Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-11-07, 11:55 AM   #1
scotch
purity of essence
Thread Starter
 
scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NH
Bikes: Bianchi Axis, Surly Crosscheck, Torelli Corsa Strada
Posts: 2,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Age old cold toe problem

Hi Folks,

After trying numerous shoe/sock/neoprene shoe cover configurations for winter riding, I still can't keep my damn toes warm for more than 45 minutes. Today was perfect example. Beautiful, sunny day here in northern New England; about 25 degrees, no wind. I set out with a pair of poly pro sock liners under a some Defeet Wool Blaze socks, along with my neoprene shoe covers. Toes were nice and toasty for about 45 minutes before they started to freeze. I'm starting to wonder if I just have poor circulation down there or something.

So I'm curious to know if folks have had any luck with real cold weather cycling shoes, like the Sidi Winter Freeze or Answer Kashmir winter shoe. I know they cost an arm and a leg, but I think they'd be worth it if they actually worked. I appreciate any feedback/advice. Thanks!

Cheers,
Scotch
scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 12:01 PM   #2
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
Posts: 6,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are tons of threads on this subject if you search for cold toes/feet. It sounds like you are using "summer" cycling shoes in the winter. This doesn't work. Most cycling shoes, including most that are designed for winter are too narrow in the toe box.

If you can't easily wiggle your toes, your shoe is too tight. Space inside shoes + warm socks = warm feet. I'm talking LOTS of space here. My Lake MXZ 300 winter boots suffer the same problems. I can wear them down into the teens with an oversock, but they are cut too tight to be as good as other options.

I wear a pair of thinsulate hiking boots and use platforms when temps get down in the single digits and below. These boots are almost 3 sizes too large for me, but ideal for winter cycling. Because my feet have tons of wiggle room.

Last edited by Portis; 02-11-07 at 12:55 PM.
Portis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 12:02 PM   #3
bac
Senior Member
 
bac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Bikes: Too many to list!
Posts: 7,481
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotch
So I'm curious to know if folks have had any luck with real cold weather cycling shoes, like the Sidi Winter Freeze or Answer Kashmir winter shoe. I know they cost an arm and a leg, but I think they'd be worth it if they actually worked. I appreciate any feedback/advice. Thanks!

Cheers,
Scotch
I've used the Lake MXZ for the past several winters with great results. I'm like you in terms of my toes getting cold often. These shoes are great for me down to about 10 F. When it gets colder than that, I pop in a set of chemical toe warmers. I've not had cold feet since getting these shoes. For me, they were WELL worth the relatively substantial cost!

bac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 12:17 PM   #4
ken cummings
Senior Member
 
ken cummings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: northern California
Bikes: Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
Posts: 5,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, careful layering and loose fit help. Also, lifting up more during the pedal stroke helps. Always pushing down cuts blood flow to my toes.
ken cummings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 01:48 PM   #5
martianone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern VT
Bikes: recumbent & upright
Posts: 1,912
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
i live in northern NE also, on a clear day i can see canuckistan from my back yard,
a pleasant -5 F this morning with slight breeze and a lot of sun reflecting the crystals
of last night's dusting of snow. wear the same clothes biking that i wore snowshoeing
this morning. on my feet- two pair of carhart ultra cold boot socks under a pair of llbean
snow sneakers. left the house about 8 this morning for a couple mile snowshoe hike
about the back 40 (each sunday morning i backpack about 25 lb of bird/beast feed to
a few locations in the backwoods) and then a few km bike ride about. next some outside
chores (play before work on nice days, like today). then more play in the snow, some sliding and
wrestlinig in the snow with my guys- snow is cold and crystalline- more like sand; i was
snow covered to just above my waist. back in a little after 12 for some lunch, temp had risen into the
teens, but a strong breeze had come up and the sky beginning to cloud up; it felt colder at noon than
it did at 8. i know this combination is not very bikey, but my feet were plenty comfortable.
martianone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 02:07 PM   #6
scotch
purity of essence
Thread Starter
 
scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NH
Bikes: Bianchi Axis, Surly Crosscheck, Torelli Corsa Strada
Posts: 2,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Guys,

Thanks a lot for the replies. I think I'll either get some platforms and a decent winter hiking shoe or grab the MXZ 300's. I appreciate the input.

