After Using my Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) for 3 hours in 6,5mm neoprene shoes with temperatures about 0, my feet felt almost numb, although they were dry. I've got problems putting my trousers, I needed to roll them over my feet by hand. After they get warm, they were perfectly OK, but it was not a nice feeling.

I've heard about people walking barefoot on snow, which is definitely much worse. Is it possible to make my feet more cold-resistant? Is this a matter of practice? Or maybe it's because when on SUP, my feet stay in the same position for the long time?

  • 1
    I'd like to challenge your assumption that barefoot walking on snow is worse: while I haven't tried cold temp SUP, I've been hiking in sandals and wollen socks in snow (boots were away for repair), which after a few steps boils down to walk on a composite material made of a sheet of ice with wool armament (the woolen sock still helps against sores from the sandal rubbing the wet skin, and the sandal provides far better traction than going barefoot and prevents cutting your [wet] sole). I found this to be perfectly fine for a full day's tour and my feet stayed warm. But then I'm anyways a Dec 29, 2020 at 12:02
  • "warm-footed" person, and back then had the cold adaptation of a Winnipeg winter with me. Nevertheless, I'd expect to freeze my feet off on a SUP due to the restricted (non)motion of the feet on the SUP. But maybe that is because I'm just not sufficiently good on a SUP to excercise there close to my maximum power output, whereas I can adjust my hiking speed far more widely according to thermal circumstances. (Compare also cold feet when climbing) Dec 29, 2020 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


Try wearing a pair of wool socks inside your footwear. I used to hike and canoe in MEC reef boots -- basically a neoprene boot with a rubber sole. I would wear a thin pair of polypro socks and a pair o wool hiking socks in them. While my feet were wet all the time, the extra insulaiton from the socks made all the difference.

Depending on how snug your boots are right now, you may have to go up a size.


You can definitely train cold resistance, yes. It’s mostly a case of continuous practice.

But in your case you might find it much simpler to just move your feet more. It’s very easy to shuffle about a bit on a board.

  • Rory, is it cold resistance or cold tolerance that can be trained? Dec 28, 2020 at 3:24
  • Honestly, I don't know, but I have been swimming in the ice the last few days and I wouldn't have been able to do that two months ago.
    – Rory Alsop
    Dec 29, 2020 at 23:32
  • I don't know either. I tend to think it's at least a good part tolerance, but I wonder if resistance can be trained as well. I've read a bit about extreme cold tolerance, but not enough to draw any educated conclusions... yet. Dec 30, 2020 at 1:18

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