Winter Shoes, two pair socks...STILL Cold feet- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Winter Shoes, two pair socks...STILL Cold feet

    OK, so heres my setup:

    Specialized Defroster Shoes
    45North Jazztronaut Insoles
    Two pair socks, one thin summer sock, covered with DeFeet Woolie Boolie wool socks.

    25 degrees, 30 minutes into a ride and feet are ice cold. Frozen and numb. And to add to the conundrum, I will pull a shoe off and the inside is pretty warm. The sole of the shoe isn't cold and the toe of the boot is warm as well. Yet, my toes are frozen solid and numb.

    Rest of core is covered pretty well. Tights, shorts, a base layer, plus winter jersey, plus windproof jacket. Thick balaclava and heavy winter gloves.

    ANY ideas WTF is going on?

  2. #2
    Livin' the dream.
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    "2 things come to mind. First you need to have room in the shoe to hold the warmth, if the shoe is tight fitting with the 2 pair of socks your feet will get cold."

    I can second this... If your feet are jammed into two pairs of socks your circulation is suffering and your feet will get cold (I'm pretty sure it's a circulation problem, not "room for warmth", although if you are compressing your socks so they have no loft or room for air, I guess that would fit the no room for warmth definition). I find a good pair of medium weight wool ski or hiking socks & shoes made for colder riding ie: not mesh or ventilated for warmer conditions work well.
    JASDIP!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCFry View Post
    "2 things come to mind. First you need to have room in the shoe to hold the warmth, if the shoe is tight fitting with the 2 pair of socks your feet will get cold."

    I can second this... If your feet are jammed into two pairs of socks your circulation is suffering and your feet will get cold (I'm pretty sure it's a circulation problem, not "room for warmth", although if you are compressing your socks so they have no loft or room for air, I guess that would fit the no room for warmth definition). I find a good pair of medium weight wool ski or hiking socks & shoes made for colder riding ie: not mesh or ventilated for warmer conditions work well.
    In the past with good success I have use sock liners along with my socks. I also have a pair of lakes winter riding boots that I really like

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    This winter I have regularly ridden in temps of -30 celcius. I ride with 510 eps high top shoes and only one pair of socks. Also not the warmest shoes out there. Why I had no issues with cold feet is I believe due to wearing gaiters. They keep my lower legs warm and in turn keep my feet warm. I use 45nrth bergraven but there are lots of other options out there. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    I don't know if it's even remotely relevant but years ago i had a pair of Specialized SPD shoes and they were freezing as well. They were not winter shoes but they were colder than any other shoes I've had. I gave them away as they were unusable.

  6. #6
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    I have the same problem. I can sweat in a t-shirt when it's 45f, but my toes/fingers will be numb. Just seems to be the way it is for some. What works for me:
    - Need blood flow. As mentioned, make sure there's room in the shoe for that. Be sure to pedal in circles. The constant just down motion doesn't promote enough flow to the toes for me. Pulling up helps quite a bit. Also, be sure to pedal with a heal down position. Cramming the toes into the shoe doesn't help. Keeping the cleat back can help as well.
    - Drop the clipless when it gets cold and use some real boots with flats. I have a pair of Salomon Toundra Pro's that keep me warm at pretty much any temp.

  7. #7
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    Make sure your shoes are not too tight because it can possibly impede the circulation and can cause cold feet.

  8. #8
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    +1 on room for insulation and to not restrict circulation. Once your toes/fingers get cold, blood flow to them is greatly reduced and it's nearly impossible to recover. What works for me is to warm up to the point of just starting to break a sweat before riding outside, then keeping at least that level of exertion while riding. The warmup can be doing some calisthenics or riding a trainer. I can get away with relatively light gloves and foot gear into the teens by doing this. Most all of my winter riding is local so I can leave from my house or drive maybe 20 minutes and don't lose the warmup. IDK about having to drive further, but if I did I might try some energetic calisthenics at the trailhead to get the blood flowing to the extremities.
    Do the math.

