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  1. #1
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    Cold & wet weather footwear for flat pedals

    Howdy Y’all,
    Personally I use SPD pedals but my GF rides flats. She loves her 5-10 shoes but they’re not insulated / waterproof. We live in the PNW (valley, not mountains) where we can ride all year but winters here are very wet and muddy, rarely snowy. Our feet get wet and stay wet throughout the ride when temps are often in the upper 30s - lower 40s. Hands and feet are the problems.

    She’s looking for good cold/wet weather footwear for flat pedals (she rides Chester pedals). Preferably high tops, waterproof, insulted. Her shoe size is 37 euro and evidently this tiny size is hardest to find.

    If you can recommmend a solid shoe for her needs &/or a good cycling footwear resource in general, we’d sure appreciate the help. TIA.
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  2. #2
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    How about just getting her a winter cycling shoe. She doesn't need to use clips. I did a similar thing with my wife. She uses a touring/mtb shoe with flats.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    How about just getting her a winter cycling shoe. She doesn't need to use clips. I did a similar thing with my wife. She uses a touring/mtb shoe with flats.
    Thanks! Any chance you can name one (or two) good ones that work well with agressively pinned pedals? My GF is a former clipped-in rider who’s become rather addicted to 5.10’s uber soft rubber compound and the way her pedal pins engage it. I’m not aware of any touring shoes (winter touring shoes?) that employ a similar sole. But if insulated, waterproof winter touring shoes with such a sole exist, we absolutely wanna know about them. Thanks again!
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  4. #4
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    Good quality hiking boots/shoes can work very well with flats. Choose those that have good sole characteristics to work the the pedals; appropriate tread pattern, tackiness, and right degree of stiffness. Make sure they're roomy enough for heavier socks without restricting blood flow.
    Do the math.

  5. #5
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    We’ve been searching online. Anybody tried the Giro Riddance Mid mountain shoe? Website claims it’s water resistant...
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Good quality hiking boots/shoes can work very well with flats. Choose those that have good sole characteristics to work the the pedals; appropriate tread pattern, tackiness, and right degree of stiffness. Make sure they're roomy enough for heavier socks without restricting blood flow.
    Thanks, Rager. Not sure any hiking boot sole will offer an engagement interface anywhere similar to that of 5.10. She’s a long time hiker (done PCT, for example), has lots of expereince with hiking boots. If you know of any with smooth, soft soles, we’re all ears. Thanks again.
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  7. #7
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    Stick the the 5 10s if she likes them. Get a half size bigger. Coat the crud out of them with Scotch guard. For socks go with what she likes but get some neoprene scuba dive socks to go on over her socks. You can also place a plastic bag between the sock and the neoprene bootie if the booty is not doing it by itself. Other option is the neoprene cycling booty over her regular shoe. You just might need to modify the bottom of the booty to interface with the pedal and not hang up.
    Personally I use a half size larger Specialized MTB shoe in the winter and add the scuba booties when it is under 30 degrees.
    Being in Texas I have never ridden in sub 20 temps since they just don't happen in this part of the state too often.

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    Try waterproof socks from Showers Pass or Bridgedale. They work pretty well. 5.10 make an insulated high top that might be good too. People that recommend footwear that is not as sticky as a 5.10 don’t really know what sticky is. Nothings sticks to a flat pedal better than a 5.10. There may some that are equal, but hiking boots ain’t it.

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5051-3...EPS-High-Shoes

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by someoldfart View Post
    Try waterproof socks from Showers Pass or Bridgedale. They work pretty well. 5.10 make an insulated high top that might be good too. People that recommend footwear that is not as sticky as a 5.10 don’t really know what sticky is. Nothings sticks to a flat pedal better than a 5.10. There may some that are equal, but hiking boots ain’t it.

