Shoe covers vs. Winter shoes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shoe covers vs. Winter shoes

    Which do you prefer and why?

    Do you consider shoe covers as a cheaper solution or does it work well enough for you?

  2. #2
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    I used neoprene covers (Pearl Izumi) for a few years with limited success. Even with the heaviest wool socks I could fit and still wiggle my toes, my feet still got cold. I'm happier with the Shimano MW80s I got last year. I got them a size bigger to accommodate heavy socks. I still need chemical inserts when it gets below 30C. I think if I had it to do over, I'd spring for Lakes, which are reputed to be warmer.

    All that being said, depending on the temps and weather you ride in, and your toes' tolerance for cold, covers may work fine for you. Plenty of folks like them for less than extreme conditions.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  3. #3
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    I did something different. My regular clipless shoes had lots of ventilation. This works well in the summer but cool spring and fall days were uncomfortable and in the winter either I couldn't ride or had to put on two pairs of socks and my feet were still cold. I picked up a set of downhill clipless boots with fewer breathing points. Out of the box, they were better than my regular shoes for cool weather but still not good enough for cold winter days. I read somewhere that most of the heat is lost through bottom of the shoes. I glued a piece of polar fleece to the bottom of the removable insole on one shoe. Although it was a little tighter on the inside, the shoe with the additional liner was more comfortable than the shoe without. I added the same polar fleece to the remaining shoe and now I have no problems riding on days that dip even into the 20's.

    I considered shoe covers but they tend to get torn up quite easily and only block the wind, not the cold. Dedicated winter shoes are expensive and are limited use. My modified boots work well for three seasons (fall, winter, spring) and my regular shoes also work well for three seasons (spring, summer, fall) .

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air
    I used neoprene covers (Pearl Izumi) for a few years with limited success. Even with the heaviest wool socks I could fit and still wiggle my toes, my feet still got cold. I'm happier with the Shimano MW80s I got last year. I got them a size bigger to accommodate heavy socks. I still need chemical inserts when it gets below 30C. I think if I had it to do over, I'd spring for Lakes, which are reputed to be warmer.

    All that being said, depending on the temps and weather you ride in, and your toes' tolerance for cold, covers may work fine for you. Plenty of folks like them for less than extreme conditions.
    So, to make sure, we are talking 30F not C right? cause 30C is like High 80's F, and I can't imagine chemical warmers needed.

    My 2cents. I made due with shoe covers for awhile by putting a fiberboard shim under the footbed (these are commonly used for alpine boot fitting) to help with heat transfer to the cleat. I just bought the Shimano winters though, and have used the Lakes which are fantastic.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombinate
    So, to make sure, we are talking 30F not C right? cause 30C is like High 80's F, and I can't imagine chemical warmers needed.
    .
    Oops, right. I should have used the F word .
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  6. #6
    AZ
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    P.I. booties and wool socks to about 0 f. Works well for about 2 hrs. For temps below 0 f. Lake MX 302 .

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumbee1
    shoe covers... tend to...only block the wind, not the cold.
    I agree with the above quote.

    Everybody has a different tolerance level, but for me, it goes something like this:

    Cool - Vented cycling shoes
    Cold - Neoprene shoe covers
    Coldest - Switch to flat pedals and warm boots.

    I don't ride enough in "coldest" temperatures to justify dedicated winter cycling shoes.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  8. #8
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    After years of trying different combinations of socks and shoe covers, for off road there is no substitute for dedicated insulated and waterproof winter shoes (I use specialized defrosters), especially in snow. I'm trying shoe covers for a while on the road bike with road shoes, but I suspect I'll eventually be putting the eggbeaters back on it and using the defrosters for road also. Once acclimated I can tolerate the cold pretty well, but like most people frozen toes are my weak link.

  9. #9
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    I ride road down into the high 20s and PI booties work great. 2-3 hour winter rides.

    I try not to over-accessorize too. Less is more...

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