We Visit Forty Below For Warm Foot Enlightenment

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | June 28, 2010      

Still on the road, we’re in the PNW making some gear industry stops. Yesterday we had a fun visit with Joel Attaway of Forty Below, who supplied our overboots, tent floors, water bottle jackets, and a few other items for our Denali expedition.

Joel of Forty Below expounds on the science of camp booties.

Joel of Forty Below expounds on the science of camp booties. We liked his synthetic booties, but the insoles could have been thicker, so Joel dug out some nice thick foam and made us some extras on the spot. Apparently some famous Himalayan mountaineer had complained that the thicker insoles were too stiff. We just want them warm!

What I’m most interested in with Forty Below is Joel’s efforts to make a ski boot overboot that truly works with Dynafit bindings. He’s got some excellent stuff in the works for next winter, and anyone using the newer lighter weight and lower volume AT boots should pay attention to these developments, since lower volume boots can be cold.

The innovations are taking two forms. First, Joel will probably have a full overboot available that uses thinner material where you can have clearance issues with Dynafits. Second, he’s also working on a “super gaiter” type overboot that doesn’t have a sole and will be supplied with a retrofit attachment system for ski boots that is reliable and easy to configure. I’m particularly interested in the super gaiter option, as I’ve always like the concept, though I do get tired of problems with super gaiters such as the toe coming loose.

I’ll not share any more details with deference to Joel’s efforts at product development, but can tell you to keep your eyes open for some cool stuff coming soon!


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5 Responses to “We Visit Forty Below For Warm Foot Enlightenment”

  1. roberto palimino June 28th, 2010 6:25 pm

    yeah Joel!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Franklin Pillsbury June 29th, 2010 6:55 am

    Great stuff!! Love what Wild Snow is doing.Hope we can be just a fraction of what you are/have done with our “Lets Go Outdoors Texas”
    Will you guys be home for 4th of July?

  3. Nick June 29th, 2010 11:14 am

    I have a pair of 40 Below synthetic booties (with the foam footbed insert). While I love the company, I must say that they are actually not that warm. I have found that my old (cheapo) Sierra Design down booties, with the foam footbed added in, are substantially warmer.

    The 40 Belows are relatively new, so it is not a question of the primaloft loosing its loft.

  4. Lou June 29th, 2010 3:57 pm

    Nick, yeah, a nicely packed down bootie could be warmer — that is until it’s been used several days inside an overboot and absorbed a bunch of moisture. That being said, we do feel Joel could come up with another model bootie that used even thicker synthetic insulation, for those of us who feel we need even more warmth. Lots of variation between people’s feet in terms of warmth.

  5. Nick June 29th, 2010 5:34 pm

    Good point Lou (re: the benefits of synthetic). I was just thinking for pure ski touring and wearing my down booties around camp in the lower 48, I have found I reach for the old down ones more than the 40 below. I thicker one from Joel sounds like the ticket.

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