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  1. #1
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    cold weather clipless shoes...

    Just ordered a fat bike for the winter. I am a clipless rider, I know they have issues in the ice/snow. What shoes are out there? I am only seeing prices around $180 and up?

    Anything else out there.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Rippin da fAt
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    Clipless shoes command a price for summer let alone winter.
    Seems the winter options are all very costly however, they will likely last many years.

    When I thought I ordered a fatbike for winter riding, I had no idea it would turn out to be a year round two wheeled Jeep!

    Congratz!
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  3. #3
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    I have been using the Shimano MW5 for about 6 years now and they're awesome. Plenty warm even down to -25°C. The only downfall is the height so you need to pair them with gaters.

    https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ.../SH-MW501.html

  4. #4
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    For less than 180, go flats. Intermediate boots that are still cold in the real cold have issues with the cleats clogging up more due to less insulation and they still cost upwards of $180. I found the Wolfgars have a bigger range AND are good at colder temps, meaning my wolfhammers are redundant and cold, unless it's fairly warm out 20-30F.

    There is flat out no way those shimanos would work for me at -25C, you gotta have crazy good circulation for that. The bigger issue tends to be spending money on intermediary steps that don't solve the problem. I can sympathize with that.
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  5. #5
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    I run clipless and wont go back to flats. Yup... boots are expensive.

    I just give a kick of my cleat to my pedal and knocks the packed snow off.

    Shimano spds and i crank them fairly loose.


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  6. #6
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    I am good down to about 15F in my Wolvhammers before I have to add chemical warmers. Much colder than that and I will install flats and wear hiking boots or even my Sorel Caribou pac boots.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Jasonoff, I will give them a try.

    I guess I was not really thinking about this much. I will ride in 10-15F with my regular shoes and toe warmers before the snow hits. I will still get use out of these in the late fall months before the snow hits on my other bikes.

    If it gets too cold and snowy, I will go to flats and winter boots.

    Thanks for the responses

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    There is flat out no way those shimanos would work for me at -25C, you gotta have crazy good circulation for that.
    Is your core getting cold redirecting blood flow from your extremities? I don't even wear thick socks with them. Just Smartwool Men's PhD Pro Outdoor Light Hiking Crew Socks work fine.

    Even in -25°C I find I need to vent my shell because I get too warm.

  9. #9
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    I don't ride during winter so take my comments for what their worth.

    So what does a mtb rider do when riding winter and needing to do a water crossing? One that will surely put your feet below water? I find it hard to believe that these winter shoes would keep your feet dry. Not to mention the amount of perspiration being generated by your feet and not being able to get out. How can your foot be/stay warm if it's wet?

    My one and only winter mtb ride many years ago put me face to face with this very problem. At that time we were all riding on flats fitted with those plastic baskets/straps.

    We got into the ride a few miles and got to our first creek crossing. With much consternation me and my two mates de shoed/de socked and walked bare foot across, then put our socks/shoes back on. That was the last time I rode in the winter
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  10. #10
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    I have been using the Lake MXZ 400 boots for 2 years now and love them. You can hike a bike in them. They are very warm for me using mid weight socks. I will ride down to -25F and still have no problems, but my body runs a little hotter than most.

    I love the dual BOA system on the boots. They are tall so no worry about snow coming in over the top.

    They are pricey, but what is your comfort worth?
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  11. #11
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    I've been using bontrager old man winter boots for two seasons and couldn't be happier. Feet stay warm, they are waterproof (not walking in streams or rivers kinda waterproof 😉 ) and the inner bootie design helps to air them out after each ride. They can be had for around $150, which is amazing for the quality and functionality of this boot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by majack View Post
    They are pricey, but what is your comfort worth?
    You need to use the Dan Dittmer sales pitch, "They are only $40 per toe."
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  13. #13
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    Right on Ted.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by batts View Post
    Just ordered a fat bike for the winter. I am a clipless rider, I know they have issues in the ice/snow. What shoes are out there? I am only seeing prices around $180 and up?

    Anything else out there.

    Thank you!!
    45NRTH Wolvhammer are the best I've used - although expensive, you'll likely have them a long time. I also ride Lake MXZ 303 shoes when it's not super cold.

  15. #15
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    I ordered the current model year Bontrager OMW boots 5 sizes too big.

    I took up the added space by installing a ~3mm flat felt insert between the OMW's liner and boot, and then *another* 3mm felt insole inside the boot liner.

    Then I shrink-wrapped the whole thing with a contractor grade trash bag and some spray glue.

    Fits great (room to wiggle toes, but no slop at ankle), comfy all day, warm even into the negative 20's f, and resistant to degradation from perspiration and immersion.

    Total keepers.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I ordered the current model year Bontrager OMW boots 5 sizes too big.

    I took up the added space by installing a ~3mm flat felt insert between the OMW's liner and boot, and then *another* 3mm felt insole inside the boot liner.

