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nOOb
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Discussion Starter #1
After thinking about it I would like to buy some winter-specific shoes. I debated whether to go clipless compatible or platform. I have decided I need spd two bolt shoes as I feel more secure clipped in. I have an old pair of Sidi currently, but they are too narrow and my feet get cold too quickly. I have tried all sorts of shoe cover combinations, but I'd rather just have dedicated shoes/boots.

Most of my riding will be on my fat bike through snow or slush and maybe down to about 0F of warmer. I narrowed it down to the Lake MXZ303's, but they are out of stock everywhere. I'm looking for water-proof or water resistant, warm, and with a roomy toe box. Weight doesn't really matter unless they are Doc Marten heavy.

So any other suggestions? Some of the 45nrth look solid, but I'd like to stay around $250 or so.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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It's critical to get them a few sizes bigger than you need. I recommend two euro sizes bigger at least. You can easily build up the sole with neoprene (insulation), felt insoles, sheepskin insoles, aerogel insoles, etc., but DO NOT get the boots to small. That probably makes a bigger difference than some of the different models out there. The older 45N wolfhammers are worthless IME, I have them. The wolfgars are a game-changer and actually do well in warmer temps where the wolfhammers actually work, making the wolfgars also far more versatile. I had much older lakes, 302s, those were pretty horrible, but most manufacturers didn't really understand winter cycling when they were made. Putting the cleat real close to your foot (distance wise) means lots of heat will be drawn out there, another reason to build up the bed some. IME, this is not a place to skimp and you also want to "buy once", it's far cheaper than buying both wolfgars and wolfhammers like I did. The wolfhammers only work down to the 30s and very high 20s for me.
 

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monster member
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I got some $40? $50? socks from Dick's that hold a little 9v battery with some heating cable under the toe. Then I also used booties over my standard shoes. Worked pretty well in the last 25F ride I did. But Dick's had $100 socks also and I kinda wish I sprung for those, assuming 100% extra price means their about 40% better. That 40% better would've been nice.

Edit- I mean $100 HEATED socks, with advertised more heating areas.
 

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After thinking about it I would like to buy some winter-specific shoes. I debated whether to go clipless compatible or platform. I have decided I need spd two bolt shoes as I feel more secure clipped in. I have an old pair of Sidi currently, but they are too narrow and my feet get cold too quickly. I have tried all sorts of shoe cover combinations, but I'd rather just have dedicated shoes/boots.

Most of my riding will be on my fat bike through snow or slush and maybe down to about 0F of warmer. I narrowed it down to the Lake MXZ303's, but they are out of stock everywhere. I'm looking for water-proof or water resistant, warm, and with a roomy toe box. Weight doesn't really matter unless they are Doc Marten heavy.

So any other suggestions? Some of the 45nrth look solid, but I'd like to stay around $250 or so.
Darn Tough socks and 5.10 Element shoes.
 

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nOOb
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480 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'm about ready to spring for the Lake MXZ 304's but this weekend I may drive up to a bike shop that actually has them and the 45nrth in stock to try on. I live 2 1/2 hours away from any decent bike shops. That's 5 hours of driving, but I'll feel better.
 

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Out spokin'
In cog? Neato!
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I bought a pair of 45NRTH Wolvhammers 3 or 4 years ago and love them. But I’m in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where we get plenty of mud, low temps typically in the 30°s and little to no snow in a typical winter. I ride year ‘round and love them for the winter conditions I personally experience.

I’ve seen the Wolvhammer boots put down many times on these forums by fat bikers who ride in “real” winter conditions so I guess they’re not ideal much below freezing but I have to defend them to those who seek a good, comfortable waterproof boot that’s effective right around the freezing mark and up to the upper 40°s. Whenever I go riding with my friends, by ride’s end their feet are all wet and freezing while mine are dry and toasty. For temps above the high 40°s, I turn to my Sidi Storms, which I consider to be ridiculously overpriced, (I got mine as a free reward but would not have purchased). At least the Storms are wider than Sidi’s typical shoes, it seems.
=sParty
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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$475 gulp that's more than I can afford.
It's cheaper than wolfhammers+wolfgars. I think I got the wolfgars for ~300 or so, because I got them towards the end of the season.

You can extend wolfhammers with things like shoe covers and using chem foot heaters, if you are ok with that. That makes it even more critical to get them "large enough", to have space for additional insulation, footbeds/insoles, etc. The first time people buy winter cycling shoes they are usually very hesitant to buy a few sizes larger. Because the temp range of the wolfgar is larger, in other words, it overlaps the wolfhammer, I don't recommend this, but if you are never going to get to those colder temps, it may be worth it trying to extend the wolfhammers.
 

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9 lives
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I hate the cold so I wear snowshoe boots and ride with platforms. Our trails are mostly snow and ice covered. My feet are rarely cold and I wear wool socks... my hands though, is another issue ;)
 

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I have both lake 303 and 45nrth wolfhammer and the can say the wolfhammers are much better in the cold. My feet freeze in the lakes if it’s below 30f vs the 45nrth that I’ve comfortably worn down to 0f.

spending the money upfront will save you in the long run as you’ll end up buying them eventually.
 

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You might be able to pick up a pair used if you're patient. But I wouldn't stress too much about the expense, honestly. They last for years and make winter biking MUCH more enjoyable. You'll be asking yourself why you waited so long way more often than why you spent so much.
 

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Also, don't go TOO much bigger than your regular size. You want to be able to fit thicker socks yes, but cleat positioning can be affected by shoe size and having an oversized boot that slops around on your feet will largely negate some of the secure feeling you get from being clicked in. I went up one size in LAKEs and it seems sufficient.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Also, don't go TOO much bigger than your regular size. You want to be able to fit thicker socks yes, but cleat positioning can be affected by shoe size and having an oversized boot that slops around on your feet will largely negate some of the secure feeling you get from being clicked in. I went up one size in LAKEs and it seems sufficient.
I disagree. You can make up the difference by lifting the soles up and it's better to be in the "a little extra room" than "a little tight" group. As I said before, people new to this are usually hesitant to buy big enough...
 
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I disagree. You can make up the difference by lifting the soles up and it's better to be in the "a little extra room" than "a little tight" group. As I said before, people new to this are usually hesitant to buy big enough...
I usually wear 48’s and I went with 50’s on both and couldn’t be happier. Lakes fit is a bit tighter as the 45nrths are like comfy slippers.
 

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nOOb
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Discussion Starter #19
I ended up with Bontrager OMW 2020 boots. The nearest big store for me is 2 1/2 hours away, and today I didn't feel like driving. The wife and I hit up a few local shops today, and I tried them on. I think they were supposed to retail for $299? but I asked the young man helping me the price and that's what he said. Then a guy behind the counter said "no we can clear them out for $179" so I bought them.

I rode just over 2 hours tonight with my favorite merino wool socks and it was 22F and they did okay. I actually started out sweaty so I wore too light a glove, but I was fine.

Edit: but I would like some overpants for the bottom next.
 

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Bigger sized shoes as mentioned (I go up one size) plus waterproof thermal socks (Sealskinz Waterproof). I wear thin socks under the waterproof ones so they stay fresh and can be worn more than once (they take quite a while to dry out and can't be tumble-dried because of the rubber waterproof layer).
 
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