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Warm winter road boots help

majstermajster Posts: 61
edited September 2019 in Road general
Hi there

Looking for a decent pair of road warm winter boots that are rain proof ideally. Suffer from bad circulation hence feet get cold even with decent socks

Any suggestions please

Thanks

Posts

  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,545
    As someone who also suffers terribly with the cold (have raynauds) I would advise against winter boots. I had some northwave flash boots and whilst they keep your feet warm for a time, once the cold gets in, or water, they become horrible to continue riding in.

    The best option is combining wool socks with some good overshoes. You will still get wet feet occasionally, but generally this combination works better than boots and is much easier on the wallet!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,857
    Staying dry in the wet is not feasible. Staying warm should be the objective..
  • Completely agree priority is to stay warm. Are winter boots not that great then?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,857
    majster wrote:
    Completely agree priority is to stay warm. Are winter boots not that great then?

    In my experience, they are no better than road shoes combined with a decent pair of overshoes. For off-road they are worthwhile, where overshoes don't really work - but on road, no.
  • The main problem with rain and cold is keeping the water out of the shoe. Of course a waterproof shoe/boot will help, but it can't stop water ingress from the ankle - and then once it's in, the waterproof membrane means it can't get out again. I have some Northwave winter boots from a few years ago - they are slightly warmer than a vented shoe, but not that much more and as I say, water getting into the top is still an issue.
    I agree with the above post that a decent overshoe is best, preferably thick neoprene, and merino socks (such as Woolly Bully) which stay warmer when wet than normal socks. Be careful not to wear too thick a layer on the feet though, as you need air around the foot when it's in the shoe. This air will warm up, so give yourself wiggle-room.
    Another good belt-and-braces idea is a small gaiter that GripGrab do:
    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.GripGrab-Cycli ... QQAvD_BwE#
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,736
    The gaiter is a great idea been debating them myself, though technically you can achieve the same thing having the bottom of your bibs zipped over the top of the overshoes.

    In terms of warm and dry, agreed warm should be your focus. Last year while not wet I was quite happy out in minus numbers with tin foil poked in the end of my shoes, decent socks and overshoes.
    If your feet get wet but retain heat its not too bad, if your feet get wet and cold, that's when you have a problem.

    If you need an extra foot layer in the dry cold you can chuck some over socks on over the shoes then the overshoes themselves. They've worked well for me a few times now.
  • I have some nice Pearl Izumi big tights with an ankle strap but also a cuff which folds down over the top of your overshoe, to stop water getting in the ankle. Yet to test in anger though.

    Can't stop water getting in the bottom though.
  • I suffer from fibromyalgia and one of the symptoms for me is cold feet, I tried decent sock, winter boots, over shoes and finally bought some happy hot feet heated insoles from sports pursuits.

    3 settings, a 4-5 hr run time and comfortable. I’ll still use my boots and over shoes in particularly cold weather but the heat is constant.
    100% recommend them, not cheap but worth every penny for me
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,869
    edited September 2019
    I tried the little grip-grab gaiters a year or two back. Whilst better than nothing, they only kept the water out for a while. I found that capillary action sucked the water down my leg warmers/ bib tights and into my socks. The gaiters only gave me a little longer before this happened.

    However, I have now tried a pair of Spatz Legalz overshoes coupled with my Sidi winter boots (which are goretex) https://www.evanscycles.com/spatz-legalz-overshoe-EV351521?wiz_medium=cpc&wiz_source=google&wiz_campaign=UK%20-%20Shopping%20-%20DT%20-%20Spatz%20-%20Clothing&wiz_content=UK%20-%20Shopping%20-%20DT%20-%20Spatz%20-%20Clothing%20-%20Cycling%20Overshoes&wiz_term=*%20%2F%20Product%20type&gclid=CjwKCAjw8NfrBRA7EiwAfiVJpRXgkidWoVthojL8KxA0F9nscf0_Him8SQqMmW92UvVq6cAiOrkswBoCvSoQAvD_BwE

    I put on wool walking socks which come high up on my shins, then leg warmers which need rolling up, then Spatz overshoes, which need the same, then put on the boots, roll down the overshoes over the top, then the leg warmers outside the overshoes. This is a complete faff, but my god it works! I rode last winter in lots of wet weather and my feet stayed dry. This is the ONLY combination that I have found to work successfully at keeping the wet out, which in turn means it is easy to keep your feet warm.

