Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Keeping feet warm during winter rides - booties?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Keeping feet warm during winter rides - booties?

Old 01-14-22, 05:52 AM
  #1  
lyle.coop
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: NYC
Posts: 91

Bikes: Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc, Canfield Balance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Keeping feet warm during winter rides - booties?

I got in a ride yesterday. It was probably 44 degrees out. I had on thick socks and toe covers for my road bike shoes. My toes were cold. Not terrible - but I'm sure if it was in the low 30s, I would be uncomfortable.

Are thermal booties more helpful than the toe covers I have? I really don't need water protection. Just want to keep my toes warm.

Any model booties that you guys recommend?

Thanks
lyle.coop is offline  
Old 01-14-22, 06:55 AM
  #2  
jsilvia
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Fairhaven Ma.
Posts: 120

Bikes: Trek Multitrac 750. Scott Addict . Motobacane La Champion Trek Crossrip, Scott Scale 925 mountain Bike Centry

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 30 Posts
Wool socks make a big difference.
jsilvia is offline  
Likes For jsilvia:
Old 01-14-22, 07:38 AM
  #3  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,404

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2012 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 665 Posts
A winter cycling shoe is a good investment if you prize both warmth and convenience. Otherwise, there are a buch of things you can do to keep warm.

To the specific question, thermal overshoes with windproof fronts, like the Gore Shield Thermo, are good. I have old Sugoi fleece lined ones which are similar but not totally wind-/waterproof, but I now use Northwave Arctic Celsius winter shoes when it gets cold.

Various weights of thermal socks are in most winter cyclists’ kit drawers, too, especially wool and electric heated. How thick you can go depends on how much room you have in your shoes…another good reason for winter-specific shoes which are roomier. I use DeFeet The Blaze woolies and some unknown brand of rechargeable electrics which I got off Amazon but which have heating elements both atop and below the toes, which is crucial.

Other things to do are to tape over vent holes in the shoes, and spray-glue aluminum foil to the bottom of the insole to help reflect heat.
chaadster is offline  
Likes For chaadster:
Old 01-14-22, 09:23 AM
  #4  
waters60
Senior Member
 
waters60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 491
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 45 Posts
Don’t wear socks that are too thick. You need a little space to trap warmth.
waters60 is offline  
Likes For waters60:
Old 01-14-22, 09:40 AM
  #5  
Litespud
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Chapel Hill NC
Posts: 1,605

Bikes: 2000 Litespeed Vortex Chorus 10, 1995 DeBernardi Cromor S/S, Nashbar 3sp commuter

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 607 Post(s)
Liked 709 Times in 398 Posts
Originally Posted by lyle.coop View Post
I got in a ride yesterday. It was probably 44 degrees out. I had on thick socks and toe covers for my road bike shoes. My toes were cold. Not terrible - but I'm sure if it was in the low 30s, I would be uncomfortable.

Are thermal booties more helpful than the toe covers I have? I really don't need water protection. Just want to keep my toes warm.

Any model booties that you guys recommend?

Thanks
Overshoes (zip up the back) will definitely do better than toe covers - they just keep in more heat. I use a pair of LG overshoes that I've had for the last 5-6 years that stay comfortable down to zero-ish, which is as cold as I'm willing to go in any case. They look to be constructed similarly to your pictured toe covers, but full coverage. As other have said, wool socks will also help, just don't try too-thick socks - they'll act against you by restricting circulation if the make your shoes too tight.
Litespud is offline  
Likes For Litespud:
Old 01-14-22, 01:04 PM
  #6  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 6,015
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1813 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 918 Times in 566 Posts
Yes, booties are warmer than toe covers. I no longer bother with toe covers. Get them large as can be a PIA to get on & off at stated size.

Try to get hi vis ones since mostly used winter/ bad weather.
woodcraft is offline  
Likes For woodcraft:
Old 01-14-22, 01:07 PM
  #7  
base2 
Doesn't brain good.
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,935

Bikes: 5 good ones, and the occasional project.

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1001 Post(s)
Liked 652 Times in 387 Posts
It's not a big deal to place a piece of tape over any ventilation holes that may be present in your particular shoe.

