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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.

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Old 11-30-07, 02:38 PM   #1
duke_of_hazard
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LL Bean Snow Sneakers

This is my first winter commutting and my feet are getting numb at just 30 F. I am wearing wool socks in tennis shoes . I am reading about getting 'booties' but I am not too keen on having to wear/put on two pieces of footwear. I like the LL Bean Snow Sneakers since it seem an all-in-one solution as I can also wear these sneakers to walk around after I park my bike? Will they warm enough down to say 10 F or am I being too optimistic?

It seems to $59 with free shipping and a $10 gift card. Perhaps they are fashionable enough to wear around town as well?
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Old 11-30-07, 03:03 PM   #2
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I don't know how long your ride is. And I don't have any experience with the L.L. Bean Snow Sneakers, but I'm very partial to the Keen Growlers I bought last year. The key for warm feet is to avoid constriction of blood flow. That may be part of the reason that the thick socks with your shoes feel cold. You might find the paradox that those same sneakers with regular weight socks are warmer than with wool socks (depending, of course, on how thick the socks and how tight your shoes fit). I like the Growlers because they have a high, boxy toe with a good lacing system that helps my feet feel like they have enough room. NOTE: Keens tend to run small. I wear a 13 from most manufacturers but a 14 from Keen. I'd probably only need a half size, but 13.5 doesn't exist.

This is also my first season for winter commuting, so I've only been able to wear them on a couple of cold rides, but I wore them plenty last winter for snowshoeing, sledding, hiking, and getting around on cold/snowy days. I've also tested a lot of winter boots here in Minnesota over the years. Keen's footbed is very comfortable and supportive (I was first hooked by their Newport H2 sandal). They are light enough that I can easily walk in them all day if necessary. And they are always warm enough. They have the same 200g PrimaLoft insulation as the Snow Sneaker, but I think you'll find the traction and balance of the sole very comforting on cold ground as well as cold pedals. The soles have some sticky grip that other light winter boots lack, and the traction isn't so knobby as to become troublesome on pedals.

They will cost more ($125 retail), but they are prettier than the Snow Sneakers. Don't you think? Good luck.
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Old 11-30-07, 04:01 PM   #3
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Those shoes look nice, but quite a bit more than is in budget. I suppose is there any 'warmer' solution than spending ~$50 on the LL bean shoe? Would something at Payless suffice?
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Old 11-30-07, 06:42 PM   #4
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I've used LLBean snow sneakers for some time for winter riding,
with the right combination of smartwool socks they keep my feet warm
well below zero. I use shimano mx30 platform pedals with the snow sneakers
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Old 11-30-07, 07:14 PM   #5
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Here is a picture of them:

http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/sto...Search&feat=sr

If I normally where 9.5, should I get 10.5 ?
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Old 11-30-07, 07:22 PM   #6
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I have a pair of Bean snow sneakers. Buy them a bit large if you plan on wearing heavy socks. That light grey is a mesh fabric and it does let the wind in a bit.
I have never used them on a bike, so I will take the other poster's word
that they work in that capacity.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
This is my first winter commutting and my feet are getting numb at just 30 F. I am wearing wool socks in tennis shoes . I am reading about getting 'booties' but I am not too keen on having to wear/put on two pieces of footwear. I like the LL Bean Snow Sneakers since it seem an all-in-one solution as I can also wear these sneakers to walk around after I park my bike? Will they warm enough down to say 10 F or am I being too optimistic?

It seems to $59 with free shipping and a $10 gift card. Perhaps they are fashionable enough to wear around town as well?
Forget it.

Mine were not very warm, I sent them back for fit reasons. The quality is nice. Read the catalogue, it says only down to 30F for walking. A bike is much colder than walking, they will not be warm enough. I am 100% sure, they are not really warmer than tennis shoes and are not waterproof. I tested the water proofing and the temperature first hand just a couple of weeks ago. They look nice.
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Old 11-30-07, 10:25 PM   #8
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Forget it.

