Gotta Winter Insole Situation Going on Here- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gotta Winter Insole Situation Going on Here

    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for advice on insoles for my MTB shoes. Here's my current setup:

    A friend suggested I purchase a pair of shoes 1 size larger than I normally wear. Then use 2 insoles and place chemical toe warmers under my toes before heading out on cold rides. I generally can get about 3 hours in at around 30 degrees F. Toes nice and warm the entire time.

    However, I sat in the house with a friend too long before heading out during my last ride and my toes got cold. I suspect my feet started to sweat too much and, as a result, quickly got cold during my ride.

    Today I just realized my MTB shoes have vented toes (dropped a small flashlight in there). But, I've had great luck, nonetheless.

    The image below shows my setup. The Superfeet will have to go because they are 1 size too small.

    So, right now I am looking for something to place over the original shimano insole for the added layer of warmth.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I heard fleece insoles might be good but I'm not sure what brand/type to choose from.

    [img]Gotta Winter Insole Situation Going on Here-img_20171224_095557049.jpg[img]

  2. #2
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    I thought you said "winter?"


    Seriously though, I would put some of these on (a number of different companies make them). They'll cover up the vents on the front of your shoes and make a noticeable difference in warmth:

    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  3. #3
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    Well, I guess I should have said cold weather riding I've taken a look at the toe covers but I haven't seen any that are reinforced on the bottom to protect against rocks, etc. Maybe something has come out by now. I'll take a look around.
    Last edited by jscott36; 12-24-2017 at 04:47 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscott36 View Post
    Well, I guess I short have said cold weather riding I've taken a look at the toe covers but I haven't seen any that are reinforced on the bottom to protect against rocks, etc. Maybe something has come out by now. I'll take a look around.
    There are some that are a little more "mtb specific" that are beefier. You could also try some felted wool insoles inside your shoes if you have enough room. They are cheap and can make a difference as well. If your feet are still cold after adding both of those things into the mix, then it's probably time to invest in some winter riding shoes.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Smithhammer. I'll look around a bit. Today I put duct tape under the vents to help block the vented mesh for now. The felted wool insoles sound like a good idea. I'll look into these.

  6. #6
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    Duct tape over the vents is better. More trapped air.
    Do the math.

  7. #7
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    Ok, thanks.. I'm all over that. Thanks for the tip!

  8. #8
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    Those neoprene toe-covers can be found on ebay for less than $3 shipped from china. At that price the don't have to last long, - I usually get a whole winter out of a pair. They really make a big difference, you should try a set of those. Your feet will still get cold at colder temps, but short of getting winter specific shoes these help a lot.
    skidding is the signature of the novice; learn how to use your brakes.

  9. #9
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    Thanks JimpacNW. I'll look into these. I didn't know China was into the toe cover market The price is great.

  10. #10
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    Alpaca Wool Inserts/insoles

    I ended up going with Alpaca of Montana ($17 Amazon) wool insoles. They are thick (at least 1/2") and look and feel incredibly warm.

    My setup is my regular Shimano MO88 MTB shoes (toe vent covered) and 1 size larger than I normally wear. And the Alpaca insoles. I also got a pair of toe covers (Rockbros). And then I top it off with Grabber toe warmers when I ride. I should be good to ride for hours.

    It's in the single digits, snowy and windy now so I haven't tested them out yet.

    [img]Gotta Winter Insole Situation Going on Here-boot_inserts_design-2_1024x1024.jpg[img]

    [img]Gotta Winter Insole Situation Going on Here-shimano-m088-spd-mtb-shoes-ev180360-9999-1.jpgimg]

  11. #11
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    I wouldn't be caught dead in 30 degrees F in any of those shoes. You are trying to polish a turd. Even with sheepskin or wool inserts, there's not much distance between your foot and the cleat, which operates as a heat-sink, in addition to the pedal body. Just not enough insulating properties. I at least need my Lake 302s in those temps, and I have much beefier/warmer shoes for even colder.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  12. #12
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    It sounds like you found out what works for you. That's great.

