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  1. #1
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    Need winter cycling shoes advice.

    I have decided to give myself a present of some winter cycling shoes this winter. First pair of dedicated winter cycling shoes for me. In past I have done the normal wool socks, booties and cold toes route. Local advice is appreciated.

    Have done the normal research and have decided to go with the Shimano MW80 or MW81 as top choice or the Sidi Diablo as second. Any input or practical experience with either? Advice is appreciated.

    Long time Sidi Dominator user (size 43). Assuming one size bigger with winter shoes. How would Shimano sizing compare?

    Know of any local stores with some in stock so I can hold and try on? So far, no one seems to have them in stock yet. If at all.

    Thanks for the help.
    "Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit- the bike disappears and you feel as if you're suspended in midair"GKlein

  2. #2
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    LAKE

    Have had mine for almost eight years and still as good as the day I bought them. DOn't use them as much as I did in NJ, but they see a good 25 - 30 wintery rides a year,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need winter cycling shoes advice.-mxz302.jpg  


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    I had trouble fitting into the Lakes. They were too narrow for my feet which are wide. My road shoes are Sidis and my winter clipless shoes are Shimanos. The Shimanos have more room in the toe box then Sidis. I bought my Shimano winter shoes one size larger then my road shoes. The Shimanos are very nice winter shoes.

  5. #5
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    dude if your toes are getting cold with wool and booties I'd go with Lakes. I have never seen the shimano or sidi offerings in person.But just think if you are susceptible to cold feet you might want to consider the lakes
    My barrier mtb shoe covers have worked great the past 5 seasons. SIngle digit weather I can hang for an hour, maybe more with some whiskey.
    The elastic band on the sole is on the last threads on the shoe cover. I am debating either throwing another elastic band on there and get another 3 seasons or pony up for the Pearl gtx winter shoes. Those seem to be perfect shoes for colorado.

  6. #6
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    I got Northwave Celsius GTX Winter Cycling Boots last year and I love them. Get them 2 sizes bigger then normal to fit thick socks and you should be good to go. I don't care what kind of booties you use. The cleat and uninsulated sole of the shoe will suck all the heat right out of your foot.

    Northwave Celsius GTX Winter Cycling Boots, Shoes, ProBikeKit United States

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour View Post
    I had trouble fitting into the Lakes. They were too narrow for my feet which are wide. My road shoes are Sidis and my winter clipless shoes are Shimanos. The Shimanos have more room in the toe box then Sidis. I bought my Shimano winter shoes one size larger then my road shoes. The Shimanos are very nice winter shoes.
    They make a wide size. I have them.

  8. #8
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    I have the Shimano winter shoes and they are nice (much easier to ride in than mountain shoe booties)... durable, comfortable, not too bulky or awkward. They only come in full sizes, but a 44 for my 43.5 foot was more than "bigger" enough for a base layer sock and a wool sock. Shimano doesn't seem to import many of them each year and it can be difficult finding them in the popular sizes.

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    grrr

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the comments. Keep them coming if you got them. I particularly like skareds- Trying to tell me I am looking for the wrong boot?

    The Lakes look warm, but a little too boot like for my liking and use. I tend to pick mtb or monstercross foothill rides that I can spin as much as possible in the winter. Definitely looking for a warmer and waterproof cycling shoe for those 40deg to 0degree days. Below that is spinner time in the basement for me.

    Anyone seen any in local shops yet? Or is that too much to ask for?

    Thanks again. Ride safe!
    "Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit- the bike disappears and you feel as if you're suspended in midair"GKlein

  11. #11
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    I've been looking at Louis Garneau 0 Ergo Grip. I can't find any locally (in stock, a lot of places can order them). Until then, I'll be using my 3mm neoprene shoe covers.

  12. #12
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    I have a pair of the Lake shoes from about 5 years ago. I use them maybe 10-12 times a winter and they seem to be pretty durable and they do a pretty good job keeping my feet warm down to single digits, and my feet get cold pretty easily. My only complaint is that they are kind of clunky, but I guess that's the tradeoff with warmth. Specialized has a pair winter shoes that I'd be interested in if I were in the market.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by llama View Post
    I have a pair of the Lake shoes from about 5 years ago. I use them maybe 10-12 times a winter and they seem to be pretty durable and they do a pretty good job keeping my feet warm down to single digits, and my feet get cold pretty easily. My only complaint is that they are kind of clunky, but I guess that's the tradeoff with warmth. Specialized has a pair winter shoes that I'd be interested in if I were in the market.
    I opted for the MX-140 Lake's instead because they are much lighter and less clunky. When it is below 20 degrees, I put an outer shoe cover on for another layer of protection.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    ...got Northwave Celsius GTX Winter Cycling Boots...
    +1. I wear some Smartwool Phds under them and they were good down to the teens for NY winter riding. Feet are nice and warm out here no problem.

