 degrees. And then below that, I'll fire up the Hottronics
 
I have a pair to test, but I need cold temps. Skiing tonight but at above 20 degrees, my toes won't be cold.
 
Just a thought, rather than being permanently attached with the DS tape directly to the boots/covers and risking damage if taking them off. Why not use adhesive Velcro (hook and loop I think its called over there) on the covers and boots.
Then you can take these off and on without wrecking the DS tape and covers?
 
Are they updating them at all for Fall 2024? Super interested but if they're gonna put new editions out that do more, I'm inclined to get those, but I guess if $50...Still, though, I'm curious!
 
Are they updating them at all for Fall 2024? Super interested but if they're gonna put new editions out that do more, I'm inclined to get those, but I guess if $50...Still, though, I'm curious!
Bootcap has them available "direct" now and Hotronics will be be offering them through their dealers in the Fall.
 
I received a pair and while it has not been very cold, I can share my experience with these. I only applied the toe caps to one boot in order to better compare a "with or without toecap experience". I can say unequivocally that this is an excellent way to get odd looks and questions from passers by.

In short: they work.

Full disclosure: I have extremely cold feet. When the outside temperatures go below 60 degrees F I have to put socks on. Forget about wearing flip-flops if it's below 65. When boot heaters first came out decades ago they changed my life - for the first time I was able to stay outdoors skiing for longer than 45-60 minutes at a time if the outdoor temp was below 30 degrees. I tried boot gloves with and without boot heaters and found that they did not offer me any benefit. I have used most every brand of boot heater out there, and they all worked similarly for me. Although: since the heating elements for boot heaters are on the foot bed, boot heaters did not totally keep the tops of my toes from getting cold (again, even if I used boot gloves). My current solution is heated socks with the surround-the-toes elements. This has given me the best chance at having comfortable feet in very cold temperatures. But: heated sock systems are pricey to begin with, and additional pairs of socks are not cheap.

My experience with the toe caps. Snow and cold weather has been hard to come by in the East so far this winter. As Phil noted, they come in a package with left and right toe caps. The instructions are very complete and easy to follow. The adhesive appears to be very good - I believe that removing that if I remove these then I will have some significant adhesive residue on my boot(s) to deal with. I have used these on two separate days. The first day was in the low 20s and I had my socks at their lowest setting. While out on the snow, I talked myself into thinking that the left foot (with the toe cap) was warmer. But when I came in took my boots off, both feet looked and felt equally cold. The second time I skied, the temp was in the low 40s and I left the socks turned off. While out on the snow, the uncapped foot definitely felt colder. When I came in and took my boots off, the capped toe felt noticeably warmer and looked like the circulation was better. I will continue to play with these, but my investment in heated sock systems has really solved my issues.

Who is this for: someone looking for a (relatively) low priced way to provide some insulation outside of the boot. If boot gloves worked for you but you didn't like fiddling with them and/or they made buckle adjustments difficult, then these may work for you. If boot heaters have been working pretty well, but the tops of your toes still get cold, then these may work for you.

Who is this not for: as Phil said, anyone who is vain or doesn't like attention. Because these will be conversation starters. If your feet get very cold, then I am not sure that this will work as a "stand alone" solution for you.

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I have a pair to test, but I need cold temps. Skiing tonight but at above 20 degrees, my toes won't be cold.
Still need a/c instead of heat caps. Hopefully next week it will get cold enough. Otherwise, Wisconsin just might shut down for skiing. :( And the U.P. is even worse.
 

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