Author Topic: Winter boots  (Read 888 times)

Winter boots
« on: November 05, 2017, 04:49:03 pm »
I am thinking of getting some winter boots to ride in from November-February and would like some suggestions.

I am looking for something with a two bolt mtb-type SPD cleat fitting and have quite wide feet.

I normally wear Shimano shoes which I get on with ok so their MW5 ("Dryshield" own brand waterproofing)  and MW7 (Goretex)  boots are contenders but I am wondering if the are any others I should look at and which fit my duck like feet.

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 04:58:52 pm »
I too have really wide feet and I have a pair of the Specialized boots (can't remember what they are called) and they have loads of room in them - Specialized say that they are a wide fitting to allow for thicker socks.

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 06:21:34 pm »
Yup, wide feet too...The Shimano MT71 Goretex lined shoes I find ok for all but the coldest weather, but I have some very old Shimano boots, possibly the first version they did, that come out in the depths of winter. They're a size bigger in order to accommodate thicker socks.

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 08:18:59 pm »
The Specialized ones maybe the defrosters.  Winter boots are nice but they do feel heavy on the feet.  Perhaps those shimano shoes ‘nordic’ range that have no mesh.

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 08:57:11 pm »
The canonical winter boot is of course the Shimano MT91. I love mine so much I wear them touring even in hot countries without getting sweaty, but they are super toasty through the winter. I have wide feet and would not usually buy Shimano shoes. Beware that they suffer from the Shimano sizing, mine are supposedly four sizes bigger than my shoe size, even with leeway for thick socks that's ridiculous, so if you buy online find somewhere with free returns.
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StuAff

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Re: Winter boots
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 11:22:27 pm »
Got a pair of MW7s back in August (Wiggle sale), haven't worn them yet as I'm still using my MW81s (which I wear all year round...). Apart from the weakness of the neoprene collar soaking up water, the 81s have been excellent, I expect no less from the MW7s. I went a size up, and they were perfect for fit.

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 03:40:01 pm »
Just returned from my local bike shop after looking at winter boots.

Tried on several different pairs and was weighing op the pros and cons, when the sales 'youth' (must have been at least 30) mentioned that he uses Specialized Defrosters and could recommend them. They hadn't got any in stock at the time but he offered to let my try on his personal pair that he'd ridden to work in.

Just like Cinderella, they were a perfect fit, although a size larger than I usually wear.

They've ordered in a pair and expect delivery next week.
I don't want to grow old gracefully. I want to grow old disgracefully.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 04:33:09 pm »
The canonical winter boot is of course the Shimano MT91. I love mine so much I wear them touring even in hot countries without getting sweaty, but they are super toasty through the winter.

I think the MT91 is the canonical boot, but not necessarily a winter one.  They're sturdy, grippy, good for walking in and admirably waterproof but not particularly insulated.  As you say, they're fine in warm weather, to the point that they're my preferred footwear year-round for technical off-roading and situations where I'm going to ride my bike somewhere and then do a lot of walking.  And yes, Shimano sizes apply.

In winter most of the warmth comes from keeping the wind and water out.  You can add wooly socks for extra insulation, and I bought mine a size larger with two pairs of thick socks in mind.  Interestingly, last year I discovered that my feet tended to be warmer with a single pair of socks - presumably the circulation benefit of a bit more wiggle room was more effective than the extra insulation of another pair.

I also note that circulation is a major factor in foot warmth.  I've found that no amount of insulation will keep my feet warm in a recumbent position, and that it's nothing to do with wind chill on the exposed cleat (which some people like to blame).  I can be sitting on a stationary recumbent trike with freezing feet, unclip, and feel the warmth start to return within a few seconds.

I also note that since my feet feel cold indoors from October to April it's unreasonable to expect them to be properly warm when I'm cycling.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 05:21:53 pm »
I recently acquired a pair of Northwave Flash TH shoes (you’d be more interested in the SPD-compatible Raptor TH, I think) to replace my Northwave Fahrenheit boots that bruised my ankle no matter what I tried. (I have low ankles that interfere with a lot of shoes, especially cycling shoes since I pedal with a lower heel than most.)

These are interesting for being insulated shoes, although I think the main reason they’re warm is that they don’t have the infernal vents that almost all artificial-material shoes have. Therefore they keep your feet warm and reasonably dry even in the cold: today I was out in −1°C and felt comfortable. I wear two sizes larger than my usual street shoes in Northwave shoes, which are barely longer than Shimanos but wider and flatter in the forefoot area. I get numb toes from the way Shimano shoes force up the big toes.

