Footwear for Cold Temperatures

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Robert, Feb 8, 2004.

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  1. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours of
    casual cycling? I know when I bicycle a mile each way to the store in these temperatures I'm fine.
    I'm wondering about 5 hours though. Does anyone know? Is there a better alternative? I would prefer
    sneakers as I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.
     
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  2. Mark

    Mark Guest

    "Robert" wrote ...
    > Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours of
    > casual cycling? I know when I bicycle a mile each way to the store in these temperatures I'm fine.
    > I'm wondering about 5 hours though. Does anyone know? Is there a better alternative? I would
    > prefer sneakers as I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.

    That depends on how good your circulation is, how your body tolerates cold, how well fed and rested
    you are, and how the rest of your body is dressed, along with a few other minor variables. If you're
    wearing a hat your feet will stay warmer; dressing your entire body with wool or insulating
    synthetics next to the skin will keep your feet warmer; wearing wool socks instead of cotton will
    keep your feet warmer. Wearing cotton next to your skin will keep your body cold, as will going
    without a hat. Keep these facts in mind and you'll probably find that the shoes themselves are a
    pretty minor factor at the temperatures you describe.
    --
    mark
     
  3. Robert <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours of
    : casual cycling?

    wear thick wool socks & you'll be fine. if it's wet stuff some plastic bags over your socks and
    inside the shoes and probably also wear another thin liner sock (i'd make it wool, but i'd make
    almost anything wool) and there's no reason a toe-end style bootie wouldn't work (also in rain).

    there's no appreciable difference in warmth between sneakers and the bike shoes i usually wear. when
    it gets *REALLY* cold (-20F range) something from these guys (www.redwingshoe.com) will work pretty
    well. bit heavy, tho. ;-)
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Guest

    "mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Robert" wrote ...
    > > Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours of
    > > casual cycling? I know when I bicycle a mile each way to the store in these temperatures I'm
    > > fine. I'm wondering about 5 hours though. Does anyone know? Is there a better alternative? I
    > > would prefer sneakers as I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.
    >
    > That depends on how good your circulation is, how your body tolerates cold, how well fed and
    > rested you are, and how the rest of your body is dressed, along with a few other minor variables.
    > If you're wearing a hat your feet will stay warmer; dressing your entire body with wool or
    > insulating synthetics next to the skin will keep your feet warmer; wearing wool socks instead of
    > cotton will keep your feet warmer. Wearing cotton next to your skin will keep your body cold, as
    > will going without a hat. Keep these facts in mind and you'll probably find that the shoes
    > themselves are a pretty minor factor at the temperatures you describe.

    Thank you for your response. I just don't want to be 25 miles away with cold, hurting feet. I will
    dress the rest of my body appropriately but I'm not sure of the footwear. Could I get into trouble
    if I wear sneakers in 30-40F?
     
  5. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    9 Feb 2004 00:23:41 -0800,
    <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Robert) wrote:

    >Thank you for your response. I just don't want to be 25 miles away with cold, hurting feet. I will
    >dress the rest of my body appropriately but I'm not sure of the footwear. Could I get into trouble
    >if I wear sneakers in 30-40F?

    You can always carry a couple plastic bags to knock out the wind or water chilling factor. As
    previously suggested, wool socks are warm but make sure the shoes aren't too tight when wearing
    heavy socks. You need room to wiggle your toes.
    --
    zk
     
  6. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours of
    > casual cycling? I know when I bicycle a mile each way to the store in these temperatures I'm fine.
    > I'm wondering about 5 hours though. Does anyone know? Is there a better alternative? I would
    > prefer sneakers as I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.

    Everybody's different, so I'd suggest tring a rid of an hour or so as a test. IME, if I'm ok for an
    hour, I'll be ok for all day. For me, sneakers would be fine at 40, but only borderline at 30, and
    definitely not enough if they get wet.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  7. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > "mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > "Robert" wrote ...
    > > > Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours
    > > > of casual cycling? I know when I bicycle a mile each way to the store in these temperatures
    > > > I'm fine. I'm wondering about 5 hours though. Does anyone know? Is there a better alternative?
    > > > I would prefer sneakers as I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.
    > >
    > > That depends on how good your circulation is, how your body tolerates cold, how well fed and
    > > rested you are, and how the rest of your body is dressed, along with a few other minor
    > > variables. If you're wearing a hat your feet will stay warmer; dressing your entire body with
    > > wool or insulating synthetics next to the skin will keep your feet warmer; wearing wool socks
    > > instead of cotton will keep your feet warmer. Wearing cotton next to your skin will keep your
    > > body cold, as will going without a hat. Keep these facts in mind and you'll probably find that
    > > the shoes themselves are a pretty minor factor at the temperatures you describe.
    >
    >
    > Thank you for your response. I just don't want to be 25 miles away with cold, hurting feet. I will
    > dress the rest of my body appropriately but I'm not sure of the footwear. Could I get into trouble
    > if I wear sneakers in 30-40F?

