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Watercraft Accessory Review

The “Cool Foot” is for more than just fishing barefoot


Date: 9/07/08
Tackle type: Reels
Manufacturer: Cool Foot
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 7.33 - Good

Have you ever fished barefoot on your boat? The Cool Foot is designed to be offer improved comfort and traction on trolling motor pedals whether anglers prefer fishing barefoot in the summer or with boots in the winter.  


Cool Foot Specifications

Product Watercraft Accessory
Material EVA foam
Dimensions Varies depending on model
Availability Designed for Motorguide, MinnKota, and Hotfoot pedals
Thickness 5mm
MSRP $9.99

The Cool Foot is the brainchild of Will Hesch a guide based on the Central Coast where he has been guiding for nearly 30 years. Will’s other passion is surfing, and whenever the weather permits he enjoys fishing barefoot, the only problem is that he would burn his feet on the hot black pedals.


The Cool Foot in retail packing

It didn’t matter if it was a Merc Thruster, Motorguide Tour, or Minn Kota under the hot sun the pedals got hot (Will added the Thruster and Tour Edition trolling motor pedals are the two which seemed to get particularly hot). So what did he do? Rather than throw on a pair of sandals he ordered a sheet of EVA foam and hand cut his first prototype pedal pad. Some of his clients noticed it and commented that they would buy a product like that, and thus the Cool Foot was born.

The Cool Foot comes pre cut in the exact layout to match your trolling motor, here the Motorguide model is shown in camo pattern

The Cool Foot is shaped exactly like the manufacturers trolling motor pedal and each Cool Foot is 5mm thick. The surface of each Cool Foot has 1/8” deep grooves cut into the surface of the foam to improve traction along with comfort. Originally when Will designed the Cool Foot only two colors were available, black or grey, but with all the different boat styles on the market there are now 14 different colors so matching boat finishes, wraps, or even your truck is now easy.

Each Cool Foot pad is 5mm thick

When Will first contacted us we were not sure if it was even possible to review a product like this, and while we sometimes wore sandals none of our editors had ever fished barefoot. Still, the idea caught my attention and I volunteered to try the product out on my Minn Kota Maxxum Pro.

My test subject, the pedal on my MinnKota Maxxum Pro

Installation and Operation: I decided to install the Cool Foot while on the water so I could compare fishing barefoot with the standard pedal and later with the Cool Foot. On a recent trip to the O’Neil Forebay the opportune time came for me to shed my shoes. It was 104 degrees and while the wind helped the bright sun was doing a real number on us. The Minn Kota pedal wasn’t burning hot but it certainly was warm. I also felt the pedal was somewhat uncomfortable when fishing barefoot due to the rigid surface. This was especially noticeable when putting a lot of pressure on my foot when assertively changing directions.

The installation of the Cool Foot took less than 60 seconds on the water

When I first took the Cool Foot out of the package the different parts were still joined together but were easy enough to separate without any tools. I used a rag to wipe off the pedal to make sure that the surface was clean and dust free, then proceeded to remove the backing and put each of the three parts into place. The Cool Foot fit perfectly onto the pedal and was installed in under a minute. I was ready to get back to fishing and the minute I put my bare foot back on the pedal I noticed the difference. The surface of the Cool Foot does heat up as well, but is noticeably cooler than the undressed pedal.

After putting on the two circular pads it was time for the main section

I also put my shoes back on later in the day and tried the Cool Foot again. The surface does feel a bit more tacky with the Cool Foot installed, and the 5mm thickness of the pad does provide a nice buffer between the base pedal and your shoe. The surface does dirty after time but can be washed with soap and water.

Notice how accurate the cuts are on the Cool Foot 

Overall the Cool Foot proved to be a rather surprising product. The concept seems so straightforward, yet it works well, and while I am not jumping out of my shoes to fish barefoot on a regular basis I have found the Cool Foot to offer quality traction even with my shoes on in all types of weather.

Press down and let the adhesive do the work

Price & Applications: The Cool Foot is available for both Motorguide Tour Edition and Minn Kota Maxxum series motors as well as for Hotfoot pedals (which makes a lot of sense). The trolling motor pads retail for $9.99 and the Hotfoot is two dollars cheaper.

Installed and ready to be stepped on...

There are actually a few pros that make use of the Cool Foot including Gerald Swindle and Boyd Duckett, and Brody Broderick a member of the Triton/Mercury National Team and a BASS Open Professional Angler uses the Cool Foot for the wintertime and snow boots.

...the Cool Foot does feel more comfortable, especially when barefoot

Will is so confident that anglers will like the Cool Foot once they try it that he offers a money back guarantee. If anglers don't love the product they can simply peel it off, send it back, and a refund will be in the mail.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Cool Foot Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Cool Foot features quality construction, while I haven't fished too long with the product it seems to be holding up reasonably well 8
Performance The Cool Foot does exactly what it is designed to do. It is easy to install and even easier to use. The question is do you personally have a need for it? 7
Price A reasonable price for a well designed product 8
Features Not a whole lot of features here, just a simple product with a simple goal... to improve comfort and manageability of your pedal controls 6
Design (Ergonomics) The Cool Foot delivers better ergonomics for your pedals, and this simple mod is especially good for fishing without shoes. I can see how the hotfoot pedal really makes sense as that pedal is all metal 8
Application While I personally do not fish barefoot it certainly does add comfort when doing so. It also adds a  bit of traction when wearing shoes so it isn't just for barefoot anglers 7

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Clever idea good construction L When was the last time you fished barefoot?
J Improves comfort while barefoot  
J Good traction even with shoes  
J Reasonable price  

Conclusion: Conclusion: While I haven’t converted to a barefoot baser I can understand why some anglers enjoy fishing without shoes. When I first learned about the Cool Foot I had the wrong impression of the product as I previously believed it was designed solely for fishing barefoot. I now consider the Cool Foot a “mod” and similarly to how a racer tunes his car with upgraded pedals or a more ergonomic shift knob, the Cool Foot is designed to make your vehicle more comfortable and manageable. The Cool Foot is a bright idea and while Will designed the product for hot weather barefoot fishing the Cool Foot serves a dual function as it provides additional comfort and grip even if you opt to keep your shoes on.

All Cool Foot styles are available at Tackle Warehouse.










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