cold feet even with Neoprene covers

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by clonsingle, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. clonsingle

    clonsingle New Member

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    on last weekends training spin it was cold (about 5 degrees) and wet and my feet were completely soaking and freezing cold even though I had a pair of BBB heavyduty neoprene boot covers on.

    Neoprene is designed to work close to the skin, not over the shoe's.
    Once the Neoprene covers get saturated the shoe and then the sock's will get wet, hold water like a sponge and make your feet temperature drop.

    Did anyone ever experment with Neoprene socks insted of boot covers, the socks should work like a wetsuit (trap a layer of water and heat to core temperature)

    Anyone have any other tips for keeping feet warm?

    As for waterproof boot covers, it seems that they wotk ok on top but the water gets in from the bottom as spray from the road hits the underside of the shoe.
     
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  2. John M

    John M New Member

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    When I lived in Chicago, I regularly commuted by bike through the cold Midwestern winter. I used neoprene socks with a thin polypro liner (more comfortable than just the neo alone). Ya gotta stay dry to keep the feet warm so I also wore Pearl Izumi AmFib waterproof shoe cover and that combo worked pretty well. Even so, in temps less than 15F, my limit was till about 45 minutes.
     
  3. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    Counter-intuitive as it may be, keeping one's head and torso warm will help keep the feet warm. The brain case is the most tightly temperature-regulated area of the body. If the head is exposed, blood vessels constrict in the rest of the body to increase the blood flow to the head. Hands and feet, as a result, get cold.

    For cold, wet weather I wear a polypropylene skull cap that covers my ears and neck under my helmet. I have a polypropylene long-sleeved jersey over which I have a poly vest and over that a biking wind-breaker. I have poly pants on. I wear a wool-blend sock. I also wear winter gloves. My entire body stays warm enough, except for exposed skin. All that is exposed is my face.

    Depending on the temperature and wind-chill I will wear a balaclava under my helmet which is more insulated than the skull cap. Basically it's a balance of layers, because, as I warm up on the ride, some layers have to come off. My windbreaker has removable arms, for example. The vest can come off. I can switch from full gloves to fingerless gloves. Basically you manually adjust your insulation on your entire body so that none of your extremities are too cold. Oh, and finally, I get wet, in fact, soaked, in cold rain. That's not a problem. All wool and poly blends wick moisture, which is a good thing. Wear nothing cotton or similar since it holds moisture like a sponge.

    Read up on sporting web sites about being comfortable outdoors. Layering is essential in sports since you have to fine-tune your layers as conditions change.
     
  4. mrklein

    mrklein New Member

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    I often ride in the cold and have a few ideas. First, get goretex socks. I have walked thru creeks and no wet feet. Second I like good wool socks (like Smartwool) and often put those small hand/foot warmer packs under my toes. The package insists that they must not go against the skin but they work fine for me. Last use the heavy booties, water proof is better if possible. If it is very cold I will go to two pairs of socks. Any colder than this then I go for a run and use the extra time to have a beer, clean the bikes and get ready to ride when it warms up.
     
  5. kleng

    kleng New Member

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  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    The only way I can ride in the winter out here (often below 0 f) is to keep an oversized set of cycling shoes that allow for:
    • A thin liner sock
    • A vapor barrier liner (or plastic bag)
    • A heavy wool sock
    • And Pearl Izumi neoprene(only works if it's cold enough to be dry) shoe cover
    I can't squeeze all that into my summer shoes without compromising my circulation which will only lead to colder feet and possible frostbite so I have a set of winter shoes that are two metric sizes larger than my summer shoes. The other poster's advice about keeping your upper body, particularly your head warm and dry is right on target. Don't forget the old adage: "if your feet are cold put on a hat" it really works since we lose up to 40% of our body heat through our heads.

    Good luck,
    Dave
     
  7. mrklein

    mrklein New Member

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    Good point about the bigger shoes. I pull the stock Sidi inserts out to make room. I also have some big shoes for the really extreme
    rides, but more often now I just skip it if it below about 25 F. Heat is good, cold bad.
     
  8. musher

    musher New Member

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    Hi,try some wind proof socks ,they work very at keeping your feet warm,also go to :www.cyclingforums.com/t362304.html. (Waterproof overshoes ) go to # 9 by Musher :p
     
  9. rayhuang

    rayhuang New Member

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    neoprene booties make your feet sweat and sometimes when tight cut off circulation. Both lead to cold feet. I just started using the Cannondale shoe covers which have a windblocking cover and my feet have never been so comfy, even in a 2 hour ride in 40 degree ambient temps and a constant rain. They are fairly tight around the shoe and wrap around your ankles going 1/3rd of the way up your calfs and velcro shut. They were soaked when i got home, but my feet were not cold.


