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  1. #1
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    Winter Shoes (the Warmest) ????

    I'm done with shoe covers. I'm done with gehtto baggies on my feet. I'm not buying "toasters" for my shoes.

    I simply want the warmest shoe out there. There is very little info on any of these forums so I thought I would start in hopes it would catch on.

    This is what I heave learned and would like any input from any of your real life (not hearsay) experiences.

    Shimano MW80: No info anywear. Apparently a new shoe for Shimano. (I have ordered a pair from my LBS to try on).

    Lake: Warm but may have quality issues

    Sidi Diablo GTX: Not enough insulation

    Pear Izumi Barrier GTX: May be the ticket. 200G insulation throughout.

    Please feel free to give your input. My feet are my weak point with the cold and before I drop $250 I want to make sure I (and you) have made the right choice.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    This time of year shoes are probably on sale somewhere. Going with cleats? I use a shoe with no mesh venting that I got onsale. They are several sizes larger. Take your winter wool/poly or whatever socks with. Give thicker ski or winter socks a try. Lake has made a very good winter mountain shoe, probably still available. I have a pair for riding here in Leadville (darn cold). I also use a lightweight hiking shoe oversized with thick wool socks (flat pedals.) those shoes made by Alpine Stars were mislabled, bought cheap. Anyway thats what I do. I have problems with cold feet too. Your feet need more room too.

  3. #3
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    Lots of options...none perfect...

    I go with a shoe with no vents(or tape the vents for the winter) and a 1/2 size larger than normal so I can wear a thicker wool sock. Usually use my ski socks. And i rarely make a ride more than 2 hours in the weather below 32 degrees. Also use the flat pedals and hiking boots in the mid winter.
    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  4. #4
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    When I coached ice hockey my toes would be solid blocks of ice by the end of practice. I bought a couple packs of the 'toasti toes' at walmart & put them under the footbeds in my skates and problem solved. They last for hours, too.

    No moss...

  5. #5
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    Actually there is a lot of info on winter shoes on this forum. Check the Alaska forum.

    Unless something new just came out, the answer is Lake.
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  6. #6
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    Lake and Performance neoprene booties for longer or colder rides. With an addendum. The first pair of Lakes I bought had a wire for laces. I ended up finding some barely used older ones that I love. They ran narrow which I assume is why the guy was getting rid of them but they broke in very nicely.

  7. #7
    i also unicycle
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    the new-ish specialized ones are okay, not super warm but reportedly pretty good. I'm kind of in the same boat, and i'm torn between the new Pearl's and the Lake's.
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  8. #8
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    I second the lakes, warm, waterproof, thick soles( you'll appreciate if you have to stand or walk any length of time) mine are going on their 4th season. My friend has the sidi winter shoes and hates them says theyre too cold

  9. #9
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    I tried all of the conventional remedies without success. I bought Lake 300ZX shoes (the originals with velcro laces) about 6 years ago. I tried using just them with some wool socks and I still had issues. I then started using charcoal heater packs. That combo seemed to work good for 2-3 winters but I also noticed the heater packs were very inconsistent. Some were just right, some didn't put out enough heat and my feet went cold, and others got so darn hot I had to stop and remove them before they burned my feet.

    2 years ago I finally decided to invest in Hotronics M4 heated insoles. Best $200 I ever spent. They have 4 heat levels that you can easily adjust on the trail with your gloves on. It can get down to 20F (about the coldest we see normally) and I just dial in the right amount of heat and ride 4+ hours in cozy comfort. Long weekend rides and good night rides are on the menu for me this winter.

    BTW, my Lakes are just about trashed so I'm moving to Answer Kashmir winter shoes. They were discontinued about 2 years ago so I can't provide much advice on current shoes. With the M4, I think you just need something that has no vents or has the vents all taped up and somewhere to hang the batteries.
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  10. #10
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    My lakes (301) are good to 0F for about a 2 hour ride with just wool socks. I bought a pair that was 2 sizes too big since that was the smallest they had on super clearance. The BOA system is so good, I don't even notice and my feet never slide around. I love these boots.

