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  1. #1
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    "Road shoe use in winter" question

    I have been reading the postings and most either are using winter specific shoes, or talk about using wool socks or multiple pairs of socks. I have road shoes, and I doubt I could get my foot in there with wool socks on, let alone two pairs. I am considering the neoprene booties that go over the road shoes to allow me to ride into the fall/winter and am looking for your experiences and/or suggestions. I would rather not replace the pedals with platform pedals - rather find the best method to keep the feet warm using the road shoes - if possible.

    Thanks - sorry if this has been asked/answered a zillion times..

  2. #2
    tsl
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    First, how cold is cold where you intend to ride? There's winter in SoCal, and winter in Alberta.

    Second, in winter are you a dry, sunny day cyclist, or an all-conditions rider?

    Finally, everyone's tolerance for cold is different. What's yours?

    That said, road shoes are designed to keep your feet cool. There's little that can be done make them warm. In my experience, neoprene booties are effective only to the mid-30s. Below that, one way or another, I need different shoes.

    If I were to go the lots of woolly socks route, I'd need bigger shoes to fit them in. Since we were talking new shoes anyway, I chose the winter cycling shoe route. I'm an all-conditions commuter, so I ride SPD, and chose the Lake MXZ302. They get me down to around 10°F with just one pair of plain athletic socks.

    The same shoe comes in a road model for three-bolt cleats, the CXZ302. Several sunny day winter cyclists in my club have them. When we ride together, we look like an advertisement for Lake. Those that don't own Lakes, own the Sidi winter cycling shoes. Those that don't own either, stay home.

    Lake now makes a cheaper winter road shoe, the CX140. I don't know anyone who owns them, so I can't report on the differences.

    There's absolutely no reason why you should have to switch to platforms if you don't want to. Just as there's absolutely no reason why you should ride clipless if you don't want to.

    But if you want warm feet, you'll need new shoes. Either larger ones so you can fit woolly socks inside, or winter ones.

    EDIT: I use the word "shoe" generically. It includes sandals. It's beyond my comprehension, but there are many winter riders here who swear by sandals and woolly socks.
    Last edited by tsl; 09-09-09 at 07:48 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    I use regular cycling socks, MTB shoes and Specialized Neoprene booties. My feet are very warm. I stop riding at -20c though.

  4. #4
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    Thanks to both of you. I did find wool cycling socks, but like you said, I am not getting my foot in my road shoes with those thick things. I am in northern VA, which means early December might be 30 F or it might be 60 F. I have mowed the grass in February and shoveled 30 inches of snow in late March. I will likely look at the neoprene booties initially and put the Lakes on my holiday gift list..... :-)

    Thanks again - bob
    Last edited by Bob.w; 09-09-09 at 04:28 PM. Reason: temp indicator

  5. #5
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    Yeah, like saddles peoples opinions vary *greatly* from person to person. I ride with regular mountain bike shoes, neoprene booties, and a single pair of ski socks and have never had a problem with cold feet. fyi, I live in Minnesota and last winter was pretty cold.

    I would say you should buy the neoprene booties and the thickest pair of wool socks that will fit in the shoe (if only super thin would work, I've seen "Woolenator" wool bike socks). Give it a try yourself.

    If it doesn't work and you need "winter" bike shoes, the neoprene booties will still come in handy when it gets really, really cold outside.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    First, how cold is cold where you intend to ride? There's winter in SoCal, and winter in Alberta...
    Sa-weet, thanks for the Alberta shout out

    At 30F I think the main point is to keep the wind out and the booties should accomplish that. I wear my summer shoes (albeit not roadie shoes) down to 3C (36-37F?!) without special consideration.

  7. #7
    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser View Post
    Sa-weet, thanks for the Alberta shout out

    At 30F I think the main point is to keep the wind out and the booties should accomplish that. I wear my summer shoes (albeit not roadie shoes) down to 3C (36-37F?!) without special consideration.
    Wait, Alberta isn't cold, except for the northern part

    OP, get some boots and cheap mtb pedals. You may be able to keep your feet warm with all the advice given above but when you put your foot down on the snow and ice, those road shoes will be a big disappointment.

  8. #8
    Didn't make it Bat22's Avatar
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    I have sidi winter shoes. Gonna go for a pair of Lake winter shoes.
    How is the sizing on them? I tend to go a size larger for winter shoes.
    I've done most of my winter pedaling with diadora shoes and
    insulated rubber overshoes. They work just fine too.
    Last edited by Bat22; 09-10-09 at 12:46 PM.
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  9. #9
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    in CO (read: not as wet), I use wool socks and toe covers till about 40F, below that I'm wearing neoprene booties. Those are comfy (with wool socks) to the teens. Below that I'm driving

  10. #10
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    winter shoes

    I don't have a need for clipless for my road bikes. For winter I have some sorel -25 f low winter boots. They have rubber on the bottom half, got some toasty feet inserts and wool socks, all set. Most non winter clipless setups have a metal cleat on the bottom, sucking out the heat. I like to be able to put my foot down quickly in the winter sometimes too. This is what works for me, YRMV.

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