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Can't keep my feet warm

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Can't keep my feet warm

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Old 12-23-18, 11:56 AM
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Rides4Beer
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Can't keep my feet warm

Wool socks, plastic bags, cotton socks, neoprene booties, taped up the vent holes, toes are still cold. Are winter shoes the way to go? It was 32* for my ride this morning, rest of my gear was just fine and I was comfortable, except for my feet.
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Old 12-23-18, 12:34 PM
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No cotton, no tight fit, keep your head warm.
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Old 12-23-18, 02:11 PM
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I recently received a pair of Grip Grab brand, Arctic Deep Winter Shoe Covers, I ordered based on a recommendation from @TimothyH .
On a recent 26 degree morning, I wore them over my least ventilated road shoe over a mid-weight merino cycling sock on an 70 minute ride. For me they worked great. Typically at that temp, my feet have gone numb. This was with a few of the name brands cold weather covers.
A bit $$. Worth it to me.
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Old 12-23-18, 02:30 PM
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Several tricks here from a guy who is long, lean and cold blooded. Bags for your feet - use two bags per foot. I like good produce bags. First bag goes on your bare foot. Yup, you heard that. Your socks. Then the second bag and a this, stretchy men's sock (like old men wear). What this does is keep all those middle socks dry, all day, any weather, indoors or out. Your feet spend the day in a sauna, wet all day but warm (assuming you have enough socks for the temperatures and your shoes are not too tight. I use shoes a full size larger n cold weather.

Anther trick that I have never seen elsewhere but that works really well and is easy to make. Cycling gaiters. I made mine from a stretchy outdoor fabric, narrow at the top to fit my ankles under my last layer (tights or legwarmers) and bell-bottoming a little fo fit over the shoes. (I made mine for boots and they don't fit well over shoes, but still help a lot.) For me, getting warm blood to my feet is key. TIghts, warmers, thermals over my legs. I can shed hats, armwarmers, even chest layers if it gets to warm. I rarely regret having enough on my legs. And I never regret those gaiters that deliver blood that still has warmth to my feet.

And of course, a good hat. Yes, wrong end of the body, but your body will sacrifice fingers and toes to keep your head warm.

Ben
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Old 12-23-18, 02:30 PM
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Old 12-23-18, 03:14 PM
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If you keep your house cool enough that your feet are cold when you dress for the ride, they'll probably only get colder during the ride. I run very warm water into the tub and warm my feet for a couple of minutes before suiting up for the ride. Makes a big difference.

Also, as mentioned above, shoes should not be tight. Years ago, on a snowy off-road ride, when some people complained that their feet were freezing, I asked if anyone was wearing two pairs of socks. All the people the people whose feet were freezing were wearing two pairs; all the people wearing one pair were fine.
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Old 12-23-18, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
I recently received a pair of Grip Grab brand, Arctic Deep Winter Shoe Covers, I ordered based on a recommendation from @TimothyH .
On a recent 26 degree morning, I wore them over my least ventilated road shoe over a mid-weight merino cycling sock on an 70 minute ride. For me they worked great. Typically at that temp, my feet have gone numb. This was with a few of the name brands cold weather covers.
A bit $$. Worth it to me.
Timely topic.

@ 02Giant, Are they warmer than a standard set of neoprene shoe covers ?. I've got a pair of Performance brand neoprene that were the only model I found that fit over a size 46 mt. bike shoe. They are OK to about 25 in the woods, than after an hour, my feet start to chill and they do nothing to block wind, so at 35 on the road and my feet get cold. I HATE cold feet !.

I've been contemplating Lake or Specialized dedicated winter shoes, they are all over $200 so have been hesitating.
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Old 12-23-18, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Wool socks, plastic bags, cotton socks, neoprene booties, taped up the vent holes, toes are still cold. Are winter shoes the way to go? It was 32* for my ride this morning, rest of my gear was just fine and I was comfortable, except for my feet.
It's a hit and miss as to what works. I would not be squeezing winter weight socks, plus a plastic bag, into a shoe that you have sized for summer weight socks. The compression reduces circulation and than your feet get cold. At that point neoprene won't help.

