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Cold Feet(23 posts)

Cold FeetKristin
Nov 1, 2002 11:33 AM
Ah, tis the season for hypothermia. On a 90 minute ride my toes went missing, and finding them again was a painful process. The difference this year is that my road shoes aren't as warm as the touring shoes I wore last year. I think more air is getting in thru the bottom of the new shoes/cleats. I can't wear anything thicker than Smartwools inside the shoe and I already use the warmest Trek Booties made. I'm wondering what else I should add. Chemical boot warmers? Cellophane the bottom of the shoe?? Ideas? I hate hypothermia.
I'm adding goretex socks this year...PdxMark
Nov 1, 2002 11:38 AM
They've worked well so far. Smartwools inside the goretex socks, and booties over everything on really cold days.

I met one guy who swore by the chemical boot warmers, but I haven't tried them.

A real surprise for me has been how ineffective neoprene booties seem to be... They help a bit, but not as much as I would have thought they would...

Good luck.
Captain Obvious chimes in.Sintesi
Nov 1, 2002 11:54 AM
Do you have wiggle room in your shoes? Tight shoes cut off the circulation and freeze the feets.

One more thing: 90 minutes in the cold is a long time. I suggest just doing 60. This will work wonders.

If you need any more common sensical advice please feel free to get my attention.
LOL, nice. nmJS Haiku Shop
Nov 1, 2002 12:13 PM
simple solutionbigrider
Nov 1, 2002 11:57 AM
A fellow rider turned me on to this simple solution for cold weather riding.

Wear booties and buy the chemical handwarmer throw away packs from walmart. They cost about 50 cents a pair. Place them on top of your shoes where your toes meet your feet. The booties keep the wind off and the warmersd make your toes toasty.

Also, too thick socks are worse than too thin. They will cut off circulation. Wear nylon, polypro or thin wool as a first layer sock and then another thin layer of wool ( i like dress socks)
Layer madnessmass_biker
Nov 1, 2002 12:17 PM
Start with a pair of winter shoe liners (combo of wool/nylon. Not very breathable, but pretty thin, and keeps the air out - you can find these at camping stores or at any shoe store in Canada. Then a warm sock that is not so thick that you can't wiggle your toes. Smartwools work just fine. Then your shoe. On a really cold day, put a thin bootie over your shoe (either a TT shoe cover - something snug, or even an old pair of hiking socks cut to fit over your shoe with a hole cut out for the cleat). On top of this, slap on a pair of Performance booties - you may have to go up a size. I have found that trapping air in one form or the other between the outside layer (the outer bootie) and the inside (the shoe) works wonders. On the coldest of days, I second the heat pack solution - keeps me warm 4+ hours of riding in the dead of winter.

I swear by them!Cartman
Nov 2, 2002 4:36 PM
I took an hour and a half ride today, in 29 degree weather. I've tried it all, and they work! I wear wool socks, regular bike shoes, and booties. I put the warmers inside my bike shoe. Trust me, I use them all the time!
captain OBLIVIOUS steps up :)JS Haiku Shop
Nov 1, 2002 12:20 PM
remove the insoles and line the bottoms of your shoes with duct tape (sticky side down). pay close attention to the area where the cleats attach.

shoes one or two sizes bigger are helpful in winter, so you can wear a base layer sock that wicks (standard cycling sock) and a wool or otherwise heating/middle layer sock over that, and still have plenty of room for convection (or just to wiggle those piggies). neoprene covers over those keep the wind out of the front, at least, and keep the "winter precipitation" off the tops of your shoes. if all that doesn't work, my last best-ditch effort includes ziploc baggies. the drawbacks of that are obvious, but often acceptable.

personally, i take some meds that make my toes and fingers the first to go. contrary to all giration last winter, they were blue when i got home and the screaming from my hot shower could be heard down the block. this year i'm going to listen to MB1 and get a second mortgage to buy those lake winter mountain bike boots.

btw, i have also purchased a small cache of those toe and hand warmers. $1 per pair from the local (global?) hardware conglomerate. expect a full report when the temps stay below 32*F for the majority of the ride.

good luck!

