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Usern Ame
10-20-2011, 01:24 PM
My feet get cold in the winter. Anyone know what my options are as far as foot warmth goes? Something that goes over the shoe? Only my toes get cold.

paulg
10-20-2011, 01:53 PM
There are a few options which I've tried over the years. I'm sure others will chime in with their favourites.

I think the easiest option is to get winter specific cycling shoes such as these:

http://www.wintercyclingshoes.com/content/northwave-celsius.htm

They keep the wind and usually slush out and are easy to put on but the downside is they can be pricey.

Second best option is some booties like these:

http://www.rei.com/product/820997/gore-bike-wear-oxygen-so-thermo-overshoe-bike-shoe-covers

My experience with these is great once you get them on but I found I had to put my shoes on first then pull the booties on over the shoes which just takes longer in the mornings. There are many different shoe covers from ones that just cover your toes to thin windbreaks.

Another option is to wear waterproof socks like these:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sealskinz-mid-light-waterproof-socks/

They block the wind quite nicely but can also be a tight squeeze to get on. If you wear thicker socks underneath it's good to get larger shoes so you don't cut off the circulation to your toes.

Let us know what you plump for.

americancyclo
10-20-2011, 03:03 PM
I use endura luminite overshoes.

Dirt had some write ups about cold weather foot solutions.

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?308-Hands-warm-How-bout-those-feets&highlight=feet

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?309-Feet-Part-2-The-wonderful-world-of-socks.&highlight=feet+part

Dirt
10-21-2011, 09:24 AM
My new discovery this year has been Swiftwick socks. Most mid-weight wool socks have been a compromise for me. They're either too bulky and I sweat or too thin and don't last. I've got half a dozen pairs of swiftwicks and will be using them for about half the year. Coldest days still get the woolie bullies. Warmest days still get summer socks. Everything in between get swiftwicks. Only drawback is that, like most things that work really well, they're expensive. Try a pair, if you like them, look for deals on 3-packs.

http://www.swiftwick.com/

Smartwool makes some that I like almost as much. They're a little more bulky. They get the call-out for days that are a bit cooler. They're also a little cheaper.

Available at a bunch of great places. I bought a pair of Swiftwicks at Revolution last night. I got 2 pairs of SmartWools at Casual Adventure.

Revolution had some really nice city shoe covers. I forget the brand, they might have been Garneau, but they were high-vis yellow and looked ideal. They were non-stretchy, but had velcro straps to take up the slack. Edit: Not Garneau... I'll have to go back and look at them again.

This old dog likes new tricks.

Pete

PrintError
10-21-2011, 10:10 AM
Lake winter cycling boots. I got a pair last year, fainted at the price, and never regretted it. Rode as cold as mid-20s in plain cotton socks, and busted out the smart wool when it dipped into the teens. Never had cold feet, and MAN are they comfortable. I went with the MTB-style with the big treads because I figured they would help in the snow... glad I did, the treads came in VERY handy.

americancyclo
10-21-2011, 10:21 AM
Lake winter cycling boots. I got a pair last year, fainted at the price, and never regretted it. Rode as cold as mid-20s in plain cotton socks, and busted out the smart wool when it dipped into the teens. Never had cold feet, and MAN are they comfortable. I went with the MTB-style with the big treads because I figured they would help in the snow... glad I did, the treads came in VERY handy. I've had a deal alert set up for these for the past nine months! Heard nothing but great things about them!

vvill
10-21-2011, 10:54 AM
I was looking for those Lakes and noticed Bonktown had some Lake stuff but never the MTB style. :(

Dirt
10-21-2011, 12:20 PM
I was looking for those Lakes and noticed Bonktown had some Lake stuff but never the MTB style. :(
Bikeman (google will find them) keeps them pretty well stocked. Previous years' versions are often on-sale. I got my roadie ones there for cheap. Performance runs sales on them from time to time.

OneEighth
10-21-2011, 01:37 PM
Sidi also makes some nice boots. They run big.

PrintError
10-21-2011, 03:47 PM
Bikeman (google will find them) keeps them pretty well stocked. Previous years' versions are often on-sale. I got my roadie ones there for cheap. Performance runs sales on them from time to time.

This.

I called Bikeman and he had them in my size, in his hand, within seconds. He boxed them up while I was still on the phone and I had them about two days later. I will shop at Bikeman again.

Jsnyd
10-23-2011, 07:14 PM
Revolution had some really nice city shoe covers. I forget the brand, they might have been Garneau, but they were high-vis yellow and looked ideal. They were non-stretchy, but had velcro straps to take up the slack. Edit: Not Garneau...

I believe those are the Gore shoe covers. There are a few different types but those sure are hi-viz. I'm with you on the swiftwicks. I was there the last time you stopped in but I didn't realize it was you until it was too late.


