Monday, 5 December 2011

Cold feet

It's getting cold now. And because cyclists' feet are stuck in a fixed position, they get cold in a way that runners' feet never do. To add to the fun, most cycling shoes are designed with vents, to allow a refreshing breeze on a summer's day to cool the foot. Cooling the foot is not, however, what most people would wish for at this time of year.

To counter Freezing Feet syndrome, most cyclists use a combination of
  • multiple pairs of socks
  • toe warmers / overshoes (neoprene boots that go over the shoes)
  • oversocks (socks that go over the shoes)
But if you have rubbish circulation, despite all of the above, you'll probably get cold feet anyway. Properly cold feet that send spikes of pain through your feet when you press on the pedals. Not fun. So I've looked into the various new bits of technology that promise increased warmth, even when it's wet.

Re-chargeable heated insoles, either with clunky ankle battery which make it look like you're out on parole (about £25) or cleverly-hidden-battery-in-insole (£100)

One-use chemical heat pads look like tea bags you stick to your socks. Cheapish (about a pound a go if you buy in bulk) but no friend of the environment and not that realistic an option for the to/from work scenario.

This winter, due to a bargain in the sales, I'm trying winter boots. Behold (right) their clunky selves. I grant you, they're not objects of beauty, but despite their lack of visual appeal, they do make up for it in the warmth factor. I haven't yet tested their (advertised) waterproof ability. I suspect, that as with all keeping-feet-dry gear, there is the main unavoidable issue of the big hole for a leg, which then lets water into the foot. But if they're warm-er and dry-er than usual, that's enough for me. AND I won't spend 10 minutes in the morning running up and down stairs looking for extra pairs of socks / overshoes and muttering about being late.


dhanakane said...

Have any of these worked? I am currently trialling a different brand of woolly socks, but I'm not convinced I'm onto a winner.

Livvy said...

I find with the Endura winter socks and the winter boots I rode happily for 6 hours in the cold in December, so I say buy winter boots!