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Looking for footwear recommendation good to double digits below 0 F

Old 01-22-13, 12:21 PM
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tjspiel
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Looking for footwear recommendation good to double digits below 0 F

I have a rare opportunity to splurge coming up in the next week or so.

The zipper on one of my old style Performance booties which have served me well just broke and it's been cold here the last couple of days and will be cold most of the week. I'd prefer not to go the bootie route again as that just adds steps to getting dressed. Plus I doubt I'd find ones as warm and durable as the ones I've got. Performance has a redesigned bootie now which isn't nearly as good.

So I'm thinking boots. Being able to mount SPD cleats is a plus but not an absolute must. Lake boots probably aren't warm enough for me. I'm intrigued by the 45Nrth boots but personally don't know any one that owns a pair and they're expensive. I've heard great things about the Keen Brixen though those would be strictly for platform pedals.

So. What have people used and what do you recommend?
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Old 01-22-13, 12:30 PM
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Snow mobile boots .. , or maybe like Insulated LL Bean boots..

Ive got un insulated ones.. forthe regular heavy (thawed) rain.

seem to use some loose fitting pull on boots that I can wear
a couple pair of Socks and not have them compressed when cooler..

[but its hovering around 30F , so far , out here, so far , at night.


the Spud cleat is a heat sink in your sole and they pack up with ice, then you can't
get the engagement..

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Old 01-22-13, 12:50 PM
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I don't know if this would be acceptable but the other day, I spotted (online) a set of toe clips/cages with a platform that snaps into your SPD or Keo pedals. I can't find them at this time but here is a similar product from Schwinn. It would enable you to keep your pedals for your clipless shoes and allow you to clip in toe clips for other shoes/boots.

My 2¢.
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Old 01-22-13, 02:04 PM
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I guess it depends on how important SPD's are to you, and how well you do in the cold feet department and your budget. I far prefer to be clipped in and due to physiology or poor circulation or whatever my feet are always cold on the bike. So for me the options are limited.

I had been using platform pedals once it got below 25F with these Garmont Momentum GTX snow hikers. https://tinyurl.com/b94svcc
These boots are truly amazing off the bike, I've hiked, hunted, snowshoe, and all manner of outdoor winter and wet stuff and my feet have NEVER been cold. Lightweight and amazing traction. Incredible. On the bike though they still get cold below about 15F but not as quickly as with winter shoes and booties. With different sock combo's they were my winter solution, although I always really disliked being on platform pedals.(YMMV)

This year I got a pair of the 45NRTH Wolvhammers. I can already that say that they are warmer than any boots on the bike that I've ever tried, and so far so good. But thanks to illness and schedules I have not had them out as much as I'd like and not in this super cold weather that we are currently enduring. So I really can't provide a comprehensive review. Initial impressions are warmer than the Garmonts, love being clipped in, the overall design is great, they are very comfortable, waterproof and lots of toe box room. Would I recommend them, yes so far. My neighbor has a pair as well and he's convinced they are the best yet. But they should be considering the price. They have sold well, and I'm not sure there are many left in the stores.

The Keen Brixens seem to be super popular and well regarded among winter riders for platform pedals. I like Keens in general a lot, but I can't vouch for this model. I do know that they are on sale at Cabella's online for $69.99. https://tinyurl.com/afmmevp - hard to go wrong at that price.
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Old 01-22-13, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
I guess it depends on how important SPD's are to you, and how well you do in the cold feet department and your budget. I far prefer to be clipped in and due to physiology or poor circulation or whatever my feet are always cold on the bike. So for me the options are limited.

I had been using platform pedals once it got below 25F with these Garmont Momentum GTX snow hikers. https://tinyurl.com/b94svcc
These boots are truly amazing off the bike, I've hiked, hunted, snowshoe, and all manner of outdoor winter and wet stuff and my feet have NEVER been cold. Lightweight and amazing traction. Incredible. On the bike though they still get cold below about 15F but not as quickly as with winter shoes and booties. With different sock combo's they were my winter solution, although I always really disliked being on platform pedals.(YMMV)

This year I got a pair of the 45NRTH Wolvhammers. I can already that say that they are warmer than any boots on the bike that I've ever tried, and so far so good. But thanks to illness and schedules I have not had them out as much as I'd like and not in this super cold weather that we are currently enduring. So I really can't provide a comprehensive review. Initial impressions are warmer than the Garmonts, love being clipped in, the overall design is great, they are very comfortable, waterproof and lots of toe box room. Would I recommend them, yes so far. My neighbor has a pair as well and he's convinced they are the best yet. But they should be considering the price. They have sold well, and I'm not sure there are many left in the stores.