    BTW, I do have a pair that I bought on the Internets but they were one size too small, so I got a 2nd pair the next size up. They got mixed up in my move and have been in the box, brand new. I think they might fit you, if you wear a 9.5-10. I'd let them go for half and you wouldn't need to pay shipping. PM me...
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    I have the Shimano winter shoes and they are nice (much easier to ride in than mountain shoe booties)... durable, comfortable, not too bulky or awkward. They only come in full sizes, but a 44 for my 43.5 foot was more than "bigger" enough for a base layer sock and a wool sock. Shimano doesn't seem to import many of them each year and it can be difficult finding them in the popular sizes.
    +1 on the Shimano shoes. I wear a 44.5 in Sidis and the 45 MW80s fit nicely. My feet still get cold, but it takes longer than when I'm wearing Dominators and neoprene booties.
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    Shimano MW80 - Used them all last year. Not waterproof - will soak through in very wet weather (i.e road riding in the rain). Nice and warm otherwise - these shoes, two pair of socks and a shoe cover = warm feet at 0deg for me

    Pearl Barriers - great shoe - dry, warm but too narrrow for my foot and they have been discontinued. My wife has them and loves them.

    Lakes - great option. Regular width not wide enough for me and I could not find them in stock anywhere in the wider width. Hard to find (Turin? Paul's?). I could not find a list of current dealer's on Lake's website.

    Louis Garneau 0 ergo - Bought online and returned two years ago. Way too narrow for my foot - more painful on my foot than a Raichle Flexon Comp. Did not seem like it would be as warm as they claim but when your foot is being crushed like a vice, it's hard to tell.

    Specialized Defroster - very comfortable. Was not warm enough for serious cold. Looks like it may have been revised in the last year - I may try a pair this year. Looks like it may hold up to wet better than my MW80 does.

    Also, Home Depot has hand and toe warmers in bulk boxes. One on each foot inside the shoe helps a lot and they are about $.50 per ride.

    Winter Cycling Shoes - Buy Winter Cycling and Bike Shoes use to carry a very good selection (Lake's and others). I looks like their current selection is limited to Northwave and Shimano.

  17. #17
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    A couple of posters have mentioned the Northwave Celsius GTX. Looks interesting. Anyone have experience with it?

    I should say experience with them. It seems there are two models. Celsius is rated to 14F and the Arctic model is rated to -31F. Any experience or comments on rating systems for our Colorado weather? Also the Northwave sizing charts seem to be different. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    It is kind of frustrating to have to internet shop for these products. Too bad there is not a store where you could actually touch and try on a couple of these brands. Instead of basing a choice on reviews and repeated "fit" questions.

    Thanks for your help.
    "Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit- the bike disappears and you feel as if you're suspended in midair"GKlein

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by snigs View Post
    +1. I wear some Smartwool Phds under them and they were good down to the teens for NY winter riding. Feet are nice and warm out here no problem.

    BTW, I do have a pair that I bought on the Internets but they were one size too small, so I got a 2nd pair the next size up. They got mixed up in my move and have been in the box, brand new. I think they might fit you, if you wear a 9.5-10. I'd let them go for half and you wouldn't need to pay shipping. PM me...
    If the Op isn't interested in the extra shoes, I am - sent you a PM.

    Thanks.

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    Hotronic Official Web Site | Hotronic - Keeping Feet Warm, Keeping Hands and Feet Dry!
    I have two pair...one for my mtb shoes and one for my road shoes. Combine with genunine gortex socks and gortex booties = Toastie toes!

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    ^^^^^^^

    So true, I've been using King Super bags instead of condoms... reduce, reuse, recycle

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob View Post
    ^^^^^^^

    So true, I've been using King Super bags instead of condoms... reduce, reuse, recycle
    Turn inside out rinse and continue. Good thinking.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob View Post
    ^^^^^^^

    So true, I've been using King Super bags instead of condoms... reduce, reuse, recycle
    Hahaha, but doesn't that crinkling plastic sound get annoying??

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    +1

  25. #25
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    I have a pair of the Lake winter shoes. I bought them sized large enough to wear liner socks and thick wool socks. Its important that they aren't tight. I'm not so tough now days, but I rode to work in Fairbanks down to -20 and they worked well.

