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Winter Cycling Shoes?

Old 12-12-15, 04:52 PM
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jyl
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Winter Cycling Shoes?

I'm in the market for some winter cycling shoes.

Just googling, I see 45Nrth, Diadora, Louis Garneau, Shimano, and Lake.

Which do you wear? What do you recommend? I'm looking for SPD cleats, dry feet in the worst downpour. I don't live in an extremely cold climate, just need enough warmth for 35F. I don't live in snow country so I don't need deep sole lugs. I guess my need is really rain shoes more than winter shoes.

Or, tell me how to make my ventilated cycling shoes waterproof. I currently use booties but my feet still get soaked. Water must come through the cleat backing plate.

Last edited by jyl; 12-12-15 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 12-12-15, 05:13 PM
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I have Garneau and like them. I got mine online and they fit ok. I would suggest go to a shop and try them on.
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Old 12-12-15, 08:44 PM
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Sidi, but once you use them you get hooked. they are kind of pricey, but look for sales and clearance offerings. I have their Genius Five, regular shoes and some Specialized windbreaker covers for colder rides. I am saving up to get a pair of the Sidi winter boots that are looking very good to me.

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Old 12-12-15, 09:45 PM
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I have the diadora Polaris 2 that I picked up on sale for eighty bucks a year or two ago. They work fine for me down to a little below freezing.
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Old 12-13-15, 12:34 AM
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Are the shoes mentioned waterproof?. Do your feet ever get wet, riding in rainstorms?
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Old 12-13-15, 01:02 AM
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I wear my Sidis year-round. When the temps drop under 50 I have some neoprene 10 y.o. toe covers. And when it's 40 degrees and less, I have a pair of neoprene, water and wind-proof Endure covers that come up well past my ankles. Those, and wool socks, do the trick. Louis Garneau also makes a similar neoprene bootie. I'm sure others do as well.
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Old 12-13-15, 10:55 AM
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I use fleece-lined bike shoes when the temperature drops below about 50F. When it gets below freezing I add neoprene shoe covers and sometimes catalytic toe warmers.

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Old 12-13-15, 11:26 AM
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Yes mine are a water and snow proof boot Louis Garneau 0 Degree LS-100 Mountain Shoe
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Old 12-13-15, 11:31 AM
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my LBS sell the 45 North. Lots of folks really seem to like them.
I don't ride much below 30F, so I just wear wool socks. Maybe some shoe covers if I'm on the road bike / clipped in. (or clipless... depends how old you are, I guess.)
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Old 12-13-15, 11:36 AM
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I'm happy with my Pearl Izumi Barrier GTX (Thinsulate & Goretex) but they don't make them anymore.

This list should be pretty current:

45nrth - Japanther (mtn)
45nrth - Wolfgar (mtn)
45nrth - Wolvhammer (mtn)
Diadora - Polarex Plus (mtn)
Diadora - Polarex Plus Road (road)
Exustar - E-SM3103 (mtn)
Gaerne - Akira (road)
Gaerne - Artix (mtn)
Gaerne - Polar Pro (mtn)
Gaerne - Storm (road)
Gaerne - Storm MTB (mtn)
Gaerne - Winter Pro (mtn)
Giro - AlpineDuro (mtn)
Lake - CX145 (road)
Lake - MX145 (mtn)
Lake - MX180 (mtn)
Lake - MXZ303 (mtn)
Louis Garneau - 0-degree LS-100 (road)
Mavic - Drift (mtn)
Mavic - Ksyrium Pro Thermo (road)
Northwave - Celsius 2 GTX (mtn)
Northwave - Celsius Arctic 2 GTX (mtn)
Northwave - Extreme Winter GTX (mtn)
Northwave - Fahrenheit 2 GTX (road/mtn)
Northwave - Fahrenheit Arctic 2 GTX (road/mtn)
Northwave - Winter GTX R (road)
Shimano - MW7 (mtn)
Shimano - MW81 (mtn)
Sidi - Diablo GTX (mtn)
Sidi - Hydro GTX (road)
Specialized - Defroster (road)
Specialized - Defroster Trail (mtn)
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Old 12-13-15, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
I'm in the market for some winter cycling shoes.

Just googling, I see 45Nrth, Diadora, Louis Garneau, Shimano, and Lake.

Which do you wear? What do you recommend? I'm looking for SPD cleats, dry feet in the worst downpour. I don't live in an extremely cold climate, just need enough warmth for 35F. I don't live in snow country so I don't need deep sole lugs. I guess my need is really rain shoes more than winter shoes.

Or, tell me how to make my ventilated cycling shoes waterproof. I currently use booties but my feet still get soaked. Water must come through the cleat backing plate.
I would just use neoprene covers (Castelli are my favorites). 35F is not cold enough for a specific cold weather cycling shoe, IMO. For colder, I do wear the Lake 303's. They seem to work pretty well.

J.
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Old 12-13-15, 12:13 PM
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My issue most days is not so much cold, but wet.

For example, yesterday I rode 2 hours in heavy rain. Really pissing down, with lots of deep standing water. I was wearing my normal bike shoes, ventilated SPD Mavics. I wore thick wool socks and Castelli neoprene shoe covers. In twenty minutes, my feet were soaked and my socks squelching with every pedal stroke.

I've had this problem before. Shoe covers keep my feet warm enough most days, but in heavy rain my shoes start getting wet in 10 minutes and shortly afterwards my socks and then feet. I think water gets through the neoprene, and seeps in through the cleat opening.