The Keen Brixens seem to be super popular and well regarded among winter riders for platform pedals. I like Keens in general a lot, but I can't vouch for this model. I do know that they are on sale at Cabella's online for $69.99. https://tinyurl.com/afmmevp - hard to go wrong at that price.
Thanks that's good information. I found a place online that supposedly has the size I want in the Wolvhammers but would much prefer to try them on before spending that kind of money.
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Old 01-22-13, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Thanks that's good information. I found a place online that supposedly has the size I want in the Wolvhammers but would much prefer to try them on before spending that kind of money.
For sure, I sized up per 45NRTH recommendation and got a 47 in the Wolvhammers, normal cycling shoes I wear a 45.5 - 46, I think that's a pretty good rule of thumb. The heal is snug and and the upper cinches up to provide support even though the toe box is roomy. Thanks to the design I have room for really thick socks or 2 pairs but they also feel good and tighten up well with a single thin sock. I don't know what size you wear but it looks like freewheel bike website says they still have sizes from 46-50.
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Old 01-22-13, 05:38 PM
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When I lived in a cold climate, I wore Lake winter cycling shoe (similar to the MXXZ303) which was 1/2 size larger than normal, and wool hiking socks - which kept me comfortable down to 0F, below that, I went to a pair of Sorel winter boots, with two pairs of wool socks.

Snowmobile gloves for the hands....

Now that I live in California, I can wear sandals year round (almost).
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Old 01-22-13, 05:48 PM
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Anything above 5°f to 45°f I wear LL Bean Snowsneakers. I use toe-clips and they fit fine in those. I've had them for six years now and look to have them for many more years to come. I got a size larger to handle doubling up on the socks when needed.

For anything below the 5°f mark I go heavy duty and wear NEOS overshoes, the Explorers. The snowsneakers fit in those real good. Folks in Alaska bike with those in -30°. I switch the toe-clips with homemade Power grips to handle those.
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Old 01-22-13, 05:56 PM
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All good advice here. I agree single numbers and below 0 is just plain cold and platform pedals with whatever you can get over wool socks is the only solution. I have done this for years and switch out my pedals seasonally.
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Old 01-24-13, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
Now that I live in California, I can wear sandals year round (almost).
I hate you
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Old 01-24-13, 01:41 PM
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I have the Keen Brixens and I love them. However if money was no object, I'd have the Wolvhammers. I just can't bring myself to spend $325+ on bike boots, when the $80 pair of Keens I have work perfectly fine. I don't add a second pair of socks until its below -10. Not bad for the money! Plus I can wear them off the bike all winter too. I use Fyxation Mesa pedals too.
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Old 01-24-13, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JAG410 View Post
I have the Keen Brixens and I love them. However if money was no object, I'd have the Wolvhammers. I just can't bring myself to spend $325+ on bike boots, when the $80 pair of Keens I have work perfectly fine. I don't add a second pair of socks until its below -10. Not bad for the money! Plus I can wear them off the bike all winter too. I use Fyxation Mesa pedals too.
Thanks for the Brixen recommendation. Do you have the mids or a different model?

Still trying to decide if I want to spend all that money a cycling specific boot like the Wolvhammer. I use platform pedals 90% of the time in the winter anyway but I do the occasional cold weather group ride where clipless pedals are nice to have.
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Old 01-24-13, 03:13 PM
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For me any boots where you feet are attached to the pedals is hazardous in winter due to icy/snowy roads.
And the Wolhammer boots are not so warm.
Here is a review
https://twentynineinches.com/2013/01/...-quick-review/
On the longer trip I noticed my first issue. Riding home at night with the temperatures right around 10°F and maybe a 5mph wind my feet got cold about halfway home and were pretty uncomfortable by the time I was done (the total commute was about an hour). It seemed that most of the cold was still coming up through the bottom of the shoe, so I am not sure I am completely sold on the insulating insoles. I have little extra room in the boot so I may experiment with other insoles.

