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  1. #1
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Shoes for cold, rainy commutes w/platform pedals

    I switched to platform pedals on my commuter bike this summer and believe I'm going to stick with them for my 20-mile roundtrip, Seattle commute all winter.

    Only problem - I have been smugly happy with my Specialized Defroster SPD mountain bike boots the past couple of winters (both warm and dry) - but now I'm not sure what to wear in the cold rain with platform pedals.

    - Neoprene booties won't fit over the athletic shoes or old touring shoes I've been using with platform pedals.
    - I know some of you have recommended Goretex socks under regular athletic shoes, but my shoes would get soaked on the way to work and stay wet all day for the ride home.

    More specifically, need shoes that keep me warm and dry on typical hour-long winter commute at 38 degrees F. In the rain.

    Have been looking at:
    - Goretex lightweight hiking boots
    - Rubberized fishing boots
    - Goretex running shoes.

    Any better ideas? Hiking boots seem heavy to me...(yes, I tried the search function and still not seeing what I need...)

  2. #2
    Comfortably Numb! BA Commuter's Avatar
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    I wear an old pair of low cut Totes over my New Balance walking shoes. They keep my feet warm and dry and only cost around $15. I keep em in my pannier bag in case the weather changes unexpectedly...
    “Cycling is like church. Many attend, but few understand." -Jim Burlant

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  3. #3
    Senior Member cyclefreaksix's Avatar
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    Can't you just take the cleats off of the boots and continue to use 'em??

  4. #4
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclefreaksix View Post
    Can't you just take the cleats off of the boots and continue to use 'em??
    Unfortunately, I don't think so. They have pretty hard/slick plastic soles and they'd slip around too much. Plus, one of my reasons to switch to platform pedals is to get something more walkable, and the boots really aren't.

  5. #5
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    I've got Shimano Gore-Tex MTB boots with Vibram soles. They should hold up in a wet weather commute.

  6. #6
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    This question really interests me. There are work/dress hybrid shoes that are waterproof. They don't look it. They're just leather shoes sewn and soled in such a way that they can declare them waterproof. The pair I've owned for a few years now are Dexter. They are very presentable black Oxford-type shoes and I know from experience that they are waterproof unless you step in a puddle deep enough for the water to go over the tops (dang!). The fact they're low shoes means the exposed part of your socks will get wetted as you ride, so a change of socks may still be indicated.
    The other issue about street shoes on platform pedals is the sole. These Dexters of mine (don't know if they still make them but they're resoleable with the same material) are Vibram, but just the solid vibram material stuck to a leather last. What defeats your pedaling efforts with so-called Vibram soles is the layer above, of cushy foam stuff, that they put on many shoes to make it feel like "walking on air". The plain standard black Vibram is sufficiently stiff. When you have the soft stuff above it, too much of your effort goes into compressing that stuff. Inefficient, in other words. And yet the plain Vibram has enough give for comfortable walking and standing. The little interstices in the Vibram grab on nicely to the spikes or other outcroppings in your platform pedal, so they don't slip around and they engage the pedal so they act a little liked the "trapped foot" arrangements. When I get to work I either wipe off the uppers or just let them air dry, and I'm good to go.
    I don't know what kind of work you do, but I'd say check out waterproof lace-up shoes with Vibram soles. You can work, walk, stand comfortably, and attend meetings without looking like you just came in from jogging or hiking.

  7. #7
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Go to Target or Wal-Mart and get a pair of waterproof hiking boots. Pick a pair with a fairly rigid sole. From years of hiking and geocaching, I've learned that you can wear the cheapest boots as long as you have a decent arch-support insert.

    Yes, they will be heavy, but look at it this way: Heavy and dry and better than light and wet, (especially since, once your shoes get soaked, they become heavy).

    Good luck.

    BTW, just spent a week in Seattle, last month (we stayed in the South Lake Union area). Great city and loved seeing all the fendered bikes tooling around town.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    How about LLBean "storm chaser" slip ons?

    http://www.llbean.com/shop/guidePages/stormChaser/

  9. #9
    member. heh. lambo_vt's Avatar
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    It sounds like you had exactly the shoes you needed... so why switch away from SPDs?

  10. #10
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    goretex lined approach shoes or goretex casual bicycling shoes from shimano, pearl izumi (mebbee) and others. stiff, waterproof, and light.

  11. #11
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    I have platform pedals and I've never bought waterproof shoes.

