How do you keep your feet warm in winter? - CyclingNews Forum

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Old 11-05-12, 00:57
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Parrot23 Parrot23 is offline
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Default How do you keep your feet warm in winter?

Sounds dumb, but I can't do it yet.

Ride today at 3 degrees celsius, windchill only -2 to -4 degrees at my riding speed, including descending. Feet again cold!

What I use:
- quite heavy duty neoprene winter booties/shoe covers
- removed the insole of shoes to give feet more room (roomier is warmer)
- wool socks
- covered by some sort of thin poly wind-resistant booties inside the shoe,
- and even more: on top of that, thin aero shoe covers, to keep even more air/wind out below the neoprene booties.

So I have four layers (though only the socks are thick) and feet are still cold! When I take the shoes off at the end of the ride, the front inside of the shoe inside is physically cold to the touch probably also from dampness of sweat. There's no doubt about that: the front of the shoe is cold. Toes going white. Aargh!

Thinking now of lining the toe section of shoe with tinfoil for reflective heat.

Any ideas? I want to ride till the snow arrives in Canada, mid-December where I am.

If you have products in mind, please include the weblinks. Much appreciated! (I'm thinking: can you get really thin wool socks also like gloves, covering individual toes you can wear inside regular wool socks. Bizarre, but maybe this will work, etc.)

Toes warming up

Last edited by Parrot23; 11-05-12 at 01:04.
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Old 11-05-12, 01:16
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Giuseppe Magnetico Giuseppe Magnetico is offline
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There comes a point in temperature where booties and shoe covers just don't cut it. If you're willing to make the investment you need proper winter boots. I've tried Sidi and Gaerne boots in the past, but have settled on Lake. The MXZ302 is the warmest winter cycling boot on the market. I've had mine for more than 10 seasons now. They are plenty warm down to -15C wearing just thin wool socks.

http://www.lakecycling.com/footwear.html
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Last edited by Giuseppe Magnetico; 11-05-12 at 01:20.
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Old 11-05-12, 07:37
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Fiemme Fiemme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuseppe Magnetico View Post
There comes a point in temperature where booties and shoe covers just don't cut it. If you're willing to make the investment you need proper winter boots. I've tried Sidi and Gaerne boots in the past, but have settled on Lake. The MXZ302 is the warmest winter cycling boot on the market. I've had mine for more than 10 seasons now. They are plenty warm down to -15C wearing just thin wool socks.

http://www.lakecycling.com/footwear.html
They look like my steel cap work boots!
I really can't give any good advice.
I live in Sydney, Australia the temps your talking about are already way below our coldest days. But crikey those boots. Never seen anything like that before.
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Old 11-05-12, 09:59
Parera Parera is offline
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Shimano MW81 are nice if you want something under $200 USD.
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Old 11-05-12, 10:10
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laziali laziali is offline
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Ride faster

Seriously though, you can buy little foot warmer patches from EBay. They have some sort of iron filings that react with air (oxidation) to create warmth to 50deg.c. for up to 12 hours. Have only used the skin patches so can't comment on comfort for feet.
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Old 11-05-12, 12:18
Scorpius Scorpius is offline
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The problem of cold feet during cold winter (and hands) cycling rides arises as a direct result of natural human physiological evolutionary processes. While you cycle in sub zero conditions the torso which contains the vital organs are protected when your body sends a signal to your extremities, feet, hands, limbs, which constricts the blood vessels in those areas. The constriction of the blood vessels aids the preservation of core body temperature. So in theory another solution to keeping your extremities somewhat warmer is to maintain the body's (torso) core temperature by keeping it as warm and dry as possible. That may mean adding a layer or two on your upper body depending on the weather conditions.
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Old 11-05-12, 12:26
twothirds twothirds is offline
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What Scorpius said. Plus add good windlblock tights. If your torso is warm but your legs are cool, your body will sense that and vasoconstrict in the lower extremities. Your legs are doing the work and have quite a bit of muscle mass to keep you warm but your feet don't, so make sure you also have an unbroken chain of warmth from torso to feet.
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Old 11-05-12, 15:56
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pedaling squares pedaling squares is offline
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I wonder if individual physiology plays a role in this. I've ridden in extreme cold with a similar or lesser setup than the OP described. Maybe you just have cold feet, a circulation issue or something. I thought perhaps your feet were bound too tightly, but you addressed the roomier = warmer issue. Did removing the insole leave cleat holes against your sock, or a hard plastic/carbon shoe surface that would get really cold? Maybe the wind barrier inside the shoe is trapping sweat against the foot and that is making your feet cold. You may have to resort to the dreaded hot shot. Just lobbing some ideas out there, hope you figure it out because cold feet SUCK.
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Old 11-05-12, 17:12
richwagmn richwagmn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twothirds View Post
What Scorpius said. Plus add good windlblock tights. If your torso is warm but your legs are cool, your body will sense that and vasoconstrict in the lower extremities. Your legs are doing the work and have quite a bit of muscle mass to keep you warm but your feet don't, so make sure you also have an unbroken chain of warmth from torso to feet.
Not to hijack this thread, but I'd love to hear what people are wearing in cooler temperatures.

I find I really struggle once the temp drops into the low 40s F to wear clothing that doesn't a) make me feel like I'm in a sauna or b) having me stopping to warm up during a longer ride.

Thanks.
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Old 11-06-12, 03:41
twothirds twothirds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richwagmn View Post
Not to hijack this thread, but I'd love to hear what people are wearing in cooler temperatures.

I find I really struggle once the temp drops into the low 40s F to wear clothing that doesn't a) make me feel like I'm in a sauna or b) having me stopping to warm up during a longer ride.

Thanks.
Torso: Wicking layer next the the skin(long sleeve), followed with a long sleeved, high neck fleece top, and a windblock/waterproof (ripstop-ish material) jacket with an "exhaust vent" in the upper back. This jacket also has adjustable sleeve openings via velcro and armpit zips. By leaving just enough room for a small draft to get through your sleeves, neck, and if need be, the armpits, you can bleed off enough steam without losing too much heat. Adjustability and layers are key to keeping warm and comfortable. If required, I can always add another long sleeve under the ripstop jacket if it's really cold.

Legs: Biemme windstopper bibtights. Wicking socks under a light pair of wool socks. Normal road shoes left slightly loose with Garneau windstopper booties.

Gloves: Depends on the weather. If it's not too windy but somewhat cold, A pair of AuClair insulated gloves. Windy but not too cold, a pair of Adidas Climawarm running gloves, and if it's really cold, a pair of specialized neoprene lobster gloves.

Head: Garneau skullcap with earwarmers under my helmet. If it's really cold, a cycling cap over the skully to cut the wind. Heavy beard keeps the face warm!
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