    I have a pair of the Answer Kashmirs that I used before I got the lakes. The velcro wore out in one season. If you walk in any deep snow, the snow will catch on the velcro straps and pull them up. The velco will then be packed with snow and not stick at all at that point. I had to finish several rides with no working velcro. They also weren't all that warm. I now use these from about 40F until the snow flies.
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  11. #11
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    i went with the specialized ones, as reported, not quite as warm as lakes and they don't come up as high on your ankle but better price and from what i can see better quality. they are very water proof and just got a size bigger and wear heavy socks. I can also use them in spring/fall when I don't want to get my feet wet and they are not too hot on cooler days.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtwitch

    Shimano MW80: No info anywear. Apparently a new shoe for Shimano. (I have ordered a pair from my LBS to try on).
    Here is another shoe from Shimano with no info. Few places in the US have any and Performance is sold out of most sizes
    Shimano SH-MT60.


    I like these because I don't want to wear a boot.
    Last edited by paulrad9; 11-08-2008 at 07:18 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtwitch
    I'm done with shoe covers. I'm done with gehtto baggies on my feet. I'm not buying "toasters" for my shoes.

    I simply want the warmest shoe out there. There is very little info on any of these forums so I thought I would start in hopes it would catch on.

    This is what I heave learned and would like any input from any of your real life (not hearsay) experiences.

    Shimano MW80: No info anywear. Apparently a new shoe for Shimano. (I have ordered a pair from my LBS to try on).

    Lake: Warm but may have quality issues

    Sidi Diablo GTX: Not enough insulation

    Pear Izumi Barrier GTX: May be the ticket. 200G insulation throughout.

    Please feel free to give your input. My feet are my weak point with the cold and before I drop $250 I want to make sure I (and you) have made the right choice.

    Thanks!
    I'm doing the same research (although my budget is under $150.).

    First step (no pun intended)?
    As someone who works in frigidly cold temperatures under extreme conditions (I'm a Roofer), the most important thing is your socks. A great pair of socks can really shore up a good pair of boots.

    Get a insulated/part wool socks with some type of wicking capability (not "do all" biking socks, but MTB/Biking specific cold weather socks). Smartwool brand seems to be on to something.

    Next step? Waterproofness. If all your riding boots are are waterproof and you have a great pair of insulating socks then you're more than 1/2 way there.

    I'll keep reading the thread to see how it progresses, but I believe it was MTB Action that has a few pair of winter specific riding boots in their latest (Nov) issue.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulrad9
    Here is another shoe from Shimano with no info. Few places in the US have any and Performance is sold out of most sizes
    Shimano SH-MT60.


    I like these because I don't want to wear a boot.

    How much $?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndgen
    How much $?
    REI has them for $150

  16. #16
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    SIDI had a pair with some form of heated insole.

    http://www.sidiusa.com/toaster.html is what I believe they were. I remember them being prohibiticely expensive. Other than those, a few friends have the Shimano winter shoes. They're waterproof and apparently are very comfy. Probably good to like -15C ish depending on how much your feet suck (mine suck the most of anyone).

  17. #17
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    Steiny, those foot warmers, do they just keep your toes warm or your entire foot? Looking it up, seems like only the toes. Is the toes just enough to keep warm and the rest of the foot follows?

    I'm from Minnesota and we have colder weather than most places for sure, so this conversation is of interest. Just got a pair of the Lake boots, haven't even put the cleats in yet. I have some thick wool socks that should go quite well with the boots.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulrad9
    REI has them for $150
    I like them.

    Going to check them out.
    Those are what I've been looking for.
    Something more substantial than "just" MTB Shoes
    that can take a beating "off" the bike while climbing small
    hills and while walking the bike where it can't be ridden.

    Thanks.

    Last edited by 2ndgen; 11-13-2008 at 06:41 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinguwin
    Steiny, those foot warmers, do they just keep your toes warm or your entire foot? Looking it up, seems like only the toes. Is the toes just enough to keep warm and the rest of the foot follows?

    I'm from Minnesota and we have colder weather than most places for sure, so this conversation is of interest. Just got a pair of the Lake boots, haven't even put the cleats in yet. I have some thick wool socks that should go quite well with the boots.

    I went with their molded insoles which position the heating element under the base of the toes and ball of the foot area. It seems to work really well. If you can keep the extremities warm (all the way out at the toes and small part of the foot) the rest just follows. When I use them I don't really notice them - they just do their thing and I'm comfortable.