    I wear shoes appropriate for the temperature. If it rains I put a plastic bag around my shoe, and afix it with a rubber band. I the summer, if it looks like rain, I'll wear Crocs and forgo the plastic. But I don't do that in the fall/winter/or spring. Good luck.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I switched to platform pedals on my commuter bike this summer and believe I'm going to stick with them for my 20-mile roundtrip, Seattle commute all winter.

    Only problem - I have been smugly happy with my Specialized Defroster SPD mountain bike boots the past couple of winters (both warm and dry) - but now I'm not sure what to wear in the cold rain with platform pedals.

    ...Any better ideas? Hiking boots seem heavy to me...(yes, I tried the search function and still not seeing what I need...)
    In rain down to the upper 30's or so, I ride a beater bike with toe clips, and I wear Totes overshoes as described above. For weather too warm for Totes (where I would be wearing shorts) I wear cylindrical shaped plastic bagel freezer bags under my shoes and tucked into the tops of my socks to keep them clean. It seem they would work for shoes with cleats too.

  13. #13
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    Gators and your favorite shoes for the temps= dry feet.You won't be making any fashion statments but your feet will be dry.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    Seńior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Unfortunately, I don't think so. They have pretty hard/slick plastic soles and they'd slip around too much. Plus, one of my reasons to switch to platform pedals is to get something more walkable, and the boots really aren't.
    toe clips.

    I switched from SPD to platforms with toe clips, and I'm still riding with my SPD shoes and toe clips.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambo_vt View Post
    It sounds like you had exactly the shoes you needed... so why switch away from SPDs?
    I think that's a topic for another thread, but, in short - I ride about 6,000 miles a year and have "hot foot" problems on rides over 80 miles or so (I have 2 bikes with Look Keo's, a couple others w/SPD).

    This summer I decided to "save" my clipless pedals for weekends and ride platform pedals on my commuter to give my feet a break. It's been a really good move *for me,* as the platform pedals distribute the weight more (BTW, I'm using MKS Lambda pedals, aka Rivendell Grip Kings). After years of riding w/toe clips, and then with a variety of clipless systems, I'm enjoying the switch to platform pedals on my commuter. My only issue is wet-weather riding because I was *so* happy with the Specialized BG Defroster boots when riding clipless.

    Hopefully this will not become a "clipless vs. platform" thread -- I've switched to platform pedals on my commuter. YMMV.

  16. #16
    member. heh. lambo_vt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Hopefully this will not become a "clipless vs. platform" thread -- I've switched to platform pedals on my commuter. YMMV.
    No such debate intended, because really who cares? However it does sound like you've just traded one problem for another.

  17. #17
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambo_vt View Post
    ... it does sound like you've just traded one problem for another.
    Unfortunately, not the first time...

  18. #18
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    This winter I am going to try some wool socks with Keen sandals -- just ordered them. I have been using some waterproof low-top teva trail shoes that have worked ok. But if its really raining, of course they do get wet and become a little tougher to dry out. My ride is also 20 miles round trip. I do keep a small fan under my desk at work to help dry out my wool gloves, socks, shoes, etc if necessary.

  19. #19
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delilo View Post
    I do keep a small fan under my desk at work to help dry out my wool gloves, socks, shoes, etc if necessary.
    That's my plan "b," or actually get a boot dryer for the office.

    I'm willing to ride in almost any kind of weather, as long as I'm not putting wet stuff on for the ride home...

  20. #20
    Senior Member swwhite's Avatar
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    I went to Payless Shoesource and got some $25 "waterproof" hiking boots. Heavy, yes. The do work to an acceptable degree, but they are not really waterproof. When I get to work, my socks usually are wet at the places that would be under the seams of the boots. I have tried a couple things to seal up the seams, and nothing has been perfect.

    My solution is adequate, but one of the tools I use to keep my motivation up is the search for the perfect commuting gear, so I still am looking for a better solution. I am considering getting a pair of those high rubber boots and then cutting them down to about six inches. I have sewn extensions to the legs of my rain pants so that they overlap the tops of any footwear I might use, so I'm thinking that rubber boots combined with the long rain pants will be the ultimate in dry feet. The high rubber boots would be hard to ride in (I have tried it) but I am hoping that shorter rubber boots would be OK.

    I keep a pair of regular shoes under my desk at work, so looking normal at work is a problem that has been solved.
    Riding in search of the simple life.

  21. #21
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    I made the opposite switch... but these are the shoes that I used with my platforms:

    http://www.geartrade.com/item/85211

    The North Face Mid Gortex XCR hiking shoe. They are lightweight, waterproof, and breathable (but my feet would still sweat in them.)

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