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  1. #1
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    Winter footwear. I have no money.

    Just wondering what you guys do for footwear? Im clipped in and wont get platforms, they just feel odd now.

    I have some pearl izumis now, and once the snow flys It might not handle the cold.
    Whats the best bang for the buck in keeping my feet warm.

    Last year I had platforms and just wore my work boots. These were ok once I got warmed up.

  2. #2
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    MEC shoe covers, $29. Used them till after New Years last year, never had cold feet.
    Not sure if they would do the trick when it gets real cold but done everything I need.

    MEC Drencher Shoe Covers (Unisex) - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

  3. #3
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    Awsome. That I can afford . For the most part I dont remember it getting to crazy cold last year, so those might work just fine.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    Just wondering what you guys do for footwear? Im clipped in and wont get platforms, they just feel odd now.
    Are you looking for a trail-capable option? Or just commuting, or else road/rail trail type of stuff where you aren't expecting to need to put a foot down frequently?

    Answer to the above makes a big difference in best "on the cheap" recommendations.

  5. #5
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    Ahh I forgot to mention that. Probably important.

    Trails and lots of exploring at night, so yes I will need to put a fot down often. Its very rocky where I am.

  6. #6
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    The pitfall of the show cover is that if you walk in snow it will get jammed into every conceivable nook and cranny between the shoe and the cover, to the point that your cleat recess is pretty much iced over.

    The neoprene overboots, while very warm and very waterproof, were even worse since you basically cut a round hole in the bottom of them for the cleat and then jammed snow into it as you walked.

    But at the low-budget pricepoint, I don't see much choice for the clipless devotee, besides.... avoiding walking in snow.

    MEC didn't have the Exustars last time I was in there, and the other dedicated winter SPD boots will be at least 150 out the door.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    The pitfall of the show cover is that if you walk in snow it will get jammed into every conceivable nook and cranny between the shoe and the cover, to the point that your cleat recess is pretty much iced over.

    The neoprene overboots, while very warm and very waterproof, were even worse since you basically cut a round hole in the bottom of them for the cleat.

    But at the low-budget pricepoint, I don't see much choice besides avoiding walking in snow. MEC didn't have the Exustars last time I was in there, and the other dedicated winter boots will be at least 150 out the door.
    +1 on all above.

    Regular shoes with overbooties are a reasonable option if feet are remaining on the pedals, but if walking around in snow is required they're a poor option. Between snow intrusion, and cold radiating up through the metal cleat and backing plate they're of very limited effectiveness.

    The Exustars were the value winner for a clipless winter shoe, but MEC doesn't even list them on their site any more. Not sure if there is another source for purchasing them in Canada.

    There are many other winter shoe options, but all more expensive. During Spring season it's easier to find deals on winter shoes, but it's high demand time now and sale prices are unlikely.

  8. #8
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    Meh.. shoes.

    Socks and the materiel they are made of have more an effect then the shoe in winter. And the best known material for winter riding is wool. And best to layer if possible. And really one is better to buy a set of beater SPD's that are bigger then your normal size.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Meh.. shoes.

    Socks and the materiel they are made of have more an effect then the shoe in winter. And the best known material for winter riding is wool. And best to layer if possible. And really one is better to buy a set of beater SPD's that are bigger then your normal size.
    That's a good suggestion, so long as the snow isn't slushy or wet. The bigger shoe size (length and width) as suggested by Enduramil is really key if you can find a cheapo 2nd hand pair on Craigslist. A thick sock in regular size clipless shoes will lead to poor circulation and freeze your feet faster than you can say frostbite 5 times over.

    Also never overlook the "bread bag" option over the socks, under the shoes, although definitely not the most breathable setup!

  10. #10
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    Well the shoes I have are to big! I have learned to live with them since they were free. They are a size 12 but a small 12. I take a 10.5 in regular shoes. Im sure I have room for some good thick sox. Mabye even two.

    Feel stupid for not thinking of that.

  11. #11
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    Definitely go for some wool socks. Check to make sure they are not just some blend of like 7% wool too.

    Neoprene booties help, but have notable flaws as mentioned above.

