There’s nothing quite like miserable cold weather to put you off of a bike ride. As we enter the colder months, motivation to get outside can get increasingly difficult to muster with one of the main culprits being the expectation of getting cold and wet feet. Once the crisp temperatures penetrate your soles, it doesn’t take long for the loss of sensation to set in, leading to numbness and discomfort. For many of us, cold feet will force a ride to end early so we can head home to thaw out. However, there are a few things you can do to help keep your feet toasty on your ride, whatever the terrible weather!
Cotton socks may feel comfortable and warm against the skin, but their inability to breathe will actually make your feel colder as sweat isn’t wicked away from the skin. There are many fantastic Merino and technical fabric socks on the market, with some brands offering winter-specific socks that tend to be a little thicker than usual. Consider investing in some winter socks, or choose to double up and purchase a thin liner pair that slip under your regular riding socks.
Another great tip is to carry a spare pair of dry socks with you. As they’re small, they can easily fit into your back pocket or bag so when you stop for a break, pop on some dry socks to relieve your discomfort.
Overshoes are available in a variety of styles and levels of protection. There are toe covers that slip over the front of your shoes to add some warmth, and in some cases, water protection. Then there are full overshoes which act as a protective sleeve to prevent any water, grit and grime from entering your cycling shoes.
Just like the ones you can buy for your gloves, you can get heat packs for your shoes also. Often a single-use purchase, heat packs are slipped inside your shoes as they gently warm-up, keeping your feet nice and toasty.
Winter cycling shoes
Another alternative and the more costly of the group is to invest in some winter-specific cycling boots. They’re typically water and windproof while offering the same level of support and comfort as your regular cycling shoe. Of course, due to the added layers and larger profile, they are a lot heavier than your full-carbon road shoe, but they will help keep your feet dry and warm throughout the colder seasons.
And for when the ride has finished and you’re warming up back in your own home, don’t forget to neatly store your cycling shoes so they can air and dry out safely!