    I've had good luck in the lower 48 just covering my vents with duct tape. Then adding booties if its going to be wet or snowy.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    +1 on the Shimano shoes. I wear a 44.5 in Sidis and the 45 MW80s fit nicely. My feet still get cold, but it takes longer than when I'm wearing Dominators and neoprene booties.
    +2 on the shimanos. i find them warm and dry unless its really raining and they dont feel all that different than my regular shoes to both walk in and pedal in.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FR hokeypokey View Post
    A couple of posters have mentioned the Northwave Celsius GTX. Looks interesting. Anyone have experience with it?

    I should say experience with them. It seems there are two models. Celsius is rated to 14F and the Arctic model is rated to -31F. Any experience or comments on rating systems for our Colorado weather? Also the Northwave sizing charts seem to be different. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    It is kind of frustrating to have to internet shop for these products. Too bad there is not a store where you could actually touch and try on a couple of these brands. Instead of basing a choice on reviews and repeated "fit" questions.

    Thanks for your help.
    I have the arctics and they are the best investment i have ever made next to nice lights for winter riding. Normal shoes don't have any insulation on the bottom of the shoe. You can put all the plastic bags and thick socks you want on. But the cleat is going to act as a heat sink and pull the heat right out of your toes. I got mine larger then normal so I could use a nice thick sock as well. I have dun some really cold night rides in them and I cant think of a time my feet were really cold.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    I have the arctics and they are the best investment i have ever made next to nice lights for winter riding. Normal shoes don't have any insulation on the bottom of the shoe. You can put all the plastic bags and thick socks you want on. But the cleat is going to act as a heat sink and pull the heat right out of your toes. I got mine larger then normal so I could use a nice thick sock as well. I have dun some really cold night rides in them and I cant think of a time my feet were really cold.
    Thanks for the info. The Arctics look like a great shoe. I decided to go with the Celsius model for my first set of winter shoes.

    First because a fellow mtbr member gave me an incredible deal. Thanks again! Secondly, for my use the Celsius is the better choice. I am a woos, when the temps are below zero or some are out winter night riding, I am inside. Respect to those that are out in those conditions. Just not me.
    "Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit- the bike disappears and you feel as if you're suspended in midair"GKlein

  29. #29
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    Not shoes, but:

    I just got some Gore Bike Wear Gore-tex socks. Toasty! I'd been looking for something for the past couple cross seasons. Can't do shoe covers, since you can't run in them, and didn't want to buy new shoes. These are just the ticket.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by FR hokeypokey View Post
    Thanks for the info. The Arctics look like a great shoe. I decided to go with the Celsius model for my first set of winter shoes.

    First because a fellow mtbr member gave me an incredible deal. Thanks again! Secondly, for my use the Celsius is the better choice. I am a woos, when the temps are below zero or some are out winter night riding, I am inside. Respect to those that are out in those conditions. Just not me.
    Hey not problem. I know how you feel I use to be the same. I just got tied of not riding and started buying stuff to stay warm. You would be surprised how much longer you can stay out when your hands and feet don't get cold any more. And soft-shell is the best thing ever.

  31. #31
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    I commute throughout the winter 1-hour each way. When the temps get below 25 I go for the Lake boots, they are hard to beat. I normally wear size 44, I think I bought the size 47 so I can layer up some socks. These guys are warm, but also pretty heavy and if you order big ones and have your cleats set far back you might have toe overlap issues. If the temps creep up to around 40 then I start loosening and opening up things on the boots to vent a bit of the heat off. I bought mine through REI a few years back, with their return policy it is easy to take them back if the size you ordered isn't right.

    25-40 degrees and I just use a slightly larger summer cycling shoes with Toasty Feet aerogel insoles and a full-shoe or toe cover.

    A lot of manufacturers have come to market with winter shoes in the last few years so there are now plenty of options, but for best really cold weather performance the Lake boots are going to be king for a little while longer.

    I've also tried the Hotronics somebody else has mentioned, they are okay, but you've got wires and chargers to deal with. I decided I'd rather have a passive system so that I don't have to depend on a battery to keep my toes from freezing.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsj3831 View Post
    Shimano MW80 - Used them all last year. Not waterproof - will soak through in very wet weather (i.e road riding in the rain). Nice and warm otherwise - these shoes, two pair of socks and a shoe cover = warm feet at 0deg for me

    Pearl Barriers - great shoe - dry, warm but too narrrow for my foot and they have been discontinued. My wife has them and loves them.

    Lakes - great option. Regular width not wide enough for me and I could not find them in stock anywhere in the wider width. Hard to find (Turin? Paul's?). I could not find a list of current dealer's on Lake's website.