    When it is really cold, platforms are still the best way to go IMHO.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  12. #12
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    A good pair of warm ski socks and a slightly oversized shoe are a good option but +1 on the Exustars if you can find them...
    Strava made me do it....

  13. #13
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    I really would like to buy myself a pair of Lake MXZ302's, but they go for $270+. I've opted to go with platforms and a decent pair of waterproof hiking boots, which I already own. That with the wool socks and I was "golden" last winter. I used that same set up for my winter hikes and was happy as well. So, I know it is effective for riding and hiking. I do miss clipless in the winter, but its a trade-off I make for affordable warm feet.

  14. #14
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    I got Shimano boots a couple years ago from my local shop. I was fed up and ready to buy them no matter what they cost. I called and asked if they still had any and they were on sale for something like 50-60 dollars. Score!

    You need boots and wool socks if you want to ride at below 0oC. If you're biking at night in the winter try to have a riding partner or at least make sure someone knows where you went.

  15. #15
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    Use your flats and work-boots. It's probably cheaper to replace your work-boots than the cycling shoes you may ruin while riding in the winter.

  16. #16
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    Machine, if your shoes have the room.....
    use neoprene hunting socks.

    I've been using them for years and they work fantastic. I've even fell through ice up to my knees and my feet still stayed warm enough to finish the day (which was brutally cold btw.)

    Drew
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  17. #17
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    I'm an SPD guy through and through, and I still think platforms are the way to go for the winter. Yeah it feels weird, but it's probably good for your technique to mix it up a bit anyway. I rode just about every weekend last year with my 5.10s and wool socks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    The bigger shoe size (length and width) as suggested by Enduramil is really key if you can find a cheapo 2nd hand pair on Craigslist.
    Pinkbike as well.

    One important detail... look for a non pointy toed racer type shoe. You want to look for one's that are closer to Shimano DX types for the extra width in the toe area. Sidi type toe boxes don't offer enough room for your toes to move around.

  19. #19
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    I lather vaseline on my feet before I put my ski socks on then my shoes. Helps with the wind. and I've tried the plastic baggie trick. Cannot stand booties, the toes are always flipping up. I'm going to have to resort to duct taping them now! I'm waiting on a pair of Lake winter boots, biting the cost this year. Will be worth it. Problem for me is finding a pair small enough !

    Last winter I threw on the platforms and rode in my Sorels. Problem solved. If you are putting your foot down lots anyways, best option and most economical. Will prob keep your feet the toastiest too.

  20. #20
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    If anyone is looking for a set of Exustars, size 43 fire me a pm (fit big for a 43, probably about a size 10) They are well used. I need smaller set.

  21. #21
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    these are the ultimate winter riding boot 45NRTH but they are a little pricey.

  22. #22
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    I am all for platforms in the winter as well. You then have a nice choice of footwear depending on conditions. I will wear anything from my 5-10's, to hiking shoe to a full on winter boot if conditions warrant it. I ride both urban and trail in the winter. I threw a pair or flats on my road bike last year as there was no snow till late in the season when it was really cold. Even with booties, I could not keep my feet comfortable. Also riding around the city, you get slush and lost of wet conditions from melting due to salt or heat from buildings and cars. A nice Goretex boot or hiking shoe is quite welcome. Also it's slippery out there and I would rather have no cleat.

  23. #23
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    Another little trick is to trace your foot on some styrofoam (clean meat-packing tray works well) and make a cut-out to insulate beneath the insole.

    I also ride with plastic bags over my shoes and beneath neoprene booties. Thin enough to clip in to and keeps the wet off of the shoe. However these like any mods to your regular shoe are simply buying minutes until your feet freeze as opposed to keeping them sustainably warm.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by temporoad View Post
    these are the ultimate winter riding boot 45NRTH but they are a little pricey.
    Those are wicked looking kicks. If I was riding in temps cold enough to need them though, I'd probably be worried about having ice building up on cleat/pedal interface that might keep me from clipping in anyhow.

  25. #25
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    With the winter SPD boots, I've never had ice and snow alone prevent clipping in.

    However, a combination of snow, mud, and leaves has blocked the clip completely a few times.