  9. #9
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    I also get cold feet easily. When temperatures drop to around zero degrees celsius, I use warming pads. They are not cheap given that each set can be used only once, but here it is only about two months where I need them, and in the great scheme of mountainbike-related spending it is still not that much.

    5h foot warmer L-78050 tp

    I think you may also be able to find similar products that can be reused by "recharging" them in hot water.

  10. #10
    it's....
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    I forget what they're called, neoprene half shoe that slips over the front half of your shoe and has opening on the bottom for the cleat.
    Just those over Sidis kept my toes warm enough in Mid Atlantic winter rides.

  11. #11
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    Keeping warm isn't as straightforward as adding 1+1... Each person has different expectations and your body will do what it needs to do. You could have bad circulation into your legs and feet. I find that sometimes less is more. I know that I will get cold before I get warm. The first 20 mins should be hard to get the blood moving and then the next hour should be comfortable.

    Your brain will also affect how much flow goes into your extremities. If you're notoriously cold and air somewhat anxious about being cold, it will constrict blood flow to protect the core... Throw all the $$$$ at the problem you want, it won't make a difference.
    Todd :thumbsup:

  12. #12
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    I agree with everyone bringing up circulation.

    I ride with my summer shoes which are roomy, no socks (weird preference), and neoprene booties over the shoes. My feet have never even been cool like that with temps down to 20F and some water.

  13. #13
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    tape a handwarmer to the top of your toes over your socks


    it will fix the problem, go ride, feets will not freeze

    if you cannot squeeze your foot in the shoe with the handwarmer
    taped to the sock, your shoes are too small to begin with, handwarmer or not

  14. #14
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    I gots some bad news for you, them ain't winter boots. Them are cycling shoes with neoprene cuffs.

    Some of the problems include the distance between the cleat and your foot being minimal, without much insulation in between, which sucks heat out of your foot constantly. Cleats and pedals ARE HEAT SINKS, the exact OPPOSITE of staying warm...Your foot doesn't flex much during cycling, so it can be hard to get blood to flow to the toes, for some of us, the toes just "shut down" and it is very challenging to keep them warm.

    Running clippless in any environment colder than 50 degrees can get extremely challenging. You can do it down to temps well below 0F, but for many people, like myself, it takes a lot of extra tricks. You need to start with a winter boot though, Lake 303s or 45Nth Wolfhammers are acceptable, but IME they work ok down to the 20s or so if you buy them large enough. To make them work in colder temps (or just adequately for some people), you need to start thinking beyond the shoes.

    So, things like shoe covers, spraying your feet and socks with antiperspirant, merino wool socks, sheep-skin footbeds, heated insoles like hotronics, pre-heating the boots with foot driers or putting them in the oven on warm, using snow-gaiters to boost heat/eliminate gaps, moisture barriers for some people, and so on, can be necessary to make these boots work in cold temperatures.

    Sometimes, less is more, if you get big enough boots, you can go with thinner socks and create a little more space that can act as insulation. One size up is mandatory, two sizes up is recommended. With two sizes up, I can insert either my sheepskin footbeds or heated insoles ON TOP of the 45 north insoles. On top is critical, because I'm increasing the distance and insulation between my foot and the cleat. It's easier to deal with boots that are too big and build them up, rather than have your feet pressed against the boot when the temps are cold. With the boot constantly in the wind-path, heat loss due to conduction and the constant cold wind is a big deal and can overcome your socks/insulation.

    Flat pedals and hiking boots/snow boots generally transmit less heat and are better for most people, but clipless CAN work and work well, you just have to be willing to throw some money at it until you find what will work for you.

    Next season, I'll get some wolfgar boots, as I'm trying to get more into endurance riding in the winter and get away from some of my "cheats" that may not work well over longer distances, although my heaters work fine on 8hr rides.

    I generally ride from -20F to around +30 in the winter. Have had more -F temps in the last month or so compared to last winter.

    The first year I started riding in the cold I had a few nights when I got back and it was painful getting feeling back in my feet. After that I started figuring out how to protect my extremities better and have backups that I could use if I got too cold, like mittens, handwarmers, etc.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

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