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achiever
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On my way home last night it was around 20 degrees with 15mph winds or so. My right foot was cold but by about mile 3 (of 6) the toe half of my foot was completely numb. I had normal cycling shoes on and a pair of booties. My left foot was fine as was the rest of me. When I got home, my smallest 3 toes on the numb foot were white compared to the toes on my other foot which were red.

I'm thinking I was about to get frostbite but I can't imagine why. Today I will be making sure socks, booties and shoes are warmed on a heater before I put them on. It's going to be 5 - 10 degrees colder and a bit windier. I hope this will help...

Any other suggestions or comments?


Red
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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Neoprene socks. Been using them with normal cycling shoes for 4 winters, down to zero* F. Never lost a toe.

Also, make your shoes looser. Circulation is your friend. How tight are your booties? No blood, no heat.
 

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redwarrior said:
On my way home last night it was around 20 degrees with 15mph winds or so. My right foot was cold but by about mile 3 (of 6) the toe half of my foot was completely numb. I had normal cycling shoes on and a pair of booties. My left foot was fine as was the rest of me. When I got home, my smallest 3 toes on the numb foot were white compared to the toes on my other foot which were red.

I'm thinking I was about to get frostbite but I can't imagine why. Today I will be making sure socks, booties and shoes are warmed on a heater before I put them on. It's going to be 5 - 10 degrees colder and a bit windier. I hope this will help...

Any other suggestions or comments?

Red
White, numb did they feel waxy....any peeling skin????

If you are gonna ride in the winter get winter cycling boots....

Hell they work fine all the way about to about +7 C.
 

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Vapor barriers seem to be working for me. Neoprene socks for light duty and a real Vaportherm one for colder stuff. I ride in whatever temps nature throws at me in Wisconsin. It has taken years to get a working system in place. Very thin, silky liner sock, vapor barrier sock, winter cycling boot. I have two options for the vapor barrier depending on mood and temperature and Lake MXZ302 for when it's cold and Shimano MW80 shoes for when it's down to about 20 degrees.

One of the best things you could do right now is insulate your foot from your pedals. Go get some Reflectix, this Mylar covered bubble wrap, and use your existing insoles as a template and put this extra layer in underneath. It does take up a bit of space so your shoe is going to get a bit tighter, so having oversized shoes is helpful. This will keep the cleat from being a big heatsink.

Another option is to get some rubber overboots and cut a hole in the bottom for the cleat.
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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What did your left foot feel like? Unless you had a crazy cross-wind, I'm thinking your issue HAS to be circulation related. 20 degrees just isn't the kind of cold that turns your foot into a cinderblock. I've ridden my 6 mile commute at 20 degrees with regular socks and normal cycling shoes (on accident when I left my neoprene socks at work). I will get tingly toes doing that, but nothing like what you're describing.
 

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I wear thin wool (Pearl Izumi) socks and booties, and it has worked down to single digits on multiple hour rides for me. I always make sure that my shoes are loose and allow good circulation. I used to have a hard time with the same set-up, but I would cinch my shoes up pretty tight.
 
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