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

Winter Road shoes -- the way to go?

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

Winter Road shoes -- the way to go?

Old 10-03-20, 01:29 PM
  #1  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
Thread Starter
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 6,566

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3390 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 445 Posts
Winter Road shoes -- the way to go?

Came across the linked Northwaves below. If they work, seems like it would be a lot more convenient than the neoprene booties. Not sure what temp something like these would be good down to though, so any experience/insights out there?

https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/n...21-200033.html
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 10-03-20, 01:45 PM
  #2  
Badger6
Speedy bikes & hoppy brew
 
Badger6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Brussels (BE) 🇧🇪
Posts: 271

Bikes: '15 Spesh Diverge,'14 Spesh Fatboy, '18 Spesh Epic, '18 Spesh SL6, '21 Spesh SL7...and maybe n+1?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 31 Posts
I've never used a "low" shoe, only boots that come up over the ankle a bit. And they are great when the temps dip to freezing and below where the overshoes are not as effective (for me). They are convenient, and I find that as the temps go below freezing they work much better...to a degree. There is a point where my feet still get cold, but that is usually hours into a ride. Key is the socks. For me, thinner socks just seem to work better, I use merino socks that provide a thin insulating layer, but not so heavy that my feet just sweat and soak the inside of the shoe.
Badger6 is offline  
Old 10-03-20, 01:57 PM
  #3  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 32,723

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 342 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15238 Post(s)
Liked 4,122 Times in 2,181 Posts
I don't think that you're going to get any meaningful insight from others - tolerance to cold, 'specially when it comes to extremities, varies quite a bit from person to person; some people "need" gloves at 60F while others will go bare-handed at freezing or slightly below. This is one of those things that you'll just have to try, though I agree with the basic premise that winter shoes/boots are more convenient than booties (though I still haven't found a good winter shoe/boot for myself, unfortunately).
WhyFi is online now  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 10-03-20, 07:26 PM
  #4  
blakcloud 
Senior Member
 
blakcloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 2,412

Bikes: Trek Domane SL7, Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Brompton S/M3L (modified)

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 515 Post(s)
Liked 230 Times in 154 Posts
Those look pretty good, thanks for posting those. I was out riding today and it was 10 degree Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) and my feet were cold in my S Works 7 shoes. I do have a pair of Specialized over the angle cycling shoes/boots but they are just too heavy to cycle in. I just can't bring myself to use them. The Northwave look a nice compromise.
blakcloud is offline  
Old 10-03-20, 07:39 PM
  #5  
MoAlpha
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 7,628

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5377 Post(s)
Liked 2,212 Times in 1,251 Posts
I have a set of Lake boots, which are warm and comfortable and breathe much better than booties, allowing the feet to stay dryer on long rides. The suck part is that the 3-hole drilling is so far forward as to make them useless on my road bike.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 10-03-20, 07:55 PM
  #6  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
Thread Starter
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 6,566

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3390 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 445 Posts
Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Those look pretty good, thanks for posting those. I was out riding today and it was 10 degree Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) and my feet were cold in my S Works 7 shoes. I do have a pair of Specialized over the angle cycling shoes/boots but they are just too heavy to cycle in. I just can't bring myself to use them. The Northwave look a nice compromise.
Yeah, I've seen the boot type of shoes before which always seemed a bit much -- thinking the overshoe insulating booties made more sense for me. OTOH, this kind of regular-looking low-cut road shoe with insulation -- looked interesting if they can let me ride in 30-40 degree weather without further thought (aside from perhaps a pair of merino socks.

Can anyone comment on how Northwave sizing compares to other brands? eg. I'm a 49 in a Giro, Sidi or Mavic (which is about a US 14 on most charts). NW's size chart though has their size 48 as a US14 -- is this correct?

