Flat shoes and best socks for wet cold PNW riding?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flat shoes and best socks for wet cold PNW riding?

    Hi all, I'm moving from sunny, super hot and dry San Jose, CA to the Seattle area on Monday. I love riding in mud and rain and can layer as needed but I've never had to really deal with cold, wet feet. This will be a tough adjustment for me. Conditions like this are rare here and there's always time for shoes to dry out. Does anyone have any shoes and/or socks you love for wet and cold conditions? I use flat shoes currently but my 5.10 Freeriders are canvas and are not going to be a great choice I think. There seem to be lots of SPD boots for winter riding but I just hate being clipped in.

    Thanks for any help ladies, always appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I haven't tried them yet, mostly because I prefer hi-tops, but 5.10 makes Freerider Elements that are water resistant. You have to page through to find all the options because they are not lumped together and do not all come up in their search Bike

    I like thicker wool socks, usually hiking rather than biking oriented. DarnTuff, Smartwool, Lorpen, whatever is on sale.

  3. #3
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    Goretex socks over wool is my winter go-to. REI has Storm Socks for about 30$.

  4. #4
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    Full disclosure, I'm a man. However I live on Vancouver Island and have had lots of experience with wet and cold feet. Wool socks. I have some old Seal Skin socks but they are not water proof. There are good goretex over socks out there, Rocky makes some. My buddy has Free Rider Elements and likes them in the wet. I had VXI clipless for a while last winter with the same outer material and they were great, until the soles came off. Right now I'm wearing Tevas with lots of mesh and will pick up some goretex sock for when it gets cold. I just get wet for now, but the shoes were cheap so I bought 2 pair so I always have dry shoes waiting. Also, if you get caught in a harder rain, the Elements will fill up with water, and it will not drain out. Wool socks, goretex, and Free Rider Elements.
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  5. #5
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    To keep my feet dry and worm when it is not too cold I use plastic baggies on my feet (I wear a 39 and gallon zip lock with top cut of fit perfect), not very fancy but they work, and on cold days I use chemical toe warmers on top of my toes.
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  6. #6
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    Wigwam wool socks. They make thinner hiker type socks that aren't so bulky. They keep tootsies warm around the house when not riding as well.

    Wool will keep your feet warm even if the socks get damp.
    It's a wonderful property of wool. It's also a renewable resource.
    Last edited by Ericmopar; 10-11-2015 at 04:03 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I've got some waterproof socks but the plastic bag trick is fine. Normal socks, stick your foot in the plastic bag and into the shoe.

    The main problem is that, if it's really wet, water runs down your legs into your socks/shoes. You need to wear long trousers/pants that go over the tops of your socks so that the water doesn't go inside them.

    Even then your feet will still get wet! The waterproof socks will keep your sweat in just as well as they keep the water out but as long as you keep working you stay warm enough. When you stop you get real cold real fast though. Cycling in cold, wet weather is not that much fun.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by skarin View Post
    Hi all, I'm moving ... to the Seattle area on Monday.
    Welcome to Seattle! The riding conditions are very different here from SJ and you will make adjustments as you adapt to the rain. There are "50 shades" of rain here and what you wear depends on what "shade" of precipitation is happening. Damp feet and athletes foot seem to be common place. Many people use cycling shoes and clip-in here, this allows a shoe change at work. In the worst conditions we wear booty covers over the cycling shoes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I haven't tried them yet, mostly because I prefer hi-tops, but 5.10 makes Freerider Elements that are water resistant.
    Don't bother. I have them and they are "water resistant" for about 5 minutes. Then your feet are soaked.

    g.
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    just plain unfriendly and maladjusted.
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  10. #10
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    My feet still get cold with wet wool, that's why I put th goretex socks over a mid wt wool one. But our cold is close to or below freezing cold.

  11. #11
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    That's crazy. You gals are hearty. I don't even bother when it rains. I think it's freezing and bundle up in thermal tops and leg warmers when it's in the 60's.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielle View Post
    Don't bother. I have them and they are "water resistant" for about 5 minutes. Then your feet are soaked.

    g.
    Thanks for the tip! They are really missing the boat not to have a waterproof or winter model. Commuters and fatbikers would be all over it.

  13. #13
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    When the temperatures dip 25F (-3C) 45F (7C), I wear gortex socks over thin wool socks. The gortex traps the heat and the wool keeps my feet warm and dry. I prefer 5 10s over my gortex hiking shoes. Although the 5 10 freeriders are not water resistent I find they have the best pedal grip even in wet conditions.

    As the weather gets colder and wetter ie snow /sleet I have tried gaiters, which are wind resistent and keep snow/rain/sleet out of my shoes or boots and insulate my shins.

    However in my neck of the woods, usually there is not much transition from fall weather to winter and soon I'll be wearing light weight snowshoe boots (my feet have never gotten cold)
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  14. #14
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    What goretex socks do you like?
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    Once you start riding in winter, you can go a little crazy and want to ride on the worst days for the fun and challenge if it, new PR temps, and just to be "rugged". Next thing you know, -20F is a challenge and you conquer it, perhaps with the help of some toewarmers, winter boots, and pogies. Ride on!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    What goretex socks do you like?
    Rocky Stretch GORE‑TEX Oversocks from MEC. Tough to get on and off but I've had them for about 5 years
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  18. #18
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    I'm loving my Teva Pivot shoes but they have a lot of mesh. I have some North Wave Goretex shoes but the tops are loose and the shoes fill with water and dirt. Thanks for the recommendations. Here on the Wet coast it doesn't get that cold but wet is a constant in the Winter.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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  19. #19
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    Thanks for the recommendations all! So helpful! I ended up getting some 5.10 Freerider Elements (before I read the tip to not bother with them) , Goretex socks, and dug out all my favorite wool socks. The wool really helps. I went for a cold, wet, rainy trail run with some regular old running shoes and wool socks and my feet were wet but not cold.

    The riding here is insanely fun! Different than the SF Bay In the best possible ways. I feel like a beginner again though. The wet roots and rocks are fun and challenging. Thanks again!

  20. #20
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    skarin, what goretex socks did you get? Have you tried them yet?
    Formerly Travis Bickle

    Team Robot. "modulation is code for I suck at brake control. Heres a free tip: get better."

  21. #21
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    Travis I got the Gore Bike Wear ones. I haven't tried them out yet. Hope to soon.

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