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I went mountain biking yesterday, when the temperature was 100F / 38C. This is in Southern California in June, so that's not that unusual. The only issue I had is that my shoes get uncomfortably hot, especially the toes.

The trail I rode is just a climb to the top, then a descent back down to the start. There's no shade, and until the descent, there are no opportunities to get airflow that would help cool things off.

My shoes are SIDI Dominator. Black, of course. SIDI Dominator

I have a similar problem with my road shoes, which are the SIDI Genius 5. It's not as bad, because I'm usually moving much faster on the road, but it's still bothersome.

Buying new shoes is not an option right now, so I am looking for ideas to alter the shoes to be cooler. I want to avoid cutting holes in the shoes, so I came up with two options:

  1. Paint the shoes white or silver. Black absorbs heat, white should reflect it.

  2. Tape some foil on the shoes, especially the toe box. This will look goofy, and durability is questionable, but it should offer the highest level of reflection.

  3. Duct tape. I'm thinking of the classic grey duct tape. Simple, durable, and probably a decent reflective quality.

Anyone have any better ideas?

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    Fir that temperature you need airflow - lots of it. All your proposals will reduce it. SHIMANO SD500 would be ideal for airflow, but something with an open mesh would probably be better. Talk to you LBS as they will have shooes better suited to the climate. – mattnz Jun 10 at 21:18
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    Simple solution: Ride in the rain! – Daniel R Hicks Jun 10 at 21:30
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    Plastic shoes are HOT. I call my Sidis "plastic hotboxes" - because that's what they are. That makes them great in the winter when you want to keep your feet warm. When it's hot, I wear leather cycling shoes - Lake, specifically. They're much, much cooler. But since you can't get new shoes, what kind of socks are you wearing? – Andrew Henle Jun 11 at 9:37
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    I doubt covering your shoes with foil would help. Foil usually works as an insulator, by trapping a layer of air so, while you're blocking the radiative heat of the sun, you're also restricting cooling a lot. – David Richerby Jun 11 at 16:57
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    A typical case for rule #5 methinks. ;-) – Carel Jun 14 at 19:18
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No socks, and soak the shoes in ice water, they will eventully dry out, but whilst wet they will help disipate the heat.

  • Will this cause any damage to the shoes? – David Richerby Jun 11 at 16:55
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    @DavidRicherby I don't wear Sidis, but I see enough of them in use year-round the in the Pacific NW of the US to make me doubt that water would be a problem. – Paul H Jun 11 at 23:31
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    Sounds like a good way to get blisters. – renesis Jun 14 at 18:19
  • @renesis I'd be more worried about the smell that might develop... – cmaster Jul 13 at 19:18
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Consider a different sock for hot rides - some of the modern technical fabrics could be more suitable and removing heat from the foot.

Perhaps purchasing a lighter-coloured pair of shoes for summer rides, with more ventilation holes. That way your shoes and cleats will last twice as long.

If the black colour is the root cause, perhaps some white/light coloured overshoes would mitigate insolation but would add insulation Not sure if this would be a nett gain or a backwards step.

I would not suggest modifying these shoes too much - punching holes in them and adding white paint would be a last resort and only for shoes that are mostly worn out already.

Perhaps the cooling could be done elsewhere? Do you wear short or long pants while riding? Perhaps go without leg warmers and wear shorter bib-shorts or raise the cuffs somewhat to allow extra air-cooling directly to your skin.

Shaving your legs may also be of benefit for cooling. Or ride faster :)

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