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5051-3...EPS-High-Shoes
    Thank you! That is the shoe right there, no doubt about it. She can probably make a men’s size 7 work. But $210 — yikes! She’ll just have to decide to bust her wallet out. Which, at this price, is unlikely to happen until her feet get really wet & cold a time or two.
    Anyway thanks again. Done!
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  10. #10
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    Maybe some gaiters too, those can help if it's really wet/splashy. The top of my boots is a problem area, where water can come in. In warmer times or when I'm DHing with moto pants I'll just use duct tape and tape the boots to the pants, creating a seal where no mud and water can get into my boots, but gaiters work pretty good at this too. They also keep lose-pant legs from getting caught in drivetrains. Lastly, they give me a bit more warmth, so I usually wear them in the winter regardless of the conditions. You can get tighter-fitting much smaller ones as compared to the giant knee-length snow ones I use.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Thanks, Rager. Not sure any hiking boot sole will offer an engagement interface anywhere similar to that of 5.10....
    Yeah. The only shoes I know of that are as good in that regard as 5.10s are 5.10s. My wife has small but wider feet and most women's shoes don't fit her well. She has some older Lowa Renegade boots for winter riding that have been working pretty well for her. The soles are pretty soft and the pattern engages the pedals (also Chesters) pretty well. IDK about the current Renegades and there certainly may be something out there that's better in your situation.
    Do the math.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Maybe some gaiters too, those can help if it's really wet/splashy. The top of my boots is a problem area, where water can come in. In warmer times or when I'm DHing with moto pants I'll just use duct tape and tape the boots to the pants, creating a seal where no mud and water can get into my boots, but gaiters work pretty good at this too. They also keep lose-pant legs from getting caught in drivetrains. Lastly, they give me a bit more warmth, so I usually wear them in the winter regardless of the conditions. You can get tighter-fitting much smaller ones as compared to the giant knee-length snow ones I use.
    Good suggestion, Jayem, thanks. In fact she already employs gaiters — the stretchy, lightweight trail running kind — and they’re a godsend. They’re not even waterproof but it’s amazing how much water they deflect and no trail debris (pine needles, sand, gravel, etc.) gets into her shoes. Thanks again.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by someoldfart View Post
    Try waterproof socks from Showers Pass or Bridgedale. They work pretty well. 5.10 make an insulated high top that might be good too. People that recommend footwear that is not as sticky as a 5.10 don’t really know what sticky is. Nothings sticks to a flat pedal better than a 5.10. There may some that are equal, but hiking boots ain’t it.

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5051-3...EPS-High-Shoes
    For subfreezing cold temps, it's still hiking boots for me. I have no delusions of grip on the pedals - I know that the boots will have significantly less. But for snowy conditions, I also have no delusions that 5.10's just aren't going to cut it when I have to step off the bike (and it's a matter of when, not if, for that).

    I use my 5.10 Freerider Contacts down to around freezing with no problem, though. For those sorts of conditions, I like the full leather uppers, but not the primaloft insulation. I tend to run warm and tend to prefer warm socks over insulated footwear until it drops below -10F or -20F or so. Insulated footwear basically just means sweaty feet for me, and that doesn't really get me any improvement.

    I have WxB socks that have been getting duty as one of my layers for splashing through those cold creek crossings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Maybe some gaiters too, those can help if it's really wet/splashy. The top of my boots is a problem area, where water can come in. In warmer times or when I'm DHing with moto pants I'll just use duct tape and tape the boots to the pants, creating a seal where no mud and water can get into my boots, but gaiters work pretty good at this too. They also keep lose-pant legs from getting caught in drivetrains. Lastly, they give me a bit more warmth, so I usually wear them in the winter regardless of the conditions. You can get tighter-fitting much smaller ones as compared to the giant knee-length snow ones I use.
    Wouldn't mind adding some shorty gaiters, though. But the ones I have now (really nice Schoeller Dryskin softshell fabric), I'm not sure about using with 5.10's. I might try, but they still rely on laces underneath the foot to hold them in place. Works great on boots and on shoes with a raised area around the arch, but on a flat bottomed shoe with no recess, it seems like a recipe for that lace to get snagged and shredded on the pedal pins. Do you have any recommendations in this regard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    For subfreezing cold temps, it's still hiking boots for me. I have no delusions of grip on the pedals - I know that the boots will have significantly less. But for snowy conditions, I also have no delusions that 5.10's just aren't going to cut it when I have to step off the bike (and it's a matter of when, not if, for that).