Last edited by Sy Reene; 10-03-20 at 08:00 PM.
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 10-03-20, 08:14 PM
  #7  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 15,507
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2181 Post(s)
Liked 1,547 Times in 892 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
I have a set of Lake boots, which are warm and comfortable and breathe much better than booties, allowing the feet to stay dryer on long rides. The suck part is that the 3-hole drilling is so far forward as to make them useless on my road bike.
So what do you use them for? They also have SPD cleat holes?
Because I'm hard to fit and weird, I have drilled my own cleat holes before. Peel up the footbed to expose the threaded inserts and you can remove them by threading a screw into them and give it a whack.
big john is offline  
Old 10-04-20, 05:10 AM
  #8  
MoAlpha
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 7,628

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5377 Post(s)
Liked 2,212 Times in 1,251 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
So what do you use them for? They also have SPD cleat holes?
Because I'm hard to fit and weird, I have drilled my own cleat holes before. Peel up the footbed to expose the threaded inserts and you can remove them by threading a screw into them and give it a whack.
Good idea and I might even find the inserts on the market. I have put standard SPDs on them and used them for my rare gravel rides and the coldest few commutes of the year. Its also not a major deal to switch pedals, but Im lazy.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 10-04-20, 05:18 AM
  #9  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 17,791

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 150 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4836 Post(s)
Liked 1,293 Times in 863 Posts
I'm with WhyFi , there is a heck of a lot of variation on what make people feel comfortable in cold weather. My hands and feet get cold easily in winter. For really cold weather (below freezing), I like bmx style pedals with pins, real winter boots, and wool socks. I'm not stylin when I'm wearing them but they keep my toes toasty. YMMV.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 10-04-20, 05:59 AM
  #10  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,442
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 732 Post(s)
Liked 420 Times in 265 Posts
For winter riding with spd pedals, I used to buy police spd boots made by European cycling shoe manufacturers (I've had Sidis and Diadoras). Can't find them any more, though.

Just bought a pair of Mavic CrossMax Pro Thermo shoes, and they're the best winter spd shoes I've yet owned. They're very well designed, with flexible (GoreTex) fabric in the section covering the ankle and a Boa wire arrangement in place of laces or Velcro closure. It's the third different Boa design I've encountered, so it took a minute to figure out that the Boa dial turns clockwise for tightening and a half-turn counterclockwise for release.

The suggestion above of just using regular boots with platform pedals is a good one, though. Clips and straps would work, too, if the boots aren't too bulky.

Last edited by Trakhak; 10-04-20 at 06:06 AM.
Trakhak is offline  
Old 10-04-20, 06:13 AM
  #11  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
Thread Starter
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 6,566

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3390 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 445 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm with WhyFi , there is a heck of a lot of variation on what make people feel comfortable in cold weather. My hands and feet get cold easily in winter. For really cold weather (below freezing), I like bmx style pedals with pins, real winter boots, and wool socks. I'm not stylin when I'm wearing them but they keep my toes toasty. YMMV.
I'm looking for something suited to typically above freezing temps, ie. 30-40 or so range. I realize that everyone feels temps differently, but hoping for some guidance on equivalency. Eg. More, less, same warmth as X type of shoecover, bootie, etc.
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 10-04-20, 06:18 AM
  #12  
zatopek
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Damascus, MD, USA
Posts: 1,258

Bikes: Neilpryde Nazare, Storck Scenero G3, Colnago Extreme Power, CAAD 10, Bowman Palace R, Strong Custom Foco Steel, BMC SLR01, BMC ALR01

