Hey tcl, winter is approaching and some of us may be under-equipped for it. I am currently in the market for some winter boots and I am considering Chrome Industries' boots options. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with their boots for Chicago winters. If so, are they durable enough to withstand all the dirt and salt that gets tossed in the street? If you have a better recommendation Id love to hear it too.
Are you looking just for boots, or for something clipless-compatible?
I had a pair of Carolina insulated boots (800g thinsulate, if I recall correctly) that I wore for a couple seasons of contracting in extremely cold environments. They were bomber, but probably overkill for a Chicago winter. My feet get cold very easily (I have raynaud's) and the best solution I've found is something thin and waterproof with plenty of room inside for thick wool socks. Waterproof is key, but roomy is critical. If your feet are constricted, they get cold no matter what you wear. My usual winter boots up here are an old beat-up pair of red wings a size too big (gives room for socks).
I highly recommend 45 North Wolvhammer boots. I've had my pair three years and they've been durable and kept my feet warm and dry.
I'm going to second the Wolvhammer recommendation. I've worn these through the last two winters and have biked in temperatures as cold as -10F. Really great.
If you use platform pedals you might try these from Salomom. I have the older version and they are really nice. They are wearable indoors (I've had them on all day at times but they are a bit warm). I own and older version and they are relatively water proof - they will shed water if you get splashed or for brief forays through slush but I wouldn't go wading an any streams. Super comfortable.