Scotch
scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 02:24 PM   #7
zippered
Spazzy Member
 
zippered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: t.dot
Bikes: '05 marinoni delta, '86/87 bianchi sport s(e)x, ? kona ?, raleigh '71, specialized crossroads
Posts: 881
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i have the lakes too. i bought them before i had access the the collective wisdom known as bike forums though, so i got my regular size which means they are snug. they're great... to about 0 celcius, but then my toes start to suffer. i've suffered a fair bit this year actually; i now have sore spots on almost all my toes that i think might be symptoms of frost-nip...

in terms of the circulation question though: i recently went to a foot doctor for an unrelated problem. i mentioned that i was having trouble with cold feet, well actually she felt the ice block that were my toes for herself. she showed me how to "test" the circulation in my toes by squeezing them with her fingers and then noting how long it took for the colour (blood) to return. she said that with good circulation the colour should return almost instantaneously... i've noticed after some rides it takes up to 10 seconds for all the blood to return!! there's not much that can really be done about the issue at this stage, but i know now that i'll have to be extra cautious and that i'm not just being "soft" when i complain about cold toes... there really is a legitimate reason why they get cold so easily!!

i recently bought a package of chemical warmers, which worked well, but i don't like the extra expense/waste. sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

i also noticed that my feet are often really sweaty (not just when biking), even though they are cold, which makes them even colder. i have yet to try foot powder, but someone around here mentioned that might help. i looked for smartwool socks at mec yesterday, but they didn't seem to have any. i bought another kind of wicking thermal socks that will hopefully fit in the lake shoes, and a thin liner sock to try as well. i guess i'm kind of rambling... hope that makes sense!
zippered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 02:37 PM   #8
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
Posts: 6,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zippered
they're great... to about 0 celcius, but then my toes start to suffer. i've suffered a fair bit this year actually; i now have sore spots on almost all my toes that i think might be symptoms of frost-nip...
That's funny. I don't even wear by Lake's above 0 Celsius. (32 F) I just wear regular MTB shoes above that temp.
Portis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 03:30 PM   #9
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 46,694
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 569 Post(s)
Have you tried loosening off your shoes, and putting a chemical warmer (get ones for hands because they are smaller) under the ball of your foot where your cleat is? There's a good chance that your cleat is conducting cold into your foot, and therefore your toes are getting cold

Have you tried wiggling your toes while you ride? Not all the time, of course, but every 5 minutes or so give them a wiggle. If you can't wiggle your toes, your shoes are too tight.

Another trick is to make sure your calves and ankles are warm. If your calves and ankles are warm, the blood flowing into your feet will be warm. Take a look at duck's feet. Yes, I'm serious ... why can ducks stand in very cold water without any problems? Simple ... they've been designed so that the blood flowing into their feet is warm, and the blood flowing out of their feet warms up quickly. Look it up! We can learn from the duck. I wear thick wool socks that come almost to my knees under my tights. They are great for keeping both my feet and my calves nice and warm. In addition to that, when I ride in really cold temps, I will tuck a chemical warmer into my neoprene booties, and position them at my ankles. It seems to help.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 04:10 PM   #10
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 8,897
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Dumb question, but do you loosen the straps on your shoes? I know this sounds obvious but it took me a while to figure out that my shoes had a good bit of ability to adjust fit. This makes a big difference, you may not even need a different size than you wear in the summer, depending on what shoes you wear and how cold you ride.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 04:19 PM   #11
zippered
Spazzy Member
 
zippered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: t.dot
Bikes: '05 marinoni delta, '86/87 bianchi sport s(e)x, ? kona ?, raleigh '71, specialized crossroads
Posts: 881
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portis
That's funny. I don't even wear by Lake's above 0 Celsius. (32 F) I just wear regular MTB shoes above that temp.
my mtb shoes (that i use to commute in) are vented... i like the lake shoes when it is raining!!

ps. i've tried the "wiggle your toe method"... it helps prolong the numbness, but if i try wearing double socks then the shoes are way too tight
zippered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 04:21 PM   #12
zippered
Spazzy Member
 
zippered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: t.dot
Bikes: '05 marinoni delta, '86/87 bianchi sport s(e)x, ? kona ?, raleigh '71, specialized crossroads
Posts: 881
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by staehpj1
Dumb question, but do you loosen the straps on your shoes? I know this sounds obvious but it took me a while to figure out that my shoes had a good bit of ability to adjust fit. This makes a big difference, you may not even need a different size than you wear in the summer, depending on what shoes you wear and how cold you ride.

edit: whoops.

i don't find the lake shoe velcro straps loosen very well at all. especially if they get too close to other materials, like bike tights!
zippered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 04:35 PM   #13
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
Posts: 6,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Loosening the straps and/or laces addresses the wrong area of the foot. Remember it is the toes that are in the toe box. The toe box in the Lake's for example is very sturdy and does not flex. Loosening the laces/straps has NO effect on the toe box.
Portis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 04:48 PM   #14
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 46,694
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 569 Post(s)
My Lake mtn bike shoes (I don't own the boots) have laces, like a normal shoe. I loosen off the laces and I've got lots of room in the toe box. In fact on the colder days, I could probably remove the laces all together for all I use them ... I've got them so loose I can't tie them.

Oh, it also helped that I bought the shoes a size too big for me.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 05:04 PM   #15
zippered
Spazzy Member
 
zippered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: t.dot
Bikes: '05 marinoni delta, '86/87 bianchi sport s(e)x, ? kona ?, raleigh '71, specialized crossroads
Posts: 881
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
Oh, it also helped that I bought the shoes a size too big for me.
sure, rub it in... *siiiigh*
zippered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 05:18 PM   #16
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 46,694
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 569 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zippered
sure, rub it in... *siiiigh*
These are what I've got:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...untain%20Shoes

The first pair I bought were just the right size, and then I decided I wanted a larger pair too, so I got them. Those Lakes have been that price for years ... and at that price I can afford several pair. I'm even considering a pair one size bigger than my large pair because once I get my neoprene ankle bands in them, they can be just a teensy bit snug.