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 40 Posts
I am a guy whose feet tend to get cold pretty easily when temperatures fall below about 45 F. I wear a pair of Lake insulated “boots” that do the job nicely. As temperatures fall below about 30 F, I wear a pair of neoprene booties over the Lakes. I have yet to find this combination to fail but, I do not ride outdoors when temps drop below about 18 F.
zatopek is offline  
Old 10-04-20, 07:17 AM
  #13  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 15,507
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2181 Post(s)
Liked 1,547 Times in 892 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Good idea and I might even find the inserts on the market. I have put standard SPDs on them and used them for my rare gravel rides and the coldest few commutes of the year. Its also not a major deal to switch pedals, but Im lazy.
I only did it out of desperation and I didn't care if I ruined the shoes. It worked out, though, and I was able to reuse the inserts. These were solid plastic soles.
big john is offline  
Old 10-05-20, 01:28 PM
  #14  
jfranci3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 31 Posts
I tried a few of them... non were really revolutionary. Most seal in your foot sweat, so you get cold from that. Most just save the hassle of shoe covers.
A few things that work:
1) Lake / Syksol insole - Grid pattern lowers conductive heat loss through sole / add heat pocket to separate temp layers https://syksol.com/
2) Wearing insulation outside of the shoe - inside the shoe crushes the insulation, crushed insulation doesn't insulate.
3) Keeping things breathable to evac sweat. - Being 100% waterproof / windproof means there's no convection down there and your feet will get wet, filling all the insulation with sweat, which will then get cold. \
4) Bring a change of socks - see above.
jfranci3 is offline  
Old 10-05-20, 01:42 PM
  #15  
rivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 223
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
I have a pair of Shimano boots for winter cycling. Neoprene overshoes just weren't cutting it last winter for me. It was the rain combined with the near freezing temps and the wind that did me in. On really wet days, I would put some velotoze over the winter boots for added protection from rain seepage. While the boots themselves were waterproof, the latex velotoze provided a waterproof seal against my skin, something the boots themselves didn't provide.
rivers is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 07:01 AM
  #16  
noimagination
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 323
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 177 Post(s)
Liked 168 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Those look pretty good, thanks for posting those. I was out riding today and it was 10 degree Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) and my feet were cold in my S Works 7 shoes. I do have a pair of Specialized over the angle cycling shoes/boots but they are just too heavy to cycle in. I just can't bring myself to use them. The Northwave look a nice compromise.
Have you tried toe warmers? For me they work pretty well down to the low 40's Fahrenheit, or about 5 deg. Celsius.

Below that I wear neoprene booties. The weight doesn't bother me, it's winter, I'm going to be slower anyway. Slow and comfortable beats marginally faster with freezing toes, IMHO. (Slow and comfortable also has riding the trainer beat six ways from Sunday.)

(Never tried winter shoes, my regular cycling shoes + booties works fine. Winter shoes are undoubtedly better, but for me the cost is not justifiable given that $40 booties meet my requirements - which are just to be out there enjoying cycling, I don't "train" seriously.)
noimagination is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 11:51 AM
  #17  
waters60
Senior Member
 
waters60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 423
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by zatopek View Post
I am a guy whose feet tend to get cold pretty easily when temperatures fall below about 45 F. I wear a pair of Lake insulated boots that do the job nicely. As temperatures fall below about 30 F, I wear a pair of neoprene booties over the Lakes. I have yet to find this combination to fail but, I do not ride outdoors when temps drop below about 18 F.
Funny; I have a pair of Lake boots that Ive used for 26 years and do exactly the same thing, putting neoprene booties over them belo 30. At age 60 my feet dont stay as warm and they never did. I envy those whose feet dont get cold!
waters60 is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 11:52 AM
  #18  
waters60
Senior Member
 
waters60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 423
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by zatopek View Post
I am a guy whose feet tend to get cold pretty easily when temperatures fall below about 45 F. I wear a pair of Lake insulated boots that do the job nicely. As temperatures fall below about 30 F, I wear a pair of neoprene booties over the Lakes. I have yet to find this combination to fail but, I do not ride outdoors when temps drop below about 18 F.
Funny; I have a pair of Lake boots that Ive used for 26 years and do exactly the same thing, putting neoprene booties over them belo 30. At age 60 my feet dont stay as warm and they never did. I envy those whose feet dont get cold!
waters60 is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 02:21 PM
  #19  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,769

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

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1815 Post(s)
Liked 513 Times in 346 Posts
I have a pair of the Lake MX145 boots. I run SPD on all my bikes so these get used on the road as well as off. They are marginally warmer than low road shoes with neoprene booties, but I get cold feet starting in late September, so I'm a poor judge of how good. I normally ride Shimano wide shoes, but they don't make their winter boots in wide. The Lake wide version is not as comfortable as my Shimano, but I do believe them when they state a key to keeping your feet warm is protect the ankles. The blood vessels are close to the skin here and if your ankles get cold, your feet will be cold. Seems like common sense.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 07:07 PM
  #20  
xseal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I have a pair of the Lake MX145 boots. I run SPD on all my bikes so these get used on the road as well as off. They are marginally warmer than low road shoes with neoprene booties, but I get cold feet starting in late September, so I'm a poor judge of how good. I normally ride Shimano wide shoes, but they don't make their winter boots in wide. The Lake wide version is not as comfortable as my Shimano, but I do believe them when they state a key to keeping your feet warm is protect the ankles. The blood vessels are close to the skin here and if your ankles get cold, your feet will be cold. Seems like common sense.
+1. MX145 is a great shoe, use it for mtb and gravel.
xseal is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 07:16 PM
  #21  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
Thread Starter
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 6,566

