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Went on a snow trip this weekend at Fall Creeks(VIC), it was my first time in snow and first time skiing (cross-country) , the only problem I had was my feet started getting cold occasionally and felt like they were freezing, wondering what I did wrong ?

The temp at Falls creek was around -4°C to 0°C (occasional light snow and occasional sun)

I wore Ski socks which I bought from a good shop (Macpac) and ski boots which we hired.

This happened on both days Saturday and Sunday.

  • Saturday: I wore ski socks and ski boots.
  • Sunday: I wore a normal cotton socks and then ski socks over that and then the boots.

In response to @cobaltduck question:

    Top: Jacket (Hired) , thermals, tshirt, sweater (*I felt is was a bit too much, was sweating a bit inside*)
    Down: Pant (Hired), thermals
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    I wonder if it's the problem with the ski boots. It might be a little tight, resulting in a lower blood circulation rate in your feet. – Fenophter Aug 14 at 8:23
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    I know at first glance this may seem like a non-sequitur, but please tell us about the coat and hat you were wearing? Knowing about your socks and boots is nice, but I want to know how well insulated were your core vital organs? Seriously, this absolutely could have been the reason your extremities felt the cold. – cobaltduck Aug 14 at 11:45
  • @cobaltduck added to question – Nigel Fds Aug 15 at 2:19
  • Are the inners of hired ski boot properly dry? – AdrianHHH Aug 15 at 8:07
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    Thanks for the inspiration: outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/22867/9109 – cobaltduck Aug 15 at 12:16
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It's most likely too much insulation on your feet, which can be best addressed by changing socks. People unused to cold and/or snow will often put on "warm socks" without realizing that they'll steadily lose insulating value as your feet sweat. The more active you are, the worse it is. If "ski socks" are meant for alpine skiing they're probably way too heavy for cross country, which features more movement and less time riding a chairlift.

If you can tolerate wool you should try a pair of wool socks. Cotton retains about 10% of its insulating value when damp, wool is closer to 90ish. If you can't stand wool you'll want some sort of synthetic wicking fabric. Even better would be to carry a dry pair of socks and change them after a couple of hours.

Incidentally, if you really need to double up socks, Gore-Tex socks are a real luxury item. They're designed to be worn over socks, but are breathable and waterproof. They're quite a bit easier to stuff in a pocket than a second set of heavier boots. I can't imagine you'd need them while skiing, but it's good to know that they exist.

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Try thinner socks. If you're too tight in the boots, you'll be cold. It seems counter intuitive but blood circulation is what keeps you warm, just like what @Fenophter wrote in the comments. An aerobic activity like cross-country skiing gets your blood circulating pretty wildly and you'll be surprised how little insulation you need.

For example, in my plastic mountaineering boots, I only wear thin poly liners (maybe 0.5mm thick). As long as I'm moving, it's plenty enough even when it's -40°C.

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The OP should definitely try the other suggestions first, but if you have serious problems with cold feet, it is possible to buy battery heated socks. These are particularly likely to be useful if you suffer from Raynaud's syndrome (a tendency for surface blood vessels to spasm shut as soon as the skin gets cool).

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Another option for keeping feet warm(er) is neoprene ski boot covers, also known as boot gloves. My ski teacher often used them on cold days. If you have an old wetsuit then it should be easy and cheap to make you own boot covers.

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