warm winter touring style shoes

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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alan dun
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Joined: 2 Jun 2008, 9:19am

warm winter touring style shoes

Post by alan dun »

Please, any tips for suitable shoes for cold weather cycling?
My wife is threatening to go on strike - her Shimano spd touring shoes are too tight in the toe box to take winter socks.
She usually takes a 39, although her current ones are a 40, and they are still too narrow (too much walking in bare feet I think!).
Has anyone come across winter weight shoes that are very wide in the toe box, or does anyone have any to sell?
Any ideas much appreciated
many thanks
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by colin54 »

Hi Alan, I normally take size 42 in a Shimano shoe and bought these barely used MTB shoes off a forum member who did warn me that they came up narrow, this was indeed the case, so no good for me. They might work for a smaller shoe sized person. They cost me £25 posted, if your wife wanted to try them I could send them, just return them if no good, or £25 if they work for her. They are like new and about £60 new, not sure of the model number now. Possibly 42 is a step too far from 39 though, might work with thick socks ?
I use Shimano MTB boots a lot in the winter, bought second hand, they are way north of £100 nowadays I think, they may be a bit clunky for a road rider.
An alternative might be to go over to flat pedals for the winter and just wear some cheap walking shoes.
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by Nigel »

I suggest these options:

a - flat pedals and some warmer normal training shoes. Then they won't be mesh sided thin-things, which is what most cycle shoes are. Swap back to the SPD pedals come the warmer days of spring. Any loss of pedal power will be more than offset by warm comfy feet allowing a longer ride.

b - neoprene overshoes. Lots of designs, I have them with velcro behind the heel/ankle. Makes a huge difference to my feet, though doesn't cover the really coldest of days when there is heat-loss through the cleat into the pedal. Then I use (a).

c - give up on outdoor rides, and get a turbo trainer plus one of the numerous software applications to make riding in a shed less boring.

- Nigel
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by axel_knutt »

I've never yet seen a pair of cycling shoes that are suitable, which is why I've never owned a pair. They're all either constructed like a sieve that lets the wind and rain in, or they don't fit well enough round the instep to prevent heel lift. Heel lift is a particular problem with cycling shoes because the sole is rigid, and yet they generally fit less well than an ordinary shoe. On the other hand, ordinary shoes are a mass market product with plenty of choice, so it's easy to keep looking until you find something suitable.

The best cycling shoes I ever had were Stead & Simpson's Hobos: wide enough for my foot, narrow enough for the pedal, leather with sufficient wind and water resistance, fit properly, comfortable to both walk and cycle in, and tough as old boots. A pity they stopped making them. They didn't have enough room for extra socks though, so if the winter was cold enough I used to wear trainers with an extra pair of thick woolly walking socks, and sometimes a pair of homemade pogies over the toe clips.

The other thing worth paying attention to is body warmth in general: if you allow your core temperature to drop the blood supply to your hands and feet will be restricted.
“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by slowster »

The problem with these threads is that many people will post suggesting what they use, and will state that the product is very warm etc., but they are a poor judge because they do not feel the cold as much as many others, especially if those 'many others' include your wife. Similarly some will say they have wide feet and that shoe X is good, but in reality their feet simply are not all that wide, or at least not as wide as the person seeking recommendations. So you need to treat the recommendations of everyone with caution.

Shimano shoes are reckoned by many not to be wide, and as your wife has done it is common for many with wider feet is to size up one size. However, their XM9 boots and XM7 shoes are made, I believe, with a different last and have a wide toe box. They are not 'winter specific', i.e. they are not insulated, but should allow a pair of thick walking socks to be worn. If that would not be warm enough, then she probably needs to look at the dedicated winter boots which have some form of internal insulation, e.g. a fleece or Thinsulate lining.

The choice of wide winter boots is very small, and possibly the best is the Lake MXZ 304 (wide fit version rather than regular fit). I suspect that the main alternative brands, such as Northwave's various winter boots, would necessitate sizing up one size.

The specific usage of the boot is also important. You've used the word 'touring' in the post title, but that can mean different things. The Lake MXZ 304 and the Northwave Himalaya boot are substantial boots with Vibram type soles and are suitable for off-road riding where it might be necessary to get off and walk over difficult terrain. Northwave's other two bolt SPD winter boots are more suited to road riding where the only walking is to and from the cafe, and consequently they are typically lighter. For the latter usage, road shoes with thick wool socks and a neoprene overshoe might be just as good (although the neoprene overshoes have to be replaced more frequently with recessed two bolt shoes because the material underfoot is in contact with the ground, unlike with 3 bolt shoes with protruding cleats).