    My hands and feet are extremely sensitive to the cold. Last night I did a night ride at about 40F with Answer Kashmir winter boots on with good socks but no Hotronics. I rode very hard and was sweating but I could feel my feet were getting cold toward the end of the ride. Any colder and I need to switch to the Hotronics or I just get painful and numb feet.

    If you can get by with just good socks and boots, that's good - no need to spend extra money. But if you're coming up short with good boots and socks, the Hotronics are worth considering. I like to ride year round and I just couldn't do it in comfort without help from the Hotronics.

    Hope that didn't sound like a commercial and was helpful.

  20. #20
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    maybe switch it up to flats for winter rides if nothing else is keeping your feet warm? skate shoes/light hikers and some flats with big pins would work good, just order a half size bigger than your regular pair and buy a great pair of ski/snowboard socks

  21. #21
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    I'd go Lakes. Love mine, as do a majority of my riding buds, and we go all winter in upstate NY. The quality issues the OP mentioned, AFAIK, they are referring to the blown out stitching from last years early run of shoes. It was literally just the heel cup, mine blew out in about 2 weeks. They remained so throughout the season, as I didn't want to stop riding to get them fixed. No further blow out occurred. They had a bad run of thread, I guess the elasticity was specified, and not adhered to by the sewing company. Lake took them back, and fixed them gratis this summer, and would also have paid to have them fixed by a local cobbler if I'd wanted to go that route. Stand up company, creating the toastiest toes in town
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  22. #22
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    I'd go Lakes. Love mine, as do a majority of my riding buds, and we go all winter in upstate NY. The quality issues the OP mentioned, AFAIK, they are referring to the blown out stitching from last years early run of shoes. It was literally just the heel cup, mine blew out in about 2 weeks. They remained so throughout the season, as I didn't want to stop riding to get them fixed. No further blow out occurred. They had a bad run of thread, I guess the elasticity was specified, and not adhered to by the sewing company. Lake took them back, and fixed them gratis this summer, and would also have paid to have them fixed by a local cobbler if I'd wanted to go that route. Also worth noting, they offer the shoe in two widhts, which is key, as the Vibram sole they use, narrowed the shoe a bit from the previous version. Narrow to slim normal foot? Go standard, wider? They got you covered too. Stand up company, creating the toastiest toes in town
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  23. #23
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    I'm trying the Pearl Izumi's this year. They should be in next week. I heard they are very toasty and I needed to make a decision since temps are dropping here in CO rapidly.

  24. #24
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    I finally got the PI GTX in yesterday and rode with them today. The first pair I received was too small. I normally wear a 12 and have a narrow foot, but the 47 was way too tight. After several more weeks I found a 48 at brandscycle.com. The 48 fits awesome and is very comfy. 42 deg when I started, 48 at the end; feet were toasty warm and completely dry, even when riding and a few hikes through sections of 2" to 6" of wet snow and mud. I hope to test them soon when temps really dip. So far love these shoes.

  25. #25
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    i also bought the Pi GTX. zero complaints after 2 weeks of use. several days of 10F and they work great for an hour with just a wool sock. waterproof as heck too, commute home (20 mins or so) of 35F rain and i stayed 100% dry. endura coat and pants worked great too, btw.
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  26. #26
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    I just put on my Lakes this week and by the end of the first 2-hr ride in 15F, I'm convinced. They were a great purchase.

  27. #27
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    I've been experimenting with various ways of keeping my feet warm mountain biking this winter and have done the following research and had the following experiences: (1) Ordered a new pair of 46 Wide Lake MXZ302 boots, and got them this week. They were still too narrow for my left foot and I had to send them back. They were really nice looking and I wish they had fit. For those of you with wide feet, be forewarned that the lasts Lake uses to make its boots appear to be on the narrow side. I wear a pair of Sidi Mega mtb shoes (size 45) during the summer and have no problems with fit. (2) I also ordered and sent back a new pair of Lake MXZ302 size 47 wide boots -- barely wide enough, but way too long for my size 10.5/11 feet. (3) Sidi Mega summer shoes with chemical hand warmers and neoprene boot covers appear to work just fine in all but the coldest conditions (say, below 5 degrees F or so). Problem: neoprene boot covers do not breath, moisture gets trapped inside them, and when temps dip you get cold. They are also much more susceptible to getting ripped and torn up when walking (as is often required in winter mountain biking). I have had the best luck with Performance neoprene booties, and the worst luck with Garneau booties (too fragile). (4) Bought a pair of size 45 Answer Kashmir boots on eBay and got them today. Their construction and insulation is not up to par with the Lake, but they look good enough (and are much cheaper). They also have a last that appears to be a little wider than the Lakes. I will still have to take them to a boot stretcher. (5) The only manufacturer I can find who makes a wide size mountain bike boot is Lake, and their boots are not all that wide. (6) I may wind up going with flats and warm winter hiking boots by the time I'm done with this.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtwitch
    I'm done with shoe covers. I'm done with gehtto baggies on my feet. I'm not buying "toasters" for my shoes.

