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The best all around booties I have ever made.(17 posts)

The best all around booties I have ever made.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:14 AM
Since we ride in all weather I guess we have tried about every type of bootie and shoe cover made. We can pretty much tell you what is wrong with all of them.

First of all everything you can buy tends to be rather expensive for what you get.

Neoprene Booties and other wet weather shoe covers are heavy, bulky, rub against the crank, are hard to carry when you aren't wearing them and when you warm up turn into your very own foot saunas. We do like them for cold rain though.

The other generally available options are toe covers and very thin booties intended more for aerodynamics and time trailing than keeping your feet warm. They also tend to be rather fragile.

Over the years I've experimented with home made booties. I think I've finally got it right-and for about $5.00 for a pair they are hard to beat.
The Recipe.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:17 AM
You need a pair of socks that will fit over your bulkiest pair of cycling shoes. For Miss M an old pair of my hiking socks will work well. I found an extra large pair of smart wool socks for $4 at an L.L. Bean outlet store that fit over my size 45 shoes fine.

I used a spray can of Rust-Oleum "Grip & Guard" textured rubber coating $6.99 at the local hardware store (intended for non-slip grip coating of tools), duct tape, newspaper, scissors, a knife and a marking pen.
Real men use Duct Tape.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:19 AM
Masking tape doesn't stick to the socks very well-another use for duct tape!

I pulled the socks over my shoes and masked off the top with the duct tape. The more careful you are here the better the results will be. I also left the top of the toe area (the rubber spray will keep the wind and road spray off my toes) and a bit of the heel uncovered.
The rubber coating is the key.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:23 AM
The Rust-Oleum "Grip & Guard is a spray on rubber coating. One can is enough to make many pairs of booties.

We generally have 2 problems with homemade sock booties.

#1 they wear out pretty fast when you walk on them.
#2 they start to unravel around the cleat hole making it harder and harder to get your shoe clipped into the pedal.

A rubber coating solves both of these problems.

Start with a nice even light first coat.
Let them dry for about 20 minutes between coats.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:28 AM
If you make the first coat too thick it will start to soak through the sock onto your shoe. Not a big problem but easy to avoid by starting with a thin coat.

Also make sure to use lots of newspaper to catch the overspray or Miss M will come downstairs and smack you around for messing up her basement. ;-)

The second coat (and a third coat if you think you will be walking on them a lot) can be much thicker.
Peel the duct tape off while the final coat is still wet.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:31 AM
It is going to be a lot easier that me on this one.
Mark the cleat hole.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:34 AM
It is pretty easy to feel where the cleat is, mark a nice roomy hole around the cleat before you take the bootie off the shoe.
Slice & dice.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:37 AM
With a rubber coating it is easier use a knife to start cutting the pre-marked cleat hole then finish it off with the scissors. A nice thing about the rubber coating is that the sock doesn't start to unravel when you cut it.
Ready to ride.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 8:40 AM
A nice pair of booties for under $5. They keep your feet nice and warm anywhere from the low 20's to well into the 40's, fold up small and are easy to carry and as we found up this weekend grip well if you have to dismount and walk on ice.
Dec 30, 2002 9:09 AM
Applying crazy glue or nail polish to the edges around the cleat hole may keep the sock fibers from unwinding.

Just a thought.
I wanted something that dried soft.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 9:26 AM
So it won't crack off as you walk on it. Bees wax (Rivendell loves bees wax) works pretty good but picks up a lot of dirt.
Dec 30, 2002 9:35 AM
How about shoe-goo, the stuff that repairs holes in worn sneakers? It's flexible and durable.
I wanted something that dried soft.Skip
Dec 30, 2002 11:11 AM
How about: just turn the sock inside out, mask off the perimeter of the cleat hole, and spray the edge with the same blue?
I'm liking this a lot! (You must be a Scot...)WhoisJohnGalt
Dec 30, 2002 3:12 PM
Well yes, way back when the family did start from there.MB1
Dec 30, 2002 5:27 PM
It is not really that I am cheap, I just wanted a more comfortable, easier to carry bootie.

The low cost is a bonus.
Very smart idea. I have just the sock to try it with.High Gear
Dec 30, 2002 7:54 PM
A thick pair of smartwool hiking socks. I totally agree with you in that most polypro booties don't vent well, making for a cold wet foot. Thanks for sharing!
Very smart idea. I have just the sock to try it with.morkm
Jan 2, 2003 10:33 AM
Great Idea!

I just finished my first try at some of my own. While at the Home Depot, I could not remember which type of spray you used. The helpful staff had no idea what I was talking about when I requested a "spray on rubberized coating...?"

I looked through the Rust-OLeum selection and could not find anything even close to the Grip and Guard, so I ended up with a can of Plasti Dip. It's drying as I type and I'm hoping it works out as well as your method. If not, perhaps I'll get the Rust-Oleum and do a touch up.