Marco & Luca Dallago: Red Bull Crashed Ice Racers
As Ice Cross Downhill athletes, the cold is our daily bread. Every year we travel to the most wintry places in Europe and North America with the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship. Red Bull Crashed Ice is one of the most exciting sporting events, thrilling hundreds of thousands of spectators every year with speeds of 80 km/h, long jumps and non-stop action. The four of us ride downhill against each other on a specially built ice channel. All this on ice skates. And this is exactly where a big problem lies, which we encounter very often every year. Despite what you might think, ice skates are absolutely not made for very cold temperatures. In other words: It's damn cold.
Last season we had a race in Sherbrooke, Canada. With a temperature of -34°C it was the coldest race we have ever taken part in. After narrowly avoiding frostbite on our toes, we decided to look into heated soles or socks for future situations like this. We came across the Lenz company and stocked up on their Heat Socks.
After a whole season in which we tested the heat socks 5.0 toe cap, we can say with a clear conscience that they make our everyday racing life much easier. It might sound strange that socks can do that, but when the pain from the cold on the toes is simply gone, we have a big problem that distracts us less and we can concentrate on the race. We were also very surprised that we never got extremely hot. It just felt comfortable, which is perfect from our point of view. We also think it's great that it doesn't feel like there's anything inside the heat sock. It is exactly the same as if you were wearing normal ski socks. It was also great for us that the plug for North America was already integrated in the EU plug of the charger, so we could charge the lithium packs anywhere.
To highlight some experiences we would like to write a few more lines:
The difference between with and without heat socks at the same temperature was very apparent when Marco forgot to turn on the right sock's lithium pack during a training session in Finland. Marco figured it out when his right foot got so cold it hurt.
The ultimate endurance test was our Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Ottawa. With peaks of -25°C it was one of the frostiest race weekends we've ever had. Thanks to the heat socks, it wasn't a problem for our feet. You could say that we didn't get cold feet during the race :)