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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-26-06, 09:43 AM   #1
Sawtooth
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Winter booties versus goretex socks

So my toes are starting to get cold on the ride in to work and I am thinking of winter protection. Last year I wore a pair of Pearl Izumi neoprene booties and found them to be very warm even though they offer very little rain protection. The problem is that they are incredibly fragile and I literally wore them to shreds on the bottom in a couple of months even though I hardly ever put a foot down.

I don't want to spend more than $20 or so for a good foot solution this year so I am considering not wearing any booties and instead just wearing a waterproof sock and letting the shoe take the brunt of the weather. I should just admit right now that I am somewhat style conscious and am committed to clippless pedals so a big rubber overboot or heavy workboot is not something I am considering.

My question is.......How will letting the shoe be exposed to the rain/snow/muck/salt effect the longevity of the shoe? Will I be ok if I regularly clean the shoe with soapy water? I believe it is a leather or fake leather pearl izumi vagabond (old black and yellow version). How will repeated wetting/drying effect the wear of the shoe?

Thanks,
Troy
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Old 10-26-06, 10:07 AM   #2
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I had the same experience with the PI booties -- shredded in no time.

I ride in all weather, and it doesn't seem to affect the shoes. I'm amazed at how little wear my 3+ year old shoes are showing.

After fussing around with different solutions, last year I finally ponied up for some winter cycling shoes and have been more or less happy ever since.
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Old 10-26-06, 10:20 AM   #3
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I have wool socks + PI booties and still have cold toes after 1 hr.
My next option are insulated insoles.
After that I may purchase a larger mountain shoe from performance. Whatever is cheapest. Most likely a forte shoe.
The amount of $$ for a lake shoe is insane.
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Old 10-26-06, 11:11 AM   #4
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I just picked up a pair of Sidi Storm 3's off of ebay for a hundred bones. So I'm taking back my $40 PI booties - I'd been putting off using them because I knew they weren't perfectly waterproof. Based on my convoluted math, the Sidis therefore only cost me $60... a good price for some bike shoes. (Sidis have held up very well for me.)

I set up Ebay to watch for all the different winter bike shoes and email me when new ones were added. So I didn't have to search Ebay daily...
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Old 10-26-06, 11:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
The amount of $$ for a lake shoe is insane.
The cost per mile is already a lot lower than the $40 PI booties that were trash after 100 miles, and they're practically new.
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Old 10-26-06, 11:57 AM   #6
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The Nashbar bootie is more durable as it has a rubber sole but mine still only lasted one winter commuting as the zipper started coming appart from the twice daily on off routine. In addition I found putting them on and off twice daily to be a pain. So this year I upgraded to a Lake winter shoe I got for $150 on close out from last winter. So far I have been very happy with the easy of use, comfort and warmth. I havn't yet given them a good water test or experienced really cold weather with them but they are as easy or easier to take on/off as my normal MTB shoes. For me it is well worth the price.
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Old 10-26-06, 12:01 PM   #7
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I suppose it is far cheaper than a hopsital stay or loosing a toe or two. I may need to bide some time before telling the wife. Last week I broke the news that I intended to purchase a new jacket.
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Old 10-26-06, 12:21 PM   #8
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What about electric socks?
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Old 10-26-06, 12:48 PM   #9
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Waterproof Cycling Shoe Covers: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1161887794279

Goofy looking neoprene booties: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1161887794278

Insulated Gore-Tex gaiters: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1161888444912
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Old 10-26-06, 12:56 PM   #10
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gallon sized zip lock bag around the sock works very well, but not for the fashion conscious person.
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Old 10-26-06, 01:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantoj
I just picked up a pair of Sidi Storm 3's off of ebay for a hundred bones.
Good move. Instead of throwing good money after bad, just get a shoe that'll do the job.
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Old 10-26-06, 01:29 PM   #12
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Be like Frank Vandenbroucke (sp?), The Bad Boy of Belgian Cycling(TM), and wear some crisp, white oversocks. /thread

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Old 10-26-06, 01:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
Good move. Instead of throwing good money after bad, just get a shoe that'll do the job.
We'll see. They arrive on the 30th. I have heard the Sidi is not as warm as the Lake. I hear the winters here are wet but rarely below freezing, so I thought the Storm would be a good choice (plus, I'm a Sidi snob.) On the Internet, some say they are waterproof and some say, "not quite". I will offer a review after I use them a while. If they are not watertight, Nikwax is supposed to fix that.

