top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Insoles with reversible aircon is latest from French serial inventor

We ask how 6mm silicon can keep feet warm in winter and cool in summer using the energy of your steps

Bruno Aubert was inspired to invent the Cimfeet insole when a medical condition left him with cold feet in winter Pic: Bruno Lambert

Cold feet in winter and sweaty toes during summer could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to an innovative insole developed by a self-described ‘serial inventor’.

Bruno Aubert got the idea after a medical condition left him with cold feet most winters.

He was inspired to take it further when an acquaintance told him he suffered the same fate as a result of his job.

“I have a friend who works in a cold storage logistics depot in the United States. It is -30C and he sometimes has to spend eight hours a day in the cold,” Mr Aubert told The Connexion.

“He had boots with electric heaters in them, but the battery only lasted two hours and everything had to stop while the batteries were changed.”

Read more: Wheelchair brakes win top prize at France’s invention competition

Person’s weight compresses the air

Mr Aubert, from Banyuls-sur-Mer in Pyrénées-Orientales, started experimenting with flexible insoles that produce heat when the air inside them is compressed – in the same way that an old-fashioned bicycle pump gets warm.

This heat is then transferred to the foot side of the sole through a one-way valve, while the other side stays cool.

“It is the person’s weight that compresses the air, so there are no extra mechanical or electrical systems needed,” Mr Aubert said.

“You just have to walk for five minutes before you start to feel the warmth.”

Just turn them over to cool feet

In summer, the insoles can be turned over and reversed left/right so the cool side is in contact with the foot.

The soles are thin enough – less than 6mm – to allow them to be inserted into most shoes without having to remove the original insole.

The first production run of the insoles, called Climfeet, sold out within days on the company’s website, even though they cost €79 a pair.

“Buyers are mainly women over 45 years old who suffer from cold feet, but there have also been a few runners and people who work outside in the winter,” Mr Aubert said.

“There have been a few delays but supplies from our partner factories are starting again.”

The insoles are made of silicon from China and assembled in France at a factory in Lyon.

Read more: Toothbrush reinvented by French entrepreneurs to clean in five seconds

Sold first two inventions

Competitive runners can expect a pair to last a year, but this extends to two years for less frequent runners or people who use them while working or standing most of the day.

His friend from the cold storage unit now has a pair and has given positive feedback.

“He says he does not have a sensation of heat, as he had with the electric insoles, but at the same time, his feet never feel cold,” said Mr Aubert.

The Climfeet insoles are Mr Aubert’s third major invention.

His first was a device to improve navigation on ships, which was sold to a large US company. 

His second invention, a mini air quality sensor, also found a buyer.

Mr Aubert said he still has new ideas in his head but wants to concentrate on building Climfeet into a global company first.

Related articles

French pee reader sends health data from the toilet to your phone

Paris metro and tram seats transformed into slippers

Fishy feet? French company makes trainers with tuna skin ‘leather’

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France