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  1. #1
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    Keeping shoes and feet dry in heavy rain

    I am planning to do a 110 mile charity bike ride again, over 2-days in Northern California in May. Last year we had to deal with heavy rains and my shoes and socks were soaked for most of the day and my shoes didn't dry out effectively for my 2nd day of riding.
    I have water resistant boots, but they aren't comfortable for biking and water can still get in through the the top of the boots.
    I prefer to avoid rain pants for these types of rides (added weight and storage when the weather is dry.) Even if I used rain pants, rain will still soak my sneakers, socks and feet. For many people, their feet soaked in wet socks and shoes all day is no big deal. But I have sensitive skin that gets irritated easily.
    Just wondering if anyone else had this type of problem on all-day rides and what solutions have effectively worked for them

  2. #2
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    There is but two choice I know of.......ride barefoot or sandals. Skin dries faster that shoes & socks.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  3. #3
    Fail Boat crewman
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    I ride an hour in the rain somedays to and from work. It is Oregon afterall. I tried plastic shopping bags on my feet and that does work, but there is a wicking effect that happens when your pants get wet and they soak into your socks. The water tends to migrate into your shoes. I got a pair of shoe covers and that helped more, but I still have the wicking effect.

    The wicking effect seems not to happen if I wear some kind of gator over my pants and show covers. This would then allow the rain to slide off and not migrate into my shoes.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I used shoe covers, Irish west Coast tour, But a Cycling Rain Cape, sandals and
    Gore tex boot liner socks over your socks may work

    this winter I got a pair of LL bean Boots they keep my feet dry. XL rain Pants.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Rain booties. And for a 55 mile a day ride, you might want to look at getting something with a stiffer sole than sneakers.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...34374302692723

    I recommend the MEC Cycling Shoe Cover for $29, or something similar. They can keep your feet dry in a light rain, but even if your feet do get a bit wet with them, they should at least remain warm so they feel fairly comfortable.

    If you want something a bit heavier and more protective, I recommend the Descente Element Shoe Cover for $34. They are neoprene so they will keep out more rain, but your feet will sweat in them.

    Whatever you do, do not go with cotton socks which do not dry quickly. Go with wool, or something light, wicking, and breathable (i.e. made with Coolmax or something similar).

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    I use waterproof socks by Sealskinz. They work best when with waterproof pants to channel the water over the socks. Without pants, water seeps in the top.
    They are quite warm and best in cooler conditions.
    My last pair lasted about 3 years of regular use but once the membrane fails they make nice winter socks. Using failed sealskinz in wet conditions, you stay warm but wet.

  7. #7
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    A well vented shoe and socks that wick water away are good ideas in any weather because feet sweat . Rain just complicates the issue because now moisture is coming from both inside and outside the shoe.

    Open sandels is one approach that works OK in warmer weather. It just lets water OUT easier and prevents excessive accumulation. Some people with extremely sensitive feet can still develop blisters.

    And it doesn`t really matter what you put on your feet - plastic bags, shoe covers, kyaking protection- unless there is some kind of leg protection like rain pants or gaiters of some sort over whatevers on your feet - the water will still run down your legs and seep in past the top.

    I always bring a couple extra pairs of sport socks and sometimes an extra pair of shoes depending on the length of the drive myself. I don`t like it - just haven`t found any way around it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    1. If you've ever contemplated fenders, this might be a good time. Your front wheel is a water pump. You'll do fine as long as you only ride perfectly straight ahead but, turn a little to either side, and your front wheel will pump water onto whichever foot is on that side.

    2. For a 2 day event you might consider an additional pair of shoes. Lots of time shoes don't dry very completely overnight. Putting on shoes that are already wet isn't a very pleasant way to start your day.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    About wearing pants ... May in California ... isn't it warm then, even if it rains? Why not just wear cycling shorts ... and booties over your cycling shoes?

  10. #10
    Senior Member alienbogey's Avatar
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    I don't have these, but I thought of them when I saw your post:

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...ts-pair/60-053

  11. #11
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Wet warm weather- Sandals, no socks (water helps cool you off) or thin wool socks (to block sun).
    Wet cool weather- Sandals, wool socks, goretex outer sock.
    Wet/freezing weather- Sandals, thick/multiple wool socks, neoprene (w/ taped seams) outer sock.
    Subzero weather- Sandals, thick/multiple wool socks, neoprene outer sock.
    Make sure you get outer layer socks in larger sizes to promote blood circulation.

    Although Goretex is more breathable, it won't keep out water if submerged for long periods of time (ie small puddle in foot bed of sandal). Neoprene is basically impermeable to water and is also a much better insulator, but since it can't be made seamless like Goretex you must get taped seams. Therefore, Goretex is better in cooler weather where there's more perspiration and Neoprene is better in freezing conditions where there's less perspiration and it's more important to block water from the outside and keep your feet insulated if they do get wet.

    Shoes/boots are no good because they don't dry out fast enough once water accumulates (and given enough time/miles water WILL accumulate whether it be from perspiration or precipitation).
    Last edited by chucky; 03-12-11 at 12:43 PM.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    About wearing pants ... May in California ... isn't it warm then, even if it rains? Why not just wear cycling shorts ... and booties over your cycling shoes?
    It's a long state San Diego and Crescent City are as different a climate .
    Darwin and Melbourne Or Hobart are rather different..
    down-under.. there, AU, .. I suppose.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all of the advice.
    Since my main concern is foot comfort (irritation and blisters)
    I think I'm going to just assume that my feet, shoes and socks will just get soaked and I will just have to deal with it for hours- no matter what I try to do to prevent it.
    So my strategy is to buy 2 pairs of cheap walmart sneakers for $12 each (1 for each day) and one pair of biking socks that won't cause blisters
    And then to coat my feet with vaseline as a water-barrier to protect my foot further from blisters and irritation from sitting in water all day.
    How does that sound?