Nov 1, 2002 12:46 PM
I second the Ziploc bag idea, surprisingly good even if lo-tec and cheap. Cut off the zipper, in fact you can cut them to fit the shoe top. Wear SmartWool or some other wicking sock, just put the Ziplocs over the sock inside the shoe.
Sublimely oblivious to the obviousKristin
Nov 1, 2002 12:48 PM
A certain board member, who's identity will remain conceiled, sent me a pair of shoes with adheeeezed insoles. If I could remove the insolses, don't you think I would have taken out those friggen SPD plates by now? I swear, click-clock click-clock click-clock, all the way down the road. I sound like a damn horse. But hey, you get what you pay for. ;-)

The Addidas have a comfortable amount of toe room; but I wouldn't wear anything thicker than my Smartwools in them. I may buy a bigger pair of cheap shoes on Nashbar (Egads). But personally, I like Sintesi's idea--just ride less. (If only I could ride more than once a week.)

Winter time whiner:
Sigh. I hate the gym. I hate these clouds. I hate this cold rain. I hate the thousands of filthy geese all crapping on my route. I hate goose crap on my tires. Perhaps the gym is not so bad. I need a vacation from the Chicago winter already and its only November 1st.
May not be ideal but...bigdave
Nov 1, 2002 1:04 PM
Licktons bike has Lake MXZ-300 shoes. These are winter MTB shoes... they are unbelievable. With a pair of wool socks, these things keep your feet toasty -- I mean *toasty* -- down to 20 degrees easy, for the amount of time you're talking. I'm an admitted wuss when it comes to cold feet, and these babies really do work. I've used them (with neoprene booties) down to 10 F and they really do work.

Obviously, if you're using road pedals they might not be compatible with your pedals, but slap a set of MTB pedals on and you're good to go.

So pop on over to Licktons and give them a look.


PS -- I am in WI, and I got them at Lickton's because 1) they had them, and 2) their price was awesome.
goose crap=good reason for fenders :)JS Haiku Shop
Nov 1, 2002 1:14 PM
cheap, good, long-lasting beater-capable shoes: (click specials). many sizes. shoes as low as $9.99.
Well, it's 20 degrees here today...Brooks
Nov 1, 2002 4:24 PM
and snowing. Not much chance of a 90 minute ride, except indoors (yuck). I did get in an hour spinning class at lunch. Road bike's on the trainer, commuter is raring to go (only 2.25 miles each way). No problems for me with neoprene booties, actually they get too warm! As far as the handwarmer packets, they are great. Last Feb with a small event called the Olympics in town, a packet in each glove and in boots (outside of socks, because they will burn with direct constant contact to bare skin) they lasted most of the day in 20 degree weather (and less).
circulation, not insulationbrider
Nov 1, 2002 1:00 PM
Sintesi suggested it.

When I got my first good set of skis and boots, the guys who fit me warned me off of thick socks. "You stay warm by circulation, not insulation," they said. I wore nothing but thin polypro liner socks in my ski boots, and my feet were always warm. Why? I could move my toes! Same thing in cycling shoes. Don't bind your feet real tight in your shoes (you're not sprinting much any way these off-season days, I hope). Make sure you've got a wind stopping layer on the outside, a wicking layer directly on your skin, and if you really need it, an insulating layer between (outside the shoes). Pearl Izumi booties work well for this. Neoprene doesn't allow enough evaporation, and though your feet may be toasty at the start of a ride, they'll soon be damp and cold from sweat build up. If (like me) you ride sockless (I know, USCF rules forbid it, but I've never been called on it), then you'l need a pair of shoes probably a half- to a full-size larger for winter riding.
Don't take this wrong but, how warm is your butt?Turtleherder
Nov 1, 2002 2:35 PM
I have found that to keep my toes warm I have to keep the blood warm before it gets to them. That's why parkas are so long. If you cover your butt and keep it warm the blood stays warmer in your legs and thus warmer in your feet. Don't add too many layers to your feet and risk cutting off circulation, add more layers to your torso, rear end and legs.
LOL - I am found out.Kristin
Nov 1, 2002 2:45 PM
But I have an excuse. This was me first ride in 3 weeks. My season ended early this year and my heart just can't take it anymore. So, yes, my butt was toasty warm and my legs were turning slow. Just because I'm not hammering, does that mean I should freeze to death? Perhaps it does. But eventually everyone has to do a recovery ride or build base miles on a cold day, no?
Misread your postKristin
Nov 1, 2002 2:55 PM
I thought you were picking on me for "sitting" too much on my butt and not "working" enough. Which would have been true--unavoidable, but true.