    Mind you, I've also had platforms with short or average length pins ice up enough to be slippery as well.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  26. #26
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    Lots of good info in this thread. A friend of mine took an old pair of winter boots and modified them to install an spd cleat underneath. It worked perfectly for him, he had fairly heavy boots for warmth and was able to use his clipless pedals

    I don't have any other details though as he passed away earlier this year.

  27. #27
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    If money is the issue then flats plus your winter boots is the way to go. Many of my riding friends prefer this option regardless. I prefer to be clipped in and I have the Exustar winter cycling shoes from MEC that I paid ~$100 for two seasons ago and as others have already posted; they have been great. I use CB Mallet pedals which is eggbeater with a cage. Gives me the option of a winter boot when riding in colder temps > -15 C
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  28. #28
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    Commuting or simply riding the CX bike I go clipless. Trail riding in winter.. flats.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    If money is the issue then flats plus your winter boots is the way to go. Many of my riding friends prefer this option regardless.
    Best winter flat pedal shoes I had was a pair of NB ^05 trail runners. Was able to screw in some nutted screws on the outer edge lugs near the toe and heel.

  29. #29
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    OK, so I have a cautionary tale. Yesterday, I rode to work. When I left in the morning it was 11 degrees, so I went with my regular shoes (Sidi dominators) and a pair of Assos winter socks.

    Got stuck working later than anticipated at the office, and by the time I left if was -4c. My commute is about 40km. By the time I got home I could not feel my feet. Then as they started to warm up, they hurt like a ...well, you know what they hurt like. Then the rest of me started to get really cold. Spent the next hour warmed up huddled under a pile of blankets. It was horrible. And I know better than to do stuff like this.

    So the moral of the story, Machine4321, is that if you want to ride outside for any amount of time over the winter, you need the right gear. If you don't have the right gear, you won't enjoy your ride. Get on kijiji or whatever and start looking for a pair of winter shoes, or if you can't do that, make your peace with platforms and boots. It's not worth the discomfort otherwise.
    Strava made me do it....

  30. #30
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    Heated Insoles Foot Warmers | ThermaCELL

    After no luck in search for small women's winter shoes for my wife I've decided on the heated Thermacell insoles will have to do. I have ordered them from my local hunting shop. The staff there gave them rave reviews so if they can keep feet warm for a morning in the tree stand they should keep her feet warm for a couple hours of winter riding. At $119 I'm even thinking of getting some for my feet.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Got stuck working later than anticipated at the office, and by the time I left if was -4c. My commute is about 40km. By the time I got home I could not feel my feet.
    Cooled off pretty quick, I ended up with a head-ache (of all things) from the icy wind in my ears and no ear coverage.

    Edit: I somehow just un-followed smarty trying to follow unglued on Strava. I suck at touch screens.
    Last edited by ghettocruiser; 11-24-2012 at 09:16 AM.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittyway View Post
    Heated Insoles Foot Warmers | ThermaCELL

    After no luck in search for small women's winter shoes for my wife I've decided on the heated Thermacell insoles will have to do. I have ordered them from my local hunting shop. The staff there gave them rave reviews so if they can keep feet warm for a morning in the tree stand they should keep her feet warm for a couple hours of winter riding. At $119 I'm even thinking of getting some for my feet.
    I hope you have better luck than I did with those. The first and second pair I got did not work so I got a refund. I was told they had been having some problems with quality control. That was last year so they should have that worked out by now.

  33. #33
    I already rode that
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    If really cheap you can just use some ductape over the mesh on your shoe, that with some winter cycling socks and it may be just what you need.

    I used the shoe covers before too and they work ok too but I found the ductape solution to keep my feet just warm enough to not sweat alot and used the covers when it was really cold out. Tossing em in a camelbak doesnt hurt just incase your feet do get too cold.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  34. #34
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    Thanks for the tips and ideas!

    I was at marks workwearhouse and they have these really nice T max sox. There super thick and very wooley on the inside. Hasnt been cold enough to use them yet but I will update. They were only 10bucks.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    Thanks for the tips and ideas!

