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So what are the best XC booties out there - Neoprene or Waterproof shell & fleece inner?
its 17 degrees F here in CT and my feet are getting bloody cold!
 

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Winter shoe

Wild Willy said:
So what are the best XC booties out there - Neoprene or Waterproof shell & fleece inner?
its 17 degrees F here in CT and my feet are getting bloody cold!
Living in RI, I would go for a winter shoe (lake mxz 300) for our kind of winters...I have the thickest Pearl Izumi Neoprene booty, and if the temp falls below 30 there not enough (though I tend to consider cold weather anything below 90). The biggest problem being the openings in the sole area...
 

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Wild Willy said:
So what are the best XC booties out there - Neoprene or Waterproof shell & fleece inner?
its 17 degrees F here in CT and my feet are getting bloody cold!
I have heard the Craft Booties are nice.
Some general rec are shoes that are 1 or 1.5 sizes big so you can wear thicker socks.

Those little hot packs work well and last 1-2hrs.

My biggest problem is actually sweatty feet. Once they start to sweat then they get chilled much more easily regardless of how much insulation I've got. I've heard of people spraying antiperspirant on their feet. I'm gonna try that one out.
 

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Layers work best for me

I use neoprene booties as part of a layering system. Here are my layers, which vary depending on how cold it is

1. polypropylene socks - keep your skin dry
2. regular cycling socks - no cotton!
3. a plastic bag (not always, though - keeps warmth in, but also holds in sweat)
4. shoe
5. oversized, super-thick synthetic hiking sock with a big hole cut out for the cleat and an extra layer of fleece attached above the toe/top of foot.(I wear this layer when its very cold, say 0-20* F)
6. neoprene booties

I also have an extra foam insole to provide better insulation to the bottoms of my feet.

I'm going to try to make little booties out of tyvek in place of the plastic bags so that they breathe better on long rides.

Pro's: Adaptable - can use more/ less layers depending on temp., Don't have to buy winter shoes

Con's: takes a long time to put everything on, neoprene booties wear out pretty quickly if you have to hike-a-bike w/ MTB shoes on.
 

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I have the Performance neoprene booty with insulating fleece and highly recommend them. I use just a sock, cycling shoe, and these booties. They have always kept my feet warm. My commutes to work, which are only 20 minutes and where warm blood never gets flowing to the toes, the toesies are always warm. And for the past week temperatures have been in the single digits every morning (and yes that is Farenheit!). One to two hour rides my feet tend to sweat a little bit, so I make sure to wear a wool sock and everything is fine. They also keep out all the wet in rain! Highly recommended and I see where Performance has them slashed to $20.
 

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I like the Gator booties, any bike shop can get them through QBP.
They have a nice full zip up the back and are taller than most which helps for us tall guys w/ size large winter tights that tend to ride up yer leg a bit higher.
 

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AdamW said:
I have the Performance neoprene booty with insulating fleece and highly recommend them. I use just a sock, cycling shoe, and these booties. They have always kept my feet warm. They also keep out all the wet in rain! Highly recommended and I see where Performance has them slashed to $20.
Glad to hear that. I just bought a pair for the SO and myself this past week. The temps here have been hitting in the low to mid 30s during the night rides and the Smartwool isn't quite cutting it, even with a PI booty. The Performance prices are definitely right.

Michael
 

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I have these and must add they are good for about 45 minutes on the bike for me. Past that, any sock I wear - merino, coolmax, polypro, etc. gets soaked and feet start getting cold due to the neoprene not wanting to breathe.

These are perfect for a commuter setup where you won't be on the bike for a long time though. If I am doing a long winter training ride - it's smartwool or woolie boolie socks, shoes, and Gator booties.
 

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2melow said:
... helps for us tall guys w/ size large winter tights that tend to ride up yer leg a bit higher.
That probably explains why you end up with sponge socks and cold toes and I get damp wool and warm toes on longer rides with the neoprene booties!

Cheers,

A short, thin guy.
 

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Nope, it has to do more with sweat not being able to pass through w/ the neoprene being so close to the sock/your foot. For whatever reason the bootie covering the shoe allows moisture to either go through the cleat vent opening or gets absorbed your shoe drawing moisture away from your foot. I did a 60 mile road ride when I first got those neoprene socks and thought for sure I was going to lose toes when I got back. Booties for me for now on for the long, cold rides!

For rides over an hour, the bootie over the shoe is the way to go for sure.
 
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