  13. #13
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    I have those same Shimano shoes and I used to wear em in cold weather because it was all I had. I'd use two pair of socks, usually one Nike Dry Fit and one pair Smartwool. How long it took my toes to get cold was directly related to how cold it was outside and whether or not there was snow on the ground.
    45Nrth makes an insole that is supposed to really isolate your foot from the bottom of the shoe and the cleat.
    I have to say, I agree with Jayem. Now, I only use the Shimano shoes in 50 and up temps. I got some Sidis for cooler days and Lake 303s for real cold. I rode about two hours in 20 degrees with falling snow yesterday. My feet weren't even a thought.
    I like turtles

  14. #14
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    I like turtles

  15. #15
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    MTB Shoes

    Thanks NYrr496 for the link. I'll check those out.

    As my MTB shoes are generally for cold and dry winter days I'd prefer to have my lightweight shoes. I don't have a Fat bike so that limits my riding a bit.I forgot to mention that I've already had great success with these while wearing 2 insoles- even with the mesh above the toes uncovered. That was the goal - to overcome the cold cleat problem.

    To combat the degradation of toe covers I found a pair that is reinforced with kevlar around the edges. Because they were too small I decided to cut the strap and make them permanent (or semi-permanent). The idea is to make them last longer by having my sole touch the ground instead of the neoprene.

    Below you can see the stainless steel screws I put in there. Hopefully I get a longer life out of them this way. As $12.99 for the pair I can always replace them.

    [img]Gotta Winter Insole Situation Going on Here-img_20180101_072724245.jpg[img]
    [img]Gotta Winter Insole Situation Going on Here-img_20180101_072709913.jpg[img]
    [img]Gotta Winter Insole Situation Going on Here-img_20180101_072652511.jpg[img]

  16. #16
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    Iíve been using fleece insoles, $10 on amazon. They have have a felt pad sewn on the bottom ií ve been removing for more room since my shoes arenít oversized.
    In my case I feel the cold coming up-from the bottom of the shoe.

  17. #17
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    Chemical toe warmers like Grabbers (best brand IMO) might do the trick for you. When purchasing in bulk (40ct) they come out to less than $1 each. I don't ski much anymore but you could probably ride an entire season for less than the cost of 1 lift ticket

  18. #18
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    Save your self money, time, and hassle.

    Size up and by a used, cheap mtb shoe off eBay.

    Some mtb shoes have bigger toe boxes than others. Specialized shoes traditionally have bigger toe boxes than most other brands - especially Italian made brands.

    Ideally without mesh, but that's not easy to find. I use Plasti-dip to "coat" almost all the mesh on almost all my mtb shoes. Even non-winter shoes. Its just too damp and cool here most of the time.

    Take an insole from an old sneaker and double up. Or, buy a cheap insole from any drug store.


    It's the air around your toes and feet that keep them warm. Taking up space in a properly fit summer shoe adds very little, and if being too tight you can make the situation worse.


    Right now, on eBay, with a quick search, I found a few cheap options that would work for my self.

    https://www.ebay.com/b/Mens-Mountain...Condition=3000


    Toe Grabber... Agree. I buy the 6 pack version and they come out to be less than $1 each. They feel odd under my foot, so I place them diagonally across the top of my foot/toes.

    Good luck.

  19. #19
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    Yes, that's what I normally do. One size larger than normal with 2 insoles. The felted insoles I got will likely compress a bit. When they do I'll place the original (and thin) shimano insole under the wool one - leaving me with 2 insoles again.

    I haven't heard of Plasti-dip before. I'll check it out. Thanks for mentioning it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscott36 View Post
    Yes, that's what I normally do. One size larger than normal with 2 insoles. The felted insoles I got will likely compress a bit. When they do I'll place the original (and thin) shimano insole under the wool one - leaving me with 2 insoles again.

    I haven't heard of Plasti-dip before. I'll check it out. Thanks for mentioning it.
    OK.

    As far as insoles go I don't think there is any type of magic in one vs. the other. Its all about how much space they take up, and thus how much air they trap.

    The wool/felt insoles do sound nice _if_ you have the space for them in your shoe. The more space you take up on the bottom of your foot the less space you have on top of your toes.


    Plastic-dip. That's what I use to cover the mesh as that is what I had laying around at the time, and have just stayed with that. It's not perfect, but does work. Maybe others have tried something else that works better. I've thought about using plain contact cement.

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