Author Topic: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats  (Read 984 times)

Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« on: January 15, 2020, 03:34:17 pm »
 Im switching over to flat pedals and walking shoes for long distance riding. A concern is that I do suffer with cold extremities in the fingers and toes
To date I have used clip ins/leather bike shoes and over shoes that have largely sufficed. Im thinking that the walking sneakers aint going to be as cozy and likely int pair with overshoes.
I considered exploring seal skin/sailing type options for socks but have binned it on the grounds that endurance riding is just going to be a recipe for blisters and poor circulation
Does anybody have any advice/experience or tricks to keep the little piggies happy when its belting down and cold?
often lost.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 05:06:47 pm »
Never tried long distance riding on flats (except with old sckool toe clips) but have you tried putting overshoes on top of the walking sneakers? I haven't tried it either ( :facepalm:) but I can't really think why it necessarily won't work. It's going to depend on the shape of the individual shoe, I guess.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 06:20:43 pm »
I might worry about achilles tendinitis from a walking boot with ankle support.

I use for/hand warmers off eBay https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hot-Hands-Hand-Warmers-Foot-Warmers-Hot-Hands-Packs-Pocket-Heat-Feet-Gloves/312827286005?epid=22034597061&hash=item48d5f591f5:m:mVGQ6OuQU6juOinMX7UyhuQ and replace every 4 hours or so.  Put them inside the shoe but outside the sock.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 06:38:51 pm »
Cold toes can often be about your shoes being too tight, which sometimes results from wearing socks that are too thick.  It cuts off the circulation. Look for walking shoes with a larger toe box that will enable you to wriggle the toes in the thickest socks you are likely to wear.  In terms of lacing have the laces relatively loose at the toe end, cinch tight about half way up and double lap the lace to keep it cinched there, then continue tight up the top. If you decide to wear walking socks long distance then silk liner socks underneath slide well on skin and prevent blisters. They also add that extra bit of warmth .

Alternating thin layers of silk and wool are what the early Everest expedition members wore to great effect,
If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 06:54:28 pm »
Thanks guys.
The shoes are low cut and oodles of toe room.
https://www.altrarunning.com/shop/men/mens-lone-peak-45-al0a4pe5?variationId=000
I like the idea of silk under socks. There is enough room in them to double up on layers.
I can get the rest of my body warm pretty quickly but pre dawn rides when its cold the fingers and toes are hopeless. Touch of Reynolds.
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zigzag

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Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 08:05:21 pm »
when the temperature is close to zero my toes get cold even with three woolmix socks and overshoes after a few hours of riding. not painfully cold but colder than i'd like them to be. if it is raining as well, i don't go out.

feet are difficult to keep dry in prolonged rain, even with so called waterproof shoes/overshoes/socks. road cycling shoes are usually less absorbent and dry out fairly quickly after getting wet.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2020, 05:43:03 pm »
I have different shoes for different seasons - I'm wearing 5-10s now but they are too hot for a Balkan summer, so wore much lighter trail running shoes for TCR.

I recommend sealskinz socks.  I had a pair on TCR last year and another pair of summer socks.  I had issues with the latter and had to wear the Sealskinz.  They were comfortable for a couple of days, even in 40 degree heat. 

But warm hands and feet is more about keeping your core temperature up than loads of thick socks, so an extra base layer might be what you need.

I also don't mind riding in the cold and in the wet, but not both at the same time - other than commuting or short errands.  Certainly not for pleasure, as it isn't

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 07:26:32 pm »
my big break through in coping with cold feet is wearing walking gaiters, I wonder if it has something to do with keeping the calf's warmer ?

I basically just have the same socks and walking-trainers that I wear in the summer, on top of these go my neoprene over-shoes, then the waking gaiters.  So basically all the extra layers are on the outside of the shoe.

An addition I made to the walking gators was to add a toe box to them (similar to yeti-gaiters), so now the whole of the shoe and neoprene over shoe are entirely enclosed in the walking gaiter.  It looks a little odd but I no long suffer cold feet.  The additional benefit is keeping the overshoes perfectly clean  (it doesn't keep the wet out though but warm wet feet are not a problem)

the worst thing I ever tried was extra or thicker socks, as others have pointed out decreased circulation is a big cause of cold feet.


Graeme

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Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 07:42:55 pm »
I have useless circulation in my toes and have been considering the same idea of moving to toe clips and flat pedals with shoes that don't have a block of steel attached to the balls of my feet.