    Louis Garneau 0 ergo - Bought online and returned two years ago. Way too narrow for my foot - more painful on my foot than a Raichle Flexon Comp. Did not seem like it would be as warm as they claim but when your foot is being crushed like a vice, it's hard to tell.

    Specialized Defroster - very comfortable. Was not warm enough for serious cold. Looks like it may have been revised in the last year - I may try a pair this year. Looks like it may hold up to wet better than my MW80 does.

    Also, Home Depot has hand and toe warmers in bulk boxes. One on each foot inside the shoe helps a lot and they are about $.50 per ride.

    Winter Cycling Shoes - Buy Winter Cycling and Bike Shoes use to carry a very good selection (Lake's and others). I looks like their current selection is limited to Northwave and Shimano.
    This was what I was going to post sans the Defroster review. Shimano all the way.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by snigs View Post
    +1. I wear some smartwool phds under them and they were good down to the teens for ny winter riding. Feet are nice and warm out here no problem.

    Btw, i do have a pair that i bought on the internets but they were one size too small, so i got a 2nd pair the next size up. They got mixed up in my move and have been in the box, brand new. I think they might fit you, if you wear a 9.5-10. I'd let them go for half and you wouldn't need to pay shipping. pm me...
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  34. #34
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    +1 shimano a size up, I don't like the Lake anti-lacing thing and they're narrow (tho they do make a rare wide size that's more normal). iirc Louis Garneau were just a regular little shoe with a gaiter attached.

    Excel in Boulder had Shimanos in the shop recently (leftover from last year?).

  35. #35
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    Has anyone checked out the Mavic Drift? Looks pretty cool. It's about that time of year to bring in winter shoes and I was thinking either that or the Shimanos.
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  36. #36
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    If you're not quite committed to winter riding enough to buy a nice pair of dedicated winter riding boots, +1 on the heavy socks and plastic bags. I've had better luck keeping my feet warm that way than with the neoprene shoe covers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    Has anyone checked out the Mavic Drift? Looks pretty cool. It's about that time of year to bring in winter shoes and I was thinking either that or the Shimanos.
    Yeah the drifts in comparison to shimano mw80s look like it uses more gore-tex in construction, outsole lugs are built with snow hike a bike in mind, and the gaiter is a bit taller. The complaints I've seen on the shimano is the gaiter still lets your socks get wet. Shimano also offers a mw81 which appears to have more gore-tex.

  38. #38
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    I would stay away from the LAKE shoes. The soles break down and crack easily when it's cold.
    "It looks flexy"

  39. #39
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    I used Shimano Trekking/Cycling boots when cycling across Turkey in the winter of 2006, but it looks like Shimano has discontinued them (SH-MT90).

  40. #40
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    I recommend either the Shimano MW81 and Specialized Defroster. The build quality of both is high, the Shimano being slightly higher IMO, along with the advantages of GoreTex. They are basically the same design with slight differences. The Defrosters are definently warmer - I rode in the Defrosters last year and love them but sadly lost them, so I purchased the MW81 because I could not find the Defrosters in my size.

    The Shimanos are bomber - waterproof and most important to me, ride like a proper cycle shoe. You will find many winter boots are flexy and bulky. Although my feet run hot, I find these shoes are very great with thick socks down to 10 degrees. I typically dont ride anything colder so dont ask!

  41. #41
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    I just ordered up a set of the Mavic winter shoes. HOPE THEY FIT!
    "It looks flexy"

  42. #42
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    I am the original poster. As I mentioned above, I went with the Northwave Celcius.(Not the Arctic) So far very happy with the shoe. Only a few rides in them. I have not been riding in the early morning chill or snow covered trails so far. Only mid 20's to low 40s rides.

    First impressions:
    -Much more comfortable than expected. I expected riding with high tops was going to be bug me. They actually felt great. First ride out I rode about 2.5 hours, no discomfort at all. Fit is perfect. Room for heavier socks if I want.
    -Seem to block the wind well compared to my normal Sidis. Kind of like feeling the wind blow threw your helmet, then putting on a skull cap. Gore-Tex in action.
    -Quality of build impressive. Seem durable. Size is Northwave 43. Normal shoe size 9. Sidi size 43.
    - Have not tested them in colder temps, but so far toes have been toasty with normal socks and on one ride my Wooly Boolies. Actually can not wait for the temps to drop to test them a little more.
    - Have only hiked a combined couple hundred feet of snow covered trail. Impressive grip and walking comfort.

