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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 11-27-13, 08:47 PM   #1
Isaiahc72
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Feet freeze

Every time I ride in 30- F my feet are always the first to freeze and the rest of my body is fine. I wear shoes with 2-pairs of socks but it doesn't help. Any advice? I need help
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Old 11-27-13, 10:16 PM   #2
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Get better winter shoes unless the worst your feet will have to endure is not far from what your experiencing now

Protection of feet in cold exposure
https://www.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel...H_47_3_242.pdf
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Old 11-27-13, 10:19 PM   #3
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Platform pedals and boots work pretty well; so do neoprene booties if you prefer clipless.
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Old 11-27-13, 10:23 PM   #4
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Winter shoes. Since the wear you put on the winter shoes is wear you are *not* putting on the summer shoes, in the long run it won't really cost any more to have warm feet instead of frozen feet. Winter shoes I know about:

45nrth Wolvhammer
Exustar E-SM450
Gaerne Akira (Road) waterproof
Gaerne Artix (MTB) - Same upper as Akira but with MTB sole.
Gaerne Polar (Road and MTB) - not waterproof
Lake MXZ3
Louis Garneau 0
Northwave Avalanche Pro
Northwave Celsius J GTX
Northwave Fahrenheit (road)
Pearl Izumi Barrier GTX
Shimano MW02
Shimano SH-MW80
Sidi Diablo GTX
Specialized Defroster

I am currently using the Pearl Izumi Barrier GTX with the same thin wool socks I use in the summer, and cold feet are no longer a problem.
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Old 11-27-13, 10:39 PM   #5
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What you can do right now is to put your socks and shoes on a heater for the next day, use wool socks and put a plastic bag next to your skin to prevent moisture from contaminating your socks but i'm pretty sure you will need to look at Shimagnolo's list.

https://www.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel...H_47_3_242.pdf
Quote:
cold feet may actually be a symptom of general cold discomfort. On the other hand, if feet are inadequately protected the feeling of cold discomfort will dominate in spite of proper clothing on the rest of the body. Williamson et al. showed that an average toe skin temperature drop of 4 ̊C (from 28 to 24 ̊C) corresponded to a 14% increase in discomfort sensation, while in hands the skin temperature drop of 7.0 ̊C (from 31 ̊C) increased the discomfort sensation by 10%.

Last edited by erig007; 11-27-13 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 11-28-13, 01:02 AM   #6
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Thick wool socks, loosen the shoelaces a little, make sure you are well-insulated everywhere in-between.
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Old 11-28-13, 01:26 AM   #7
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Skateboard shoes.

Be careful when doubling up your socks btw. If your shoes aren't big enough to accommodate the extra thickness you'll restrict blood flow and actually make your feet colder.
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Old 11-28-13, 04:06 AM   #8
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I ride in temperatures of -20C here in Ontario Canada in Winter. And i keep my feet warm and i ride in my normal mtb Shoes.

What i wear is a thick sock. Wool with a light one underneath. Keep shoes loose,. you don't want your feet tight
then i have 2 booties on top of the shoes. one light one and one big one. Feet are toasty warm. if u want pictures of my feet i will do that t
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Old 11-28-13, 04:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Isaiahc72 View Post
Every time I ride in 30- F my feet are always the first to freeze and the rest of my body is fine. I wear shoes with 2-pairs of socks but it doesn't help. Any advice? I need help
My wife found that in cold weather her feet got particularly cold. She wore the feet from a pair of tights under her regular socks (I'm sure there's a name for them, but your side of the water you probably call it something else). Come to think of it, what we call "tights" is, I think, what you guys call pantyhose or nylons.
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Old 11-28-13, 04:21 AM   #10
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See my article about cold feet ... written from many years of experience in Canadian winters ...
http://www.machka.net/whatworks/coldfeet.htm
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Old 11-28-13, 07:50 AM   #11
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Make sure your shoes aren't to tight. I have a pair of shoes that are roomy in the toe area, and as long as I stay dry they are good with regular socks down to about 10-15 F
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Old 11-28-13, 08:48 AM   #12
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We all develop "tricks" that work for us over the years. I'll add mine as well.

First you haven't mentioned the shoes and socks. Are they your normal riding shoes that you are trying to jam two layers of socks over your feet into or are they larger? Are they just regular road shoes? What kind of socks? Are you wearing shoes covers of some sort?

You need to stop the cold air from penetrating.

I wear Northwave winter road shoes that are two sizes larger than my normal Northwave road shoes...I should have gone three sizes as they are a bit snug in the toe box...These shoes use GoreTex to prevent water/wind penetration and work well.
I also wear two pair of socks but my base layer is a pair of my normal riding socks...DeFeet, etc...these socks move the sweat away from my feet. Over them I wear a pair of wool socks...weight of socks depends on temp...I have thin to very thick wool socks...these are for insulation/warmth...I don't lace my shoes too tight to prevent circulation...I prefer my nice warm blood to freely circulate through my feet helping to keep them warm.