Neoprene booties are also a big help. Not only do they provide a thermal barrier to keep the warmth you have, they also keep the wind off your shoe.

have you tried a heat reflective insole? I found that with regular insoles, there wasn't enough between my foot & the steel plate the SPD clip bolted into. A better insole helped keep the pedal/cleat from sucking the heat out.

Last edited by base2; 01-14-22 at 01:13 PM.
base2 is offline  
Likes For base2:
Old 01-14-22, 03:37 PM
  #8  
Psimet2001 
I eat carbide.
 
Psimet2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 21,540

Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1274 Post(s)
Liked 1,189 Times in 508 Posts
If you're going to ride in cold weather consistently then having a pair of winter shoes/boots is a huge benefit. The rules of thumb mentioned above do apply -

Make sure you can move your toes. Adding more socks or thicker socks can restrict blood flow and actually make your toes colder. That's why we recommend adding 1-2 shoe sizes when ordering winter boots.

If you can't get winter boots then first make sure you aren't allowing air through the vents. As mentioned duct tape works great and is what a lot of us racers resort to during cross season or for early season road .

Toe covers seem to help in the 50degree range.

Booties below 40.

Chemical toe warmers are worth their weight in gold and can compensate for not having booties or winter boots. They can get you "1 level" colder using the same riding gear.
__________________
PSIMET Wheels, PSIMET Racing, PSIMET Neutral Race Support, and 11 Jackson Coffee
Podcast - YouTube Channel
Video about PSIMET Wheels

Psimet2001 is offline  
Likes For Psimet2001:
Old 01-14-22, 05:05 PM
  #9  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,398

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4192 Post(s)
Liked 2,719 Times in 1,894 Posts
There are so many possible correct answers depending on the conditions you ride in, your personal preference and your willingness to open your wallet. Many of them mentioned in the replies already made.

You should try several and decide what works for you.
Iride01 is online now  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 01-15-22, 12:13 AM
  #10  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,404

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2012 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 665 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
There are so many possible correct answers depending on the conditions you ride in, your personal preference and your willingness to open your wallet. Many of them mentioned in the replies already made.

You should try several and decide what works for you.


You don’t think trying one or none and being indifferent to outcomes might work?
chaadster is offline  
Likes For chaadster:
Old 01-15-22, 06:03 AM
  #11  
lyle.coop
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: NYC
Posts: 91

Bikes: Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc, Canfield Balance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Thanks guys..... I like the duct tape over the vent idea. But how do you get the duct tape residue off when the winter season is over.

I'll look into overshoes - good call on oversizing them. I figured the manufacturer would have done that already.

I went for a ride yesterday and used thick socks with a thermal sock over it. The thermal sock has a fleece lined interior with a sort of wind resistant exterior. I forgot I had these socks. It was sort of a tight fit when I pulled it on, but I was going for a quick 20 mile ride. Yesterdays ride condition were 42*F but 30* real feel because of the wind gusts. My feet were fine - besides the uncomfortable feel of too much material being bunched up together in the toe box. The 20 mile ride ended up being a 13 miles ride. I think a thinner sock with the thermal sock on top might be a good solution for 40* degree days.

Last edited by lyle.coop; 01-15-22 at 06:17 AM.
lyle.coop is offline  
Old 01-15-22, 11:48 AM
  #12  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,280

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 108 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3300 Post(s)
Liked 1,241 Times in 917 Posts
Yeah, as some above have commented, toe covers aren't worth bothering with, also tape, etc. Silly IMO. What you want is something like these: https://www.amazon.com/BBB-Cycling-S.../dp/B0813WYJHF

I've been using these for 10 years or so. Best I've found so far. There are also lighter booties, but I've quit having multiple choices. Too warm is better than too cold.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 01-15-22, 12:05 PM
  #13  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 22,700
Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17087 Post(s)
Liked 8,995 Times in 5,047 Posts
A little goes a long way below the belt. When I've used neoprene booties I've wound up overheating on the uphills. Unless it's frigid out it's better for me to just block the vents in the shoes so I don't lose warmth to the wind, va trying to hoard warmth in my feet and then having too much. It's weird because this doesn't happen with hands, and I have the same issue with pants.

