Cold Feet

12 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

How do you keep your feet warm in the winter?

Even with heavy socks and overshoes, my toes get really cold.

Does anybody have a solution?

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)

Are your shoes big enough for the heavy socks? If not, you could be cutting off circulation which will make your feet that much colder. When I bought my Sidi winter cycling boots (highly recommended) I got a 1/2 size larger than my regular summer cycling shoes. I can use a heavy wool sock and still have room for my feet to expand in the shoe. I was out yesterday in this combination with a neoprene full booty over the cycling boots and my feet did not get overly cold. The other thing you can try is a chemical hand/foot warmer packet. You can get them at most cycling shops and places like Eastern Mountain Sports.

Anonymous's picture
fred steinberg (not verified)
bag 'em

On a budget, wool socks will work if there's room in the shoes. Then put a baggie over the shoe, under the bootie. Cut a hole for your cleats. Use masking tape to keep the baggie in place. Carry an extra pair of socks to change because you feet will get damp but still be warm, a wierd feeling.

Properly fitting road shoes are bad in winter as they are usually well ventilated and don't leave room for heavy socks. Defeet makes thin wool socks that fit in 'summer' shoes. Duct tape the mesh to keep cool air out.

You could get a cheap pair of ATB shoes 1/2 size larger which will provide room for heavier socks.

Winter ATB shoes are the best because they usually are threaded for golf type cleats so you can maintain your footing if you must stop on ice. Make sure they can accommodate you orthotic, heavy socks, etc or you may lose a toenail or two.

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

Lake MXZ300.

They're too pricy for me, so I'll continue to suffer, but those who have them swear by them.

I just try to keep my core warm.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)

those chemical heat packs are fantastic!!!

Anonymous's picture
SP (not verified)
Beware !!! read the disclaimer......

Chemical heat packs causes you to be sterile w/ erection lasting more than 4 hours.

Anonymous's picture
F. Cohen (not verified)
heat packs

That settles it! I'm ordering a case of them.

I may even use them in the summer.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

Had frostbite when I was a kid, can't tolerate riding below ~40^, and even then only for an hour to an hour and a half max. Here are the results of studying the topic for a looong time:

Start off with clean feet, it makes a difference. Spray antiperspirant on your toes, then baby powder after it dries. Thin liners (silk/wool are great), windstopper socks, shoes, windstopper booties. The idea is to prevent sweat as much as possible - neoprene booties are no warmer but much sweatier than windstopper.

Chemical heat packs work, but only if there's air inside your shoes - too tight and they stop heating. Open the shoes up, take them off at a lunch stop and they start heating up again. One guy I know puts them on top of his toes instead of underneath. Whatever works.

Hotronic Footwarmers borrowed from my ski boots - they work well but they're cumbersome. I'd rather go swim.

Good luck.

(Forgot to mention the obvious - cleats are huge heatsinks connected to lots of cold metal, robbing heat thru holes in your booties. Think about switching to toeclips or PowerGrips for the winter.)

Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)
Under NO circumstances should you ever

sprinkle cayenne pepper on your toes, or mix it into a lotion matrix and apply it that way.

Anonymous's picture
Neile Weissman (not verified)

"I don't have good circulation in the extremities so it is a problem. Have come up with these steps:

1) No clipless pedals. Trail runner footware with some insulation and decent ventilation.

2) Use footware a half size bigger and cut off the front parts of the underliners -- leaving room for ""Grabber MyCoal"" chemical foot warmers. (Going to try the trick of putting the Grabbers on top of the toes to get more air.)

3) A single pair of cotton socks so the Grabbers get the air they need. [I'd use neoprene booties or plastic bags for warm and wet riding.]

4) Larger footware also leaves room for my toes to wiggle which allows the blood to circulate.

5) For the same reason, try to walk a block every 10-15 miles to let the feet flex.

Gets me through.


Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

Yahhhhh! Cotton socks?!?! That'd make my feet miserable.

Try Smartwool light hikers or RBX wool socks, which will still insulate when wet.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
fred steinberg (not verified)
Thin wool socks

Defeet make Wool-Eators which are wool socks slightly thicker than their regular socks. These are far superior regular socks, have kept my feet warm under toe booties in mid '30 temps.
Cotton is a horror even under a under a baggie. It has no loft and will flatten and freeze you.

Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
carbon-soled shoes

Don't know why, but this winter, cold feet have NOT been a problem at all; it used to be my biggest winter riding problem.

Over the summer, I bought new shoes--Specialized road cleated with a carbon fiber sole (I don't remember the name, they're black and white and have a buckle, about $175.) I had Sidi before, but I tried these and they just felt a bit better. I was taking a chance because I've been happy with Sidi for over ten years, but my feet tell me they are the best cycling shoes I've ever worn.

One thing tho--the toe box area on these shoes is much bigger than I'm used to. Perhaps my circulation is improved so my feet are warmer.

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