    On dry, really cold winter rides I use the grip-grap gaiters which seal the tops of my boots and help keep warmth in.

    PP

    Review here https://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/reviews/accessories/cycling-shoe-covers/spatz-pro-overshoes-review.html
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,517
    I have Northwave winter Goretex boots and they work really well. They do keep you drier for longer but in heavy rain you won't stop water wicking down your bib tights and socks. However the Goretex and lack of vents on the soleplate means that there is a much less wind chill compared to shoes so the water will warm up and stay warm whilst your are riding.

    Obviously if you have circulation problems then you may struggle to transfer enough heat to the water in your shoes to stay warm.

    I would expect winter boots to be better than shoes and overshoes at keeping warmth in. At least that is my experience winter riding in Scotland.

    Prior to getting winter boots I used to wear long ski sox. They have a thin woolen foot piece and a thicker upper which goes to knee level. This allowed me to wear normal shoes with overshoes and the extra insulation below the knee helped keep the feet warm but not dry.

    Something like these:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/500-adult-b ... 97754.html
  • navrig2 wrote:
    I have Northwave winter Goretex boots and they work really well. They do keep you drier for longer but in heavy rain you won't stop water wicking down your bib tights and socks. However the Goretex and lack of vents on the soleplate means that there is a much less wind chill compared to shoes so the water will warm up and stay warm whilst your are riding.

    Obviously if you have circulation problems then you may struggle to transfer enough heat to the water in your shoes to stay warm.

    I would expect winter boots to be better than shoes and overshoes at keeping warmth in. At least that is my experience winter riding in Scotland.

    Prior to getting winter boots I used to wear long ski sox. They have a thin woolen foot piece and a thicker upper which goes to knee level. This allowed me to wear normal shoes with overshoes and the extra insulation below the knee helped keep the feet warm but not dry.

    Something like these:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/500-adult-b ... 97754.html

    I think I'm going to go for winter boots. The windchill is uncomfortable for me. I have tried overshoes and they seem not to last very long, winter boots maybe a better investment long term

    Which Northwave model do you have? Reading some of the reviews some seem to have vents in the sole which let cold air in. Do you ones have vents in the bottom and if so do they cause you any probs?
  • Imposter wrote:
    Staying dry in the wet is not feasible. Staying warm should be the objective..

    +1 - I've never had a waterproof (insert name of item here) that's kept water out over an extended period.

    Warm is the key.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,414
    If you go for Northwaves, definitely go for the warmer Arctic ones and size well up so you can get a decent pair of socks or two on and still have some wriggle room.
  • majster wrote:

    Which Northwave model do you have? Reading some of the reviews some seem to have vents in the sole which let cold air in. Do you ones have vents in the bottom and if so do they cause you any probs?

    Is this true? What's the point in goretex boots with holes in the bottom?
    and then the next thing you know
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,517
    majster wrote:
    navrig2 wrote:
    I have Northwave winter Goretex boots and they work really well. They do keep you drier for longer but in heavy rain you won't stop water wicking down your bib tights and socks. However the Goretex and lack of vents on the soleplate means that there is a much less wind chill compared to shoes so the water will warm up and stay warm whilst your are riding.

    Obviously if you have circulation problems then you may struggle to transfer enough heat to the water in your shoes to stay warm.

    I would expect winter boots to be better than shoes and overshoes at keeping warmth in. At least that is my experience winter riding in Scotland.

    Prior to getting winter boots I used to wear long ski sox. They have a thin woolen foot piece and a thicker upper which goes to knee level. This allowed me to wear normal shoes with overshoes and the extra insulation below the knee helped keep the feet warm but not dry.

    Something like these:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/500-adult-b ... 97754.html

    I think I'm going to go for winter boots. The windchill is uncomfortable for me. I have tried overshoes and they seem not to last very long, winter boots maybe a better investment long term

    Which Northwave model do you have? Reading some of the reviews some seem to have vents in the sole which let cold air in. Do you ones have vents in the bottom and if so do they cause you any probs?