I've been wearing those Lakes for nearly 4 years, in all sorts of weather conditions, on long rides and short rides, and even on some fairly lengthy hikes. Very comfortable.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 06:09 PM   #17
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 8,897
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portis
Loosening the straps and/or laces addresses the wrong area of the foot. Remember it is the toes that are in the toe box. The toe box in the Lake's for example is very sturdy and does not flex. Loosening the laces/straps has NO effect on the toe box.
My Sidi Thetas and Bullets in the Mega size loosen up nicely all the way down to the toe box. I guess maybe it depends on the shoe and the shape of the foot, but I find I can easily get toe room for some thick socks by adjusting the straps. The Thetas and Bullets do have too much mesh for optimum cold weather riding, but that is another story. In any case I get by fairly well down to the mid - upper 20's without shoe covers.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-07, 06:54 PM   #18
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
Posts: 6,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
With two pairs of thick socks in my Lake's i can completely remove the laces and loosen the straps and it doesn't matter. The shell of the toe box is simply too narrow.
Portis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-07, 12:38 PM   #19
Hambone
Senior Member
 
Hambone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bootiful Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: GT Edge for the road/Specialized Hopper (well the frame and the bb, everything else is new) for the dirt
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was having a big problem with frozen pointer toes (granted I was wearing road shoes, but I had the liners and the warm socks and the booties over my shoes.)

Then I struck on a solution: I took an extra large Dunkin Donut coffee cup and cut it in half down both sides and across the bottom so I made two scoops... I put one half between each shoe and the bootie, it added styrofoam for insulation and wind blocking.

Problem is not 100% gone but the "Piggies who stayed home" are much toastier than they had been.
Hambone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-07, 12:46 PM   #20
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you're shoes/boots are too tight, you're piggies is gonna get cold. I opted for the Answer Kashmirs because they are just a bit bigger for me than the Lakes. I wear a 48, so another size bigger is not always an easy option. I get by just fine with a thin wool sock, thicker wool sock and the boots, down to 0F...though I did put on some overbooties when it was below zero last week, just in case.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-07, 01:05 PM   #21
Hambone
Senior Member
 
Hambone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bootiful Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: GT Edge for the road/Specialized Hopper (well the frame and the bb, everything else is new) for the dirt
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
If you're shoes/boots are too tight, you're piggies is gonna get cold. I opted for the Answer Kashmirs because they are just a bit bigger for me than the Lakes. I wear a 48, so another size bigger is not always an easy option. I get by just fine with a thin wool sock, thicker wool sock and the boots, down to 0F...though I did put on some overbooties when it was below zero last week, just in case.
I think it was the single digit windy mornings along the Hudson River and over the Brooklyn Bridge combined with the open weave on the top of my shoes -- not the tightness of fit.

I'm loathe to go out and buy another pair of shoes for the 10-15 days of really cold stuff I have to face. Riding is expensive enough as it is. But come next Christmas, if I've been a good Hambone, maybe Santa...
Hambone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-07, 01:18 PM   #22
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hambone
But come next Christmas, if I've been a good Hambone
yeah, like that's gonna happen.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-07, 01:24 PM   #23
Hambone
Senior Member
 
Hambone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bootiful Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: GT Edge for the road/Specialized Hopper (well the frame and the bb, everything else is new) for the dirt
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
yeah, like that's gonna happen.
what was it Mae West said, "when I'm good I'm great but when I'm bad... I'm better."

Ah, I'm not fooling anyone.
Hambone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-07, 09:12 PM   #24
superslomo
Solo Rider, always DFL
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Beacon, NY
Bikes: Cannondale T800, Schwinn Voyageur
Posts: 1,997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So chipcom, how are the Answer Kashmirs? I have been considering them, and can't find anywhere to try them on. Are they wide/narrow, high/low volume? How much larger did they run than what you are used to?

Also, do they take MTB cleats?
superslomo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-07, 09:34 PM   #25
daredevil
cyclepath
 
daredevil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: "The Last Best Place"
Bikes: 2005 Trek Pilot 5.0, 2001 Specialized Sirrus Pro, Kona Lava Dome, Raleigh hardtail converted to commuter, 87 Takara steel road bike, 2008 Trek Soho
Posts: 3,550
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hambone
Riding is expensive enough as it is
Oh boy, I hear ya. We're never gonna stop needing or wanting bike stuff are we? If nobody's mentioned it yet, plain old baggies over the socks works surprisingly well in moderate conditions. Otherwise, until you can get new shoes with plenty of room, just use a couple of those chemical packs on the few bad days. They're pretty cheap.
__________________
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Without music, life would be a mistake."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche
daredevil is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:23 AM.