Battery-powered socks keep you warm outdoors

Alice Elison / for Farm & Ranch
Brittney Kidman and her daughter, Malloree, from Shelley, checking out electric socks at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Idaho Falls. Brittney says she enjoys being out of doors and says she and her husband snowmobile, ice fish and play outdoors with their small children.

A gift of warmth is always appreciated by those who have to work outside in the winter.

“Battery socks are nice for those people who have to be outside this time of year,” said Karli Keele, a clothing and sportswear associate at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Idaho Falls. “We’ve found people who buy these once tend to come back again and buy them.”

Lectra Wader Socks were first designed for commercial fishermen working the icy water of the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Battery-operated socks have been around since the 1950s with the first patent being issued in 1985.

Sportsman’s Warehouse carries two different varieties of “electric” socks. The Lectra Boot Sock has a pouch on the top of the sock which holds two D cell batteries that is snapped and unsnapped depending on the amount of warmth desired.

“The problem with this sock is that you have deal with digging into your boots to turn the socks on and off,” Keele said.

The Lectra Wader Sock has cords that run up the pants leg and the detachable battery compartment can be put in a pocket or worn on a belt.

“These are easier to get to, especially for people who are outside all day in the cold,” she said.

Lectra Battery Socks are made from a wool blend yarn with reinforced heels and toes. The detached battery pouch uses two D cell batteries and provides six to eight hours of heat. To engage heat the battery pouch is snapped closed. To turn off the battery, simply unsnap the pouch and the connection is severed.

The Lectra Sox are designed to keep feet warm, but not hot. It is suggested to engage the heat only after you begin to feel the cold. Maximum benefit will be obtained by turning the socks off and on often.

These socks won’t shock even when wet.

Bret Timmons, a Bingham Memorial Hospital emergency room physician, said he has never seen an injury caused by electric socks or gloves.

The biggest problem with electric socks seems to be the price.

“It slows people down,” Keele said. “They still seem to sell well, though.”

The Boot Sock model sells for $27.99 and the Wader Sock goes for $32.99. Batteries are not included.

Battery-operated gloves don’t appear to be as popular as socks because they are far more pricey. Most area stores do not routinely stock them.

Typically, any glove priced under $129 will not heat the fingers and thumb. They will only heat just the back of the hand or just the palms. Those priced higher will typically heat the hand, each individual finger and the thumb.