If your wife is prepared to use flat pedals, then I would suggest NOT a walking boot, but a snow boot, e.g. Columbia Fairbanks Omni-heat. Snow boots are significantly warmer than walking boots and arguably a much better choice for cycling, not least because they are also lighter and the sole patterns work better with flat/cage pedals than the more lugged soles of walking boots. I think the Fairbanks boot would also work with MKS Sylvan Touring pedals and Zefal large size MTB plastic toe clips (many walking boots have too high a toe box to fit any toe clip).

Lastly, availability of some of these boots is currently poor because it is the middle of winter and stocks are now low. Ideally it's best to take time with a purchase like this, only buying when certain of what is the most suitable/best fitting product, and ideally off-season when the price is discounted (for example the Fairbanks boot can typically be bought for around £70 off season).

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/ ... XM900.html

https://www.lakecycling.com/collections ... 8726506650

https://www.deporvillage.net/northwave- ... oes-black?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Columbia-Fairb ... 01MQWI1CQ?

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/cycle/mtb/cycl ... 789675&o=3
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by richardfm »

The Shimano XM900 is what I have. They keep my feet dry and warm and are comfortable to walk in.
Richard M
alan dun
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by alan dun »

Hi all
Given that I only posted this morning, I think you are all great for replying!!
This is super helpful. My wife says she is very happy to use flats, she just doesn't want painfully cold toes from 10 minutes into her ride.. so flats or normal boots is certainly a way to go. Snow boots could be a good idea - her feet seem to feel the cold way before mine...
Thank you for the offer of the shoes, Colin54 - I think they might just be a bit too roomy!
Loads of food for thought here - I'll start investigating. Thank you
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by Hellhound »

Back in my MTB days I used a pair of Shimano MW80 Winter boots and never needed anything other than normal socks with them.Not sure what the newer equivalent is.Anything above 0° and I found them too warm though.
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by gxaustin »

Can i suggest that when you eventually get shoes that fit that you try chemical foot warmers. They are cheap and provide 3 or 4 hours of warmth, provided to have shoes without lots of ventilation.. just stick them on top of your toes.
alternatively, a friend uses rechargeable electric socks. These may need bigger shoes, i don't know.
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by scottg »

Hellhound wrote: 14 Jan 2022, 3:25pm Back in my MTB days I used a pair of Shimano MW80 Winter boots and never needed anything other than normal socks with them.Not sure what the newer equivalent is.Anything above 0° and I found them too warm though.
Current Shimano winter mtb boots are MW-501 and MW-701.
The rubber soles are much better, not slippery on tarmac compared to my regular Giro mtb shoes.
Toe box is roomy compared to the mtb shoes.
I have the 501 version, excellent to wear when shoveling snow off the side walk too.
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by andrew_s »

alan dun wrote: 14 Jan 2022, 9:42am too much walking in bare feet I think!
By which you mean feet not deformed by years of pointy-toed shoes :)

I use SPD sandals, which have plenty of width.
The original intention was to use them with Sealskins socks (or similar), but I seem to have trained my feet to become cold resistant instead.
(OK down to about zero now - don't know whether it's unrestricted bolld circulation or what).
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by Mister B »

I bought a pair of Northwave Raptor TH shoes about 2+ years ago. I bought these as my feet get cold quite quickly when riding in winter. Also, because I have wide feet and a high in step. The boa lacing system is ideal for me. They're not cheap, and my feet still do get chilly on longer rides without overshoes. The quality of their construction is very good and should last me for a good few years. Pricey in my view but a worthy investment
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by VinceLedge »

Why not try neoprene overshoes? Cheapest thing to try and also keep your shoes clean and dry.
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Re: warm winter touring style shoes

Post by pal »

Another vote for Shimano winter boots/shoes from me: I got a pair of MW701's this year (after enduring agonies of cold feet last winter...), and I think it might be one of my best bike purchases ever. They are perhaps the least elegant shoes in the universe (a friend observed that they look like they're designed for kicking doors down...), but they're really comfortable, less faff than neoprene overshoes, and warmer too. I've been using them in temperature ranges of about 0-5 degrees, and have been neither too cold nor too hot. I got the same size (39) as my 'summer' shimano cycling shoes, and the fit is fine, allowing for thick socks (I have reasonably wide feet, and also find that some cycling shoes are too tight around the toes).
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