Some other things I use to keep warm. On the coldest days...generally under 20f...I use the chemical heat pads folding one over my toes on each foot...they last for hours and work really well.
Sweat is the biggest cause of cold feet...in the cold of course...a trick I learned a long time ago is to use spray under arm anti perspirant...spray your feet, especially between the toes...put on your socks and off you go. If your feet get wet then cold you are screwed and nothing will help at that point.

This is what I do to keep my feet warm and while they sometimes are chilly at the end of my ride they are never cold as they were before my current method.

I've tried everything over the decades and the above works the best for me.
I don't like using plastic bags, neoprene socks, etc. because, in my opinion, they hold in moisture not allowing your feet to breathe and transpire sweat away from your feet...once your feet are wet then cold will begin the nightmare ride of frozen feet.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old 11-28-13, 08:06 PM   #13
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I picked up the shimano mw80's this year and with a pair of costco wool socks my feet are toasty down to 25F so far. And that is with poor circulation in hands and feet. Rule #1 has always been cold feet put on a hat. Also warm core helps with warm extremities. And the shoes are highly water resistant. Probably closest to water-proof without actually claiming to be water-proof.
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Old 11-29-13, 11:50 AM   #14
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I ride with regular Keen steel toe waterproof work shoes. (I have to have them for my job.)
Until it gets down to 0 I just wear thin liner socks under my wool socks. I go for the highest wool content that I can find, lowest that I have is 69%, highest 75%.
When it gets really cold then I can add my NEOS overshoe. I think I have used them twice in 4 years of winter commuting.
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Old 11-29-13, 12:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg M View Post
I picked up the shimano mw80's this year and with a pair of costco wool socks my feet are toasty down to 25F so far. And that is with poor circulation in hands and feet. Rule #1 has always been cold feet put on a hat. Also warm core helps with warm extremities. And the shoes are highly water resistant. Probably closest to water-proof without actually claiming to be water-proof.
I just ordered a pair can't wait to try them. I really don't have issues with cold feet, currently using an old pair of summer shoes with wool socks and a set of thick neoprene covers. My issue was getting wet socks from the road spray.
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Old 11-29-13, 02:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
I ride with regular Keen steel toe waterproof work shoes. (I have to have them for my job.)
Until it gets down to 0 I just wear thin liner socks under my wool socks. I go for the highest wool content that I can find, lowest that I have is 69%, highest 75%.
When it gets really cold then I can add my NEOS overshoe. I think I have used them twice in 4 years of winter commuting.
The JB icelandic socks have 85% wool content
http://www.amazon.com/Icelandic-Arti...celandic+socks
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Old 11-29-13, 03:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
The JB icelandic socks have 85% wool content
http://www.amazon.com/Icelandic-Arti...celandic+socks
Thank you for the info/link.
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Old 11-29-13, 03:32 PM   #18
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I had this trouble, then I bought some northwave celsius gtx winter shoes. This is my first year with them, and I cannot see myself looking back

Last edited by daven1986; 11-29-13 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 11-29-13, 07:29 PM   #19
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Room. Space. Space. Room. The biggest mistake most people make is constricting their feet in cold weather. Most winter cycling specific shoes are cut to tight to give ample room. Your best bet is to make sure and get them WAY over-sized or go to over-sized non-cycling specific shoes with platform pedals.
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Old 11-30-13, 07:13 PM   #20
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If your just wearing regular shoes, then I'd suggest some shoe covers. And see how low you can go in those. Mine are good into the upper 20's. Anything lower than that and you should probably think of a good insulated boot or shoe. If you ride clipless there are all kind of expensive winter riding boots that should handle thirty degree weather. You didn't really specify what kind of pedal set-up you have. but if you want cheap, then go with the shoe covers. They'll block the wind and cold.
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Old 12-01-13, 12:58 AM   #21
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Good warm durable wool socks can be found cheap ($10 ) at bass pro shops. The redhead extreme cold socks are nice. Wool, holofil and acrylc. The redhead lifetime guarantee are really good as well. Thick, soft and cozy and 80% wool, these are my really cold weather goto socks. I have winter louis garneau cycling boots that are sized up. I use very thin (3mm) alpaca wool insoles. All my other socks are smartwool (winners stores in town have them at 1/2 price, stocked up for years to come). Good insoles are a help. Best I have found are the old fashion metal bottom felt insoles, but wanted a bit more room in the shoes so went with the alpaca ones, leaves me with lots of toe wiggle with the thicker socks and room for chemical toe warmers.
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