I've tried loads of options. Shimano winter boots had load is room for socks but I still felt cold. I've tried silk liner socks with woolly walking socks in loose 'wiggle room' shoes... add those hopelessly expensive VeloToze over the shoe (check wiggle room) and then add Neoprene Sealskin Overshoes for wind and warmth. Nothing has worked so far. I can start out warm, but my toes just keep getting colder and colder. At least this approach keeps my feet dry if I remember to put the VeloToze under my bibtights and over my socks to seal out seeping rain.

So I'm toying with the idea of getting away from the cleats and SPD pedals in winter.

Everything else is okay:
Rainlegs keep thighs warm and dry. Look stupid but work perfectly.
Lobster claw gloves with liner gloves... Even if they get wet they keep my hands warm.
Strategic and appropriate use of layers on my chest keep me from sweating too much, or being too cold.
My rain jacket might be coming to the end of its life, but it's been good so far.
A GoreTex casquette had been wonderful whatever the weather, keeps head warm and dry.

Toes! What to do about toes!
I'm following this thread with interest.
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 08:05:01 pm »
Small Microwaveable heat pads might also be an option. Reheat at garages etc.
If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2020, 05:51:59 pm »
Thanks Frank I'll take a look into those sealskinz.  The recent spaniel addition to the house here has had away with half of my sock collection so an update of the sock drawer was already on the cards.
Its not a core temp issue, just plain old Reynaud syndrome.
 It seems ridiculous to be considering cold toes for a Summer race, but on TCR 5 The "Lucifer Edition" I was getting bloody cold digits before dawn in the pre Alps in Germany and that was with cycling shoes.  Trail runners get wet quicker and are less snug.
often lost.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 07:15:59 am »
Its not a core temp issue, just plain old Reynaud syndrome.

Reynaud's is a core temp issue - and how your body responds to a drop in core temperature (by shutting down the ateries in your ankles and wrists).  That was why I mentioned it.  The only way to fix Reynaud's-related cold feet and hands is to prevent your core temperature from ever dropping - thick socks and gloves won't do it. 

I've had the tests, was diagnosed with it and had it explained to me by doctors - before it became fashionable!

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2020, 03:18:24 pm »

I have been using flat pedal with trail walking shoes since I began (I just can't seem to find spd or spd/sl shoes that are comfortable for long term wear). I use gripgrab neoprene over shoes in winter. They kinda work. I have various other socks including sealskinz merino socks, and darn tough merino's. In summer I use drymax socks.

In winter nothing will keep my toes warm, tho I have found heat pads help a bit (https://amzn.to/2RAKhrU). I still have 10 toes, but I have had frost damage to 3 of them. RatN was particularly bad in terms of damage (thanks Friesland).

J

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Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2020, 04:42:00 pm »
How about heated insoles?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/INSOLES-ELECTRIC-OPERATED-SEMELLES-CHAUFFRANTES/dp/B004ETKLJ8

Just remembered an older member of our CTC group has some and likes them.
If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2020, 07:57:20 pm »
Im switching over to flat pedals and walking shoes for long distance riding.

On icy commutes in the winter I use my MTB with flat pedals and wear some Berghaus walking shoes that I've had for years. Crucially these don't have any mesh like material on them which allows the cold air to get to my feet. I find them to be much warmer than my proper cycling shoes with neoprene overshoes.

The shoes are low cut and oodles of toe room.
https://www.altrarunning.com/shop/men/mens-lone-peak-45-al0a4pe5?variationId=000

The ones you link to appear to have a lot of mesh type material built in to them as I guess that's what a runner wants in the warm weather so I'm wondering if you'd be better off with something like this.

Example of winter walking shoe

I use for/hand warmers off eBay https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hot-Hands-Hand-Warmers-Foot-Warmers-Hot-Hands-Packs-Pocket-Heat-Feet-Gloves/312827286005?epid=22034597061&hash=item48d5f591f5:m:mVGQ6OuQU6juOinMX7UyhuQ and replace every 4 hours or so.  Put them inside the shoe but outside the sock.

For longer all day rides in the winter I've used the handwarmers linked above. I found that I didn't like them inside the shoe as they didn't fit/feel right (probably because I have the handwarmers !). I place them on the top of my shoe right at the toe end and then fit my overshoes on to hold them in place which seems to work quite well.

I've also thought of layering up with toe covers and then overshoes to see if the extra layer at the front of the shoe helps as well but haven't got round to this yet.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2020, 12:14:58 pm »
Thanks Waj.