    I was at marks workwearhouse and they have these really nice T max sox. There super thick and very wooley on the inside. Hasnt been cold enough to use them yet but I will update. They were only 10bucks.
    I rode with those socks yesterday in -3 and booties over my shoes and wasn't the slightest bit cold. They are warmer than wool socks I've paid $30-40 for so definitely a bargain

  36. #36
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    Good to hear. I was out yesterday and rode for 3 hours in regular socks and i was fine. But I was staying warm by riding single track. I think on the open roads would be a different story.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittyway View Post
    After no luck in search for small women's winter shoes for my wife I've decided on the heated Thermacell insoles will have to do. I have ordered them from my local hunting shop. The staff there gave them rave reviews so if they can keep feet warm for a morning in the tree stand they should keep her feet warm for a couple hours of winter riding. At $119 I'm even thinking of getting some for my feet.
    How small? I lucked out - the 37s (smallest size the Exustars came in) fit me. The Lakes go down to 36, but it's really hard for women with small feet.

  38. #38
    I already rode that
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    I dont know if someone said this but if your feet get cold just walk for a few mins and they should warm up.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    How small? I lucked out - the 37s (smallest size the Exustars came in) fit me. The Lakes go down to 36, but it's really hard for women with small feet.
    Size 36- 38 depending on the shoe. I saw that Exustar went that small but I have not been able to find a source for them yet. Just learnt that Garneau has shoes that small.

  40. #40
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    Try the stick on type toe warmers on your socks inside your shoes. They are thin enough to fit (for me anyways), and generate heat for hours.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb View Post
    I dont know if someone said this but if your feet get cold just walk for a few mins and they should warm up.
    I agree, if the ground is dry. If you have clipless and haven't managed to seal the bottom well, then you could end up with wet, cold feet. But, your concept does have its merits.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb View Post
    I dont know if someone said this but if your feet get cold just walk for a few mins and they should warm up.
    I'd say the exact opposite. If your feet are cold they aren't going to warm up until you get home and are in the heat for an hour. The last thing you want to do when you're biking is put your feet on the ground. If you have to stop and wait for slower riders, lean against a tree or something and stay clipped in. Never put your foot on the ground unless you have to.
    Last edited by limba; 11-27-2012 at 12:35 PM.

  43. #43
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    My feet usually warm up when I walk (or run?) for a few minutes.

    I guess results may vary.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittyway View Post
    Size 36- 38 depending on the shoe. I saw that Exustar went that small but I have not been able to find a source for them yet. Just learnt that Garneau has shoes that small.
    The Garneau is not very warm. It is essentially a cheap shoe with a neoprene cover not much better than just using a shoe cover.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Hair Boy View Post
    The Garneau is not very warm. It is essentially a cheap shoe with a neoprene cover not much better than just using a shoe cover.
    MEC in Vancouver had 1 pair of Exustars left in size 37 clearance for $59.99

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittyway View Post
    MEC in Vancouver had 1 pair of Exustars left in size 37 clearance for $59.99
    Score!

  47. #47
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    Battery heated socks?...

    Cabela's: Cabela's Battery Heated Boot Socks

    That, combined with bread bags around the feet and/or duct tape over the meshy-parts of the shoe as suggested previously, might work as a good, cheap solution.

  48. #48
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    Next major purchase. And of course they only sell them to the nation's of foul weather and grim riding.

    Shimano MT90 Boot | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

  49. #49
    I already rode that
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba View Post
    I'd say the exact opposite. If your feet are cold they aren't going to warm up until you get home and are in the heat for an hour. The last thing you want to do when you're biking is put your feet on the ground. If you have to stop and wait for slower riders, lean against a tree or something and stay clipped in. Never put your foot on the ground unless you have to.
    I used to think the same about how could walking warm up my cold feet when biking but after trying it out it does really. Unless of course like Huffster said and the ground is wet and with puddles that can get your shoe wet.

    When stopping and leaning up against a tree you arent moving so that wont help your cold feet any either. Now stopping and standing there now that wont help you warm them up a lil either.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  50. #50
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    I have these MT91

    Shimano MT91 MTB SPD Boots 2013 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    I bought them for sppring and fall riding then just kept wearing them more and more last summer my 2 pairs of sidi dragon 2's stayed in the close.

    In the really cold i wear a paddling sock in them.

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