i went for a 1h30 ride the other day -6F plus windchill with my Steger camuksxtreme mukluks + vb socks + thin polypro socks and didn't feel cold at all. Here is my own review of the Steger camuksxtreme mukluks

-totally waterproof up to the ankle (soaked them 10 min into the bath nothing went true)
-water resistant above the ankle
-lightweight 40oz per foot with the 13in shaft and (9+7) mm wool felt liners and around 27oz with the shaft cut just above the ankle
-pretty nice looking when painted in black (mossy oak by default)
-very warm depending on the wool felt thickness (the similar but not waterproof arctic version is used in polar expeditions)
-very comfy (semi-rigid outsole)
-extra wide sizes available
-very easy to put on thanks to the shaft
-lots of room for toes
-pretty efficient in terms of warmth vs bulkiness when compared to some winter boots
-made in USA
-very expensive
-the ride is not smooth with the 13in shaft so should be cut
-the inner seems on the top of the foot hurt first because my feet are too big for the biggest size available but hopefully it went away when the mukluks broke)
-run quite small (mukluks size 15 = feet size 10.5 at max + 2 wool felt liners and 1 heavyweight socks equivalent. I would rate them for a true -40F 1hr)
(for a true -20F 1hr ride then mukluks size 15 = feet size 11.5 at max with only the 9mm wool felt liners + 2 heavyweight socks)
(But if your feet are smaller than 10 allowing additional wool felt liners then my guess is that with the sizes available there will be no place in the world where you won't be able to go)

Last edited by erig007; 01-25-13 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 01-24-13, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Thanks for the Brixen recommendation. Do you have the mids or a different model?

Still trying to decide if I want to spend all that money a cycling specific boot like the Wolvhammer. I use platform pedals 90% of the time in the winter anyway but I do the occasional cold weather group ride where clipless pedals are nice to have.
The model I have is discontinued, the standard boot that is/was on sale at Cabelas. It uses drawstrings instead of traditional laces. I have size 12 boots, but size 11.5 normal keen shoes/sandals. I use platforms in winter because I dab a lot (fat biking) and for quick icy surface checks. If you're riding platform most of the time anyways, save your money and get plain boots. The Steger Mukluk boots look great too, plus MN made.
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Old 01-24-13, 05:40 PM
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Whatever you get, get it one or two sizes big so you can use lots of sockage.

I can wear sandals in the winter, with neoprene socks!
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Old 01-24-13, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Whatever you get, get it one or two sizes big so you can use lots of sockage.
Agree neoprene socks are like my neoprene diving boots it worked for me with just those boots with socks around freezing temps and below that it required wool felt liners inside + some others tricks (VB socks, toe warmers, shoe covers, toe guard etc)
i reached -36C/-33F without the 40mph windchill for a 5hrs ride last winter here in Canada with these but it required lots of work.
My main cons is that there isn't usually much room on the toes area and because it is stretchable it was a pain in *** to put on.
My main pro is that it is comfy and quite cheap (but price can add up pretty fast with all the add-ons).

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Whatever you get, get it one or two sizes big so you can use lots of sockage.
Agree with the necessary room for layering purpose. It is key for warm feet. Until recently i though that it was possible to make nearly any boots way warmer by going 2, 3 or more size bigger for layering. If i believe it is possible to easily make some 30F rated cycling shoes able to handle 0F I believe it is way harder to make the same cycling shoes able to handle -40F due to the design.
I did succeed with my diving boots though but it wasn't easy. The size and shape of diving boots is pretty similar to the cycling shoes one

There is a limit to what you can easily do and it is related to the height (especially at the toes area) and the width and the outsole thickness of the cycling shoes most of the time. Chances are that your layering ability will stop with your toes or feet being too tight with the additional layers in those cycling shoes even if you can find a bigger size of these (except if you want clowns shoes). Why because the cycling shoe is not high or wide enough. The Steger Mukluks (arctic, yukon and camuks) and some other mukluks brands as well as some polar boots are usually wider and higher especially at the toes area than most cycling shoes so going for a bigger size allows more room for the feet in all directions height, length and width limiting the problem of tight toes and tight feet (width).
Going for Neos overshoes is an easy and viable solution to increase warmth of cycling shoes though but it also means another layer to handle which means a little bit more hassle, some trade off in terms of esthetics, some additional cost, a little bit less stability and no more SPD. Cons which could matter for some and not for others. By the way cycling shoes covers are useless against losing heat through the outsoles.
Furthermore, regarding the layering of socks with my big feet i can't find any socks big enough to be the third layer, the second layer of socks being already pretty tight so i use felt liners instead of additional socks.