Actually, I had not thought of this before; butt you may be exactly right. I haven't really purchased a suitable pair of tights yet. I'm wore a pair of longjohns under a thin pair of tights. I figured if my feet, hands and middle were warm then my legs would be okay. Hmmm. I'll have to order those tights and see if that makes a difference with the same socks/booties. Thanks for the post.
Just got a pair of Northwave Arctic road shoes.look271
Nov 1, 2002 3:20 PM
They have been great so far. I've been out 2 hrs in temps in the low 40's with just smartwool socks on underneath and my feet have been fine. When it gets really cold, I'll maybe wear polypro sock liners and/or neoprene booties over the shoes. Can't imagine I'd want to ride in anything where it would be too cold for that!
Replace shoe sole insertcoonass
Nov 1, 2002 4:56 PM
with better quality one; preferably an insulated one. Remember that the more material you cram into the shoe, the easier it is for the heat to transfer to the outer shell....loose socks that allow for 'heated' air-space is the military, we wore ONLY 2 thin,loose fitting socks; never thick...and make sure that you can 'wiggle' your'll be surprised as to how much that helps; of course we marched and that exercised the foot more than riding a bike. Toe-warmers will also add additional heat on a reallllly cold ride....
Cold Duck Feetchar
Nov 1, 2002 5:56 PM

This worked for me and I commuted down -20 F.

If your feet are cold, put something on your head-a bandana, balaclava or skullcap.

Use the touring shoes.

Upgrade your shoe size by 1 cm, use wool socks. Your shoes should not be tight, toes need the wiggle room.

Purchase large or XL large wool socks and wear over existing shoes, use scissors to make cutout for cleat.

Purchase winter shoes in a larger size, combine with liner sock, wool sock and booties over shoe. This works best, good for 2-3 hours down to 10 degrees in dry conditions.

And this just in, World Cycling Productions has Exte-Ondo winter socks for $42, check out the website. I have no opinion other than whoa! rather pricey, but it may be the solution for you.

How cold is it where you ride?

Some like it hot

second the outside sock deal...seyboro
Nov 3, 2002 4:47 AM
I use DeFeet woolie boolie socks on the feet, a foam hunting insole replaces the standard sidi insole and a 'sealskin' neoprene cloth outer sock, cut to size around the cleat, completes the setup. Worth a try.
re: Cold FeetChainstay
Nov 2, 2002 3:11 PM
Here's a few suggestions. I do all of these. Use an antiperspirant to keep your feet from sweating. For socks I use a medium polypropylene layer under a thin wool layer but I'm not sure that I couldn't come up with something better. Put a piece of MTB inner tube under your shoe sole to block air. Tape over any shoe vent holes. Use a shoe cover underneath your heavier bootie.
Another simple ployLone Gunman
Nov 2, 2002 5:47 PM sells insoles that work like the survival blankets. The insoles are foil top and bottom and the middle layer is bubble wrap. The foil block air from underneath and the layer next to the foot reflects heat. Lightweight wool socks and gortex socks or wool socks and overshoe boots will also greatly help. I use my merino wool dress socks made by Gold Toe when it gets real cold.

Almost forgot, the postage/handling on the insoles will be more than the insoles themselves, insoles are $3?