On the flip side of the cold issues, the walking shoe with less ventilation is likely to be too hot for the other conditions that will be met on TCR.
Absolutely ideal for a cold climate shoe though.
I think I'll just double up on socks with the current trail shoes Im using. They have oodles of space in them (like boats) and haven't presented fit problems on all day rides (aside from cold)
I'll polly bag them or search out some packable overshoes for when its icers in the high country and take on board Franks advice about an extra base layer.


often lost.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2020, 04:49:02 pm »
I'll polly bag them or search out some packable overshoes for when its icers in the high country and take on board Franks advice about an extra base layer.
Eager overshoes are very packable, pretty good at keeping the wind and wet off, though they don't add much warmth.  Only seem to be available on Ebay these days, they used to be stocked by the CTC shop
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Eager-Overshoes-Waterproof-Cycling-Shoe-Cover-Overshoe-/112023894581

On a related note or maybe it ought to be a different thread, what flat pedals are people using and what's the grip like?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2020, 04:54:43 pm »
Eager overshoes are very packable, pretty good at keeping the wind and wet off, though they don't add much warmth.  Only seem to be available on Ebay these days, they used to be stocked by the CTC shop
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Eager-Overshoes-Waterproof-Cycling-Shoe-Cover-Overshoe-/112023894581

On a related note or maybe it ought to be a different thread, what flat pedals are people using and what's the grip like?

Are they at all breathable?

J
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http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2020, 05:28:15 pm »
Eager overshoes are very packable, pretty good at keeping the wind and wet off, though they don't add much warmth.  Only seem to be available on Ebay these days, they used to be stocked by the CTC shop
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Eager-Overshoes-Waterproof-Cycling-Shoe-Cover-Overshoe-/112023894581

On a related note or maybe it ought to be a different thread, what flat pedals are people using and what's the grip like?

Are they at all breathable?

J
The fabric isn't, though the bottom is mostly open so there may be enough ventilation, I've never considered it an issue and I've been using them for at least 15 years.  I can see how in some circumstances it might be a problem, I just haven't experienced it.  They're not going to keep your feet bone dry, they are going to keep most of the rain off, and the muck and a good bit of the windchill.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2020, 06:20:58 pm »
I'll polly bag them or search out some packable overshoes for when its icers in the high country and take on board Franks advice about an extra base layer.
Eager overshoes are very packable, pretty good at keeping the wind and wet off, though they don't add much warmth.  Only seem to be available on Ebay these days, they used to be stocked by the CTC shop
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Eager-Overshoes-Waterproof-Cycling-Shoe-Cover-Overshoe-/112023894581

On a related note or maybe it ought to be a different thread, what flat pedals are people using and what's the grip like?

Hi Paul.
Ive been using these.
https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop/components/pedals/mks-allways-pedals/
I love them. Plenty of grip but not too much stabby stuff for your shins like some MTB flats.
My wife has a set of VO that she really likes too.
One of the guys I know on TCR who did really well just used a cheapo pair of plastic pedals that worked out fine too.
We both have a set of those double sided shimano pedals (flat one side and MTB cleat on the other) I don't like them much. The platform is too small and they are fiddly.
often lost.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2020, 10:48:32 pm »
We both have a set of those double sided shimano pedals (flat one side and MTB cleat on the other) I don't like them much. The platform is too small and they are fiddly.

I have these M324 I think is the model number. I've not had any issues with them. I like the fact they take reflectors easily, which makes being road legal easier.

J
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2020, 08:06:45 am »
We both have a set of those double sided shimano pedals (flat one side and MTB cleat on the other) I don't like them much. The platform is too small and they are fiddly.

I have these M324 I think is the model number. I've not had any issues with them. I like the fact they take reflectors easily, which makes being road legal easier.

J
I have the M324s as well. I don't really think of them as a flat pedal because I almost always use the SPD side and while I also like the fact they take reflectors, I haven't fitted any. And they do feel as if there's slightly more pressure on the sole of the foot when using SPDs than with A530 pedals, which are much wider. However, when using the flat side, I feel the M324 has more grip.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Keeping feet warm and dry with flats
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2020, 09:51:03 am »
Hi Paul.
Ive been using these.
https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop/components/pedals/mks-allways-pedals/
I love them. Plenty of grip but not too much stabby stuff for your shins like some MTB flats.
Thanks, I have some BMX pedals that look similar, big platform and pins, in the dry they're great, but in the wet I've had my foot slip off a few times.  I found , by fluke, that the best grip came from wearing safety shoes with non slip soles, that's fine for day to day trundling around, but not for longer rides and touring.   I'm still looking.