Last edited by erig007; 01-25-13 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 01-24-13, 06:16 PM
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What are sock liners?

And I've never heard of three sock layers.
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Old 01-24-13, 06:22 PM
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Gore tex socks go Over thje regular sox, inside the Boots for stepping in streams and not getting the actual sox wet

work good for outer shells when using SPuD Bike Sandals.
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Old 01-24-13, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
What are sock liners?

And I've never heard of three sock layers.

I use wool socks and the biggest i know stop at size 15 which in reality is something like size 12 or so.
So adding a 3rd layer of wool socks is nearly impossible for me.
I go for something like this instead which is in fact better because it isn't tight on the foot when the boots/shoes/mukluks/sandals allows it.

Last edited by erig007; 01-24-13 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 01-24-13, 09:21 PM
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-14 this morning for a 1/2hr run around the neighborhood (post office, bagels).

LG Zero clipless boots, two sizes larger, wool felt insoles and two pairs of wool socks.

no problem.
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Old 01-25-13, 02:07 PM
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I know this isn't all macho and all but women's ankle high nylons put on before your socks are good for another 20-30 degrees and don't take up any room.....secrets from my backpacking days......stops your feet from getting blisters also on those long hikes.

If you want good boots look at Vasque.Herman Survivors used to be GREAT boots.....until Wally World bought them.

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Old 01-25-13, 02:41 PM
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I've got a pair of Lake Cycling Boots, with SPD cleats, have had them for several years, and they are great, I ride year round and these boots keep me warm. I wear wool socks - a pair of thin ones under a pair of thick ones -- and throw a chemical handwarmer in each boot down by my toes, and I've never had cold feet even on my all-day century rides in temps in the teens. Highly recommend!
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Old 01-25-13, 02:41 PM
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Yeah, I think I'll try women's nylons for that extra bit.

I hadn't planned to ride today, and it's pretty cold here, too, though not as bad as in Utica. While driving to work, my car got a flat tire. I dropped it off for repair and other repairs and rode my bike to the train. I was going to get off in Madison and ride two miles to work. But I missed my connection. Took the train back to Summit and rode from there, which was 6.7 miles. I didn't think I was well dressed, but I had a pleasant surprise. I was OK. I'm wearing neoprene socks under shoes that are basically running shoes with SPD soles thrown on. They're very thin, porous fabric on top, and that made it slightly cool. I'm thinking of gluing some fleece fabric plus a wind barrier onto the top. Overall, I'm happy.
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Old 01-25-13, 03:23 PM
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This is my first winter commute and I picked up a used pair of Answer Kashmir winter cycling boots from Bat56 for next to nothing. They held up good with a pair of Smartwool thick socks and a medium weight WigWag socks up til this week. I rode on Tuesday for an hour and my toes got cold but not frozen yet, maybe another 15min then they'll be frozen. So I decided to insulate the boots some more with some thick wool socks from Wal-Mart. I cut the toe portion off and use them as toe warmers along with a pair of Planet Bike toe warmers, put tin foil on top of the insole and then two layers of thick wool between that and the foot bed. Forgot to mention that I had also put duct tape on the toe box to further keep out the wind. With these modifications I was only able to wear one pair of thick Smartwool socks but I learn that with more room inside the boots the wool socks will insulate better and stay warmer longer. I have yet to try this setup out yet due to my wife just went into labor this morning so sometime next week I'll test it out and let you know how it holds up. I really like the Answer Kashmir and they do good down to 0* with some wind chill and I just can't justify $300 for a pair of Lakes 303 or 45NRTH Wolvhammer. Oh by the way, Bicycle Chain in Roseville has a pair of the 45NRTH in the size 46 in stock.
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Old 01-25-13, 06:51 PM
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noglider 
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Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

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sbs z31, congratulations on your baby.

What kinds of temperatures have you been having? Minnesota is the place of legendary winters in my mind. One day I must go there.

Everyone else, why not list your location in your profile?!
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