Neoprene as well is not very wind resistant, so if you are on the road bike at 15-20 mph, they are not always going to help either, without an additional wind blocking shoe cover.

Bottom line though and if you do enough riding at below 40 or so, dedicated winter shoes is the way to go. Like shorts, you sometimes need to spend money on the "contact points" - saddle, shoes, shorts, gloves.
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Old 12-23-18, 03:56 PM
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Some years ago I bought a pair of Pearl Izumi Men's Barrier GTX winter shoes, and I've never had cold feet since.
They have a Goretex layer and a Thinsulate layer.
I wear the same thin wool socks all year round.
The wear you put on a pair of winter shoes, is wear that your summer shoes don't see, so in the long term, it costs no more to have a pair of winter shoes.
My shoes are discontinued, but there are lots of alternatives:

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 12-23-18, 04:10 PM
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Shimano MW81, good down to 5 F, with 1 pair of good socks, and toe warmers across the top of the toes like in Post #5
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Old 12-23-18, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
Shimano MW81, good down to 5 F, with 1 pair of good socks, and toe warmers across the top of the toes like in Post #5
No longer made, unfortunately.
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Old 12-23-18, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Timely topic.

@ 02Giant, Are they warmer than a standard set of neoprene shoe covers ?. I've got a pair of Performance brand neoprene that were the only model I found that fit over a size 46 mt. bike shoe. They are OK to about 25 in the woods, than after an hour, my feet start to chill and they do nothing to block wind, so at 35 on the road and my feet get cold. I HATE cold feet !.

I've been contemplating Lake or Specialized dedicated winter shoes, they are all over $200 so have been hesitating.
I would have to check if any of the three are neoprene. I know I have a pair of Sugoi, Louis Garneau, and the third, unsure without checking. The purchases were made over the last few years.

I wear a size 44 1/2 to 45 and went with XL

I too considered winter shoes but resisted based on the price. Now that I've bought 4 pair of covers, I likely could have had shoes for the same money.
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Old 12-23-18, 06:55 PM
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I live in Minnesota and I ride all year long sometimes as cold as -10F. Your feet and hands take a beating because they are out in the wind all the time.

The *only* way I have been able to keep my feet warm is with specific winter shoes - and not just any shoes. I use Northwave's insulated shoes (Raptor TH - highly recommend them and the Raptor GTX for down to about 20F) and then followed up by Lake's winter boots for really cold weather. Shoe covers don't cut it. Heat packs on top of your feet don't work - unless you have shoes that are so loose they really aren't a good fit.

As for socks, a good merino wool sock, not thick but a thin style ski sock works great. I use smartwool Ultra lite PhD socks (also use them in my ski boots). The main reason your feet get cold is because you are cutting off the circulation not because you have socks that are too thin. The other trick to keeping your feet warm is keeping your core and your legs warm. If you legs get chilled, less warm blood makes it to your feet and you get cold.

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Old 12-23-18, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Several tricks here from a guy who is long, lean and cold blooded. Bags for your feet - use two bags per foot. I like good produce bags. First bag goes on your bare foot. Yup, you heard that. Your socks. Then the second bag and a this, stretchy men's sock (like old men wear). What this does is keep all those middle socks dry, all day, any weather, indoors or out. Your feet spend the day in a sauna, wet all day but warm (assuming you have enough socks for the temperatures and your shoes are not too tight.
Gosh that's a good idea. I've been wearing it over the socks and yes it traps moisture. I'll do this tomorrow, after I turn in my winter cycling card
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Old 12-23-18, 07:23 PM
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The lowest temps I've ridden in are single digits above 0. For those temps, and those not much lower than the 26 I mentioned prior, I swap bikes, go to platforms and wear LL Bean Snow Sneakers,
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Old 12-23-18, 07:32 PM
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Look at your core, look at your legs. Your body cares much more about your heart, lungs, spleen, liver and kidneys than it does about your feet. Warm blood has to go a long way to your feet and there's minimal muscle contraction available inside a pair of shoes.