    I have the Northwave Fahrenheit 2 GTX Winter Road Shoes.

    Just checked and they do have some mesh vents but I haven't found that to be an issue. I also bought some Merino DHB socks. Shorter version of these https://www.wiggle.com/dhb-aeron-winter ... rino-sock/ . They also help.

    Two winters ago I bought a Perfetto 2 jacket and with a medium weight Merino wool baselayer, the Perfetto, winter bibs and the NW boots I am good down to 2 degrees without any major discomfort. The Perfetto is windproof and sheds water so keeps my upper half mostly dry, the merino insulates keeping my core warm meaning I can keep a steady supply of warm blood to my feet which stay warmish in the boots. If it drops below 2 degrees I tend to keep off the road bike as frost and ice scare the willies out of me. MTB and trail riding time. (or stay in bed ;-) )

    The other thing to note is that the toe box is a bit more roomy than other shoes so thicker socks may be feasible. I normally wear Specialized road shoes as they fit me very well with normal socks. The NW have more wriggle room.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,841
    I’ve got a pair of Specialized own brand winter boots.

    Yes the design of winter boots means that heavy rain will enter through the top as it’s rolls down your legs but the overall effect on temperature is minimal. My feet get wet but they stay warm and in the event of biblical rain my feet look like prunes after a couple of hours.

    Overall winter boots last longer and are a better solution than overshoes. They will undoubtedly keep your feet warm and dry in light rain or cold weather.
    And God created the bicycle, so that man could use it as a means for work and to help him negotiate life's complicated journey.
  • me-109me-109 Posts: 1,187
    Might be more selection of boots to be found by swapping to SPDs and using MTB boots. I've a pair of Shimano winter MTB boots that have done stirling service for donkey's years. Get plenty wet before you notice. I've also got some winter road boots - maybe Northwave - that I picked up cheap off here or the Bay. I've found them warmer than shoe/overshoe combination but don't tend to be out in conditions that get them very wet. Not GoreTex but have a wind-resistant membrane. The Shimanos I got a full size up and that's probably too much even for thick socks. The road boots are about right size or half size up and could do with being a bit bigger.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,869
    slowmart wrote:
    I’ve got a pair of Specialized own brand winter boots.

    Yes the design of winter boots means that heavy rain will enter through the top as it’s rolls down your legs but the overall effect on temperature is minimal. My feet get wet but they stay warm and in the event of biblical rain my feet look like prunes after a couple of hours.

    Overall winter boots last longer and are a better solution than overshoes. They will undoubtedly keep your feet warm and dry in light rain or cold weather.

    That’s where my post above differs to your experience - with the Spatz long length overshoes, over the top of Sidi goretex lined winter boots, with leg warmers placed OUTSIDE the Spatz my feet remained dry and warm in heavy rain last winter. The Spatz need to be OVER your socks and the socks must not protrude above the top of the Spatz and the bib tights or leg warmers need to be OVER the Spatz, that way the Spatz seal against your leg below the knee and capillary action does not draw water down your socks into your boots. This is the ONLY method I have found that works for several hours.

    PP
  • paul64paul64 Posts: 278
    Don't forget the old argument that the core needs to be kept warm or the body will direct warmth away from the limbs to protect vital organs. doesn't detract from getting it right with hands and feet but not to be overlooked.

    I didn't find my Northwave Fahrenheit boots any better than normal shoes, overshoes and good socks. My Specialized Defroster boots with decent socks on the other hand are the warmest footwear I have ever worn on a bike, used them for a few years now with MTB and gravel bike (with SPD).
  • Seems a mix of experiences here - mine is that winter boots were nice but that there were still times when overshoes were needed over the top - similarly I could get by with normal road shoes but multiple pairs of overshoes and socks.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • I struggled with cold feet for years, tried absolutely everything I could think of and eventually happened across Specialized Defroster boots. Yes, they’re ugly as hell, but they work better than anything else I ever tried / used.
    Combined with Sealskinz lobster claw gloves, it’s transformed winter riding for me.
  • Everyone's feet are different but what works for me, down to about 5 deg. C even in wet weather (and I won't purposely go out in weather much colder than that, nor if it's raining to start), is thick merino socks (I love GripGrab's, use them for hiking too), normal road shoes with the Boa relatively loose (need to have good circulation) and a pair of close fitting Pearl Izumi neoprene overshoes. It doesn' necessarily keep me dry if it starts to rain, but the idea is to retain whatever heat you generate, like a neoprene wetsuit for surfing. i also have a pair of goretex shoe covers, which are waterproof, but water eventually seeps in around the ankle seal (I like the tights under the seal but have tried both).

