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Calientoes or Fleece Socks for colder weather...(17 posts)

Calientoes or Fleece Socks for colder weather...UncleMoe
Aug 27, 2002 2:29 PM
This is a few months away, but colder commuting mornings are on the way. I ride in 35-45 degree morning temps (San Diego does get chilly contrary to popular belief). All my riding clothes are sufficient except my feet, toes really, get very cold.

I don't think I need full booties to cover my shoes, maybe just the calientoes that go over the toe area, or I was even considering fleece socks that I saw on (but at $10 a pop - I'd need 4 pairs to avoid doing bike laundry every other night.

Anyone have any feedback on these options?
Don't think socks will help..Lone Gunman
Aug 27, 2002 3:19 PM
The problem is your shoes, they are vented fairly well, at least mine have been with the mesh and faux leather with holes and vents underneath. I would go with the toe covers that might be neoprene or something like that. Too many socks will constrict circulation in the foot an could lead to cold feet.
Smart Wool is the way to go.MB1
Aug 28, 2002 3:35 AM
From the low 60's to about freezing I wear smart wool socks with my regular cycling shoes. Much below freezing I wear my winter cycling boots.

Smart Wool MTB socks are the bees knees forbill
Aug 28, 2002 4:48 AM
cold weather. Below freezing may require some sort of external windblock, but I've ridden in the 30's with regular shoes and the heavier Smartwool MTB socks.
yo! MB1! what gloves for <32deg & nasty weather? nmJS Haiku Shop
Aug 28, 2002 6:40 AM
Sierra Trading on line.MB1
Aug 28, 2002 9:25 AM
We layer our gloves. Some kind of thin silk and wool blend under a windblock ski glove. Double the thickness for below 20. Never have gone out below about 4 degrees or so.

Also accept that your hands should be pretty cold until you warm up after about 5 miles of riding. Remember we both commute and ride at least one century a weekend. We get pretty used to whatever the weather is.

Sierra Trading always has glove liners in different thicknesses available for very reasonable prices. We must have 5 pairs each. I have a very nice windblock outer glove that Miss M got from Gekko Gear.
thanks. noted. will try same this year. nmJS Haiku Shop
Aug 28, 2002 9:32 AM
re: Gore Tex over sox and bigger shoes.dzrider
Aug 28, 2002 4:54 AM
I also like wool sox for cold days but find them hot above 55 degrees. I'm assuming you also ride home. Some yrs ago my wife got me gore-tex over sox for xmas. I thought they looked dumb, but I was wrong. They keep out all the wind which is a big factor for keeping toes warm. You may need bigger shoes to fit them, but bigger shoes allow better circulation and are slightly warmer than tight fitting shoes.
Socks are badKristin
Aug 28, 2002 5:05 AM
Use a good wicking agent under your shoes and then neoprin booties over them. This will keep your feet toastie. I've also used Saran Wrap (as suggested on the board) and it actually works...just doesn't breathe well.

Last year, I tried stuffing more socks under my shoes. This made my shoes tighter, which cut off circulation and made my feet even colder. I purchased a pair of Trek Neoprin Booties that work great. They're ultra warm. Also, fleece is a poor base layer because it doesn't wick. It'll trap all the moisture and keep it against your skin instead of moving it away from your foot and allowing it to evaporate. I don't like fleece against my skin in the winter.
woolie booliesDougSloan
Aug 28, 2002 5:11 AM
Defeat Woolie Boolies; fantastic socks for cold; cushion well, too; I wear them year round.

Northwave Husky shoes are great in colder weather, too, and repel water fairly well. You won't have to mess with covers, then.

I rode all last winter with this combination and never got cold feet.

woolie boolies & huskiesJS Haiku Shop
Aug 28, 2002 6:39 AM
I also use defeet woolie boolies, alternating with the smartwool socks (nearly knee length smartwool--LOL). smartwool for when it's close to or below freezing. agree that the w/b are good for year-'round.

my n/w huskies experience is the opposite...tried 'em with all type of sock, with or without neoprene booties, etc., still had cold toes. this year i'm going with mb1's lake winter boot suggestion (spd, no look).

luckly i got the n/w shoes from performance. they are really great with returns.
probably doesn't get as cold here (or San Diego) nmDougSloan
Aug 28, 2002 11:16 AM
right you are...JS Haiku Shop
Aug 28, 2002 12:39 PM
i'd suspect we have a slightly harsher winter than you guys...we get snow at least once a year! :)
re: Calientoes or Fleece Socks for colder weather...KEN2
Aug 28, 2002 6:52 AM
Forget the fleece--go with wool like SmartWool or Woolie Boolies (these latter you can sometimes get cheaply at Then get some free plastic vegetable bags from the grocery store and cut them down so they fit over the socks, inside your shoes. Cheap and effective--you're defeating the convection cooling from the venting in your shoes. Rode all winter last year with just one change of bags--they're surprisingly durable.
Toe coversDMoore
Aug 28, 2002 8:04 AM
Calientoes or many similar toe covers made from neoprene work just fine. I live inland from LA, and do night training rides all winter long, where temps are similar to yours. They're all I ever need, and a benefit is that if you have a warm day you can toss 'em in a pocket and not have to wear them on the ride home. I've had the same pair for at least 5 years, they last forever.

I started out with booties, both neoprene and lycra, but discovered the toe covers work just as well (in these conditions) and are much less hassle.
How long is the commute?bikedodger
Aug 28, 2002 9:16 AM
re: Calientoes or Fleece Socks for colder weather...DaveG
Aug 28, 2002 1:24 PM
toe covers provide a surprising amount of warmth without the hassle of booties (hard to put on/remove, sweating). I use the SideTrak toe covers which are very easy to put on and remove and can be stuffed in a pocket if it gets warm. I don't think socks alone will do the job as most cycling shoes provide a great deal of ventilation which whips right through even thick socks.