If you are an avid cyclist that doesn't hang up your shoes in the winter, then this will be a good read.
Winter cycling is fun, but frankly, it's cold!
Numb hands, numb fingers, cold wet nose, burning cheeks and cold toes. Ring a bell?
Well it's taken me a number of years to find the perfect glove and snood combination, but I wasn't able to conquer the cold toes (even with thicker socks that make the shoes too tight) until I tried Digitsole.
Our reviews are completely honest, as you will read in our previous posts of other gadgets, so when I say that Digitsole have solved the issue for me, they truly have.
Before reading my detailed thoughts on the product, here is the "branded video" to give you an idea of the product.
Digitsoles arrive in a neatly packaged white box that includes:
Getting started was really quite simple. I chose to plug the insoles into the mains using an Apple iphone plug, and the USB cable provided.
Charging from scratch took about 8 hours, and there is a LED light beside the USB port that indicates charging and charged.
Subsequent charging was a lot less (around 3 hours) as I didn't make it to zero charge after a ride.
To download the app, I typed in "digitsole" into the apple app store and downloaded from their, although there is a QR code on the instructions if you can't find it. The app worked great on an iphone, but not so well on an ipad. On the ipad it did work but some images and titles were misaligned. Back to the iphone.
When you first start the app, it asks for an email address to create an account. I guess so Digitsole can have a register of users for marketing. After that it goes straight into instructions:
Once you get to the App it is pretty straight forward. There is a simple slide temperature gauge that let's you choose the temperature you require.
For me, I rode when it was 5 - 10degC outside. I found that 30degC was adequate for both, but I adjusted occasionally between 25degC (once my feet were warm) and 35degC when I first got into the cycling shoes on my morning commute.
Is there a "best" temperature?
The good thing is that you don't need one. Provided your bluetooth is on, you can adjust the temperature over a few days to work out what's best for you.
So, I tried to live a little! I pumped the temperature up to maximum to see what would happen. Sadly, there is a built in a fail-safe so no luck there.
So how do they feel?
It isn't an instant BOOM! and my toes are warm. It was more of a gentle warming over 5 minutes until it got to the right temperature. Then you could feel the warmth going through the socks into the toes. Once they were warm (I would say 10 minutes in), the heat just stayed with you for the remainder of the ride. I chose battery saving mode that allows you to stick to one temperature. On the first ride I chopped and changed the temperature over the hour but still the battery didn't run out. I haven't ridden with them over 2 hours so don't know exactly when they would run out of battery, but 2 hours was enough for me in this cold weather.
However, I forgot to turn off the left insole when I got into work from my first ride. So when I tried to connect again at the end of the day, the battery ran out. The app wouldn't work with 1 insole, so I had cold toes on the way home that evening - lesson learnt!
Make sure you switch them off after every use.
Otherwise, all good. I can charge the insoles on my laptop, on the mains, and simply turn them on and place them in my shoe.
There is one bad point with the design. The thickness of the battery is thick enough to raise my heel above its normal position. This took one ride to get used to, but after that it was fine. So far, the depth of the insole affected my running and dress shoes, but didn't affect my wellington boots, cycling shoes or hiking boots. It is a consideration when buying.
I would give Digitsole 9 / 10.
The good points are that they warmed my feet! Hence the high score. They were very easy to use (almost a bit too easy), and the battery has lasted all my rides to date - I haven't been able to get out for 50 miles yet.
If Digitsole could reduce the battery size (probably caused by the more sophisticated heating element), and reduce the price (expensive at £170, but the best we have tested to date), then they would be onto a winner.
A note from our sponsor (Kit Radar):
Thanks for getting to the end of this article. If you think the Digitsoles warm series sounds great but £169.99 is a bit pricey, why not join our Members Club to receive 10% discount off your first order.