Winter shoes are good, thin socks, a warm vest.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:42 PM
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Yep, MTB boots are the way to go. Change your pedals in winter. I have an old pair of Lakes and they are fabulous. That said, in the rain the big thing is to keep the water out of your shoes/boots. It'll run down your legs into them. What to do: put drysuit replacement leg seals on your bare ankles with the bells pointed down, going over the tops of your boots or booties. Online or at your local diver shop. Trim to fit nicely on your ankles.
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Old 12-23-18, 08:00 PM
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Here's my article about Cold Feet ... experience from many years cycling through the winter ...

(Machka) - Cold Feet


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Old 12-23-18, 08:23 PM
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Two pairs of thick socks with toe warmers between them, MTB sandals *. That gets me about 2 hours down to about 30ish.. I usually don't ride that long under that. Regardless of what I am wearing, what I've found that works best is an hour in or when I feel some numbness in my toes, I wiggle my toes up on the upstroke and down on the down stroke every few minutes to "wake them up", the numbness goes away and warms them up some. Those toes are just sitting there going along for the ride, get them involved and some reason for some additional blood down there! I've done it enough that I don't even have to think about it and can just do it, even at a decent 90-95 cadence. I've been to ball games in the stands at arctic temps with some really nice super winter boots and thick socks but even then, with no motion down there, it gets frozen. Bike riding is not much different. My experience with socks is... I've tried probably 20 different types over the last three years. Wool seems to be slightly better and what I use but its not much better than others for pure cold feet unless there is some heavy moisture component involved.

* MTB or regular sandals may sound like a dumb idea but I wear them year round on the bike. Warmer, cooler, and dryer than my regular MTB shoes, you can wear various amounts and types of socks, covers, bags, and whatever you feel you need based on conditions.

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Old 12-23-18, 08:26 PM
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Forget merino socks, go with yak down socks. So much nicer. I wore a pair last night skiing at 16 F.

The ski shop has heated insoles. I'll see if I can find a link.

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Old 12-23-18, 08:31 PM
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https://www.staywarmed.com/best-rech...nsoles-review/

I've never used anything like this, and I'm not vouching for it. Just letting you know it exists.
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Old 12-23-18, 09:33 PM
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I don’t get the bag thing. Seems like wet feet would contribute to getting cold feet. I would look into cycling boots if your feet are cold.
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Old 12-23-18, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
I donít get the bag thing. Seems like wet feet would contribute to getting cold feet. I would look into cycling boots if your feet are cold.
If you use two bags like I suggested in my post above, one against your bare skin, one on the outside held snugly in place with a thin dress dock, yes your feet are wet. But the only heat lost from our body is the heat in that small amount of sweat and a very small amount of heat to warm a thin plastic bag. Since the sock on the outside is dry, very little heat is lost through the inside sock.

By contrast, if you only use an outside bag, if your feet sweat at all, you dampen the sock(s). That moisture provides a pathway for heat, pulling heat out of your foot.

Try it. You don't have to believe me. (But do make sure your shoe is big enough. As others have said, tight fitting shoes = bad. Nad two bags and that thin outside sock take some room.)

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Old 12-24-18, 08:04 AM
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Sorry to go off topic here, but what are your tricks for wearing your regular cycling helmet and a thicker winter cap? I wear a Castelli thermal cap under my helmet but that only keeps my head warm down to around 38F. A balaclava fits under my helmet, but I can't breathe properly when it covers my mouth, so I have to stretch under my chin which is very uncomfortable. So when the temps are in the lows 30s I just wear a Patagonia winter cap (without a helmet since the cap is too thick). And I just ride slower without the helmet.
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Old 12-24-18, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Chubby715 View Post
ride without the helmet.
cpl yes ago I got a larger helmet that fits better w warm head-ware. Iíve also modified a balaclava w scissors
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