---
I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.845295,-76.949775

skreaminquadz
10-24-2011, 07:40 AM
I've tried various shoe covers and I haven't found any to work all that well. They're okay at best. I bought a pair of Shimano winter boots last year and have not regretted it one bit. A bit pricey but worth every penny if you plan on commuting through the winter. My first choice were the Lakes but I can not complain at all about my decision.

Usern Ame
10-24-2011, 11:14 AM
Thanks for all the advice.

There seems to be several people that think the boots are the way to go, but they're pricey. The thing is that the boots will pay for themselves the way I see it, because riding the metro at $10 a day...by biking you've bought the boots in one month. I'm definitely going to look into the boots...I might just start out with some high quality socks first though and see if that works.

Dirt
10-24-2011, 12:10 PM
My favorite in the boot department has been the ones made by Lake. They do have a tragic flaw. Miraculously, every batch seems to accidentally have the heels stitched with the wrong thread. Every pair I've ever encountered has the heel stitching come undone. My first pair did 10 years ago. The new pair I bought last year did too. Everyone I know has had the same problem. The fix is pretty easy. When you first get them, make sure they're the right size and comfy. Then take them to a cobbler and have the stitching removed and redone with really durable thread. A decent shoe repair person will know what to do. I have them throw some glue in there too to hold it all together better. Problem solved.

Other boots don't appear to have this problem. I still like the Lake boots better. Just wanted you to know that this problem exists before you choose your boots.

Dirt
10-24-2011, 12:12 PM
Just out of curiosity, how do people care for their cycling boots? Goretex and most synthetic boots are easy. Just dry them after your rides. The Lakes are leather. They require care. I'm an old school hiker/backpacker/mountain climber. I grew up using Snowseal on boots. Basically it is a wax-based waterproofing treatment. I've always used it on my climbing boots and it has always served me well with the Lake Boots.

PrintError
10-24-2011, 12:19 PM
Just out of curiosity, how do people care for their cycling boots? Goretex and most synthetic boots are easy. Just dry them after your rides. The Lakes are leather. They require care. I'm an old school hiker/backpacker/mountain climber. I grew up using Snowseal on boots. Basically it is a wax-based waterproofing treatment. I've always used it on my climbing boots and it has always served me well with the Lake Boots.
Mink oiled my Lakes when I got em, and hose off the salt at the end of the snow. That's pretty much it.

Dirt
10-24-2011, 12:23 PM
Mink oiled my Lakes when I got em, and hose off the salt at the end of the snow. That's pretty much it.
Very similar to my regimen, though I treat mine a few times per winter. Snowseal has a lot of good oils in there with the wax.

Thanks.

creadinger
10-24-2011, 03:32 PM
If you want the really cheap version - I would put on 2 pairs of socks either thermal, wool, or whatever. Rip a plastic grocery bag in half and put the front half of your foot in each half. Then just put your shoes on. The plastic will keep the wind from ripping all the warmth off your feet. It seems to help if you don't cinch up your shoes too tight to keep the blood flowing in your feet too.

This method worked pretty well for my 6.3 mile commute but if yours is much longer, you will probably have to spend some money.

PrintError
10-25-2011, 06:52 AM
If you want the really cheap version - I would put on 2 pairs of socks either thermal, wool, or whatever. Rip a plastic grocery bag in half and put the front half of your foot in each half. Then just put your shoes on. The plastic will keep the wind from ripping all the warmth off your feet. It seems to help if you don't cinch up your shoes too tight to keep the blood flowing in your feet too.

This method worked pretty well for my 6.3 mile commute but if yours is much longer, you will probably have to spend some money.

Did that exact method for 3 years before shelling out for the Lakes. I didn't know what I was missing! WARM FEET!!!

eminva
10-25-2011, 10:26 AM
Here's another low end solution: I use flat pedals and fleece lined boots. I throw in chemical hand warmers when it gets to teens and below.

I covet the Lake boots, but don't have them in my cycling budget this year . . .

Liz

FFX_Hinterlands
10-25-2011, 10:45 AM
Platform pedals with hiking boots and wool socks works for me. The whole overboot/shoe cover thing seems fussy to me. How do you stop off at the store for milk wearing those things?

americancyclo
10-25-2011, 11:13 AM
Did that exact method for 3 years before shelling out for the Lakes. I didn't know what I was missing! WARM FEET!!!

Same here, did that for one winter season on a 12 mile commute. LOVE my shoe covers, and they cost under $50 at most places.