    If they got wet and cold, and stayed that way for 5 hours, you could do some damage to your feet.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  8. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    I ride in moderately cold temperatures frequently for up to about 4 hours. I wear cycling shoes. I
    have plastic covers and with wool socks, that works down to about 38 degree farenheit reasonably
    well. However my toes get cold.

    Here is a tip, if you get out a ways and your toes get cold, you can always go into a convenience
    store, get a large drink and a paper, sit down (most have a few little booths) and in about 20
    minutes, your toes should be warm again. With warm feet, you should be able to make it back OK.

    However, the mid 30s and below seems to be more serious. I have a pair of neoprene boots that I use
    for those temperatures.

    Your experience maybe a bit better then mine. Cycling shoes restrict the motion of the feet because
    of the rigid soles. Moving the feet some helps keep them warm, I guess by promoting circulation.
    Anyway, I know this because I unclick with my right foot when I stop at a light and keep my left
    foot clicked in. My left foot always gets colder then my right foot. I have concluded that the
    little flexing that my right foot gets when I am balancing my weight against it is what makes the
    difference. So your tennis shoes, may work better in the cold then bike shoes.
     
  9. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

    In article <[email protected]>, David Kerber <[email protected]_ids.net> wrote:
    >In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >> "mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:<[email protected]>...
    >> > "Robert" wrote ...
    >> > > Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours
    >> > > of casual cycling? I know when I bicycle a mile each way to the store in these temperatures
    >> > > I'm fine. I'm wondering about 5 hours though. Does anyone know? Is there a better
    >> > > alternative? I would prefer sneakers as I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.
    >> >
    >> > That depends on how good your circulation is, how your body tolerates cold, how well fed and
    >> > rested you are, and how the rest of your body is dressed, along with a few other minor
    >> > variables. If you're wearing a hat your feet will stay warmer; dressing your entire body with
    >> > wool or insulating synthetics next to the skin will keep your feet warmer; wearing wool socks
    >> > instead of cotton will keep your feet warmer. Wearing cotton next to your skin will keep your
    >> > body cold, as will going without a hat. Keep these facts in mind and you'll probably find that
    >> > the shoes themselves are a pretty minor factor at the temperatures you describe.
    >>
    >>
    >> Thank you for your response. I just don't want to be 25 miles away with cold, hurting feet. I
    >> will dress the rest of my body appropriately but I'm not sure of the footwear. Could I get into
    >> trouble if I wear sneakers in 30-40F?
    >
    >If they got wet and cold, and stayed that way for 5 hours, you could do some damage to your feet.
    >

    _ Trenchfoot? Not in 5hrs I think, frostbite is a possiblity. Anyway as a backup, you can carry a
    pair of chemical handwarmers. There are special shaped toe warmers as well. They make a big
    difference in that kind of weather and will last until you get back. An extra pair of dry socks in a
    ziplock is also good insurance.

    _ Booker C. Bense

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  10. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...

    ...

    > >> Thank you for your response. I just don't want to be 25 miles away with cold, hurting feet. I
    > >> will dress the rest of my body appropriately but I'm not sure of the footwear. Could I get into
    > >> trouble if I wear sneakers in 30-40F?
    > >
    > >If they got wet and cold, and stayed that way for 5 hours, you could do some damage to your feet.
    > >
    >
    > _ Trenchfoot? Not in 5hrs I think, frostbite is a possiblity. Anyway as a backup, you can carry
    > a pair of

    Trenchfoot was the first thing that crossed my mind, but frostbite is certainly more likely. Being
    wet makes is much easier to get cold.

    > chemical handwarmers. There are special shaped toe warmers as

    I didn't know that; those would be handy if you got out quite a ways before you discovered your feet
    weren't properly protected.

    > well. They make a big difference in that kind of weather and will last until you get back. An
    > extra pair of dry socks in a ziplock is also good insurance.

    ....