Mine were not very warm, I sent them back for fit reasons. The quality is nice. Read the catalogue, it says only down to 30F for walking. A bike is much colder than walking, they will not be warm enough. I am 100% sure, they are not really warmer than tennis shoes and are not waterproof. I tested the water proofing and the temperature first hand just a couple of weeks ago. They look nice.
THanks, so what is your suggestion given my budget of under $50 ?
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Old 12-01-07, 11:01 AM   #9
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These are probably not what you are looking for, but I recently purchased these:
http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/sto...feat=502770-tn

I needed a general all around waterproof rain and snowy weather shoe. We don't get too much snow here in nyc so I got these over taller boots. These are comfortable enough to ride in and wear all day. I got unlined and double up on socks when its real cold. I have a real short commute though. I really love handmade in usa for $59. LL bean has a great business model.
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Old 12-01-07, 03:01 PM   #10
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I recently got these shoes. I think they are good. Not great, but good
I rode them earlier this week on 20F with windchill of 0F (strong side/headwinds). After about 45 minutes outside, my feet were somewhat cold. I wore them with some medium weight cotton socks (Hanes @Target). I may look for some different socks.
I have no experience with their waterproofness yet.
My main gripe is their looks. The gray ones look God-awful. You would think they could spend a few bucks and make it look nicer?

On the other hand, better quality shoes from brand name manufacturers are a lot pricier, I looked around and most seem to start at $100. So for your budget I think it s not a bad choice
Duppie
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Old 12-03-07, 11:43 PM   #11
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Lands' End is frequently overlooked as a source of affordable and reliable outerwear, including boots. I have no personal experience, but a couple of models may be worth considering (both under $50):

Extreme Squall Boots ($49.50, on sale for $39.00)
Extreme Squall Strap Boots ($49.50 -- only slightly less ugly than the snow sneakers)

If your ride isn't too far, you may find that any of the lighter weight winter boots available these days will suffice. They are a far cry from the old day of 20 pound Sorels strapped on each foot. Today's winter boots fit like shoes instead of slippers (like the old pac boots), so they are much more appropriate for biking. Sierra Trading Post regularly has high quality winter boots at deep (often 50% or more) discounts. You might check them out online.
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Old 12-04-07, 12:03 AM   #12
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The $4-6 solution is latex hazmat over boots. They are light and will keep the wind and water out. They come in " infectious disease green" or the lovely " radio active contamination yellow"

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Old 12-04-07, 09:30 AM   #13
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Keen Growlers? Wow, with eVent AND PrimaLoft? Where's my credit card?
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Old 12-04-07, 09:38 AM   #14
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Keen Growlers? Wow, with eVent AND PrimaLoft? Where's my credit card?
Every manufacturer has its gimmicks -- some worthwhile and some not. What do you wear for your winter rides in Maine?
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Old 12-04-07, 10:16 AM   #15
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You don't want to know: I'm like evil cross between an OCP and a Fred. Currently using Lake MX300 winter shoes. I always get cold feet in winter, and these help somewhat. Currently experimenting with the new LL Bean Primaloft socks. Smartwools weren't quite warm enough last winter.
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Old 12-05-07, 12:06 AM   #16
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On saturday our temp stayed in the single numbers positive all day with windchills nicely below zero.
Was outside much of the day, wore the Snow Sneakers with a pair of light weight smart wool socks
as a base layer and a medium weight pair of boot socks. plowed snow in the morning, had a couple mile stroll about on snow shoes, did some odd jobs out side. then in the aftenoon, went for a bike ride, just
under an hr on icy hard pack snow roads.
On sunday, temp was in the upper teens, a lot less wind- was not outside as much, an hr bike ride.
Just a pair of heavy pair of smart wool boot socks on. My feet were warm and comfortable on both days.
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Old 12-10-07, 06:09 PM   #17
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I bought the Snow Sneakers for this year. They are mentioned on Icebike.org. After looking around at others, I settled on these. I bought the Black pair. So far I've worn them at 15f and they kept my feet comfortable. My toes got cold at the end of my 40min commute, but I think that had to do with the fact I had on my regular thin cotton work socks. I think with a mid-weight or heavy sock that will solve that. In the Ad they are rated at 30f to -5f. Anything above 40f and they get too warm. I like the fact that with the tennis shoe sole they have that they fit in my toe-clips, so no need for Powergrips or anything like that. IMO that is something to consider when looking at a winter cycling shoe. Particularly if you use toe-clips. All in all I am totally satisfied to this point with them, and I'm confident once the temps get down to the single digits that they'll do the job. I would buy them again. I like the look of them also.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:08 PM   #18
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how about some boots?

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226
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Old 12-10-07, 08:13 PM   #19
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rufus: do you have those boots?
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Old 12-11-07, 01:32 PM   #20
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nope, I've got a pair of Columbia Bugabootoos that I got last year from Campmor for $50. My apartment is pretty cold in the winter months since I can't afford a huge heating bill, so I bought these since my feet were the biggest cold point. supposed to be good for -25 degrees, but just sitting around and not being active, the feet still get cold. Figure that might be the case riding as well, as your feet aren't really doing much but sitting on the pedals. Moving around and doing stuff, they're fairly warm, much better than my regular Vasque Clarion hiking boots.

