Winter shoes/boots

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Has anyone got winter specific shoes or boots? I think I want some but am umming and ahhing over the cost. When living in Finland and riding through the Finnish winter, keeping my toes warm was a constant issue but I solved it via other ways than winter specific bike shoes or boots. Now in the UK I'm doing my miles in winter mainly commuting so having a cycling shoe I can pull on quickly when rushing to get out the house in the morning would be good, not messing around with overshoes and the like.

My commute is about half and half road and a canal towpath. After a dry and dusty summer the path is back to lots of puddles and a fair amount of mud. I want a shoe that is waterproof, and maybe comes up to the ankle to keep splashes out. I suspect that just being fully waterproof and no ventilated sections like on most summer shoes would make them warm enough for 99% of British conditions. I tried Specialized Defrosters on in a local shop and they seemed quite good although I've heard of the BOA adjustor systems not being very reliable. Just for ease/speed of use a closure system like that seems attractive but obviously if they break after a short time it would be really annoying. Anyone had any great success with certain models? I use SPD pedals on my commuter, not SPD-SL, so I want a boot with that sole pattern. Then I could use them on my MTB also. Thanks!

 IainL 30 Nov 2018
In reply to TobyA:

Use Sorels and flat pedals. Good for at least 10 miles each way.

 Run_Ross_Run 01 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:



Have Northwave Celsius boots for winter road and mtb.  Had them for a few years now and think they're really good. No leaks yet and feet feel warm. 

Sizing is a bit different so try various if you can.


 Joez 01 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

I have had a pair of defrosters for a couple of years, they leak like a sieve... But do keep your feet warm for the most part, but you might get trenchfoot.

Don't worry about BOA, they have a separate warranty all of their own and will send you out replacement parts for free.

I've not tried any other brands so I can't comment, though I hear good things about Northwave and Lake. 

Unfortunately, they all have the massive weak point of a giant hole that is needed to put your foot in the boot. Some swear by cutting the cuff off a pair of marigolds and slip it on before the boot to recentp water running down your leg into the boot. I've never tried it, too much faff for me.


 Doug 01 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

Back when I commuted in to Aberdeen from about 10 km further north, my winter cycling shoes were an ordinary pair of leather cycling shoes (still quite common then, if already a bit old fashioned) but at least a size larger than usual allowing me to wear a pair of thick woolly socks. When it got very cold (< -5° maybe) I added some overshoes. Always found it more difficult to keep my hands, especially fingers, warm.

 GrahamD 01 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

I just got some old season model NW ones from the LBS and I'm impressed.  On the couple of rides I've done with them, both a few hours in near zero temperatures, my feet were toasty.  The fit is a bit large so as to be able to fit comfortable socks in them, which does mean that pedalling isn't quite as powerful (I use that term loosely) - but thats a price I'm more than happy to pay.

In reply to IainL:

You wear Sorels in the UK!? And I thought I got cold feet on my bike!

In reply to Joez:

This is "top beta". Thanks Joez. I did note while trying a pair on in the shop that they didn't have Goretex or a similar label on them so wondered why technology kept the water out - perhaps none is the answer!

Good to know about the BOA guarantee.

Thanks again.

In reply to all:

Thanks for the tips everyone. Whilst googling various models suggested here I found some last season 45Nrth ones for wet and cold-ish conditions on a very good sale; 45Nrth have a new wet-coldish model out this winter hence the sale. I might go for them. In the last few years before I left Finland the brand was starting to get a good reputation among Finnish winter cyclists (it's from Minnesota or some US state like that, that has 'proper' winters!) so hopefully they might work in Derbyshire mud and rain too.

If not, I'll follow up some of the tips here. Thanks again.


 r1ch79 01 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

Hi mate why not get a thin pair of neoprene socks?

 Yanis Nayu 01 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

I’ve got some Northwave ones which are excellent. Miles better than overshoes and a lot less faff. 

 IainL 02 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

They're perfect for snow and ice on my winter mtn bike with studs. I can walk if the snow gets too deep as is usual in Aberdeenshire. For road commuting, 130 miles per week thro' winter I used leather touring shoes with an extra sole added for stiffness and insulation, and toe-clips. The benefit of leather is that is impervious to wind, and reasonably water-proof.

 elsewhere 02 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

Shimano winter mtb boots, spd, vibram sole, goretex lined, ordinary laces

Mine are a few years old and look like nubuck  leather hiking boots so relatively  unobtrusive with ordinary clothes.

Much nicer than faffing with  overshoes

Post edited at 16:19

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