    If I were a more hardcore wet weather/winter rider, I'd probably switch to winter shoes with neoprene cuffs and wool socks, then try either Gore-Tex shoe covers or neoprene ones.

    It's really key to keep circulation going, unclipping every 30 mintues or so or just stopping and walking around helps. Once my toes get cold it's game over...
  • keith57keith57 Posts: 162
    I find my Northwave Flash Arctic GTX winter boots (the yellow ones) keep my feet nice and warm all winter here in Snowdonia. I think the newest version is a bit warmer and in black only?

    Mine are a snug fit and only need a single winter sock inside. To keep the water out if it's raining my first line of defence is not to ride in the rain, I'm retired so don't have to ride in the rain anymore :lol:

    Otherwise, I use a pair of Assos over trousers over the top of the boots, these keep the rain out completely and are a really nice extra layer against the cold, especially when descending :D
    Expensive bit of kit, but worth very penny - it's possible to ride all day in them if it's cold enough.
    http://www.fachwen.org
    https://www.strava.com/athletes/303457

    Please note: I’ll no longer engage deeply with anonymous forum users :D
  • I use shimano RW 80s, which are a road boot, gore tex and fully sealed. They are brilliant and have lasted 8 years. Bibs have to go over the top; I had to cut foot loops off a couple of pairs. I wear them with brasher merino walking socks, which are slightly thicker than wooly bullies. Coupled with Gore gloves they have transformed my winter comfort. Iwould never go back to overshoes.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,869
    johnmiosh wrote:
    I use shimano RW 80s, which are a road boot, gore tex and fully sealed. They are brilliant and have lasted 8 years. Bibs have to go over the top; I had to cut foot loops off a couple of pairs. I wear them with brasher merino walking socks, which are slightly thicker than wooly bullies. Coupled with Gore gloves they have transformed my winter comfort. Iwould never go back to overshoes.

    How do you stop the bib tight legs riding up over the top of the boot? I’m with you on the Brasher socks - I always wear hill walking socks in winter, they have a thick woolly base which really helps to keep the feet warm. I use the Dissent glove system (slightly modified by me) to keep the hands warm. I start with a Meraklon liner glove (only cost a fiver), then put the Defeet gloves over them if required (when it gets really cold) and then either the thin windproof Dissent glove, or waterproof Dissent glove over them. Only issue is that the Defeet glove cuffs are long and come out of the cuff of the outer gloves, so if it’s raining you need a jacket that is long enough for the sleeves to go over the outer gloves.

    PP
  • Pilot Pete wrote:

    How do you stop the bib tight legs riding up over the top of the boot?

    I use the Dissent glove system (slightly modified by me) to keep the hands warm. I start with a Meraklon liner glove (only cost a fiver), PP

    The extra thickness of the boot keeps the bibs in place, as long as they are long enough.

    I use silk glove liners, also about a fiver.
  • I have the NW Gortex shoes. In cold weather, they are brilliant as you don't sweat in them and you can moderate the heat with socks with merino being high on the list.

    In the wet they are useless. They fill up with water and your feet get freezing. I am sure really good gators would resolve this. Otherwise, it's a good pair neoprene overshoes with sole airvents taped up and lots of hills to keep warm.

    Vanilla bikes just sent me an advert which might be of help for Spatz, not cheap but look very good:
    https://www.vanillabikes.com/collections/overshoes
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,869
    Vanilla bikes just sent me an advert which might be of help for Spatz, not cheap but look very good

    They are. :wink:

    PP
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