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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 12-12-04, 11:14 PM   #1
Emee316
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Frozen toes...ow ow ow

Alert! First sight of snow last night here at Virginia Tech....

Went riding today in the freezing temp without shoe covers. About an hour into the ride I realized I couldn't feel my toes anymore, they were so numb that it felt like I had rocks in my shoes. I swear, if i don't get shoe covers they'll fall off someday!

Any recommendations? I am looking at the Pearl Izumi covers...which one is more suitable for winter riding: the Toester Bootie or the AmFIB shoe cover?

What are some of your experiences with shoe covers?
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Old 12-12-04, 11:17 PM   #2
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I have the amfibs and I absolutely love them... They can be a real pain to get on if you have big feet. They do, however, keep your feet nice and toasty. Definitely worth the money. My feet didn't get cold in a torrential downpour so I'm happy.
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Old 12-12-04, 11:20 PM   #3
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I am about to experiment tomorrow. I want to continue wearing my sandals, so I have toesies to go over the sandals, then the Performance booties to go over everything. I also have the hydrosocks, and then thicker socks to put on under the hydrosocks. Tomorrow is supposed to be our coldest day yet, with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour and somewhere about 20 F by the time I start out for my destination up north. I'll report back.

There are also these things called Hotbeds I got. It's some kind of insulating layer that goes in the insole of the shoe, and it's supposed to insulate really well. I will probably add those in if I still can't keep my feet warm.

Koffee
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Old 12-12-04, 11:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emee316
Alert! First sight of snow last night here at Virginia Tech....

Went riding today in the freezing temp without shoe covers. About an hour into the ride I realized I couldn't feel my toes anymore, they were so numb that it felt like I had rocks in my shoes. I swear, if i don't get shoe covers they'll fall off someday!

Any recommendations? I am looking at the Pearl Izumi covers...which one is more suitable for winter riding: the Toester Bootie or the AmFIB shoe cover?

What are some of your experiences with shoe covers?

I've got Louis Garneau toe covers. They're okay, I suppose. Booties are on my Christmas list.
You should have ridden yesterday! I went out for about 3.5 hours (was scheduled for 4, but ran out of daylight=0( ) and between the rain and the sleet.... ugg. I didn't wear socks at first, but my feet became so numb after only an hour I went back home for socks before completing my ride. And they still got numb after another 2 hours.
Where do you usually ride?

Cole

PS I sent you a PM
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Old 12-13-04, 12:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
I am about to experiment tomorrow. I want to continue wearing my sandals, so I have toesies to go over the sandals, then the Performance booties to go over everything. I also have the hydrosocks, and then thicker socks to put on under the hydrosocks. Tomorrow is supposed to be our coldest day yet, with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour and somewhere about 20 F by the time I start out for my destination up north. I'll report back.

There are also these things called Hotbeds I got. It's some kind of insulating layer that goes in the insole of the shoe, and it's supposed to insulate really well. I will probably add those in if I still can't keep my feet warm.

Koffee
SANDALS? in 20 degree weather? When it hits < 50, I'm bundling up like an eskimo!
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Old 12-13-04, 12:19 AM   #6
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I've been wearing my sandals since spring, and so far, no problems... knock on wood!

*knock knock*

We'll see tomorrow, though. I've never worn my sandals in weather as cold as it's predicted to be tomorrow.

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Old 12-13-04, 01:22 AM   #7
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The worst part for me is taking a shower after, it feels like they are on fire! my feet and legs itche like crazy. My roomie thinks i am going nuts in the shower cause I am screaming and swearing like mad.
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Old 12-13-04, 03:07 AM   #8
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I have both Toester Bootie and the AmFIB. For me the AmFIB worked good for anything over 35. Ive been wearing the Toester lately and its been in the high teens when I leave for work and low teens when I come home. With these booties all I wear are shoes underneath no socks. By the time I get home which is about an hour and a half my toes do start to get cold. I think with a good pair of wool socks on you would have no problem, and if you want to get real high tech you could put a plastic bag over you shoe and under the bootie.
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Old 12-13-04, 03:54 AM   #9
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Wow, I guess my feet are lifeless, because I'm comfy without booties down to 25 or so. I'll commute in sandals down to about 40, but only with wool socks. I have some booties on a shelf that I haven't had a need to break out yet. After New Year's, I'm sure they'll get plenty of use.

Do you buy booties one size bigger than your shoe size? Mine are the same size as my shoes, and I'm curious if they'll fit. I suppose I could try them on...
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Old 12-13-04, 06:28 AM   #10
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Look up a thread with Frostbite in the title and see what my experience was last year. Interesting stuff frostbite (or frostnip, more likely).

Cheers...Gary
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Old 12-13-04, 08:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcasillo
Wow, I guess my feet are lifeless, because I'm comfy without booties down to 25 or so. I'll commute in sandals down to about 40, but only with wool socks. I have some booties on a shelf that I haven't had a need to break out yet. After New Year's, I'm sure they'll get plenty of use.