    I use my 5.10 Freerider Contacts down to around freezing with no problem, though. For those sorts of conditions, I like the full leather uppers, but not the primaloft insulation. I tend to run warm and tend to prefer warm socks over insulated footwear until it drops below -10F or -20F or so. Insulated footwear basically just means sweaty feet for me, and that doesn't really get me any improvement.

    I have WxB socks that have been getting duty as one of my layers for splashing through those cold creek crossings.



    Wouldn't mind adding some shorty gaiters, though. But the ones I have now (really nice Schoeller Dryskin softshell fabric), I'm not sure about using with 5.10's. I might try, but they still rely on laces underneath the foot to hold them in place. Works great on boots and on shoes with a raised area around the arch, but on a flat bottomed shoe with no recess, it seems like a recipe for that lace to get snagged and shredded on the pedal pins. Do you have any recommendations in this regard?
    Yeah, I don't mean softshell fabric, but tough cordura types. I've seen varying heights and they do pretty nice through nasty water/rain/mud. If your tech pants have a built-in snow-gaiter they can serve as the outer seal that makes anything that gets past fall between these two and not soak the boots proper. When it's warmer though, I just use duct tape. Looks ridiculous, but keeps my feet dry and allows them to still breathe through the leather, vs more "waterproof" solutions. I'm not looking to be able to wade through water constantly though, just a quick dip for a mis-placed foot when crossing a stream.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yeah, I don't mean softshell fabric, but tough cordura types. I've seen varying heights and they do pretty nice through nasty water/rain/mud. If your tech pants have a built-in snow-gaiter they can serve as the outer seal that makes anything that gets past fall between these two and not soak the boots proper. When it's warmer though, I just use duct tape. Looks ridiculous, but keeps my feet dry and allows them to still breathe through the leather, vs more "waterproof" solutions. I'm not looking to be able to wade through water constantly though, just a quick dip for a mis-placed foot when crossing a stream.
    I dunno that I'm really interested in Cordura types. I have taller gaiters in that material, too, that I don't use very often (only when I know I'll be doing some bushwacking through thick, nasty stuff).

    I really like the softshell ones that I have for trail use. The stretch fabric does a nice job of closing off the top of the shoe/boot. And the Schoeller fabric is surprisingly water resistant. I've dunked a foot in water that came above the cuff of my footwear, with not a drop of water getting through.

    I was just looking at various running gaiters on the market now, and couldn't really find much of an improvement on what I have. I did see some discussion from users who attach velcro to the back of their footwear and to the heel area of their running gaiters as a way to keep the backs from riding up (apparently for models that don't have straps under the sole of the shoe). Might be worth investigating. I have 2 pair of these gaiters.

    A lot of my rides this time of year are in temps where it's warm enough to wear shorts (and sometimes even short sleeves) in the warmer parts of the day, but nighttime temps are frequently dropping below freezing. Consequently, the streams are running cold and keeping that water out of my shoes would be nice.

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    I'm interested in winter boots/shoes as well. I noticed that f'rinstance, 45NRTH makes the Japanthers, which are advertised as good to maybe 25 degrees F. But the Japanthers have the SPD cleat sockets on the soles. I run platforms on my commuting/trail bike, a Surly Pugsley, and have no desire to switch to any kind of clip-in system. So, are those winter cycling shoes meant for clip systems basically not a good idea if you're running flat/platform pedals?

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    I've been riding this year in Vans Sk8 Hi MTEs. They're basically Vans' high skate shoes with a kind of fake fur lining and water resistant leather outers (which I will probably waterproof more at some point).

    I really like the pedal grip (I've read that they're stiffer in the sole than the normal ones, but can't comment on this) and they've kept my feet warm down to 10 degrees or so with warm socks. I haven't gone on any epics at that temp though, so if you want to ride for hours in sub 20 weather, I'd go warmer, but they're great for 20s-40s.

