Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Parker, CO
Bikes: SS Surly Crosscheck; '91 Cannondale 3.0
Winter Shoes Redux
It's been asked a million times, but I want to hear evolved thoughts and, of course, specific input on my particular situation.
So, the shoes I'm considering are the Northwave, the Answer Kashmir and the Lake. My foot is a size 9 EEEE, so I need the one that accomodates. Sidi is out because if I'm going to spend the money I'd just as soon get the Lake.
Money is an issue. If the Lake ends up being the best option I'm going to have to wait til next season. I can spring for the Answer now as long as the local REI can get it through QBP.
Currently I am using some old Answer MTB high tops with PI AmFib booties over. I hate the booties. They take forever to put on and they started falling apart before I even used them. If I wear two pairs of thick socks, put chemical warmers in, tie the shoes loosely and use the booties I am good to 5 degF with only a hint that my toes are cold. The PITA of the booties and the cold factor has me annoyed.
Living in Denver we have pretty cold winter mornings for a good 3-4 months a year all told starting in October and ending in March. I say 3-4 months because many of those early and late winter mornings get the "Colorado" effect where out of nowhere it's bluebird with a high of 50 for the day! Those mornings are usually still right around freezing, but much more easily tolerable though still a PITA with the booties. We also get the freak December and March mornings where it's 40degF and the booties are negligible.
To recap: I want booties now, but I want them to fit. I also want them to be warm enough. This whole week my commute was (or would have been if it weren't for extenuating circumstances) at anywhere from -25degF with windchill to 5degF without, but no warmer. I KNOW the Lakes will be the warmest, but will the Answers be warm enough? Will they be wide enough? If the consensus is that, yes, they will be both warm enough AND wide enough then I'm on that train like white on rice.
So, specific reports are helpful...how many have used both? Do you tend to have warm or cold feet? I am warm blooded and can be happy outside in very extreme cold. I sleep under a sheet only all winter long while my wife (typical) is bundled under two comforters with a heated mattress pad. I say this because many chime in that even the Lake isn't warm enough and I'd have to call BS. I KNOW the Lakes will be warm enough for my purposes. I KNOW I will never get cold with the right sock selection in them. But I can't afford them and, as I mentioned, I'm getting impatient with the booties.
Go forth and bring me wisdom thy website of wonder! Your perspective is duly appreciated.