Individual Review SkiSkootys Bootaclava boot warmers

Andy Mink

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Nothing, well almost nothing, can ruin a great day of skiing more than cold feet. When you can't feel your toes, it just isn't very fun. I received a pair of Bootaclava neoprene boot covers from SkiTalk sponsor @SkiSkootys to review towards the end of last season. It was warm then but today was THE day. The morning temperature at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe hovered around 5°F with about a 15-20mph wind. While that might seem pretty warm to some, it was definitely the coldest it's been here in a while.

The idea behind Bootaclava, while not exactly new, is a good one: 5mm thick neoprene is used to provide an external layer of insulation around the lower part of the ski boot. I've used another brand of similar construction in the past and I know the concept works. SkiSkootys has a few features that I like and feel are an advance of a simple concept. First is the placement of the strap that goes around the bottom of the boot. Bootaclava's strap sits far enough BEHIND the binding AFD contact point that walking with the cover on will not damage the nylon webbing, at least with Grip Walk soles. The next nicety is the neoprene wraps all the way around the clog of the boot and connects with a large patch of hook and loop material so the connection is secure. It adds a bit more heat retention around the heel than a single strap. The last feature that makes a lot of sense is the "Bootapouch", a double pouch on the inside of the neoprene that can hold one or two chemical warming pouches. There is also a hook and loop patch that can be stuck to the toe of the boot that attaches to hook and loop on the inside of the toe on the neoprene cover. I did not find it necessary to use that.

The Bootaclava comes in two sizes and the large size (26-30 cm) fit well over my 27.5 Fischer RC4 The Curv GT boots. Mediums go from 23-26 cm. Putting the Bootaclavas on is very easy: place the cover on the boot (they are L and R), wrap the strap under the boot and attach the hook and loop, and pull the two sides around the back of the boot and attach the hook and loop. That's all. The cover, when attached properly, does not interfere with either the toe or heel of bindings and the strap underneath doesn't impinge on the AFD interface.

I skied for several hours with the Bootaclavas on and my feet stayed quite comfortable. I do use electric footbed warmers but I know even with that my toes would have been pretty chilly between temp, wind, and snow on the boots. What sealed the deal was when I returned to the truck and realized that sometime during the last three or four runs the batteries on my warmers had expired but my feet were still warm. Of course the temperature had climbed to 9° at the top by then!

If you are looking for an alternative to, or an addition to, battery powered footbed warmers the SkiSkooty Bootaclavas really do work. What are you willing to pay for warmer feet? Bootaclavas are $30USD.

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The strap under the boot stays well away from the AFD

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Coverage is nearly 100% of the clog

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No interference with the binding. The X stitching holds the toe hook and loop in place.

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The large hook and loop patch in the back provides enough coverage to adjust over a range of boot sizes. The only thing I think I'd change is the rear overlap; it might gather less snow if it were reversed.

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The inside "Bootapouch" can hold two chemical warmers for those really cold days. All stitching is solid. I did not use the adhesive hook and loop and don't feel I will need to but it's there should it be necessary.
 

Tom K.

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So you let the front ride up near the lowest buckle? I didn't think of that. I used the velcro and it did not hold, possibly because they were a pretty tight stretch on my 29.5 boots. Seems like the front of the toe is priority #1 for coverage. Wind chill and all that.

EVERYTHING else about them was superb, darn it.
 
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Andy Mink

Andy Mink

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So you let the front ride up near the lowest buckle?
If you look closely (sorry for the dark photo) you can see the end of the cover at the very top of the toe. It stayed there all morning without any additional velcro. Much lower than that and it would be in the toe piece of the binding. I could see with a 29.5 it might be a bit of a stretch but if you only use about 1/2 the velcro closure in the back it would probably work ok.
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Novaloafah

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Thanks, was thinking of something for my toes the other morning at -18C (about 0F i think) when they went all ice block on me and i needed a thaw break. Will be looking now.
 

GB_Ski

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How to they compare to the ubiquitous DryGuy bootgloves? I see them a lot and everyone love the boot gloves.
 
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Andy Mink

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How to they compare to the ubiquitous DryGuy bootgloves? I see them a lot and everyone love the boot gloves.
I have Boot Gloves too. Though very similar I think the Bootaclavas have a few features that move the bar a bit higher. That said I cannot speak yet to the long term durability of the Boosclavas. My Boot Gloves have several nicks and cuts from ski edges but are still entirely functional. I see no reason why the SkiSkooty product would be any different in that regard.
 

LiquidFeet

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Seirus also makes a boot cover with an under-boot strap that sits far enough back to miss the AFD plate on the binding. I have a pair and have been very happy with them.
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Seirus Boot glove #2.png


All my old Boot Gloves had that strap too far forward, so walking in boots wore it out, and there was always the worry that the strap contacted the AFD plate.
 

fatbob

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To me neoprene boot covers work effectively for some uplift in temp and the features particularly placement of strap seem a slight improvement at a comparable price (got a feeling I paid $20 for my last bootgloves BUT a few years ago). But I expect they'll shred just as readily if you have sharp buckles and/or clumsy edging. It's just hard to reinforce while retaining the stretchiness of the neoprene.
 
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socalgal

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I was told, "buy yourself some boots covers, I want you to be comfortable" by my husband after our last ski trip.... a timely review @Andy Mink
Bummer they are sold out @SkiSkootys
 

cantunamunch

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How to they compare to the ubiquitous DryGuy bootgloves? I see them a lot and everyone love the boot gloves.

The conventional boot glove shape gets very weird when put on boots with sharply shaped insteps. If there's enough tension around the heel to keep the boot glove on, there can be a gap right at the medial arch. Which gets cold, and can easily build up a packed snow wedge on the inside of the boot glove. Here's the thing - all smaller boots (like 25.0 down) are more likely to have these problems than larger ones.

There is also a ripping issue on the conventional boot glove, at the bottom strap attachment point and at the center of the toe.

The above product looks like it addresses both those problems, especially with the fatter bottom strap that is moved further back.
 

SkiSkootys

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D'oh! Maybe @SkiSkootys will chime in with a refill date.
Bootaclavas won’t be available on the skiskooty web site until next season however they are available on Amazon. We would like some feedback from the peanut gallery. There will be a new color added next year. What color would everyone prefer?
 

fatbob

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Bootaclavas won’t be available on the skiskooty web site until next season however they are available on Amazon. We would like some feedback from the peanut gallery. There will be a new color added next year. What color would everyone prefer?
Doh - Lairy green obviously to coordinate with my Zipfits
 

cantunamunch

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Bootaclavas won’t be available on the skiskooty web site until next season however they are available on Amazon. We would like some feedback from the peanut gallery. There will be a new color added next year. What color would everyone prefer?

The first color beyond black and white is - always, in all human societies - red.
 

socalgal

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Bootaclavas won’t be available on the skiskooty web site until next season however they are available on Amazon. We would like some feedback from the peanut gallery. There will be a new color added next year. What color would everyone prefer?
Bright and fun!
 
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