Watercraft Accessory Review
The “Cool Foot” is for more than just fishing barefoot
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.
Varies depending on model
Designed for Motorguide, MinnKota, and Hotfoot pedals
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
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
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
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
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):
1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
Pluses and Minuses:
Conclusion: While I
haven’t converted to
a barefoot baser I
can understand why
some anglers enjoy
shoes. When I first
learned about the
Cool Foot I had the
wrong impression of
the product as I
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
comfort and grip
even if you opt to
keep your shoes on.
All Cool Foot styles
are available at