  14. #14
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    BIG mud flaps on the front anybody!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    It's a long state San Diego and Crescent City are as different a climate .
    Darwin and Melbourne Or Hobart are rather different..
    down-under.. there, AU, .. I suppose.
    Darwin and Melbourne are 3140 km apart. San Diego and Crescent City are only 1180 km apart.

    A better Australian comparison might be Melbourne and Newcastle (just north of Sydney). Yes, we would have somewhat different climates, but in mid-November (our May) chances are it will be hot and humid in Newcastle, and hot in Melbourne.

    Anyway, I looked up the long-term averages for Crescent City and see that they are only about 60F in May, which isn't much warmer than the May average in Manitoba. Knowing that, I will offer the suggestions below ...

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techman View Post
    So my strategy is to buy 2 pairs of cheap walmart sneakers for $12 each (1 for each day) and one pair of biking socks that won't cause blisters
    And then to coat my feet with vaseline as a water-barrier to protect my foot further from blisters and irritation from sitting in water all day.
    How does that sound?
    That doesn't sound good at all.

    One of the first things I would suggest would be to start walking around barefoot as much as you can to toughen up your feet.

    Next, get some decent shoes that will give your feet the support they need as you start to ride longer distances. If it is going to be cool, these might be a good choice to keep your feet warm and dry: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...4_10000_202520

    Whatever shoes you choose, get booties to go over the shoes. If it rains a little bit and you don't use booties, your feet will get soaked and get cold. If it rains a little bit and you do use booties, they can keep your feet dry. Some booties have elastic around the top which helps prevent water from running down the leg into the foot area.

    Get knickers or knee warmers, rather than full-length tights. Knickers will help keep your knees warmer in cooler conditions, but they won't draw water into the foot area.

    If you do decide to go with cycling-specific rain pants, wear the rain pants over the bootie. They are designed with narrow ankles so you won't have the flopping effect of non-cycling specific rain pants, and so you won't need to tuck them in. If you do go with non-cycling specific rain pants, you can wear them over the bootie as well, just use reflective ankle bands to narrow the ankle area.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    FWIW Eastern Pacific Ocean current flow from the north is cool , so Pacific NW coast in the north is cool and moderated.
    Changes quickly as you Move to the Interior.


    I have a favorite insole, it improves the interior of the shoe. where My Foot is .
    then I can ride for months with little foot discomfort.
    There are 3/4 stiffener insoles that will serve to improve non cycling shoes.

  18. #18
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    After a lot of internal debate on which shoe set up is the best for rainy weather, especially while touring, I decided on this. Sealskinz socks are a must. If you ride clipless pedals and want to use clipless shoes then buy yourself a pair of the Keens shoes that are cleat-compatible. You can wear these during nice weather too, but the beauty during bad weather is, they don't absorb water and stay wet. When I am riding flat pedals, I would still use Sealskinz socks, but with Teva or Choco sandals. Again, they make a great all around riding shoe, but if it rains, these things don't absorb water. Perfect.
    Check out our touring blog:

    http://dandgtour.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Isn't this what Sealskinz socks are for???

    And you can greatly reduce the extent to which a leather or nylon show will get wet by treating it with the appropriate variety of Nikwax.

    http://coachlevi.com/product-reviews...s-test-review/

  20. #20
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    I have tried everything from Goretex socks to shoe covers, with little ultimate success, since there is no way to mount fenders on my C-dale. So if it rains heavily, my feet are going to get wet. The bad part is always the next day. I make sure to always pack some newspaper in the gear that is on the sag for a multi-day ride, plus a pair of ski boot dryers that I picked up for cheap in the off season. Stuff the wet shoes with some newspaper- and change it out every little while, then before bed, I put the boot dryers in my shoes. Has never failed to have me in toasty warm shoes the next morning.
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  21. #21
    Sputnik - beep beep beep Wake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    Isn't this what Sealskinz socks are for???

    And you can greatly reduce the extent to which a leather or nylon show will get wet by treating it with the appropriate variety of Nikwax.

    http://coachlevi.com/product-reviews...s-test-review/
    Wrong url - that's for SealSkinz. This is Nikwax's site: http://www.nikwax.com/en-us/index.php

  22. #22
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_rider View Post
    After a lot of internal debate on which shoe set up is the best for rainy weather, especially while touring, I decided on this. Sealskinz socks are a must. If you ride clipless pedals and want to use clipless shoes then buy yourself a pair of the Keens shoes that are cleat-compatible. You can wear these during nice weather too, but the beauty during bad weather is, they don't absorb water and stay wet. When I am riding flat pedals, I would still use Sealskinz socks, but with Teva or Choco sandals. Again, they make a great all around riding shoe, but if it rains, these things don't absorb water. Perfect.
    I do the same, but with cheap imitation Crocs. When I tell people they think I'm mad... (Do you hear that, Crocs? Madddd!)

  23. #23
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techman View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice.
    Since my main concern is foot comfort (irritation and blisters)
    Maybe your problem is bacteria more than the wet. Have you tried a little gold bond powder?

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