Do you buy booties one size bigger than your shoe size? Mine are the same size as my shoes, and I'm curious if they'll fit. I suppose I could try them on...

Are you going to wear the booties over the sandals or over regular shoes? I've used Performance neoprene shoe covers for years (can get them cheap at the end of the season) but I've found that I have to get them at least 3 sizes larger than my shoes (size 10.5 shoes, size 14 shoe covers) and I have to have shoes that have fairly smooth soles so that I can get the shoes in the covers.

I have read articles (Sheldon Brown maybe or Icebike) about using sandals and winter riding that sound intreging. You can as many layers as you like to keep your feet warm and not have the problems of constriction that you get with regular shoes. I haven't tried it yet but I might.

Stuart Black
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Old 12-13-04, 08:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingasics
The worst part for me is taking a shower after, it feels like they are on fire! my feet and legs itche like crazy. My roomie thinks i am going nuts in the shower cause I am screaming and swearing like mad.
I've had the same problem except that mine don't get that cold until the temp gets below freezing without shoe covers and below 18 F with shoe covers. But then maybe you ride in a cold part of Alabama

Seriously, try a slightly larger shoe (I go a full size larger in winter) and a wool sock like others have suggested. For most of my winter riding I use over the knee cross country ski socks. They are warm and add a layer of insulation on your lower leg. For your upper legs, I'd suggest a pair of bib tights like the Pearl Izumi thermal bibs. I know this sounds weird but the bibs trap more air (and heat) around your chest and stomach and can help keep your upper body warm which inhances blood flow to the extremities.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:29 AM   #13
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I find I need toasties in the 50 degree range, and I put my Performance Booties on in the 40s and below. Even so, below 35 degrees I only get 1 - 1.5 hours of comfortable riding in before I lose feeling in the front half of my foot.

Make sure you're shoes are not too tight or they will cut off circulation. If a 2nd pair of socks makes the fit too tight, do without the socks.

I find the biggest problem is that you cannot insulate the cold from the cleat. Want to make some dough? Invent an insulated cleat!
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Old 12-13-04, 11:47 AM   #14
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Also, make sure your feet are warm when you start. It makes a huge difference if your feet are warm when you walk out the door.
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Old 12-13-04, 01:41 PM   #15
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HEY another Virginia Tech student YAY! I ride as often as I can, I have also resorted to grocery bags (plastic) over my sox then another pair of sox. This keeps the wid and water from nipping at my toes.
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Old 12-13-04, 05:16 PM   #16
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Haha go Hokies! That sounds like a good idea with the plastic bags I'll give it a try tomorrow after my morning exam!
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Old 12-14-04, 06:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingasics
The worst part for me is taking a shower after, it feels like they are on fire! my feet and legs itche like crazy.

Current medical opinion, FWIW, is that rapid reheating - such as bathing the feet in very warm to hot water - is the best first treatment for (possibly) frost damaged tissue.

Cheers...Gary

P.S. Wa-hoo-wa. That is from my wife.
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Old 12-16-04, 02:57 PM   #18
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Hey Koffee,
How did your feet do with just sandals and socks?
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Old 12-16-04, 03:11 PM   #19
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I've done sandals down to about 25 without any major issues - my feet were warmer, in fact, then they had been in cycling shoes. You can put several pairs of warm socks on with the sandals, then cover those with booties. It works insanely well.
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Old 12-16-04, 04:37 PM   #20
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I have generic Neoprene booties and they are a godsend.

If you are having pain when you take a shower, flyingasics, you should probably bring your feet up to normal temperature slowly. Start by putting them under cold water and slowly make it warmer.
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Old 12-16-04, 04:42 PM   #21
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Well, it's sandals and socks, but also neoprene booties too, and so far, I'm feeling good. I had to ride on Monday night, and it was about 20 F and windy. My feet were hot. So I feel pretty good right now.

Koffee
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Old 12-17-04, 10:49 PM   #22
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my hands and feet do not tolerate the cold well at all


have tried:

lots of socks .... my favorites are dahlgren alpaca wool ones or smartwool snowboarding socks (long enough to almost reach my knees)

louis garneau neoprene toe covers ... ok for cool temps only (50-60)

defeet slipstream ..like a thick sock you wear over your shoe....warmer then it looks and tougher too...hard to get on and off though

descente neoprene covers...toasty warm and quite nice for the money...relatively easy on and off

sidi frost shoes. like a hightop bike shoe. fairly wind proof and warm enough to wear into the 40s on its own (some can go colder...not me though). a nice but expensive option


yesterday, i wore the descente neoprene over the sidi frost shoe (was about 35 out) and my feet stayed warm ..for once!!!
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