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3390 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 445 Posts
A good number of boot references. No interest on those from me. Can't say my ankles are ever where I feel the cold, it's always just the toes; so not looking for that much heft for where I ride. That said, most of the neoprene or otherwise thermal shoe-covers are always typically above the ankle height for some reason.
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 07:41 PM
  #22  
nycphotography
NYC
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,695
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1143 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 37 Posts
I see little value in those, as the wet ankles aren't helped at all. My winter road shoes are NW ankle boots. I bpught them one half size large, and wear with heavy merino wool ski or hiking socks, and either fleece bib knickers or wind block fleece full bib tights.


nycphotography is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 07:48 PM
  #23  
nycphotography
NYC
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,695
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1143 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 37 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Yeah, I've seen the boot type of shoes before which always seemed a bit much -- thinking the overshoe insulating booties made more sense for me. OTOH, this kind of regular-looking low-cut road shoe with insulation -- looked interesting if they can let me ride in 30-40 degree weather without further thought (aside from perhaps a pair of merino socks.

Can anyone comment on how Northwave sizing compares to other brands? eg. I'm a 49 in a Giro, Sidi or Mavic (which is about a US 14 on most charts). NW's size chart though has their size 48 as a US14 -- is this correct?
Northwave (used to, dunno about current sizing) runs WIDE. I have wide feet so for me a wide shoe fits one size larger than it is. IE 9 reg is about the same as 8 1/2 WIDE.

My Mavic summer shoes are 42 2/3, these are 42.5... but these have room for thick socks where the Mavics do not.
nycphotography is offline  
Likes For nycphotography:
Old 10-06-20, 07:58 PM
  #24  
mcours2006
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 6,028

Bikes: Giant Rapid, Bianchi Advantage, Specialized Roubaix, 1985 Gardin Quatro, Norco Threshold, Raleigh Serengheti MTB

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1928 Post(s)
Liked 259 Times in 148 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I don't think that you're going to get any meaningful insight from others - tolerance to cold, 'specially when it comes to extremities, varies quite a bit from person to person; some people "need" gloves at 60F while others will go bare-handed at freezing or slightly below. This is one of those things that you'll just have to try, though I agree with the basic premise that winter shoes/boots are more convenient than booties (though I still haven't found a good winter shoe/boot for myself, unfortunately).
Agreed. I'm one of those whose toes and fingers have very low tolerance to the cold. Just like other parts of your body, layering is key. Summer riding I'll ride with summer shoes without insoles. Come September I'll put on thicker socks. October--back to thin socks with neoprene booties. Late October--thicker socks with booties. November--Defroster boots with regular socks. December--Defroster with thicker socks. January and February--when it's -10*C or colder, chemical warming pack with thick socks, Defroster boots, and neoprene booties. This is okay for a couple of hours, but the chemical heat pack stops working after a short while due to the lack of oxygen inside the shoes.

You have to experiment on your own to see what you can tolerate at different temps.
mcours2006 is offline  
Old 10-06-20, 08:52 PM
  #25  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,769

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

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1815 Post(s)
Liked 513 Times in 346 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
A good number of boot references. No interest on those from me. Can't say my ankles are ever where I feel the cold, it's always just the toes; so not looking for that much heft for where I ride. That said, most of the neoprene or otherwise thermal shoe-covers are always typically above the ankle height for some reason.
As I commented, keeping the ankles warm is key as the blood vessels are right at the surface where they are exposed to the cold. If your toes are cold, its because the rest of the foot and ankle are already cold. The blood flow is directed from the extremities to heat the rest of the foot.

FWIW I find my Lake boots comfortable on a road bike. The height does not bother me in the least.
.
Steve B. is offline  
Likes For Steve B.:

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.