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How do you protect your feet from the cold?

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How do you protect your feet from the cold?

Old 01-07-06, 07:19 AM
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How do you protect your feet from the cold?

I have trouble keeping my feet warm on my SWB. I wear thick wool socks, and I wear Cannondale mixed walking/MTB shoes loosely, yet I can't ride more than 2 hours without my feet going cold and numb in temperatures under 40. I can't really change shoes since I need cleats, and all the other cycling shoes I've seen at the LBS are of the roadie foot torture type.

How do you deal with cold feet? I'm thinking of installing a small fairing at the front to deflect the flow of cold air away from my feet, but I'd like to do that as a last resort, as my bike is bulky enough as it is.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ppc
How do you deal with cold feet? I'm thinking of installing a small fairing ....
Methods I've used in varying combinations depending on temperature:

1. Plastic bags ("Baggies") over my toes, inside the shoes. Works pretty well to simply keep the wind out if it's not TOO cold.

2. Disposable sticky toe warmers - about $1.50 / pair from sporting goods stores in the hunting department. They work GREAT as long as they stay dry, i.e. neither moist from sweat nor from rain. In *pretty* cold weather, I wear a pair of thin hiking liner socks, then the sticky toe warmers, then another pair of thin or midweight socks. This gets kinda bulky, so usually when it's cold enough for the toe warmers I wear my mtb shoes - which as you mention are roomier than my road shoes.

3. I have a pair of wind/waterproof socks, which sounded neat but I don't like - again, too constricting - their largest size doesn't seem to fit my size 11 feet.

4. In rainy+cold weather, my best solution has been road shoes + neoprene shoe covers, +/- the toe warmers. I like the thicker zippered covers rather than the thin "aero" things - again, sometimes hard to find a size large enough to not be too constricting.


J.W.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:26 AM
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The biking neoprene booties that slip over your cycling shoes would be a big step forward for you. I ride all year to work in upstate NY and Vermont. Many mornings it is -20F or colder. I recommend that you buy the booties a bit big. When it is around zero, I wear thick wool socks, biking shoe, another pair of XXL wool socks over the shoes with a hole cut out for the cleat, and then the bootie over top. At -10, I use a chemical foot warmer as well.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-07-06, 11:50 AM
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I wear my LAKE 2006 MXZ301 Winter MTB Shoe

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Old 01-07-06, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jwa
Methods I've used in varying combinations depending on temperature: 1. Plastic bags ("Baggies") over my toes, inside the shoes. Works pretty well to simply keep the wind out if it's not TOO cold.
Doesn't it get sweaty in the plastic bags?


Originally Posted by Mars
The biking neoprene booties that slip over your cycling shoes would be a big step forward for you.
Yes, I think I saw them at the bike shop, and they look like they would work to conserve heat.

It doesn't get all that cold here, and I don't take the bent out if it's below freezing. On my upright though, I have no problem, so for recumbenting, I think I'll try the cheapo plastic bag idea, and if it doesn't work for me, I'll get a pair of neoprene covers.

Thanks all for the advices.
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Old 01-07-06, 03:49 PM
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I use a version of the plastic bag idea but I wear a pair of socks (thin everyday style) then plastic sandwich bag and then thick winter socks, I find this good to at least a couple of degree below zero celcius with a high b/b trike. Your inner socks will be wet with sweat but that is the way it works a bit like a wet suit, in use you don't notice the moisture until you remove the socks.
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Old 01-07-06, 06:44 PM
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[QUOTE=geebee
use a version of the plastic bag idea but I wear a pair of socks (thin everyday style) then plastic sandwich bag and then
[/QUOTE]


I go that way sometimes, too.

Guess I wasn't clear initially - sorry! Small bag over socks, covering the toes & forefoot - i.e., not like a bread bag would cover one's foot up above the ankle.... Baggies directly against the skin, under socks, would be really groady

I think anytime you make shoes really windproof (i.e., no longer "breathable") - whether with plastic bags, duct tape over the ventilated portions of the shoes like my buddy does, or shoe covers - some amount of sweating will probably occur. Sweating feet is only really an issue for me when using the chemical toe warmers - so I don't use the baggies with them.
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Old 01-07-06, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ppc
I can't ride more than 2 hours without my feet going cold and numb in temperatures under 40.
Could you change either one of these conditions? If it's less than 40, deal with a ride shorer than 2 hours? Wait for a day above 40 to do your 2+ hour ride?
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Old 10-28-09, 01:21 PM
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I used to fly ultralight aircraft back in the 80's. I lived in NH and winters there are pretty cold. Flying in an open cockpit in the winter is a challenge. I used to fly in temperatures at or slightly below freezing in the dead of winter. The air gets cooler as altitude increases plus it's winter and you have a wind chill factor of roughly 60 mph to contend with.

I had to protect my feet, my fingers, and my face. For my face I bought this neat thing called "The Mask". It was made of neoprene and covers your face from below the eyes down. It attached with velcro behind your head and had breathing holes for your nose and mouth. I wore goggles to protect my eyes and prevent them from watering in the cold air. I also wore a motorcycle helmet but without the face plate.

For my hands I wore a pair of silk gloves covered by a pair of normal winter gloves. I read that the silk gloves really make all the difference in keeping your fingers warm. I suspect if you could find some silk socks they would be just as effective for cycling.

For my feet I had a pair of Alaskan mucklucks that kept my feet nice and warm and did not impede my ability to work the rudder pedals. But obviously this would not work on a bicycle. But I think the silk socks idea may be a big help.
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Old 10-28-09, 05:42 PM
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Cycling sandals are great for winter! Because you can loosen the straps and wear four layers of socks. My usual arrangement is silk, wool, fleece, goretex. I also use toe warmers.
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Old 10-29-09, 09:55 AM
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For me, Neoprene shoe covers work fine.
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Old 10-29-09, 10:05 AM
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I bought a pair of shoes half to one full size too big, and now I treat myself to wearing my Smartwool hike socks with a thin liner sock. I have thin and medium thick Smartwools depending on how cold it is.

A tight racing style shoe is the enemy in winter. You need some space for blood flow and to create a micro-climate of warm air.

it's working so well, that I don't need my booties anymore, just a Garneau toe cover to block wind.
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Old 11-01-09, 02:51 PM
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Or you could consider putting a homebuilt fairing on your swb. Go to recumbents.com and look under projects. I tried it with my swb and it worked really well.. The main thing is the windchill.
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Old 11-02-09, 11:56 AM
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Admittedly, I haven’t read through all the posts, if I’m repeating what someone else has mentioned I apologize.

A huge help for me was putting a wool barrier under the insole in the shoe. The pedal and cleat combine to make an excellent heat-sink, drawing heat from your foot. A simple layer of wool has made a huge impact.
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Old 11-02-09, 03:13 PM
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This is sort of a repeat, but loose cycling shoes with felt insoles. Also, block the wind from coming in the cleat holes. I don't ride that much in the winter, so it's not too expensive to use those catalytic toe warmers. I can ride for 2 hrs, then seal them in a baggie and use them again, if it's not too long between rides. If it's too cold out for toe warmers, I revert to my upright bike and insulated boots.
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Old 11-02-09, 10:08 PM
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Sealskinz socks might help you.
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Old 12-07-09, 09:10 PM
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Shoes
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Old 12-11-09, 05:18 PM
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So this might be completely out in left field, but when I am out on my Kayak in really cold weather I have a pair of scuba boots. My feet stay warm all day, and I am in an out of water as my kayak has an opening where the pedals are. I don't know how feasible it would be, but what about a pair of boots like they use to scuba dive with?
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