They hadn't got any in stock at the time but he offered to let my try on his personal pair that he'd ridden to work in.

Brilliant! Although I half-thought those Defrosters had been discontinued. They’re certainly hard to find in France.

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 06:57:18 pm »
I always thought the (now-discontinued) Northwave Celsius was the canonical winter boot...

I've had a pair of the above for a good few years now and they're still going strong. I've also got a pair of Northwave Extreme Winter boots, which seem to be a pimped-up version, but I haven't used them yet as the old ones haven't died (I can't resist a bargain, so picked these up in the summer when Prendas were handily selling off a load of NW shoes in my size relatively cheaply).

My usual shoe size works fine - plenty of room for thick socks without sizing up.

mattc

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Re: Winter boots
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 07:47:14 pm »
I have a pair of Northwave Celsius GTX for sale. [believe the "GTX" just means goretex ]

Box says "46 - UK 12, US 13" - I'm generally a size 8-9(!) in street shoes, but these fitted me fine with regular thin cycling socks (not winter thick ones).

They have the (inevitable) winter ingrained dirt, but show almost no wear. They don't even smell :)

Offers welcome ...

[ I bought them several years ago, but I think I only used them for 1 winter.]

I also have some tattier Dia-Doras which will be part of this shoe-cupboard cull!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 12:45:06 pm »
The Specialized ones maybe the defrosters.  Winter boots are nice but they do feel heavy on the feet.  Perhaps those shimano shoes ‘nordic’ range that have no mesh.
A bit of googling reveals that to be the Shimano XC50N.
https://www.fatbirds.co.uk/22290/products/shimano-xc50n-spd-mountain-bike-shoes-red--black.aspx?origin=pla&kwd=&currency=GBP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItcL--f2B2AIVCLXtCh3GAQdgEAQYAiABEgKuffD_BwE
I'm not sure it's particularly insulated, it seems to be a summer shoe just without the mesh most of them are cursed with. (I share Samuel D's opinion of this.)
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 12:47:33 pm »
TBH this year so far I'm finding normal summer shoes (albeit meshless) plus overshoes have kept me warm, as long as I make sure to pull the overshoes up around the toes and, most importantly, my feet are warm when I set off.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 12:50:25 pm »
My normal wool cycling socks and summer SPD shoes were fine for a dry 200 on Saturday, due to big mudguards and mudflaps keeping water off my shoes. Rain or snow needs a different approach.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2017, 02:33:56 pm »
One of the most desirable features of winter boots is that overshoes are fundamentally shit:  They'll keep your feet warm in meshy shoes, and even manage to keep things dry for a couple of hours.  But they're a pain to put on, and after a dozen rides or so they'll have disintegrated.  The main advantage as I see it is that they're lightweight and pack down, so they're a useful back-up option for normal shoes in the event of unexpected Weather.

Overshoes are fine for a Bike Ride if it's cold and dry, and I've made good use of them when the start or end of an otherwise dry (but too cold for sandals) ride has been pish, but boots are much better for utility cycling or anything else where you expect to do non-trivial amounts of walking.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Karla

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Re: Winter boots
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2017, 02:55:15 pm »
I have a pair of Northwave Celsius GTX for sale. [believe the "GTX" just means goretex ]

Box says "46 - UK 12, US 13" - I'm generally a size 8-9(!) in street shoes, but these fitted me fine with regular thin cycling socks (not winter thick ones).

They have the (inevitable) winter ingrained dirt, but show almost no wear. They don't even smell :)

Offers welcome ...

[ I bought them several years ago, but I think I only used them for 1 winter.]

I also have some tattier Dia-Doras which will be part of this shoe-cupboard cull!

I'm normally a 44 but I might be interested in those, just let me see if I can find a pair to try on and check the fit.
Latest tour journal: Bucharest to Berlin

mattc

  • "Hannibal"
  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 02:59:09 pm »
I'm normally a 44 but I might be interested in those, just let me see if I can find a pair to try on and check the fit.
Don't rush - someone here has emailed me about them. I need to decide what is a sensible price before I reply - apologies for the delay!  ::-)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Karla

  • car(e) free
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2017, 03:02:08 pm »
Hmmmm, there are no Northwave dealers round here but I'm prepared to take a punt on them if you don't sell them to whoever it is.  Let me know.
Latest tour journal: Bucharest to Berlin

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2017, 03:31:42 pm »
I have the original Shimano Winter Boots.  They must be 10 years old now (currently in for a bit of minor repair as I pulled the loop off the heel but it's an easy fix and not surprising after 10 winters of tugging them on).

