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Sandals for Winter Commuting

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Sandals for Winter Commuting

Old 12-13-11, 10:51 AM
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Sandals for Winter Commuting

I am entraining the idea of wearing sandals with different thicknesses of merino wool socks and neoprene socks and such. The thought is that I donít need to worry about not having enough room, etc.

I talked with another BF member who wears this set up. It striked me as odd at first but the more I think about it, the more it might just work (for me at least). I wouldnt have to find the cycling shoe that fits (which can be tough when you are a 48/50).

I could also keep my clipless system (not ready to move away from that yet. I have nothing against platforms... just not for me).

And if it gets cold, I wear more socks. If it is windy or rainy, I wear neopren (sp?).

Is this a crazy idea? I am struggling with the winter cycling shoe with clipless. Still trying to find ways to keep the toes warm.

The journey continues!
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Old 12-13-11, 11:29 AM
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A great idea.
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Old 12-13-11, 11:49 AM
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I've worn the old two strap Shimano sandals in the winter ever since I've been commuting, thin socks under wool socks under Gor-Tex socks.
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Old 12-13-11, 11:50 AM
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Although I don't get the low temperatures that you get, I did have 3 mornings at 28 degrees last winter, 19 mornings in the 30's and 23 mornings between 40 & 45 degrees....For the last 4 years, I wear cycling sandals....1 pair of Merino wool socks and Sealskin socks......have never had cold toes yet....
The other advantage of this approach is that on the way home in the evening, temps are usually in the 50's60's,or higher. the Merino wool socks and the Sealskins go into the bike bag.
I orefer this approach after having to ride home occasionally with wet shoes at night after a morning rain shower...I don't need to stuff newspapers into sandals to dry them for the next trip..
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Old 12-13-11, 11:57 AM
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Many Cycle tourists have adopted Shimano's sandal for that reason,
shoe adjusts to fit thick insulating socks.
Keens commuter sandal is more confining and is shaped for a narrower foot.
Frequently noted..
for summer use, they are OK
I won by having B width feet, and got a little used pair, cheap, from someone else..

[then I found a Cleatless Keen clone, that did fine, weighed less,
no cleat clinking on the pavement.. ]

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Old 12-13-11, 01:31 PM
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Makes sense to me, but then it doesn't get seriously cold here either. I have a pair of commute sandals (6-6-1) and lots of wool socks (DeFeet Woolie Boolie's are my favorite), so most of the time sandals make sense.

However, on super-cold days (i.e. anything under 40 Deg.F) and in rain (like yesterday and this morning) I have some Answer BMX shoes that work well (though they do take a long time to dry once soaked).

Both sandals and shoes are SPD compatible, so no worries there.

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Old 12-13-11, 05:29 PM
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That concept has been around for a while a lot of folks swear by it. It makes sense. I've never tried it with my sandals, but If your sandals are big enough, invest in the layers and go for it.
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Old 12-13-11, 05:42 PM
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Personally, I'm not a fan of clipless in snowy weather. Pinned platforms work pretty well and you have all sorts of footwear options. That said, I've heard of the sandal approach and my guess is that the same rules apply as for any other part of your body:

- a base layer to wick moisture
- an insulating layer
- a wind blocking layer.

If you can get the above inside your sandal I don't see why it wouldn't work. I think the only thing to worry about is if at any point during the pedal stroke the sandal is compressing the insulation layer. That's pretty much a given at the bottom of your foot so you'd want to get some degree of insulation from the sole of the sandal itself.
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Old 12-13-11, 07:34 PM
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I saw someone suggest the sandal approach last week and thought it was brilliant. I have some neoprene and wool socks and plan on trying it out. I love my sands, and using them all season would be ideal.
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Old 12-13-11, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel
I think the only thing to worry about is if at any point during the pedal stroke the sandal is compressing the insulation layer. That's pretty much a given at the bottom of your foot so you'd want to get some degree of insulation from the sole of the sandal itself.
Less overall compression than a shoe and cycling sandal soles are typically thicker than road shoes and many have a bit of a squishy rubber layer directly under the foot.

The lack of compression in the toe area is why I think sandals and just wool socks (not even a rubber outer sock needed if dryish) are warmer than shoes and the same wool sock. There is more of an air trapping layer in the toe area.
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Old 12-14-11, 01:18 AM
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Sandals for winter commuting?

Yeah, if I lived in Hawaii.
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Old 12-14-11, 02:02 AM
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Socks and sandals.

All joking aside, good luck.
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Old 12-14-11, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by sbattey
Socks and sandals.

All joking aside, good luck.
Some people think they're rather smart.



Others are not amused.



More here: https://ow.ly/7YNEj https://ow.ly/7YNEu

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Old 12-14-11, 11:35 AM
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Depends on time and temps, and you may need a pair of winter sandals a couple sizes larger than your normal one, if you really intend to stick with sandals, depending on your low temp and length of ride. For an hour duration (my commute time) I'm good with sandals down to about 20F, but generally switch to platforms and boots between Thanksgiving and St. Patrick's day because there will be periods when it gets down below 0F and I'd need the second pair of larger sandals to make enough space for insulating air. I've also found it difficult to find an adequate wind blocking layer that doesn't compress too much and I don't like neoprene socks or sealskinz or whatever as I end up swimming in them. I too, prefer not to be clipped in once there is enough snow on the road to obscure debris, but that could be the recumbent effect with not too much weight on the front wheel.
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Old 12-14-11, 12:35 PM
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Where'd I stash my Birkies?
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Old 12-14-11, 09:23 PM
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Here in southern california, I have bike commuted nearly every work day for the past 5 or 6 years in sandals. I average about 25 miles round trip per work day unless the weather is really bad and I take a short cut to make it a 14 mile round trip. I pedal free footed, on MKS Lamda platform pedals (not clipped or strapped to the pedal). This year I've been wearing Nashbar Ragster sandals (about $45 at BN) with whatever combination of socks that keep my feet comfy. Socks and sandals, of course.

In warm temperatures I wear sandals with a pair Smartwool light hiker socks, because they help keep my feet from feeling sweaty against the rubbery waterproof footbed of the sandal. At this time of year, morning temps are typically mid to upper 40s F, so I wear a smartwool thin liner sock under a smartwool regular thickness hiker sock. Works great. If the temp is 30s to low 40s, I wear two pair of smartwool regular thickness hiker socks. I don't know what sock sandal combaination is good below 32F because temps have not been that low here in the past 12 years. Multi layer socks should not fit super tight, they should be pretty easy to pull on and off. The Nashbar Ragster sandals have adjustable Velcro bands, so they work fine with variable thickness of sock layers. If it is actually raining, I switch to sealskins waterproof socks, with a thin smartwool sock underneath to control sweat inside the sealskins. These things work great, and I have used that combination in heavy, cold rain downpours where the feet stay reasonably comfortable.
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