    Cold & wet weather footwear for flat pedals-vans-fallwinter-2014-sk8-hi-mte-00.jpg

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    I tend to encounter a lot of slush and water on both city streets and on local trails, so I think maybe those Vans look a bit too "vulnerable" to me. I found these - Keen Targhee Lace Waterproof Insulated Mid (phew...!) while looking around online:

    Cold & wet weather footwear for flat pedals-keen_targhee_lace.jpg

    Keen sells a zillion different boots that are called "Targhee," so you have to look carefully. List price is about $150, but widely onsale for about $120. Looks decent for everyday winter wear, as well - not a small bonus, I think.

    I still wonder about cycling boots with the cleat attachment holes on the soles...if you just leave them alone, will they allow water to penetrate into the (inner) sole of the shoe?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cold & wet weather footwear for flat pedals-keen_targhee_lace.jpg  


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    I use the vinyl version of the Five Ten Freeriders with wool socks. The sock make a difference and by that I mean first and second choice are Swiftwick and Darn Tough brands. I'd go as far as saying Swiftwick might be the world's best socks.

    For deeper snow biking times I use light weight hiking boots with Outdoor Research gaiters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbsuburb2017 View Post
    I tend to encounter a lot of slush and water on both city streets and on local trails, so I think maybe those Vans look a bit too "vulnerable" to me. I found these - Keen Targhee Lace Waterproof Insulated Mid (phew...!) while looking around online:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Keen sells a zillion different boots that are called "Targhee," so you have to look carefully. List price is about $150, but widely onsale for about $120. Looks decent for everyday winter wear, as well - not a small bonus, I think.

    I still wonder about cycling boots with the cleat attachment holes on the soles...if you just leave them alone, will they allow water to penetrate into the (inner) sole of the shoe?
    The tongue on the Vans is gusseted, so with SnoSeal or something similar, I wouldn't be too worried about slush/spray (though I'll report back after I have some experience).

    I actually have a lot of hiking footwear from lightwear trail running shoes to mouintaineering boots that I've ridden my bike with for a bit. The problem with almost all of them as bike shoes (but my approach shoes, and some trail runners though those are usually too soft) is that the lugs are too deep and open to get consistent purchase on the pins. Sometimes you have a good foot position, move your foot a little bit and suddenly most of the pins are between lugs and you feel like you have no grip at all. I can't tell what the lugs are like on those keens but they look like they might be a bit more than what I'd want for a flat pedal show. Why I like the Vans is that they have a skate shoe bottom which holds the pedals well.

    Your problem will be that what often makes good hiking/general winter wear traction isn't what makes for good traction on flat pedals.

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    You might try LL Bean's Snow Sneakers if you want a more traditional boot. I haven't used them, so I can't really vouch, but my mom was visiting with a pair recently and they seemed like they'd be a good winter biking shoe. The tread profile was lower and flatter than on most boots.


    https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/1213...now%20sneakers

    And they make a velcro one if ease is your thing. These are probably what I'd get if I didn't have the Vans already:
    https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/1213...now%20sneakers

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    umm.. Five Ten say these are for winter

    https://www.adidasoutdoor.com/five-t...shoe/FT43.html

    $120 (assuming they have a size that works for her)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cold & wet weather footwear for flat pedals-eps.jpg  


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    Saw those. An otherwise very favorable review on Adidas' website said "...amazing grip on the pedals but slippery like a skating rink on any wet or snowy surface." So maybe not good for urban commuting. Have to get off the bike now and then due to somewhat unpredictable behavior by "motorists."