I think Sidi is replacing the Storm with a new model that has Goretex branding. With "Goretex" on it, it had better be waterproof. http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...ajor=5&minor=3

Also, for $320, it had better be waterproof!
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Old 10-28-06, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoons
What about electric socks?

For me it might be the only thing that will work if I get desparate enough. However, it is not a cheap option and you still need to buy the battery. On the other hand it is something that can be used off of the bike too for things such as sporting events.

http://www.gerbing.com/heat/sockscomfort.html
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Old 10-28-06, 02:17 PM   #15
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My co-workers bought me some of Performance's booties, which turned out to be the best booties I've ever had. And my previous PI booties, besides not being very warm, shredded on me too. What were they thinking? Not thinking of commuters, evidently!

Besides the booties, also leave your shoes really loose. That leaves more airspace in your socks for insulation, and lets blood flow to your toes more easily. All the insulation in the world won't help if there's no heat to keep in, so you want good blood circulation down there.

If things get drastic (windy, rainy/slushy, or both at once), you can put a plastic sandwich baggie over the toe of your shoes before putting on your booties, making a completely windproof, waterproof layer between the bootie and the front half of the shoe. Your cleats should bite right through the baggie without any problem.
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Old 10-29-06, 12:54 AM   #16
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My experiences would lead me to advise anyone, and everyone to stay away from the windproof/wateproof socks/innershoes.

I've tried a few,bought fewer, and have had problems with all. The biggest issue was hot, sweaty feet. Once slighty moist from sweat, my feet suddenly feel dramatcally cooler, and eventually just become down-right uncomfortable. To top that off, the shoes smell awful afterwards, and since I don't have anywhere to air them out once at work, in turn forcing others at my job-site to endure the terribel odor. The overshoes have a much better effectiviness in tempature control, in addition to thier windproof/ waterproof membrane if aplicable, and despite the fact its priced higher, i'd say they are the way to go for the best in comfort, shoe long-liveity, and after-ride smell.

Anyway, im currently using the gore windstopper overshoes for cool/windy days and the gore goretex overshoe for wet rides, and have been throughly pleased with them.

During the winter, i'll wear the booties in combination with woollie boolie socks for some added warmth.

One last thing to keep in mind, for some riders, with certain shoes, the innershoe may not actually fit if you have very little room within the shoe, for while they are quite thin, the innershoe will take up quite a bit of space.- Just take note of that if you can't try before you buy.

Last edited by .:Jimbo:.; 10-29-06 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 10-29-06, 08:19 AM   #17
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I just switched to the sock. Friday night was the first test and they seemed to work well. I rode for two hours in mist/light rain and a strong wind (Temp mid 40's ,wind chill in the upper 30's). I have sensitive feet to the cold and this is the best I have found so far although my left big toe was starting to get numb by the time I got home. I was also using REI wicking liners and SmartWool socks. The wool socks were slightly damp but my feet were dry. I think the wicking socks are very important and maybe more air traveling against the membrane with the mesh shoes allows more moisture to escape.

The biggest issue I have had with booties is finding ones that are not going to take 15 minutes to get on. Even the size 10 Performance booty fit my size 8 Forte MTB shoe tight. I also tried two other kinds of booties in larger sizes without success. I do have a pair that I can get on my shoes with some effort but they have never kept my feet warm. My shoes are mostly plastic and mesh so I don't think there is much there that will be affected by water. Also, I have read that people have had good success with SPC sandals and water proof socks. I was able to pick up some Nashbar sandals for cheap and was going to experiment with that next. I have size 8 feet but got size XL socks so that I can get at least two pairs of SmartWool socks underneath.
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Old 10-29-06, 10:00 AM   #18
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I use Woolie Boolie socks covered in smartwool socks, covered in goretex sealskinz socks, stuffed into a shimano sandals, and covered in an X-large Sugoi Resistor bootie.

The sandal is worn every day.
No socks in summer, woolie boolie as it gets colder, sealskinz added if it gets wet, bootie added when it gets cold, smartwool added when it gets really cold.

Time to get it all on or off during winter is the main drawback. You also must wear waterproof tights/pants in rain to stop socks from filling up from the top. I do like that even in winters pouring rain my sandals dry in minutes at work.


Dry and warm
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