how to keep hands and feet warm when skiing, wedze tips

How do you avoid getting cold hands and feet when skiing all day?

Do you always have cold hands and feet when you're skiing? We give you our tips on keeping them warm and enjoying your downhill to the full.

Everyone has their own cold tolerance level and it becomes evident when you practice an outdoor winter sport. Icy feet, frozen hands, are you always cold when you’re skiing, especially on the chairlift? This is common so we explain why and how to dress to look after your extremities.

Did you know?

When it's cold, your body has less energy and stores it for vital organs, such as the brain or heart. This is why it no longer sends it to the most distant and exposed parts: the extremities… Your hands and feet are the first to feel the cold, especially if your circulation is a little sluggish! From where the saying "warm heart, cold hands" comes from, but this isn’t inevitable.

How to dress to keep your feet warm for winter sports and in the snow?


Heated insoles guarantee that you never have cold feet

If your circulation isn't the best and the weather conditions are extremely cool then invest in some heated insoles. They won't let the cold take hold and you will have slightly warm feet (you can set your comfort temperature). This stops you getting frozen toes on the chairlift or when you have a break in the snow. If you don't have the budget or you're worried that you’ll forget to charge them overnight then you can also go for thermal insoles. Their aluminium film reflects your body heat like a survival blanket. They don't warm up but contribute to keeping your toes warm.

combat cold feet

Boots are important to combat feet that are always cold

Did you know that your choice of ski boots, as well as their adjustment, are two essential factors in preventing cold feet?
With thick insoles to insulate from the cold, size and shape adapted to your foot, you will have the winning combination for ski days with warm feet in winter.

The correct adjustment is essential: it must support without being too tight and without compressing the circulation ending up with frozen feet. If you are renting boots then check that the foams are comfortable, and if you have your own ski boots then take the time to ensure that they are always soft and close well.

combat cold feet

Drying your boots well after skiing is an essential step

Putting wet boots back on and you're guaranteed to be cold all day!
So remember to dry your ski boots every day by taking out the shell liners and storing them in L (not in the car or cellar...) or by using electric boot dryers.
Putting on warm boots can make a big difference on a ski day and they will be easier to adjust as the plastic shell will be a little more flexible.

combat cold feet

A tip to avoid being cold: put cream on your feet

Warming creams are available in pharmacies and both hydrate your feet and give them a warming boost when you put your ski boots on or at the end of the day. This doesn't last as long as heated insoles however it can stop the cold taking hold while you get your heart beat up (for better blood distribution through the body). If you have cold feet during the day, massaging them after a shower will also help to stimulate circulation.

Does the cold numb your feet? Move! Let's go, on the slopes, here is my quick routine: Bend down and unlock your ski boots - Wiggle your toes in the boots- Swing your leg from front to back- Jump on the spot from one foot to another- And do it again

Between two leaps, stop to drink a hot chocolate or tea, as much for your feet as for your enjoyment.

How to dress to keep your hands warm for a ski day?

Having cold hands can turn a wonderful day on the slopes into a nightmare. Although there is no miracle way to keep hands warm when out skiing, selecting the right equipment and adopting certain behaviours help greatly.

Mittens will keep your fingers warm

Comfort, warmth, convenience, your choice will be made according to your needs on the slopes. Mittens are the winners when it comes to providing warmth, even though gloves offer greater dexterity. By keeping your fingers together (except the thumb but it’s shorter and stays warm longer) they keep the others warm, like penguins on the ice, it considerably reduces the feeling of cold.

If you tend to have cold hands systematically, you may want to double your equipment for your hands.

combat cold feet

The secret weapon to having warm hands... liner gloves

For optimal comfort and warmth think about liner gloves. They add 2 to 3 degrees of additional warmth to gloves, but also manage humidity by absorbing it to prevent hands from getting cold when resting (ski lift, meals, waiting on the slopes). Liner gloves dry more easily than a glove’s lining, so they are nice and dry when setting off again after a meal break. 

Eat, Move, Circulate!

Skiing is quite an intensive sports activity which uses a large amount of energy. So our first tip for keeping your hands warm: boost your energy before attacking a day on the slopes by resting and eating well. Throughout the day, between descents and heading back up the mountain, you’ll be alternating between intensive and calmer periods. Activity brings with it warmth, as well as perspiration, so don't hesitate to open the vents on your jacket and trousers to avoid overheating. It’s during rest times that you need to be watchful and remember to move your fingers, don't take off your gloves or mittens, and be careful not to cut off the circulation by resting your hands on the chairlift rails for example.

combat cold feet

If like me, despite all these tips you still end up feeling cold at one time of the day, here is the little comforting and efficient extra: hand warmers Slide them inside your gloves as soon as you feel the cold and not before otherwise you run the risk of perspiring unnecessarily.

In summary: to keep your feet and hands warm, you need good ski wear, combined with a helmet to keep you warm and provide protection, and be careful at cooling down times. With all of the above, nothing will stop you on the ski slopes

how to keep hands and feet warm when skiing, wedze tips

From head to toe

A good pair of gloves or mittens, good socks and suitable shoes are not enough to keep your feet and hands warm, you need to dress well, including covering your head. To avoid having cold hands and feet it is important to dress well, including your head.

Correct clothing with a good hat and correctly fitted gloves or mittens and nothing can get in your way on the slopes!

Pauline Wedze


Communications team, ski enthusiast

Discover all our tips:

Wedze tips for sore feet

No longer sore feet in your ski boots: tips and tricks

What about finishing your day skiing with a smile on your face and no sore feet?Quickly discover our tips for spending days on the slopes with comfortable ski boots on your feet.

children ski clothes teaser

How to dress your kids properly for skiing?

Choosing ski clothes for children is not always easy. Warmth, comfort, waterproofness, performance, ease of use… What criteria should take into account? We help you dress them well from head to toe.