    Then I shrink-wrapped the whole thing with a contractor grade trash bag and some spray glue.

    Fits great (room to wiggle toes, but no slop at ankle), comfy all day, warm even into the negative 20's f, and resistant to degradation from perspiration and immersion.

    Total keepers.
    Any reason why you went with OMW boots versus 45Nrth? Could you hike a bike for a significant distance without any hot spots in your boot setup?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ-AK View Post
    Any reason why you went with OMW boots versus 45Nrth? Could you hike a bike for a significant distance without any hot spots in your boot setup?

    Largely political: 45N has made some decisions the past several years that really cut across my grain.

    I have hiked a lot in the OMW shoes. No hotspots, no issues at all.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    For less than 180, go flats. Intermediate boots that are still cold in the real cold have issues with the cleats clogging up more due to less insulation and they still cost upwards of $180. I found the Wolfgars have a bigger range AND are good at colder temps, meaning my wolfhammers are redundant and cold, unless it's fairly warm out 20-30F.
    Just curious as to what version of the Wolfhammers you have tried? It is obviously way colder where you are than me and I get the Wolfgars are a much better choice for you. However I just got the latest (4th?) version of the Wolfhammers with the removable liner and they are quite toasty.

    Miksee: I am envious you can order a boot 5 sizes bigger than your current size. My size 17 foot barely allows me to fit into a Sidi 52 in the summer, squeezing into a 50 boot in the cold with less circulation is not great. I am happy that the new Wolfhammers are bigger than my old Lake 303's.

    -Nolan

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolan17 View Post
    Miksee: I am envious you can order a boot 5 sizes bigger than your current size. My size 17 foot

    Sure, I'm lucky in that respect, but when the wind blows my stubby little feets can't keep me upright. I bet your 17's can keep you standing (albeit with a lean) through hurricanes!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolan17 View Post
    Just curious as to what version of the Wolfhammers you have tried? It is obviously way colder where you are than me and I get the Wolfgars are a much better choice for you. However I just got the latest (4th?) version of the Wolfhammers with the removable liner and they are quite toasty.

    Miksee: I am envious you can order a boot 5 sizes bigger than your current size. My size 17 foot barely allows me to fit into a Sidi 52 in the summer, squeezing into a 50 boot in the cold with less circulation is not great. I am happy that the new Wolfhammers are bigger than my old Lake 303's.

    -Nolan
    Well, not with a removable liner, so probably the generation right before that. My wolfgars have a removable felt liner. I feel the money I spent on the wolfhammers was pretty much wasted, but I'll commute on them since that doesn't last very long and I'm always going to a place where I can warm my feet up after. I got the wolfgars after I got nerve damage (not frostbite) from the cold during an endurance race (wearing the wolfhammers).
    "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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  21. #21
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    So 3 rides in, between 16F to 28F
    The Shimano's worked fine, slightly thicker sock and cheap toe warmers and they were great. I have ridden in colder temp's with regular summer shoes w/out the snow on the ground. Each ride was only about 1-1.5 hours. I didn't stop moving though and I think that is the trick. If I do a group ride with stopping it may be a bit different. Thanks for the input from all.

  22. #22
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    I feel like a boob. I actually have the SH-MW700-SL but from ~6 years ago so they don't have the BOA system. They look almost identical to the current MW-5.

    cold weather clipless shoes...-sh-mw700-sl.jpg

  23. #23
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    They no longer make them, but I swear by my 45nrth Japanthers for winter riding here in Vermont. They sold them as a “light” cold weather boot but I ride down to single digit temps (F) frequently and my feet are toasty. Pretty damn waterproof too.


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  24. #24
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    Use CB Mallets with Shimano MW7 shoes and smartwool socks, work well even at 0F.

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  25. #25
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    Ive had every year of Wolfhammer except this years and a couple years ago version of the Wolfgar. For most rides the Wolfhammer is enough down to about 15 F for about 2 hours. Anything more and the Wolfgar becomes the better boot. I love the BOA system. Order up one size and get the extra thick Smartwool sock for either boot.

    I ride clipless all the time. A few good stomps on the pedals and you are good to go. When the temps are right at freezing sometimes it can be a hassle to get clipped in to the ice build up but IMO its still worth it. I usually only have a couple rides a season where clipless are a pain in the butt.

    Get a pair of bar mitts to keep your hands from the wind too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cold weather clipless shoes...-img_e1101.jpg  


  26. #26
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    For two winters I searched all over the internet for for a cycling specific boot for winter and came to the conclusion that such a thing does not really exist or you need to change your definition of reasonable.

    I ride in the winter with flat pedals, so there are many non-specific cycling boots out there.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    For two winters I searched all over the internet for for a cycling specific boot for winter and came to the conclusion that such a thing does not really exist or you need to change your definition of reasonable.

