Ross Hewitt: Extreme athlete
I tested the Lenz heat socks 5.0 toe cap® all winter to see how they perform in the winter ski touring and technical climbing disciplines. Both types of sport have special demands on clothing - the exertion causes sweat to form during the ascent, which cools off your feet when you take a break or descend. When climbing, on the other hand, it is common to stand for several hours to wait for your climbing partner. Then you have to rely on a functioning clothing system.
I was in Scotland for ten weeks this winter to train for the UK's IFMGA winter tests. Scotland is the perfect testing ground for the equipment as it is an extremely harsh environment. The high humidity and minus temperatures mean that everything is covered with hoarfrost and even the eyelashes start to freeze. Strong winds cause spray that feels like a freezing cold shower. Down padding gets soaked and synthetic fibers and wool are beneficial.
I have used the heat socks 5.0 toe cap® consistently during this time, also during some excursions to the Alps to ski and also for the training of the British Mountain Guides. During this time I have worn the Scarpa Phanton Techs, Scarpa Mont Blancs or Scarpa Evo F1 shoes. The biggest difference between the heat socks 5.0 toe cap® and its predecessors is the positioning of the heating element. With the heat sock 1.0 or 3.0 these were positioned under the ball of the foot, with the heat sock 5.0 toe cap they run over the foot and the element encloses the toes. This eliminates any underfoot feeling and I found it to be a huge improvement. While the heating element under the balls of your feet didn't bother you, it did feel a bit slippery when you put more pressure on your toes in the crampons. The other advantage is that the heating element supply line no longer runs under the foot.