You see cold and wet feet are an unpleasant and miserable part of being a cyclist that isn’t necessary! With winter on the way many cyclists are just going to accept that it’s part of the cycling experience. Yet, as any more seasoned cyclist will tell you, it is a problem with a simple solution.
What can you do?
- Wear two pairs of socks! If you have cold feet putting on an extra pair of socks before you set off will make a big difference. If you only have a short commute then this is a great option.
- Put a plastic bag over your socks or shoes – no joke! Works surprisingly well.
- Extra pair of shoes – just accept that your shoes and socks are going to get wet and change into a dry pair when you get to your destination
- Get waterproof overshoes (also known as booties and shoe covers) – great for keeping dry but not perhaps for those that are more fashion conscious
- Get cycling socks – these can provide extra warmth, keep the water out and at the same time prevent odours.
I’m going to talk a little bit more about the last two. Starting with the cycling socks.
A quality pair of wool socks is what gets me through the winter. They are good for keeping warm and do a much better job than other materials at keeping my feet relatively dry. If you’re in the market for some look for Merino wool ones. I recently heard the SmartWool socks are particularly good.
I have also been recommended SealSkinz by other riders on numerous occasions and will almost certainly be investing in a pair this winter depending on how bad the weather is. They are apparently the most waterproof socks you can buy and do a great job of keeping your feet dry and sweat free. They are a bit pricey but you get plenty of years use out of them so they are worth it.
As for the overshoes the one everyone recommends is the Gore overshoe. It does very well at keeping your shoes dry and also is far easier to remove than most of the other makes as it unzips right down so you can just slip your shoe in. Great for in the morning when your in a rush. It is also well made with quality manufacturing so will last you a long time.
Alternatively one that is a bit cheaper is the Endura MTB series overshoes. They cost just over £20 and are good at keeping water at bay and providing warmth for your feet more so than most other overshoes.
Overshoes are most effective when worn in combination with waterproof socks. One thing to watch out for is that they do wear out very quick if you walk in them.
What you choose to wear will largely depend on what kind of cycling you are doing. If you have a long one hour cycle commute into work then it is perhaps worth investing in SealSkinz and overshoes. If however you are only cycling for about 15 – 20 minutes then just wear an extra pair of socks and change into different shoes when you get to work. Also don’t laugh at the carrier bag idea, if caught in heavy rain it works well! But whatever you do don’t keep cycling around with cold feet as it will put you off cycling in winter.
- How to choose a waterproof cycling jacket
- How to choose a good cycling helmet
- More cycling accessories
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.