Keeping feet properly warm

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
DoctorRad
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Keeping feet properly warm

Postby DoctorRad » 7 Feb 2016, 8:52pm

I have a neurological condition which means that I don't feel temperature properly in my feet, and when they get cold, they feel HORRIBLE, and it's really not good when they start to thaw out.

It wasn't that cold today, but my feet were still getting a bit cold in overshoes / shoes / wool socks / coolmax liner socks. The rain obviously didn't help, but what tips have folks got for keeping feet properly warm when riding? Don't mind if they get wet per se so long as they stay warm.

Thanks,

Dr. Matt...

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Vantage
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby Vantage » 7 Feb 2016, 9:09pm

A couple weeks ago when it snowed, I had the (probably unoriginal) idea of making insoles of layered tin foil to go under the original insoles. My thinking was that if they were under the proper insoles, they wouldn't wear out as quick and being tin foil they would reflect the heat back into my feet.
This was tried along with 2 pairs of overshoes. My smaller pair have a rubber like finish on the outside for water resistance and the bigger pair of normal neoprene overshoes just slide over the inner pair. A thick pair of wooly socks were worn also.
A two hour ride through the snow and numerous stops involving standing in the snow itself had me returning home with warm cosy toes and feet. At this point I should mention that due to severe blockages in my legs blood supply, my feet go cold very easily.
Worth a try?
Bill


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nosmarbaj
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby nosmarbaj » 7 Feb 2016, 9:17pm

Does your condition also mean your feet get cold more easily, as well as being uncomfortable when they actually are cold? I ask because you say it wasn't that cold today, and I would have thought that overshoes, thick socks and liner socks would have been enough. It might be worth asking your doctor if s/he has any useful suggestions.

Some other things to consider:
  • Some cycling shoes are thicker/warmer than others (and some are specifically marketed for winter cycling), so maybe have a look for something suitable in your lbs/online
  • Are your shoes big enough for the thick socks? Your feet will certainly tend to get cold if circulation is hampered by too-tight shoes
  • Similarly, are the shoes right for your feet? Different makes vary a lot, especially in width. You definitely don't want them to pinch anywhere
  • Are your shoes attached to the pedals (clips or SPD-style clipless)? I have the impression my feet stay warmer when I'm not wearing SPDs and can move my feet freely - but maybe it's just that I am likely to be out for longer with SPDs than non-cycling shoes

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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby Geoff.D » 7 Feb 2016, 9:20pm

I have a similar problem in feet and fingers. Not just when cycling, but all my life when motorcycling, mountaineering, etc - even working on engines in cold weather. I've always put it down to Raynaud's Syndrome, though I've never had a diagnosis.

Specifically for my feet whilst cycling I've done two things. Firstly, over and above the things you've done, DoctorRad, I wear a shoe size bigger than I wear in warm weather. I believe it gives me more space to have a warm layer of air around my socks. It also allows me to wiggle my toes, which also helps. Secondly, I used a pair of waterproof sealskinz socks, which were very good.

As an aside, since swapping to recumbent some years ago I built myself a fairing. This has done wonders for my feet. But, I realise that this solution may not be appropriate for you.

beardy
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby beardy » 7 Feb 2016, 9:25pm

If it gets bad I will get off and walk or run a while, that gets feet warmer fairly quickly.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm...Edited

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 7 Feb 2016, 9:40pm

Hi,
I have never been one for suffering from cold feet or hands.
But as I have got older I find that when still I cool down.
Along with what others have said -
Don't cram feet in shoes.
keep wind off feet, you need thicker leg covering even windproof too, waterproof and breathable, this is important as I have found I need to wear trousers in the house but nearly never at all outdoors, all year round.
Warm legs warm arms will probably give 50% of benefits of anything else.
Don't let feet get wet, water has a high latent heat capacity you know.
I have found that some synthetic socks actually irritate feat mildly as to warm them up, experiment around the house with different socks.
P.S. what he just said.