Some guys on the ride were wearing 45Nrth Fasterkatt winter SPD cycling shoes. They said their feet were dry. The Fasterkatt is on sale for $125 as it is being replaced by the Japanther. I'm going to Universal Cycle today to look at their selection. I think they carry many of the brands listed by Shimagnolo.
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Old 12-13-15, 01:14 PM
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Okay, went to Universal Cycle, tried on some shoes, came home with a pair of Shimano SH-MW7 and some Showers Pass waterproof socks. Hopefully these will do the trick.

I thought I'd want shoes with tall ankle cuffs, but the ones I tried felt too restrictive of ankle flex. Seemed like they would disrupt the liquid pedal stroke for which I am famous (in my own mind). I also didn't want shoes with zippers, which seemed like potential failure points. And some of the shoes were too heavy and blocky, almost like hiking boots.
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Old 12-13-15, 08:10 PM
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I wear the Northwave GTX, they are water proof and warm...Most important is to buy them big enough to allow layering of socks. I wear a pair of my summer cycling socks under winter wool socks...of varied weights depending on the temp and I will ride in the mid teens as long as the roads are dry.
I've used the chemical toe warmers from time to time as well and they are worth it when it is really cold.
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Old 12-13-15, 08:24 PM
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Common misconception that layers of socks will keep your feet warm. They won't. A good, but thin, insulating and wicking pair will as well as eliminating cold air leaks. All layers do is compromise the fit and potentially, if too tight, compromise circulations which leads to cold.

In my ski boots, I wear the thinnest smart wool socks made and they can't be more than 1mm thick. My feet stay warm now that I have eliminated the air leaks and make sure my boots are dry before I start. I do the same with my cycling shoes and I stay warm in about exactly the same way. Before I did all that, both the boots and the shoes were cold.

Basically at the extremities , you need to prevent cold air intrusion, get moisture away from your skin fast, and not compromise circulation. The other part of keeping your feet and hands warm is keeping your core warm. And if you let your legs get chilled, you are going to have a hard time keeping your feet warm. Keeping your feet warm, means mostly managing the other parts.

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Old 12-14-15, 08:05 AM
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^^^, this is spot on info. Smart gentleman there.

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Old 12-15-15, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
I'm in the market for some winter cycling shoes.

Just googling, I see 45Nrth, Diadora, Louis Garneau, Shimano, and Lake.

Which do you wear? What do you recommend? I'm looking for SPD cleats, dry feet in the worst downpour. I don't live in an extremely cold climate, just need enough warmth for 35F. I don't live in snow country so I don't need deep sole lugs. I guess my need is really rain shoes more than winter shoes.

Or, tell me how to make my ventilated cycling shoes waterproof. I currently use booties but my feet still get soaked. Water must come through the cleat backing plate.
A lot of booties are not waterproof. They're made out of the same materials as WETsuits.

One thing that I did that helped me more than booties was to put tape (packing tape over electrical tape, as the electrical tape, alone, wanted to come off the shoe) over the vents in the cycling shoes, and also to put some electrical tape over the cleat holes. I had to take out the sole insert to do this.

This did more to warm my toes than using Toesties.

GH
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Old 12-15-15, 10:49 AM
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I have Lakes. They're great. For riding in rain the hard-to-defeat problem is water running down you legs and into your shoes. Go to a dive shop and buy dry suit leg seals. Put them on your bare leg under your tights so they cover the top of your bootie/shoe/boot. Problem solved.
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Old 12-15-15, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I have Lakes. They're great. For riding in rain the hard-to-defeat problem is water running down you legs and into your shoes. Go to a dive shop and buy dry suit leg seals. Put them on your bare leg under your tights so they cover the top of your bootie/shoe/boot. Problem solved.
I have Specialized Defroster boots that are supposed to keep my feet dry, but water running down my tights seep inside the boot. After a few miles in heavy rain the feet are soaked. That's a great idea on the "dry suit leg seals".

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-15, 02:19 PM
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The leg seals sound like a great idea! Thank you.
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Old 12-15-15, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
The leg seals sound like a great idea! Thank you.
An experienced Seattle International Randonneur rider suggested it to me. Who better?
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Old 01-12-16, 08:30 AM
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Look here PAMPA SPORT CUFF WPN , there is a good variety of models, most of them are waterproof, so your feet won't get soaked, and they are comfortable enough for riding
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Old 01-12-16, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I use fleece-lined bike shoes when the temperature drops below about 50F. When it gets below freezing I add neoprene shoe covers and sometimes catalytic toe warmers.

I'm impressed that this gets you through a WI winter. Personally when it gets cold, I ride an old mtb with platform pedals so I can use my winter boots. I haven't figured out how to make them SPD compatible,
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Old 01-19-16, 04:50 AM
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FWIW, the French Le Cycle magazine just ran a comparative shootout on a range of winter shoes/boots.

Winners, about equal, were the Mavic and the Northwave, with the Specialized a little behind. The Sidi performed badly, though in my experience, that's fairly true of most Italian winter wear. Neither the Lake or Gaerne were particularly good either, though better than the SIDI.

Also, check weight, there's quite a difference.
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Old 01-20-16, 10:16 PM
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I put my toes in a fold over type sandwich bag on top of my socks, b 4 I put my cycling shoes on. Insert the feet into the shoes w toes in the bag. Helps toes b warm IMO.
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