    Right now I'm wearing an old pair of Ariat mid-length hiking boots. No insulation, waterproof to some extent (had to have some of the stitching redone, and new holes, no matter how they are sealed, eventually let water in...) Not aggressive soles, so OK on sticking to the pedals. But compared to my warm weather cycling shoes (Giro Jackets), not sticky at all, really.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    umm.. Five Ten say these are for winter

    https://www.adidasoutdoor.com/five-t...shoe/FT43.html

    $120 (assuming they have a size that works for her)
    Hey now! I emailed the link to her. Thanks!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Hey now! I emailed the link to her. Thanks!
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    Her reply:
    "Thanks darling - ordered and got $20 off as new customer with free shipping so total was $100. Hope the size will be right.
    ~Tink"

    Thanks again,
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  26. #26
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    Vaude makes waterproof flat shoes. No idea what they are like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Her reply:
    "Thanks darling - ordered and got $20 off as new customer with free shipping so total was $100. Hope the size will be right.
    ~Tink"

    Thanks again,
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    awesome.. I hope they workout well .. looks like a good shoe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    We’ve been searching online. Anybody tried the Giro Riddance Mid mountain shoe? Website claims it’s water resistant...
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    They are pretty good in the cold & wet, but the grip is nowhere near as good as 5:10s. Mine tore open on their second ride & the shop took them back.
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    Moot point since she already ordered but the Five Ten EPS High's are a really good winter shoe, decently warm and water proof, love mine.

    The only drawback is that super sticky sole that keeps your feet planted on flats is completely worthless off the bike on any degree of incline, no traction at all in mud or snow.

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    I recently acquired a pair of Under Armour Fat Tire Govies. They're Gore Tex, insulated and come up above the ankle. I've tried them out on colder days (teens and below) and they've worked really well. They grip the pedals well (though not 510 level) due to their really low profile lugs (which are actually designed after mountain bike tires, so things come around I guess). They're notably warmer than the Vans SK8 Hi MTEs that I was wearing (and which I love from low 20s and up).

    The best part, is that they actually have really good grip off the bike. So if I'm riding a bit, doing some trail work, or just hiking around, I'm good to go.

    On the downside, they look like space boots.
    Cold & wet weather footwear for flat pedals-b076sh7gjy_1.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    I recently acquired a pair of Under Armour Fat Tire Govies. They're Gore Tex, insulated and come up above the ankle. I've tried them out on colder days (teens and below) and they've worked really well. They grip the pedals well (though not 510 level) due to their really low profile lugs (which are actually designed after mountain bike tires, so things come around I guess). They're notably warmer than the Vans SK8 Hi MTEs that I was wearing (and which I love from low 20s and up).

    The best part, is that they actually have really good grip off the bike. So if I'm riding a bit, doing some trail work, or just hiking around, I'm good to go.

    On the downside, they look like space boots.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Those look good! Thanks!
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    I have always used gortex hiking boots, works well, water proof, grip is fine for me. Keen and merrels comes to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I have always used gortex hiking boots, works well, water proof, grip is fine for me. Keen and merrels comes to mind.
    I haven't tried Merrells or Keens, but these are my first hiking boots where I don't find the deep lugs leading to inconsistent grip. I did see some Merrells that looked like they might be shallow enough, but I haven't tried them.

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    I prefer Keens over Merrells. I used to wear Merrells and have had multiply sole failures (the soles didn't actually fail, however they did leak through the sole making them no longer waterproof) and I also have tried North Face once. I prefer, for my feet (shape,function) the wider toe box of the Keens. Some might find them to spacious.

    MTB shoes for winter, Specialized Defrosters are what I wear. Good to maybe 25 deg for my comfort...
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by atarione View Post
    umm.. Five Ten say these are for winter

    https://www.adidasoutdoor.com/five-t...shoe/FT43.html

    $120 (assuming they have a size that works for her)
    The EPS is my winter favorite so far. I found they run small in size, I had to go to a 14. Great for California winters. Just as slippery as any other 5.10 when hike a bike in mud.

    Not trying to spam the thread but do look at my Hot Sockee, it works really good with a shoe like the EPS, more warmth more waterproofing.

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    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-20-2018, 10:28 AM
  2. Onyx in COLD weather? Good cold weather hubs?
    By car bone in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 02-11-2016, 04:23 PM
  3. Wet, wet, wet
    By langen in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-06-2007, 06:12 PM
  4. Marta SLs in wet, wet, WET conditions?
    By tscheezy in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-29-2004, 10:36 PM

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