Edited------ word blindness :oops:

P.P.S. - Just a thought, walking gaiters would give save wearing leggings.
Last edited by NATURAL ANKLING on 7 Feb 2016, 10:02pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SpannerGeek
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby SpannerGeek » 7 Feb 2016, 9:45pm

I had this same problem last winter and my doctor suggested buying a pair of shoes a size bigger than normal and running them as 'loose' as possible. He's a cyclist himself and noticed that cycling shoes were always a bit of a pinch, which only exacerbates poor circulation. He also advised moving back to clips and straps and away from snap in pedals over the winter.

Now I use a size 44 goretex boot with a thermal liner and my 'blocks of ice' days are over.

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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby DoctorRad » 7 Feb 2016, 9:56pm

nosmarbaj wrote:Does your condition also mean your feet get cold more easily, as well as being uncomfortable when they actually are cold? I ask because you say it wasn't that cold today, and I would have thought that overshoes, thick socks and liner socks would have been enough. It might be worth asking your doctor if s/he has any useful suggestions.


8C with 22-30mph wind chill, headwind most of the time so add 13-15mph travelling speed. That's the equivalent of about 3-4C, cold enough to be nippy. I wasn't suffering THAT much today, but I happily ride in colder conditions apart from the thing with my feet.

Thanks for the thoughts about not cramming feet into shoes. I have several pairs with different levels of insulation, so I'll have a play with things. I've heard the 'SPDs suck heat out of your feet' line before, so perhaps thermal insoles or tinfoil would help there.

Any more ideas welcome :)

DoctorRad
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby DoctorRad » 7 Feb 2016, 10:03pm

SpannerGeek wrote:I had this same problem last winter and my doctor suggested buying a pair of shoes a size bigger than normal and running them as 'loose' as possible. He's a cyclist himself and noticed that cycling shoes were always a bit of a pinch, which only exacerbates poor circulation.


Indeed, as an aside, what I think tends to happen is that cycling shoes are sized according to their sole size, so varying amounts of insulation change the actual 'size' of the foot cavity. When buying Mavic Scree[*] boots for MTBing, I had to go a whole two sizes larger to get them to fit.

[*]Now rebranded as the snappily-named "Crossmax Pro H2O shoe" - highly recommended, at least in their earlier guise.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 7 Feb 2016, 10:14pm

Hi,
Like said, if suffering then you really need a one size larger shoe to add insulation.
Cold feet as well as numb / "hot-foot" feet, kills any cycling action through "natural ankling".
As your foot does not flex in the cycling shoe unlike walking and running, you can get by cycling with looser shoes.

Arch of foot collapsing naturally pumps blood via large vessels back up leg, in walking and running but not so with cycling.
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby 531colin » 7 Feb 2016, 10:43pm


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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby Bigdummysteve » 7 Feb 2016, 11:43pm



I have a pair of these very good, but like many shimano shoes they run very small. I brought I think, the 9 1/2 and they are small on my size 9 feet. I really need a bigger pair. They are great boots but watch the sizing.

These look like a real cold weather boot
http://bicycletimesmag.com/review-bontr ... ter-boots/

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gaz
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby gaz » 7 Feb 2016, 11:55pm

These look like a real cold weather boot: http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/45n ... 9845-p.asp
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby Vorpal » 8 Feb 2016, 2:05am

I don't get on with cycling shoes, so I wear normal shoes, but I have a couple of things....

Do you wear shoe covers? they can make a big difference.

When it's *really* cold out (I live in Norway), I wear lined winter boots one size too big with two pairs of wool socks.

However, something quite a few winter cyclists do here, is make little hoods that go over the toes of their shoes. They make them out of bits of emergency blanket and plastic jugs. One colleague made some out of industrial oven gloves, though that wouldn't work so well in the wet.
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Re: Keeping feet properly warm

Postby PJ520 » 8 Feb 2016, 4:44am

I've got a pair of Specialized Defroster Trail SPD boots and they are very good so far - rain only, no white stuff. I don't believe the overshoe exists that keeps your feet dry if you use SPDs.

As the review says you can fasten them with gloves on but be careful, the fancy fastening mechanism works OK but is easy to overtighten. It's warranted for the life of the boot.
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