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Shoe insert for warmer feet?(16 posts)

Shoe insert for warmer feet?retbchboy
Dec 29, 2003 8:19 AM
The warmth seems to go out of the ball of my feet after about a half an hour. I think it's the cleat cooling down and working through the sole of my shoe. I wear good wool socks. Has anyone found an insert that stops the cold from coming through?

just get some neoprene booties (nm)ColnagoFE
Dec 29, 2003 8:48 AM
line with a piece of innertube...shawndoggy
Dec 29, 2003 9:01 AM
If you look at winter cycling shoes (at least my Northwaves) they address the concern you've noticed, that the cleat is a heat sink, by actually isolating the cleat with another layer beneath the footbed insert. As a stopgap, I've put a piece of cut-open innertube under my footbed to isolate the cleat. It seems to have given me at least another 5-10 degrees of cold weather comfort with neoprene booties over just using the booties alone.

I ride with SPDs and have wondered whether shoes equiped with Look-style plastic cleats are warmer cuz they'd bleed less heat than a metal cleat. Dunno about that.
Other possible solutions, plus a great cheap footwarmerCory
Dec 29, 2003 9:27 AM
REI (and others, but REI for sure) has a wide range of insoles, which are one place shoe manufacturers often cut a few pennies. Most are too thick for cycling shoes, but if you look around, you'll find some thin, closed-cell foam ones that will work. Should be less than $25.
Another thing I just tried this weekend that looks promising after one slushy ride: I bought half a yard of windproof fleece (regular Polartec wouldn't work as well; the air goes right through it. This has a membrane between two fleecy surfaces) for six or eight bucks at a fabric store. My plan was to make some stowable toe covers, but I used the insoles from my mountain bike shoes as a pattern and cut new fleece insoles. Work great so far.
As for the toe covers--I may post a pic if they work as well as they seem to, but essentially I pinned a double thickness of the fleece around just the toe of the shoe, reaching back four inches or so on top and bottom, sewed the layers together on a machine (to make a little open-ended pocket), cut off the excess and turned the pocket inside out so the rough edges were inside. It slips over the toe of my shoe, covering nearly to the top of the tongue. The fleece is water resistant, windproof but breathable. Stays on pretty well by itself, but I think I'll add a shoelace or Velcro strap to go either around my ankle or to attach to the laces of the shoe just to hold it. Cost a couple of bucks and took about 10 minutes with a sewing machine, but you could do it by hand in half an hour.
Booties, toe covers not the problem!retbchboy
Dec 29, 2003 9:55 AM
It's definitely the cleat drawing heat. Thanks for the advice on the booties but I'm covered there. Good wool socks and booties when needed work great except no matter how warm you make your shoe when your cleat gets cold it does draw warmth from your foot.
I was wondering does skiing or snowboarding boots have cleats or maybe ice skating boots and if so what do they use?

That's why the fleece insole. The toe cover was a bonus(nm)Cory
Dec 29, 2003 10:23 AM
just how cold is it where you are riding?ColnagoFE
Dec 29, 2003 10:59 AM
Booties always seem to keep my feet warm down to around freezing or slightly below anyway...anything colder and I'll likely stay inside and train.
If you want to hear an LBS owner laugh out loud....Cory
Dec 29, 2003 12:30 PM
Could be a mass thing--I'm a Clyde with size 15 feet. Takes awhile to cool those suckers down.
I ride year-round these days (knees hurt too much to run, I hate trainers, and XC skiing takes too much preparation). The 45-minute test ride with the fleecy soles and toe covers started at 25 degrees. It gets colder here, but the highs usually don't stay below freezing for more than a couple of days, so I just wait it out.
Those toe covers, BTW, were an emergency measure. They don't make neoprene booties in my size, and if you want to hear an LBS owner laugh out loud, take your size 15 feet into the shop and tell him you need shoes a size bigger so you can squeeze in thick socks. If I ride when it's REALLY cold, I use platform pedals and Sorels.
Dec 29, 2003 12:49 PM
I thought I was the only size 15 cyclist ;-)

Thank goodness Sidi makes 50s... in fact, I think they make the Genius and Dominator in 51 and 52.

Ride on fellow Big Foot.
Just about any foam insert should workbimini
Dec 29, 2003 11:51 AM
I think the ones I use are Softsole brand.

Last year I froze my toes off even with the neoprene booties. The cleats sucked all the heat from my foot.

I got a new pair of carbon shoes this year on ebay and they were slightly large in the toe area. I used a set of full sole inserts to fill them out. I found an added bonus this winter. My feet stay toasty warm. I just use the shoes, inserts, neoprene booties and two pair of thin polypropolene socks and my feet have stayed warm down to 20 degrees F.
Use PEPPER !!Derrick VL
Dec 29, 2003 2:35 PM
May sound strange, but when you put black or white pepper in your socks, your feet stay warm!

The raison is that the gavicine in the pepper activates nerve ends that are sensitive to heat (similar to menthol, which gives a cold feeling)
Dec 29, 2003 3:14 PM
If you have your newspaper delivered, it often comes in a long, thin bag. Put this over your warm socks, then put a thin pair of "crew" socks over the bag. There ain't no wind that's gonna get through plastic.
Questions about pepper and plasticCory
Dec 29, 2003 4:45 PM
I've read about both, but never tried them. A friend who's skied for nearly 50 years says they used to use cayenne pepper in their socks in the crude old days, but I've transferred it from my hands to Certain Private Areas with uncomfortable results. Any probs w/that on your feet?
As for plastic, I'd rather have cold feet than cold, sweaty feet. Do you wind up sloshing in your shoes after a long ride?
www.bikejerseys.comLone Gunman
Dec 29, 2003 4:34 PM
Sells an insert; it is bubble wrap, small size bubbles, covered with aluminum foil. Works like a space or emergency blanket. $3??
Get thee to a sporting goods store.4bykn
Dec 30, 2003 6:39 AM
Preferably one that has a large hunting section. Locally there is a chain store called "Dick's" that carries foot (and hand) warmers. These operate by some sort of magic (or thermo-chemical reaction). They have an adhesive side you can stick to your sock(I put them on the top of my foot) and are fairly thin. Brand name is Grabber Mycoal Toe Warmers. Good for about 5 hour rides. I think there may be a similar product at Wal-Mart.

A pair of these inside neoprene booties, two pairs of socks and I was good for two hours in six degree F.

Ride in Peace
i (and warmth)
Photographic evidence:4bykn
Dec 30, 2003 6:43 AM
Note the icicles hanging from my bread.