Winter sports offer all manner of exhilarating and exhausting possibilities - from negotiating seriously difficult trails, to mountain trekking or adrenaline-producing snowmobiling. But what if your boots aren't up to the job, and you have to confess to your fellow hikers that you can't go on because your feet are too cold? Enter Columbia's Bugaboot Thermo Hiking Boots - the first hiking boots to integrate a three-temperature heating system to provide protection from the cold...and scornful looks from your hiking buddies.
The boots feature Omni-Tech waterproof-breathable uppers to ensure your feet remain comfortable and dry, while the Techlight cushioning in mid-soles and foot beds increases the comfort level. But it's the inbuilt heating that really sets this footwear apart from the pack. The heating pads are located below the balls of the feet. When it's particularly arctic, a high setting will keep your feet warm for about three hours. In less frigid conditions, a low heat will warm you for eight hours.
The power for the heat is provided by built-in rechargeable batteries and controlled by a three-setting LED temperature control on the ankle. There is a DC input port above the heel to enable easy charging and also included is a two-prong AC charger to allow for simultaneous recharging.
The Bugaboot's exterior is encased in a waterproof, lightweight thermal shell and features rustproof metal alloy gaiter hooks. With 200 g of Thinsulate insulation (rated -25F/-32C) and Omni-Grip traction, these boots should not only keep you warm, dry and comfortable, they'll perform anywhere you choose to venture. They are available from Columbia for USD$250.