    I believe this approach (cloth, breathable material thats windblocking) is the key. Your feet get hot form the cycling effort and warms the inside of the bootie.
     
  10. sideshow_bob

    sideshow_bob New Member

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    0 f ... !?!?! Man you guys are hard core. Middle of winter here if it's less than 6-8 C (which will only be early in the morning), I'll just wait for it to get a bit warmer before going out :)

    --brett
     
  11. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    a 3-month winter cycling vacation in southern california or florida?

    in ohio i have found no way to keep my feet warm if the ride length is over and hour or so and the temperature is below freezing.

    the best i can do is pre-heat a pair of wool socks, pull on the shoes, slip another thin pair of socks over the shoes for a bit more insulation, then on go the neoprene shoe covers.

    i went without shoe covers last weekend on a 24-mile club ride in 39° and finished the last 5-7 miles with very cold toes! dumb!
     
  12. fish156

    fish156 New Member

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    In addition to being a cyclist, I am also snowboard and am a diver. While I have found that neoprene works great in underwater applications, I have yet to buy a piece of neoprene gear that works - to keep you warm - for cycling or snowboarding. Neoprene does not breath or wick and traps any moisture your body generates, such as sweat and exhalation. Once this moisture gets just the slightest bit cool it's all downhill and will only get progressively colder and colder. Try a neoprene ski mask on a really cold day. They are terrible and your face will freeze. Neoprene wetsuits for diving work by trapping a very small volume of water and letting your body heat it up. When you first immerse in cold water there is a pretty good shock until that water layer gets heated up. It takes a lot of energy from your body to make this happen. Then, the water layer and the neoprene make a good insulator and keep you warm. This is why a poorly fitting wet suit is almost useless and why paying extra for a custom fit is worth every penny. People that dive regularly in cold water know that dry suits are superior to wet suits when it comes to staying warm. For cycling, snowboarding, and any other above water sport staying warm is very simple. A good wicking base layer with subsequent outer layers that insulate AND breath are the keys to staying warm. Good rain gear and waterproof parkas have the common quality of being able to breath and get rid of the moisture your body generates. This is not easy to do and why good gear is expensive. Staying warm on a cold, dry day is simple. Staying warm on a cold and damp, or rainy, day additionally requires that extra breathable, waterproof outer layer.

    That's my experience and I hope those thoughts will help ;-) Staying warm on even the coldest days is not that hard, but does require thinking out what's going on and investing in the right clothing. For socks, a polypro, or silk, base layer coupled with a wool, or some hi-tech, insulating sock will work great. For shoe covers, something like the AmFibs are great. Avoid the neoprene types - they just trap the moisture. Keep your feet dry and they will stay warm.
     
  13. Scooby Snax

    Scooby Snax New Member

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    My ad vice would be to get a pair of EVA foam insoles, they help keep your feet warmer, the insoles in cycling shoes are ment to help cool your feet in summer.
    Worth a try, especially if you have carbon soles, or have spdr cleats, both of which will conduct more heat from your feet.

    I've got a pair that were made by sure foot, they aren't cheap, but they are as warm as the cork soles in another pair of boots.

    Good luck, having cold feet sucks
     
  14. wooliferkins

    wooliferkins New Member

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    Lots of good advice here. Sealskins do a merino wool waterproof sock. Spinning a smaller gear can up your core temp which will head for the extremities eventually.
     
  15. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Fill the grooves of SPD shoes with silicone sealant after you install your cleats.
     
  16. threaded

    threaded New Member

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    Seal Skinz socks, that's what I recon you need.
     
  17. Jim R

    Jim R New Member

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    I live in Northern Wisconsin. Up here, you have to become an expert on winter clothing. The most important thing for staying warm while exercising is a good inner layer so you can stay dry. My favorite is silk. I wear a cheap pair of silk socks (and also silk pants and shirt) under my heavier socks. I often get home and the heavy socks and soaking wet but the silk ones are bone dry. I am sure many of the other suggestions work similiarly.

    I buy alot of my warm clothing at Cabela's. Here are a pair of silk socks for $8.

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0005263901533a&type=product&cmCat=search&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&No=40&Ntt=SILK&noImage=0&Ntk=Products&QueryText=SILK&Ntx=matchall&N=4887&Nty=1
     
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