Where I live we have very cold winds blowing in from Russia's Siberia. It is freezing despite the fact that I have all kinds of extra winter clothing like commando balaclava, SPD winter shoes, ESS goggles -- but my toes are still freezing.

So what would you suggest I wear to keep my toes warm?

  • 'Hypothermia' is when your core/body/trunk isn't warm enough: e.g. your armpits and your inner thighs. Hypothermia is a slightly different problem (requiring different answers) than the problem of keeping your extremities (e.g. your feet) warm. – ChrisW Feb 19 '11 at 15:38
  • I solved this problem with thicker wool socks. Seen Trekmates Rannoch Moor in the active use, not sure about them. – user652 Feb 22 '11 at 18:30

I have a pair if these that I wear over a pair of wool socks. They are great at keeping wind at bay which seems to be the biggest contributor to my toes being cold.

If your shoes are pretty windproof but are still getting cold toes, make sure that your feet aren't too constricted.

One other possiblity is that cold is coming up through your cleat, so maybe a footbed liner can help.

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MEC advise, on their web site, that the cheapest way to keep your shoes dry is a plastic bag.

They also sell shoe covers: some for rain and some (with neoprene and microfleece) for winter.

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  • ChrisW: what about with SPD shoes? do you create a hole to the plastic bags to use the cloaks? – user652 Feb 19 '11 at 15:44
  • @hhh If you look at the illustrations of shoe covers on the MEC web page that I linked to above, you see they have a small hole towards the front of the sole. MEC also have a whole other page of general advice about winter cycling here including the advice about feet. – ChrisW Feb 19 '11 at 15:52
  • About plastic bags on their site: An inexpensive and simple solution is to put a small plastic bag over your feet or inside your shoes. Inside/outside solution, not evident in the first sight. – user652 Feb 22 '11 at 18:32

I cut both corners off a plastic shopping bag and put it over my toes inside the shoe. It's free, and barely noticeable. I wear my regular summer shoes and socks during the winter, and even on cold days when I'm walking and biking through slush and heavy snow it keeps my feet nice and warm.

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You could try foot-warmers, they use a chemical reaction to create heat. You can usually find them in shops that sell hillwalking or skiing equipment.

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Any shoes bought for winter (below freezing) cycling should be several sizes larger than a rider's normal shoe size. Stuffing more layers inside a shoe/boot that is a close fit actually makes keeping your feet warm harder since it will tend to restrict circulation. This is a very common mistake.

I normally wear a size 44, but my winter sets of shoes/boots are 45 and 50. The extra room translates to extra space for insulation (socks). If possible, you should buy winter shoes/boots in a wide size as well, so you are not just getting more room in the toe box, but throughout the shoe.

I recommend a vapor barrier sock or other method (plastic bag) to keep your insulation dry and effective.

If you have all that going on and still need more warmth, some sort or overshoe is a next step. I have found that the over booties designed for cross country skis usually work fairly well with cycling shoes and and generally relatively cheap.

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Get thick Neoprene cycling shoe covers. I got these last winter after two years of cold feet (pun not intended) and they are wonderfull!

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