    I simply want the warmest shoe out there. There is very little info on any of these forums so I thought I would start in hopes it would catch on.

    This is what I heave learned and would like any input from any of your real life (not hearsay) experiences.

    Shimano MW80: No info anywear. Apparently a new shoe for Shimano. (I have ordered a pair from my LBS to try on).

    Lake: Warm but may have quality issues

    Sidi Diablo GTX: Not enough insulation

    Pear Izumi Barrier GTX: May be the ticket. 200G insulation throughout.

    Please feel free to give your input. My feet are my weak point with the cold and before I drop $250 I want to make sure I (and you) have made the right choice.

    Thanks!
    You've left the most important information out of your post. I've been on winter cycling forums for years watching this get hashed and rehashed. Everyone reviews the shoes and says the are good/bad etc.

    But that all varies.

    Examples:

    1. Lake shoes are not all the same there are several different models and very few people have tried them all. I have the 300's and like them OK but of course they have their limitation. Same goes with other brands of shoes and models.

    2. Temperature: How cold is the ride going to be? How much wind?

    3. How long is your ride? What is good for 30 minutes usually isn't good for an hour or more.

    So in summary you can see that nobody is going to put you on the perfect solution, especially not if they don't know what your conditions are. My Lake 300's are good on their own down to about 15F for a 1 hr 45 minute ride. Throw in wind at that temp and the toes get cold faster. Ride for 30 minutes at 15 F and strong wind and the toes are fine.

    The ONE HOUR mark is pretty critical in my experience. Most things that seem good up to one hour typically start to suffer after that mark if they aren't up to the task. I can wear just about any shoes with the right socks, down to ZERO F if the ride is 30 minutes or less. But i wouldn't dream about doing that for a longer ride.

    Same goes for other areas. I could cheat on the gloves as well, knowing that you would only have to tolerate it for a short time even if they fail .

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndgen
    I like them
    I received the shoes from REI last month. Actually, I received four pairs of shoes because I purchased a couple in sizes larger than me and a couple in sizes smaller than me. I ended up going with the largest size but even that wasn't wide enough. I don't own a shoe stretcher, bu I have a few shoe trees, so used those + scraps of cardboard and stretched the front sections overnight. The next day I tried them on and they fit much better, with plenty of room on the side for thick socks.

    I took them on three 1.5+ hour rides, all 15F degrees or colder with a medium weight wool sock. I stayed pretty warm the entire time. On the longest ride I stepped in a puddle twice and my feet stayed dry. I did slip in a pair of the Toasty feet which seems helps with keeping the cold from the metal cleat away from my feet.

    I'm hoping I can use these shoes 6 months a year. They are easy to walk in and they don't scream BICYCLIST when you're off the bike.

  30. #30
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    This shoe + two pair wool socks works well for me. Not very hip, trendie or kewl, but warm. BTW, this shoe in a 45 is quite a bit larger than my normal size thus allowing comfortable room for two pair of wool socks and some toe wiggle room. I wear these shoes clipped in. Flat pedals may be warmer.



    Best wishes,
    Terry

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulrad9
    I received the shoes from REI last month. Actually, I received four pairs of shoes because I purchased a couple in sizes larger than me and a couple in sizes smaller than me. I ended up going with the largest size but even that wasn't wide enough. I don't own a shoe stretcher, bu I have a few shoe trees, so used those + scraps of cardboard and stretched the front sections overnight. The next day I tried them on and they fit much better, with plenty of room on the side for thick socks.