Alpaca socks are like wool ones but even better.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 01-15-22, 12:38 PM
  #14  
Psimet2001 
I eat carbide.
 
Psimet2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 21,540

Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1274 Post(s)
Liked 1,189 Times in 508 Posts
Originally Posted by lyle.coop View Post
how do you get the duct tape residue off when the winter season is over.
"It's a tool, not a jewel."

Don't want residue then spend money on other solutions. Want something fast, cheap and easy then use duct tape. You can try goo gone after you're done but I personally don't like slathering a mild solvent on modern shoes that use so many different glues and materials to hold themselves together.

Booties or different, cheap shoes you can keep covered with tape.
__________________
PSIMET Wheels, PSIMET Racing, PSIMET Neutral Race Support, and 11 Jackson Coffee
Podcast - YouTube Channel
Video about PSIMET Wheels

Psimet2001 is offline  
Likes For Psimet2001:
Old 01-15-22, 02:48 PM
  #15  
lyle.coop
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: NYC
Posts: 91

Bikes: Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc, Canfield Balance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Yeah, as some above have commented, toe covers aren't worth bothering with, also tape, etc. Silly IMO. What you want is something like these: https://www.amazon.com/BBB-Cycling-S.../dp/B0813WYJHF

I've been using these for 10 years or so. Best I've found so far. There are also lighter booties, but I've quit having multiple choices. Too warm is better than too cold.
These seem pretty good and durable. Do you size up one size? I’m a 43 eur or 9.5 US. They are out of size 43 in black.

Last edited by lyle.coop; 01-15-22 at 02:57 PM.
lyle.coop is offline  
Old 01-15-22, 03:08 PM
  #16  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,280

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 108 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3300 Post(s)
Liked 1,241 Times in 917 Posts
Originally Posted by lyle.coop View Post
These seem pretty good and durable. Do you size up one size? I’m a 43 eur or 9.5 US. They are out of size 43 in black.
I'm a 42 and my new yellow! booties are marked 41/42 and fit fine. I ride a tandem a lot and have a habit of footing as I come to a stop. I had to put duct tape under the toe on one pair after a couple of seasons.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 01-16-22, 05:40 AM
  #17  
lyle.coop
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: NYC
Posts: 91

Bikes: Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc, Canfield Balance

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'm a 42 and my new yellow! booties are marked 41/42 and fit fine. I ride a tandem a lot and have a habit of footing as I come to a stop. I had to put duct tape under the toe on one pair after a couple of seasons.
Unfortunately these aren't available in my size (43) until Feb 4th. They get some great reviews on durability. I'm going to give these booties a try: Amazon booties
lyle.coop is offline  
Likes For lyle.coop:
Old 01-16-22, 06:48 AM
  #18  
silverado8405
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 86

Bikes: 2007 Trek 820, 2014 Fuji Gran Fondo 2.1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
If you don’t want to duct tape your shoes, wrap your toes in cling wrap, I use the press and seal stuff, and that makes a nice barrier around your toes as well. Disclaimer, I put the bike on the trainer when its below 40, so I don’t know how it works for colder than that but up to that temp it has worked good for me.
silverado8405 is offline  
Likes For silverado8405:
Old 01-16-22, 06:58 AM
  #19  
Warbird21
Senior Member
 
Warbird21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Maryland (Western)
Posts: 186

Bikes: Salsa Warbird

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 58 Posts
My coldest temp to ride would be in the mid-40's (Maryland). I find neoprene booties work well with my MTB shoes. I did learn that MTB shoes require oversize booties (see thread here). I found several booties on Facebook messenger for sale, picked up a pair for around $20. Below 45 degrees, I'm inside on my trainer....
Warbird21 is offline  
Old 01-17-22, 03:19 PM
  #20  
JohnJ80
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,542