They have been one of my best ever buys.
I wear them with toe-cover "thingies" as well.  That makes them lovely and toasty (and keeps the grime off them).

Be warned though, I think all Gore-tex Winter boots suffer from the same issue....they prevent water getting out even more effectively than they prevent water getting in. 
Water running down your legs WILL eventually get into your boots on a long ride.  At that point you may find yourself in waterlogged boots for the remainder of the ride* 
It's worth spending a bit of time stretching the ankle of your bib-tights over the boot as far as you can.

*Good news - The water gets warm at least.

My MW02 look like this, exposed neoprene cuff is a bit of a soak-away for water into the boot and has been addressed in more current versions
http://media.chainreactioncycles.com/is/image/ChainReactionCycles/prod9362_Grey_NE_01?wid=500&hei=505
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2017, 04:07:46 pm »
One of the most desirable features of winter boots is that overshoes are fundamentally shit:  They'll keep your feet warm in meshy shoes, and even manage to keep things dry for a couple of hours.  But they're a pain to put on, and after a dozen rides or so they'll have disintegrated.  The main advantage as I see it is that they're lightweight and pack down, so they're a useful back-up option for normal shoes in the event of unexpected Weather.
I used to agree with this, which is why I bought winter boots (Scott). I certainly managed to wear out the first pair of overshoes I had pretty quickly. IIRC they were Endura. But the pair I've got now has lasted pretty well. Called Shimano Endure, which I suppose bodes well, or would if trade names meant anything at all. Had them a couple of years.

Quote
Overshoes are fine for a Bike Ride if it's cold and dry, and I've made good use of them when the start or end of an otherwise dry (but too cold for sandals) ride has been pish, but boots are much better for utility cycling or anything else where you expect to do non-trivial amounts of walking.
Disagree with this though. All cycling footwear suffers the same (but in differing disagrees) unsuitability for non-trivial amounts of walking, namely a rigid sole and a cleat that, whatever the theory, in practice makes contact with the ground.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2017, 06:31:30 pm »
Overshoes are fine for a Bike Ride if it's cold and dry, and I've made good use of them when the start or end of an otherwise dry (but too cold for sandals) ride has been pish, but boots are much better for utility cycling or anything else where you expect to do non-trivial amounts of walking.
Disagree with this though. All cycling footwear suffers the same (but in differing disagrees) unsuitability for non-trivial amounts of walking, namely a rigid sole and a cleat that, whatever the theory, in practice makes contact with the ground.

My point was more that walking is what destroys overshoes, so all else being equal, a boot beats a shoe+overshoe if you're going to be walking in it.  Even if they're both fairly rubbish for walking.

Regardless, MT91s (can't vouch for other boots) are by far the best cycling footwear I've come across for walking in.  If it weren't for the cleat, they'd pass for walking boots.  Which as you say, can be quite a big 'if' on hard, irregular surfaces.  Their performance on mud or snow is what you'd think a MTB shoe[1] ought to have.


[1] Which is more "general-purpose cycling shoe that won't damage the floor" than something particularly suited for mountain biking.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Winter boots
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2017, 07:03:47 pm »
Be warned though, I think all Gore-tex Winter boots suffer from the same issue....they prevent water getting out even more effectively than they prevent water getting in. 
Water running down your legs WILL eventually get into your boots on a long ride.  At that point you may find yourself in waterlogged boots for the remainder of the ride

As experienced on this year's Upper Thames 200.  I was wearing my Northwave Celsius - the heavy rain and flooded roads at the start meant they filled up with water pretty quickly and that water remained with me for the following 12 hours.  Very unpleasant experience and my feet were well and truly shrivelled and manky by the end.

In the past I've experimented with making protective seals around the top using wet-suit legging  cut-downs and even rubber gloves but nothing really worked properly.  I'm going to make a point of never using them again when wet weather is expected.

For cold but dry conditions they are better provided there is room for 2 pairs of socks.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Winter boots
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2017, 08:16:33 pm »

For cold but dry conditions they are better provided there is room for 2 pairs of socks.

Counter-intuitively I wear thin merino socks with mine, for a bit of wiggle-room, and put more insulation on the outside with the toe-covers.  I think the main issue is Wind-chill and toe-covers are a good defence.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.