Earth Notes: On Heated Insoles, Cool House, Warm Feet: Review

Updated 2023-12-07 11:41 GMT.
By Damon Hart-Davis.
Learn how I got on with low-cost power-sipping heated insoles, warming my feet to cut my carbon footprint!
insoles heated USB 202209 packshot
It is usually far more efficient to keep a body warm than a whole room. That might mean more layers of clothing such as double socks or thermals or a vest. Or it might mean getting heat to exactly where it is needed to feel comfortable. My feet start to to feel cold when the room I am in drops below 18°C even when the rest of me is OK. Suppose it were possible to deliver a cheap trickle of heat straight to my feet? Well, here is how!

Product: Kangmeile USB Heated Insoles

insoles heated USB top insoles heated USB underneath insoles heated USB 202209 packshot
Heated Insoles, Foot Warmer, USB Electric Heated Warm Sock Feet Heater Shoe Insole Foot Winter Warmer Pads, Charging Winter Warming USB Rechargeable Washable to Cut for Men and Women (EU 35-44)
  • Brand: Kangmeile
  • Colour: black
  • Weight: 150g
  • Height: 25cm
  • Width: 9cm
  • Depth: 0.5cm
  • MPN: SO07400515_BLAC1-UK-XHF
  • InStock
  • valid at/until:
Review summary
  • Kangmeile USB Heated Insoles
  • I had initially only tried these a few times under marginal conditions so far because the weather had been warm! But I can say that these generate a gentle pleasant heat that is quite comforting. On much colder days when I am starting to feel chilled regardless of extra clothing, etc, these do seem to help make the chill disappear. From a USB supply as it says on the tin; specified at 5V and 1.6A, that is 8W or the same as a small overhead LED lamp — tiny compared to running the central heating.

    Because these insoles are trimmable, and my feet are not small, the heating element at the front runs under the balls of my toes rather than the tips. I will have to see if that works well enough, though I suspect that it will.

    I am using these insoles plugged into a USB adaptor in a power socket by my desk, and the supplied (~1.4m) cable is comfortably long enough.

    Update : it is below 15°C at my desk this afternoon since our central heating is not on yet, and with these my feet feel like they are defrosted! The price seems to have gone up from the £9.78 that I paid in to £14.64, and there is at least one alternative shown at under £4.

  • Pros:
    • cheap and excellent value for money
    • simple
    • the supplied cable is plenty long enough for me
    • very low power consumption for the subtle comfort gained
  • Cons:
    • does not actually warm the tips of my toes directly
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Published:
  • Updated:

I have looked before for sensible inexpensive ways to warm my hands and feet which tend to feel the cold first. I have tried fingerless gloves in the past. And I am to be found in double socks from about October to March! Not to mention thermal long-johns and an extra layer of fleece in the coldest months...

I do not want anything disposable such as single-use heat pads.

I was pleased to find these USB-powered insoles for under a tenner on Amazon, and waited until there were other items we wanted from them, so the postage was free too.

So far the weather has been warm and our central heating has not been on. I shall update the review once they have been given a more stern test.

The packaging is sensibly minimal, with an outer thin layer of Cellophane(TM) or similar. There are a couple of QR-code labels stuck on the outside, and a simple relatively-clear paper instruction leaflet in Chinese and English. The sheet claims 5V at 1.6A power requirement, and sizes EU 35 to 44. Also, the temperature is claimed to reach 40 to 50°C. The product is made to Chinese standard GB 4706.1-2005.

The product feels sturdy enough, with a slightly rough finish (eg stray threads) that is entirely acceptable in something at this price point, and that is in any case largely out of sight.

This is designed to be trimmed at the toe end for smaller footwear, but I have used it as is. That means that the heating element does not run to the very tips of my toes, which may reduce comfort in very cold weather.

I have only so far tried this plugged into my USB mains adaptor, but I do have a USB battery power pack that I will try it out with for keeping the heat while I walk around.

At 8W power demand this is a tiny fraction of even the smallest room heater or central heating demand. So if it allows those to be used less it is almost certainly a win for your wallet and the planet!

2022-10-11: Warm

I am enjoying these insoles when my feet are feeling chilly. They are even getting a bit too warm sometimes, so I turn them off. I am retaining my old holey slippers at my desk to host the insoles, and my new Thinsulate(TM) slippers for the rest of the house!

2022-11-22: Still Warm

Heating not on yet though internal temperatures ~15°C (~9°C outside). Along with snood and fingerless gloves and housecoat, I am glad of the insoles!

2022-12-08: Warmth Filler

Heating is now on three times per day, though not at this very moment as I write. It is about freezing (0°C) outside, and at moments like this when room temperature is dropping though 17°C and I am starting to feel chilled (even with extra clothing layers), the heated insoles seem to gently and subtly help the chilled feeling go away.

~993 words.