Bikes: N+1=5

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 823 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 137 Posts
I must have one each of everything you can have for winter riding footwear - I have Lake insulated boots, I have Northwave winter shoes (two versions for different temps) and I have a number of shoe covers. This year, I bought a pair of the Spatzwear covers and they, finally, work. Better yet, they work with my standard mtb or road shoes. Their neoprene but the key is they go up almost to your knee. You keep the blood in your legs warm, you keep your feet warm,

J
JohnJ80 is offline  
Old 01-17-22, 03:40 PM
  #21  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,449

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2224 Post(s)
Liked 966 Times in 563 Posts
I tried an expansion of my gear to keep my feet as warm as possible. I normally wear a light to mid weight Merino wool sock, then my standard Shimano summer SPD shoes, then a pair of XL Performance neoprene booties. That combo is good to low 30's. I added recently a pair of Bicycle Planet Blitzen shoe covers, size XXL. They are wind proof with a very light Polartec type liner. They give me better wind resistance than the neoprene booties can provide. I used these at 23 deg, feet stayed reasonably warm. These show cover will also fit over my Lake 303 winter boots, I'll give this combo a try on Wed.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 01-17-22, 05:12 PM
  #22  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,404

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2012 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 665 Posts
I did 2.5hrs yesterday between 23°F and 30° with just my electric socks set to medium in Northwave Arctic Celsius boots, and it was perfect.

What I like best is the ease of use; pull on socks and slip on shoes, that’s it. No fussing with shoe covers or hoping I picked the right weight socks. If my feet get cold, I can easily reach down to mid-calf and click a button to turn up the heat, and if they’re sweating, it’s another click to drop to low power, or two clicks back to medium power.

I highly recommend winter cyclists get a pair and simplify their lives.

I have these, and while currently unavailable, you can see the elements of a good electric sock and find similar:

https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Rech...pd_rd_wg=uwCXx
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 06:55 AM
  #23  
noimagination
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 486
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 259 Post(s)
Liked 282 Times in 160 Posts
I mostly agree with woodcraft, though I still like toe warmers to bridge the gap between "too cold for shoes alone" and "cold enough for full booties".

I have Performance brand booties, but I think any bootie with +/-3 mm neoprene will work fine. I've not seen the need to spend $400+ on winter boots when $40 booties work, but if you're riding a lot then winter cycling shoes might make sense for you. With the booties I like that, if it gets really cold (like single digits °F) I can put a chemical hand warmer packet between the top of my shoe and the bootie and my feet feel fine.

Personally, I don't like to fool with thicker socks, or multiple layers of socks. My shoes fit properly (read tight with little room for thicker socks), so when I've tried thicker socks I've had to significantly loosen the straps, and the fit doesn't seem as good. And, if too thick, then my toes get pinched and colder than if I'd worn thinner socks.. Multiple layers means the risk of bunching and blisters, I'd rather have one sock of appropriate thickness..

I hate the duct tape idea. I mean, sure, in an emergency to keep your toes from freezing, but as a day-to-day solution? No. No, no, no, no.
noimagination is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 07:57 AM
  #24  
phrantic09
Fat n slow
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Saratoga, NY
Posts: 2,922

Bikes: Cervelo R3, Giant Revolt

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2193 Post(s)
Liked 1,288 Times in 611 Posts
I have a multi layer system:

In the 40s- just neoprene booties and regular socks
In the 30s-wool socks and neoprene booties + Gore bootie over that
In the 20s and 10s. Super thin sock with a chemical toe warmer plus smartwool sock over the toe warmer with the booties as above.
phrantic09 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 08:05 AM
  #25  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,404

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2012 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 665 Posts
Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
I've not seen the need to spend $400+ on winter boots when $40 booties work, but if you're riding a lot then winter cycling shoes might make sense for you.
You’re absolutely right that each needs to make their own value assessment with regards to winter shoes, but it’s a lot easier to do when one realizes they don’t need to spend $400 on ‘em.

For example, Pros Closet has Mavic Ksyrium Pro Thermo boots right now for $115. Northwave Celsius variants (meaning road and mtb) can usually be found for $230-$250, but Chain Reaction has them now at $173. One can walk into any REI and score 45 North Ragnarok’s for $195 at regular price.
chaadster is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.