The Chainlink

Winter footgear: clipless with overshoes, or platforms with Sorels?

My feet get cold in the winter. Like bucket of ice cold. I have SPD cleats right now and was thinking about getting some Gore thermal overshoes (the kind that zip partway up your calf), but then I realized I still have the platform pedal attachments for my SPDs. I could snap those back on one side of the pedal and use them with my winter walking boots, which are big bulky Sorels. That would save me some cash...Do you think Sorels are too much boot for the bike? I'm weirdly concerned about my feet slipping off the platform ad-ons. Or is it possible for feet to overheat with those? 

 

For reference, here are the Sorels I'm talking about--or at least close to the ones I have: http://www.sorel.com/Cumberland%E2%84%A2-%7C-574-%7C-5/803298496759...

 

Thanks, all!

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The only way you'll know is to try them. The chief problem for me when I occasionally wear snow boots on my bike is the width of the boots themselves. The greater width of the boot contacts the crank arm when I pedal and results in me having to position the sole more laterally on the platform. I end up with the sensation that my feet are in the wrong position on the platform.

Thanks, Kevin. I'm probably overthinking winter riding--I'm just really nervous because of some underlying health issues that make me a little paranoid about doing the best I can to protect myself from falls and stuff. I'll get over it eventually!

When you do have to reposition the sole, do you find that it messes with your knees? Or are you still able to pedal efficiently?

 

I suppose fatigue or compensatory injury would depend somewhat on how far you ride like that. I haven't experienced knee "mess," but imagine it could occur given enough time. The sensation I get from my feet being out of position is that it just doesn't quite feel right, and probably contributes to a lighter touch on my pedals.

 

Do your feet get that cold when you're riding, or just when you're standing around? Absent some kind of circulatory issue, you may find that your feet generate adequate heat just from the act of riding. I am usually comfortable with a mid-height waterproof boot with a last more like a street shoe.

Part of the problem with spd-style shoes on a winter bike is the fact that the metal cleat plate in the sole and the cleat holes themselves will act as a pretty bad heat suck, which is a problem that won't be solved even with good overshoes.  If cold feet are really a concern, winter boots will almost definitely keep you warner. 

If the thick/wide soled Sorels are a concerm with regards to foot position on the pedal, you could pick up a pair of wider BMX/mountain bike style platform pedals for pretty cheap.  I think I saw some at REI for under $20 last time I was in.  Here's an example of what I'm talking about: http://www.rei.com/product/752200/wellgo-atb-bmx-pedal    

I find (even absent a circulatory issue) that if I don't have adequate foot insulation, my toes actually go numb from the cold whenever the weather falls below 40 degrees.  That's just me. 

 

I also find, though, that most casual winter/snow boots do not leave me with enough ankle flexibility to ride comfortably.  And my feet are wide, so doubling up on socks inside of my cycling shoes can be counterproductive.  HOWEVER, I'm now riding in a pair of mens Lake I/Os that are both wide enough for my feet and fairly warm/windproof.  I'm looking forward to seeing how this November pans out with them!

Yeah, I use these monsters year round. Depends how big your feet are.

 



ad said:

[snip] 

If the thick/wide soled Sorels are a concerm with regards to foot position on the pedal, you could pick up a pair of wider BMX/mountain bike style platform pedals for pretty cheap.  I think I saw some at REI for under $20 last time I was in.  Here's an example of what I'm talking about: http://www.rei.com/product/752200/wellgo-atb-bmx-pedal    

Melissa, you'll have to let me know how those work out when we see each other. ;) I'm assuming you're the Melissa I know. If not, well, now I'm just being creepy.

 

Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. I might try the BMX pedals first and then switch to a boot or shoe with more ankle flexibility if needed.

HA... yes.  One and the same.  You can come laugh at me as I hobble in with frozen toes in the mornings.  Or not, depending on how that all works out.

I know these may not be fashionable enough, but this is what I wear when it drops below freezing, I ride and train outdoors all winter, These boots keep my feet warm and dry no matter the weather. They also fit 2 hole spd or 3 hole look style cleats. This way my fit stays the say and I do not have to worry about knee issues.

http://www.lakecycling.com/footwear.html

I ride in insulated hiking boots in colder weather because my feet just get painfully cold otherwise.  I've noticed the issue Kevin describes, where I have to be a little more careful about where I place my feet on the pedals.  I do end up placing my feet a little further towards the outside, however, the boot soles are stiff enough that I'm still able to pedal effectively without knee issues.

I'd suggest doing a test ride or two with your Sorels soon to see if they're workable for you.


Kevin C said:

The only way you'll know is to try them. The chief problem for me when I occasionally wear snow boots on my bike is the width of the boots themselves. The greater width of the boot contacts the crank arm when I pedal and results in me having to position the sole more laterally on the platform. I end up with the sensation that my feet are in the wrong position on the platform.

I use hiking boots. They have yet to fail me. Hiking boots are built under the assumption you're going to be lugging weight around, so they'll fit your heel snugly, have a thick sole, but they usually allow ankle movement as well. You don't need fancy Vibram/Gore-tex boots, just some waterproofing compound. You should be able to find a decent pair of boots for well under $100.

 

I'm sure winter cycling shoes/boots are quite nice, I've just never been able to justify spending that much money on something I'm only going to use a few months out of the year (this statement assumes you'll use said hiking boots during the rest of the year).

Hey Michael...

 

Where did you get your Lake boots?  I've been looking at them for a while and thought I was going to get a pair for this winter but I'm concerned that the sole would wear out prematurely. 

 

Along with the biking I do everyday I probably walk at least three miles a day.  I dont want to drop the money on them if they are only going to last just one season. 

 

I might just go with another pair of Sorel type boots and use platform pedals. 

 

Decisions...decisions...


 

Michael A said:

I know these may not be fashionable enough, but this is what I wear when it drops below freezing, I ride and train outdoors all winter, These boots keep my feet warm and dry no matter the weather. They also fit 2 hole spd or 3 hole look style cleats. This way my fit stays the say and I do not have to worry about knee issues.

http://www.lakecycling.com/footwear.html

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