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  11. Bruce Lange

    Bruce Lange Guest

    5 hours is a long time, and time is your enemy when trying to keep your feet warm in the winter. In
    those temperatures I'd be okay for about 3 hours with good footwear. I'd suggest a 2 hour ride at 30
    before attempting a 5 hour. Definitely keep footwear loose to keep the circulation going as this is
    critically important. Feet are the "weak link" in winter cycling, tending to get too cold before
    anything else does. People vary a lot in their leg/foot circulation so cautiously test conditions
    for yourself. If you have no sort of wind barrier, you'll notice that the wind effect gets very
    noticeable too. Check out the Icebike website (and subscribe to the email group) for great advice
    from experienced winter cyclists.

    http://users.rcn.com/icebike/

    -Bruce-

    P.S.: It bears repeating, keep footwear LOOSE to promote circulation as this is key!
     
  12. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

    In article <[email protected]>, David Kerber <[email protected]_ids.net> wrote:
    >In article <[email protected]>,
    >[email protected] says...
    >
    >...
    >
    >> >> Thank you for your response. I just don't want to be 25 miles away with cold, hurting feet. I
    >> >> will dress the rest of my body appropriately but I'm not sure of the footwear. Could I get
    >> >> into trouble if I wear sneakers in 30-40F?
    >> >
    >> >If they got wet and cold, and stayed that way for 5 hours, you could do some damage to
    >> >your feet.
    >> >
    >>
    >> _ Trenchfoot? Not in 5hrs I think, frostbite is a possiblity. Anyway as a backup, you can carry a
    >> pair of
    >
    >Trenchfoot was the first thing that crossed my mind, but frostbite is certainly more likely. Being
    >wet makes is much easier to get cold.
    >
    >> chemical handwarmers. There are special shaped toe warmers as
    >
    >I didn't know that; those would be handy if you got out quite a ways before you discovered your
    >feet weren't properly protected.
    >

    _ The toe ones are toe-shaped and have adhesive to stick to your socks, but the plain old square
    ones work just as well. If you don't have room to fit them in then you're definitely wearing too
    many socks or too small boots. Circulation is the key to keeping your feet warm in the winter, any
    tightness in the foot will limit this. Too many or too thick socks is a common mistake.

    _ The chemical handwarmers are also very useful for your hands. Often the difference between an epic
    and a minor inconvience is the ability to use your fingers. Even the simplest things can be
    incredibly difficult when your hands are too cold to work well. I don't think it's the actual heat
    of these things that makes them so effective, but that they fool the body into opening up the
    capillaries.

    _ Booker C. Bense

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  13. Ferenc Lovro

    Ferenc Lovro Guest

    [email protected] (Robert) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours of
    > casual cycling? I know when I bicycle a mile each way to the store in these temperatures I'm fine.
    > I'm wondering about 5 hours though. Does anyone know? Is there a better alternative? I would
    > prefer sneakers as I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.

    If your sneakers are not tight too much, they would be enough. Wintertime when I'm riding for long
    I usually wear a shoe which is a bit larger than my feet, so I can wear two or three pairs of
    socks without hazarding my blood circulation. It also helps if you try to ride all the time
    sitting and not standing, leaving your sneakers loose on your feet (you're not walking anyway).
    Sometimes shake your feet while rolling down a hill so blood can start to circulate, and as a last
    advice: when you feel your feet are getting too cold, just stop, remove your shoes, and give your
    feet a nice massage.

    Frank www.plitkorn.com
     
  14. There are personal variables that make it hard to answer - metabolism, oveall health and blood
    circulation; whether you've been "hardened off" by doing a lot of winter riding; how hard you work
    when riding; precipitation. The only times I get in trouble with temperatures in the 30's and no
    more than one pair of socks and regular riding shoes is when there's a cold rain.

    "Ferenc Lovro" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Robert) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Will regular sneakers (like tennis shoes) be warm enough for temperatures 30-40F for 5 hours of
    > > casual cycling? I know when I bicycle a mile each way to the store in these temperatures I'm
    > > fine. I'm wondering about 5 hours though. Does anyone know? Is there a better alternative? I
    > > would prefer sneakers as I don't want to spend money if I don't have to.
    >
    > If your sneakers are not tight too much, they would be enough. Wintertime when I'm riding for long
    > I usually wear a shoe which is a bit larger than my feet, so I can wear two or three pairs of
    > socks without hazarding my blood circulation. It also helps if you try to ride all the time
    > sitting and not standing, leaving your sneakers loose on your feet (you're not walking anyway).
    > Sometimes shake your feet while rolling down a hill so blood can start to circulate, and as a last
    > advice: when you feel your feet are getting too cold, just stop, remove your shoes, and give your
    > feet a nice massage.
    >
    > Frank www.plitkorn.com
     
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