    I took them on three 1.5+ hour rides, all 15F degrees or colder with a medium weight wool sock. I stayed pretty warm the entire time. On the longest ride I stepped in a puddle twice and my feet stayed dry. I did slip in a pair of the Toasty feet which seems helps with keeping the cold from the metal cleat away from my feet.

    I'm hoping I can use these shoes 6 months a year. They are easy to walk in and they don't scream BICYCLIST when you're off the bike.
    That's the pair I'm going for.
    I think it's worth an hour and a half drive for me to check them out.
    Going to try them on with Smartwool PhD sox.


  32. #32
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    Can anyone comment on how the PI fit? I have heard that they are narrow (like Sidi). My summer shoes of choice are Specialized BG s-works (in a size 46). Since these fit me perfectly, I was naturally going to get a pair of Specialized Defrosters but I am worried that they might not be warm enough and seem expensive compared to the Pear Izumi GTX, Northwave and Shimano MW-80, all of which have Gore-Tex liners.

  33. #33
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    Gaerne polar

    I have these I need to where liner socks and smart wool to be warm.
    I road today at 12 deg. my feet where toastie with wind chill around 0 deg.
    they are pricie around $175.00

    check this new fat bike forum:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/FAT-BI...3868735?ref=ts
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Winter Shoes (the Warmest) ????-33269.jpg  


  34. #34
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    I got Shimano MW-80s this year. Got a size larger than my usual. They are good, but not especially warm. I use chemical heat pads when it's below 35. If warmth is you biggest criterion, I would go with the Lakes, based on what I've read by others.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  35. #35
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    Lake's here, first winter with them, makes cold riding fun.

  36. #36
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    Each person's definition of what a winter shoe should be capable of depends on what part of the world they live in and how extreme the conditions are when they ride. For example, if you find yourself complaining that the shoe is not waterproof enough, then you aren't traversing through the same winters I am because water means that you are just below, near or above the freezing mark at 32 F. If too cold for liquid water, than you need supreme warmth, if you go through slush or rain, then you need supreme water resistance. They don't make one that does both yet. The Sidi Diablos are the most water resistant but the least warm where lake will be warmer but less water resistant. Also, The Diablos will have more room for extra socks, which is why it is my shoe of choice because of its versatility.

    There isn't a perfect winter shoe yet for serious winter riding but if you know what you are doing with your socks, you can make up for any winter shoes short comings. Personally, I prefer the Sidi Diablo because I can use sock combos to regulate their warmth depending on how severe the winter conditions are. With just typical cycling socks, the Diablos are comfy down to about 40 F in long rides, maybe a little less depending on your tolerance or if your trip is less than 20 min. But, Add a wool or thermal pare of socks on top of that and you are now ready to go out in temps in the 20s F. Add a pair of SealSkinz Chillblocker waterproof socks to that combo and you are good down to zero F. Add fleece toe warmers (which should fit if you appropriately sized up) and carry toe warmer heat packs with you in case and you may find it possible to brave -10 or so. Beyond that, its time to get some serious hard core boots and chuck the winter cycling shoes so you can keep your toes.

    You may get about 10 deg lower with sock combo with the Lakes or Shimanos, but you may not have the room for multiple sock combos. But, if youre looking for extreme water protection in cold conditions, pick one and get some SealSkinz waterblocker socks. These things are fully immersable even wading above the top of the sock!

    That's my advice

  37. #37
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    Many in Alaska using NEOS overboots for extreme winter riding (i.e. Susitna 100, McGrath 350, Iditasport). I have the insulated, they are big and heavy, but I removed some steel studs and they are not bad now. I have ridden them extended at -20C with no problems with wool socks and Keen sandals.

    The uninsulated are much cheaper and lighter, look like a better solution almost, but I cannot vouch for the warmth.

    You cannot step into SPD's with these, but you can fit them real nice right over your Sidi's - or Keens if you imagine allot of pushing through deep snow in your future (note- the insulated NEOS has an extendable gaiter). My experience in Wyoming years ago was that any shoe with a cleat on the sole was going to be cold no matter what I did to it (thermodynamics - it's the law).

  38. #38
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    Just got a pair of Mavic Drifts to try out. Really liking their Alpine XLs that i got earlier this season for regular season riding.

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