Plus, I probably should have gone up a size or two, as I think a lot of it might be that heavy socks aren't leaving a lot of room for circulation. Haven't used them out on the bike, but I've been thinking of trying them.

Thinking that when spring comes, I might pick up another pair of boots with a little heavier insulation, on closeout from Campmor, if they have similar deals. Maybe something like those, or perhaps these.

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226

I love Campmor, great deals on stuff they have to get rid of once the season's over. Got a Sugoi Firewall jacket last March for $50
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Old 12-12-07, 03:06 PM   #21
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nope, I've got a pair of Columbia Bugabootoos that I got last year from Campmor for $50. My apartment is pretty cold in the winter months since I can't afford a huge heating bill, so I bought these since my feet were the biggest cold point. supposed to be good for -25 degrees, but just sitting around and not being active, the feet still get cold. Figure that might be the case riding as well, as your feet aren't really doing much but sitting on the pedals. Moving around and doing stuff, they're fairly warm, much better than my regular Vasque Clarion hiking boots.

Plus, I probably should have gone up a size or two, as I think a lot of it might be that heavy socks aren't leaving a lot of room for circulation. Haven't used them out on the bike, but I've been thinking of trying them.

Thinking that when spring comes, I might pick up another pair of boots with a little heavier insulation, on closeout from Campmor, if they have similar deals. Maybe something like those, or perhaps these.

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...berId=12500226

I love Campmor, great deals on stuff they have to get rid of once the season's over. Got a Sugoi Firewall jacket last March for $50
Keep your eyes on Sierra Trading Post throughout the season as well. They almost always have some great markdowns on winter boots (though you have to deal with limited sizes and quantities).
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Old 12-12-07, 11:27 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
This is my first winter commutting and my feet are getting numb at just 30 F. I am wearing wool socks in tennis shoes . I am reading about getting 'booties' but I am not too keen on having to wear/put on two pieces of footwear. I like the LL Bean Snow Sneakers since it seem an all-in-one solution as I can also wear these sneakers to walk around after I park my bike? Will they warm enough down to say 10 F or am I being too optimistic?

It seems to $59 with free shipping and a $10 gift card. Perhaps they are fashionable enough to wear around town as well?
Duke,

Your best bet is to find a pair of lightweight hiking boots at a discounter like Sierra trading post. Boots meant for light climbing are the best as they have a stiffer sole which works better on a bike. Buy at least one size larger to allow room for thick wool socks. I have found the inexpensive rubber toed snow boots don't always work that well since they usually have too thin of a sole. THe sole is very important for keeping your foot warm.

You might try these from Cabelas:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...089&hasJS=true

Last edited by Hezz; 10-25-08 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 12-15-07, 04:16 PM   #23
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Lands' End is frequently overlooked as a source of affordable and reliable outerwear, including boots. I have no personal experience, but a couple of models may be worth considering (both under $50):

Extreme Squall Boots ($49.50, on sale for $39.00)
I have a pair of the Extreme Squall Boots. I've never ridden in them (I ride in cleats and neoprene booties if its below 35 or so or toe warmers if its warmer) but I was just looking at them this morning and thinking they'd be good to ride in if it was real cold. I've done a lot of walking, snow shoveling etc in them and I've been really happy with them and the price is right, esp. at $39!
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Old 01-02-08, 03:26 PM   #24
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The Extreme Squall Boots look pretty good. The soles look as if they might fit in a pair of toe clips. Their Trello Boots look promising too, for the really frigid stuff. The Snow Sneakers I wear work well. I was having a problem with my toes getting cold in anything below 25f with my 40min commute. But I've been experimenting with different things. I went to Performance and picked up a pair of Toesties for $10 to cover the mesh on top. That seemed to work. Lately I picked up Wigwam Outdoor Merino Wool Comfort Hiker 2-pack socks at Dick's Sporting Goods and tried them out today in 18f, I was out for about 2hrs and I didn't notice my toes getting cold. A good comfortable sock.
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Old 10-23-08, 07:09 PM   #25
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Thought I would bump this thread since many of us are looking now for winter gear. I use platform pedals and my current winter boots are not too successful at keeping my feet from becoming ice blocks. You can still get the LL Bean snow sneakers for about $59.

Any other recommendations?
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