    I ride in the winter with flat pedals, so there are many non-specific cycling boots out there.
    Yeah, those Columbia Fairbanks boots look real nice due to their flat sole. There ARE flat sole boots out there, you just have to look.

    Back to the topic of winter cyling (clipless) boots, there seem to be two categories of people:

    Those with great blood flow to the extremities well into the negative temperatures.

    Those without great blood flow to the extremities.

    The first group can "get by" with damn near anything, regular shoes and some chem heaters, a shoe-cover, etc. The second group needs all the stops pulled out.
    "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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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Largely political: 45N has made some decisions the past several years that really cut across my grain.
    45Nrth made a blog post about how to use a zipper after I pointed out that their zippers were exploding, so I have more than enough reason to hate on them. Most of their original crew has moved to other parts of the QBP monstrosity, so they've gotten a bit better on that.

    I'm not sure if they ever started paying royalties or even gave credit to the bands they steal names from. For a while they weren't, so some local shops here in Minneapolis weren't even carrying their products.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  29. #29
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    It really depends on the temperature that you are going to be riding in. We regularly ride in temps from 35 to -5 here in Denver with lots of night rides and late night shenanigans happening.
    You can find used wolvhammer boots all day long, on the fat trader page on FB, for $125-$150 when new retail is $325. I would go one size larger than your regular shoes for heavier socks, toe warmers or larger warmer insoles.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    45Nrth made a blog post about how to use a zipper after I pointed out that their zippers were exploding, so I have more than enough reason to hate on them. Most of their original crew has moved to other parts of the QBP monstrosity, so they've gotten a bit better on that.

    I'm not sure if they ever started paying royalties or even gave credit to the bands they steal names from. For a while they weren't, so some local shops here in Minneapolis weren't even carrying their products.
    Some of their stuff reeks of poorly thought out designs and prototypes that should never have made it out to the public. Some of it is bested by equipment in other disciplines that works better for the purpose of mtb. Some of their stuff is great and works exceptionally well...but if it took 4 generations of wolfhammers to get to a removable liner and something that works decent...well they need to pull their head out of their ass. That said, even Lake is guilty of making the horrible 302 for so many years. I think a lot of "winter" boots were just an afterthought for many years, so it's been a steep learning curve. 45nrth should know better though.

    Crossing fingers that crank brothers never gets into winter gear...


    Edit: I see a lot of "one size larger" being thrown around. If we are talking euro sizes, as most mtb stuff is, one size larger does NOT cut it IMO. Even one size larger US size can be dubious. You can usually take up the additional space with sheepskin insoles or other insoles, but running out of space is what you do not want to happen, and one size up can still end up very limiting or too small...
    "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.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Edit: I see a lot of "one size larger" being thrown around. If we are talking euro sizes, as most mtb stuff is, one size larger does NOT cut it IMO. Even one size larger US size can be dubious. You can usually take up the additional space with sheepskin insoles or other insoles, but running out of space is what you do not want to happen, and one size up can still end up very limiting or too small...
    Yes. My normal size is 42, but I was given a pair of size 45 Wolvhammers and they allow enough room for thick socks and chemical warmers as needed. There is still enough room for thicker insoles, if needed.

  32. #32
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    Having large wide feet went with Specialized boa MTB clipless size 14. Went a half size larger to wear 2 pairs of merino wool socks. I don't wear booties cuz they make my feet sweat. If temps get below -17c time to go with winter boots on flat pedals.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta2010 View Post
    I don't ride during winter so take my comments for what their worth.

    So what does a mtb rider do when riding winter and needing to do a water crossing?
    Ride on top of the water cuz it's frozen.

    If it's not frozen, then build a bridge over it.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Some of their stuff reeks of poorly thought out designs and prototypes that should never have made it out to the public. Some of it is bested by equipment in other disciplines that works better for the purpose of mtb. Some of their stuff is great and works exceptionally well...but if it took 4 generations of wolfhammers to get to a removable liner and something that works decent...well they need to pull their head out of their ass. That said, even Lake is guilty of making the horrible 302 for so many years. I think a lot of "winter" boots were just an afterthought for many years, so it's been a steep learning curve. 45nrth should know better though.

    Crossing fingers that crank brothers never gets into winter gear...


    Edit: I see a lot of "one size larger" being thrown around. If we are talking euro sizes, as most mtb stuff is, one size larger does NOT cut it IMO. Even one size larger US size can be dubious. You can usually take up the additional space with sheepskin insoles or other insoles, but running out of space is what you do not want to happen, and one size up can still end up very limiting or too small...
    Why do you need a removable liner? My 45nrth boots don't have a removable liner and they are fine. My Rocky Mountain Blizzard Stalkers that I use when I go ice fishing don't have a removable liner either. I really see no need for a removable liner.

    One size up is a great idea. Creates space between toes and boot that acts as insulation or allows doubling up on socks. If the boot is tight, you're almost guaranteed to have cold feet.

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