Greenbelt
10-25-2011, 12:04 PM
My Endura shoe covers are OK with wool socks down to about freezing. They do help block the wind, but not really warm. Below freezing the thermal hiking boots come out. The hard part is November/December, and then March, when it can be freezing in the morning but warm in the afternoon for the ride home. I have those SPD pedals with the plastic platform rim around it (don't know the actual term for that), so I can either use road shoes or hiking boots without changing the pedals.

jrenaut
10-25-2011, 12:26 PM
I have those SPD pedals with the plastic platform rim around it (don't know the actual term for that), so I can either use road shoes or hiking boots without changing the pedals.
If someone DOES know what those pedals are called, please share - I'm thinking about ditching the toe cages for real pedals, and this sounds like exactly what I want.

paulg
10-25-2011, 12:58 PM
Probably these pedals

Shimano PD-M647 Spd Platform Pedals

Picture here:
http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/21197-240_SHI640/Shimano-PD-M647-MTB-SPD-Pedal.htm

Not used them myself so no opinions from me on how well they work.

txgoonie
10-25-2011, 01:39 PM
I have Crank Bros. mallets, which are very similar to the SPD/platforms. http://www.crankbrothers.com/pedals_mallet.php They're not a perfect solution. The clipless pedal part is not flush with the platform, so you don't have perfect contact with the pedal when wearing street shoes. Your feet definitely slip around. However, being able to wear basically any shoe versus changing out the pedals all the time makes it worth it to me.

Greenbelt
10-25-2011, 03:01 PM
Probably these pedals

Shimano PD-M647 Spd Platform Pedals

Picture here:
http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/21197-240_SHI640/Shimano-PD-M647-MTB-SPD-Pedal.htm

Not used them myself so no opinions from me on how well they work.

These are what I have. I think they work fine with road shoes and the platform system likes my big-tread hiking boots. But the platform isn't perfectly flat -- there's still a jutting up part that wouldn't be comfortable with thin soled shoes over a long distance.

eminva
10-25-2011, 03:28 PM
Here is the current version of what I have:

http://www.rei.com/product/668198/shimano-m324-spd-pedals

You can ride comfortably in any type of street shoe. On the downside, you can only clip in on one side. I find it a good balance for a bike that has to do everything.

Liz

dasgeh
11-22-2011, 08:11 AM
I got an early Christmas present -- the Shimano version of the Lake shoes -- and I got to use them for the first time today. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them.

I realize this isn't very helpful, since I don't know what they're actually called, but I was so excited to have toasty, dry feet all the way in this morning, that I had to share. This may sound strange, but I didn't even mind my face being chilly, which usually irks me down the hills. I attribute it all to these wonderful shoes! I can't wait to commute all winter! (Ok, I'm completely going overboard, but thanks for indulging).

I also put on my bikeglow lights -- the beep that I find so annoying indoors is inaudible outside, though the lights didn't help this morning (I'm sure they will tonight!).

Happy riding!

PotomacCyclist
11-22-2011, 08:59 AM
I had several people asking about my BikeGlow lights yesterday. They certainly attract interest. Hopefully the car drivers see them too.

off2ride
12-01-2011, 07:36 AM
It starts from the inside out. Merino Wool Merino Wool Merino Wool. Socks that is. Swiftwick makes a nice pair. Then Windproof shoe covers will do the trick. Gore Bikewear works for me. Best of luck.

Bill Hole
12-02-2011, 10:57 AM
I've tried a lot of alternatives, and the only thing that works for me is a set of chemical toe-warmers. It took awhile to figure out how to place them so that they got enough O2 to heat up but were close enough to my skin to warm my toes.

Dirt
12-02-2011, 11:15 AM
I've tried a lot of alternatives, and the only thing that works for me is a set of chemical toe-warmers. It took awhile to figure out how to place them so that they got enough O2 to heat up but were close enough to my skin to warm my toes.
And keep them away from moisture... which kills their warming capability. Chemical toe warmers work well.

Dirt
12-02-2011, 11:17 AM
Don't forget the simple alternatives: Flat pedals and big, honkin' snow boots work well.

eminva
12-02-2011, 01:12 PM
Don't forget the simple alternatives: Flat pedals and big, honkin' snow boots work well.

This is my approach. I can attest that it is quite effective. When the wind is blowing and temps are in the teens, I wasn't going to win any cycling fashion contest anyway.

Liz

Greenbelt
12-02-2011, 02:07 PM
This is my approach. I can attest that it is quite effective. When the wind is blowing and temps are in the teens, I wasn't going to win any cycling fashion contest anyway.

Liz

Yep, when it's below freezing and/or snow or ice or slush, the road shoes come off and the insulated ankle-high hiking boots go on.

PrintError
12-05-2011, 06:46 AM
I've gone both routes, winter boots and flats and my Lake MTB boots and SPDs. The Lakes work just fine honestly, but when riding in heavy falling snow (AKA February's "Snowpocalypse"), the SPDs ice over and your feet either get frozen in, or frozen out. For a blizzard, I'll rock the big crapkicker Timberlands.

jrenaut
12-19-2011, 12:27 PM
The Clymb (http://www.theclymb.com/invite-from/JonathanRenaut) has Swiftwick socks on sale for the next 2 days or so.