    Overall extremely happy with the purchase. Thanks to all that had input and advice.
    "Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit- the bike disappears and you feel as if you're suspended in midair"GKlein

  43. #43
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    sizing up?

    Quote Originally Posted by FR hokeypokey View Post
    Size is Northwave 43. Normal shoe size 9. Sidi size 43.
    Thanks for the follow up. Just to be clear you didn't size up at all and these fit fine where others felt narrow? And what socks are you using with these (thick, normal thin cycling)?

    I ask because I'm in the same dilemma - CO front range rider looking for wider winter shoes and my Bontys are 43 - and almost everyone seems to size up in winter shoes. In normal shoes the Bontragers are the only things that didn't seem too narrow (and Sidi mega). I have a pair of the discontinued PI Barrier GTX I'll wore three times but I'll be selling since they're too narrow for me (even at 44).

    s

  44. #44
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  45. #45
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    Out of curiousity, has anyone ridden with the Mavic's? I bought a pair of 46 (just like all my other shoes) and they are borderline small and the upper sleeve is a bit short as far as wrapping my ankle. However, I had problems with the Lake's stretchingout both inside and the upper ankle wrap so I'm wondering if these will be perfect after a few rides?
    "It looks flexy"

  46. #46
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    The sizes were confusing. If at all possible try on the shoes to check sizing. My foot sizing and comfort may be slightly different then yours.

    The Northwave sizing charts are different than Sidi and US sizing. Compared to my Sidi Dominators (size 43) I found the Northwave 43 was a comfortable fit around the heel cup and ankle. The shoe is not as narrow as my Sidis. I found there to be even more toe box room then when compared to a Sidi Dom Mega I tried over the summer.

    I have used my normal summer defeet wool cycling socks and my defeet wooloie boolies. So far I have not added a second thin sock or used my defeet wool Blazes. I am assuming I will on colder rides in the 20's and with more snow on the ground or wind.

    Good luck on your search. I have been impressed so far in my limited use of winter shoes.
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  47. #47
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    Thanks! That really does help a lot to know they fit even wider than the mega. And boy are those sizing charts different. It looks like just staying with 43 is sizing up 1.5 compared to everyone else! Time to whip out the plastic fantastic.

  48. #48
    WheelDancer
    Reputation: AgileCarbon's Avatar
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    I have to jump in here with a vote for the Northwave Celsius Arctic. I just picked up a pair after riding (and raving about) Lake's. The Northwave Celsius Arctic boots are good for 20 degrees lower than the Lakes, maybe more. I have Raynaud's so warm feet are nearly impossible. Today I rode my half hour commute at 3 degrees (F, -16 Celcius) with a polypropylene liner and medium wool sock and was just fine. With the Lake boots, I have had to add heater packs below 20 (F). They are a lower boot so deep snow might be a problem but as far as warmth, I am overwhelmingly impressed! I bought one size up. One of the keys, I think, is that the toe box is much larger. I could put in a heater pack on top AND on the bottom and still have wiggle room.
    Just another cyclist dancing on the pedals.
    http://wheeldancer.blogspot.com/

  49. #49
    Hairshirt Rider
    Reputation: Loudpawlz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdemars View Post
    Thanks! That really does help a lot to know they fit even wider than the mega. And boy are those sizing charts different. It looks like just staying with 43 is sizing up 1.5 compared to everyone else! Time to whip out the plastic fantastic.
    I think you'll be happy with the brand and size choice. I have double wide feet and the Northwave mtb shoes fit them really well. I've got two pair, the Arctic in a 43 are the newest. For comparison I was in a 44 Sidi Mega (kind of fit ok) and also wear the Spec Pro in a 43.5 Wide (good fit).

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sdemars's Avatar
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    Shimi Shimi for me

    While I was all set to pony up the dough on the Celsius until I did my due diligence and called all the Boulder shops. Excel sports carried the Shimano MW81 and the Sidi. I'm always loath to purchase any garment - especially shoes - without trying it on. I rolled down to Excel and, low and behold, the Shimano's fit perfectly! I didn't even bother trying the Sidis, which cost $100 more . I had a long ride planned for Saturday, so called it a deal and went home happy. I was so happy with the fit that I forgot to put the varus wedges in (something I happen to need). Somewhere around 35 miles into my ride I realized this. The shoes were awesome. I was super comfy all day. Temps went from 32 at the start, to near 50, and back to mid 30s by the end. Friday purchase, Saturday 4+ hr ride. Solid piece of kit

    Oh and I went up just one size. I wear 43 in Bontrager and Sidi, and got these in 44.
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower : Corvus : Piolet

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