Footwear issues. Overshoes?

Discussion in 'Gear' started by trampalong, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. trampalong

    trampalong Hobo on Wheels

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Vagrant
    I have been cycling around the US for half a year or so, but winter is starting to effect me. I've just come out of the Sacramento Mountains and found myself unwilling to get on my bike and pedal on one occasion, and so I read a book in my tent, instead, and waited for a warmer day. I was just too cold to get out of my sleeping system.

    I've (I hope) remedied the cold hands problem with a new pair of gloves and a warmer hat, and I've bought a pair of very thick wool socks for around camp, but I need to take care of the problem of my feet. Even when I finally left that camp, when I was sweating pretty heavily from having too much clothing on, my wet shoes caused my feet to hurt badly, and this didn't change until the afternoon because the breeze generated from cycling kept them very cold.

    I don't really want to buy new shoes. I like being able to go to Goodwill and pick whatever pair of used shoes fits me best, and I don't personally believe in wasting a pair of shoes that still has much life left in them, but my shoes are highly ventilated summer-type trail shoes and aren't adequate for the next stretch of mountains should I face worse weather than I just did. I am also carrying enough that I don't want to tote around two pairs of shoes unless I have to, as I am already carrying about 115 lbs.

    I've looked at cycling-type overshoes like those displayed here and also hiking-types like the Neos Brand shown here. I worry that the cycling-type will not last long, especially as they seem geared not towards people who go off road to set up camp, etc. The hiking-type look promising, if expensive, and I would like to hear from people who have tried out the various models (those listed in the link or otherwise). I am more worried about durability than weight, but would like to keep the weight addition reasonable. Specifically, I would like to know about durability of the sole, ease of taking on and off, how easily holes can be repaired with tear-aid or something else, and whether the heavier/more expensive models are worth the weight.

    I'm also curious if anyone has another idea, such as a liner sock, waterproof sock, etc. that they think would be effective enough to keep my feet warm, or from anyone with a suggestion that I haven't thought of. If there is a very lightweight second-shoe option, I am open to it as well. If anyone has any good advice for not getting my shoes wet in the first place or how to effectively dry them out, that would be helpful as well. My shoes got wet just from walking in the snow while setting up camp and while cooking.
     
  2. Jackson

    Jackson I like to go outside.

    Messages:
    947
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    I've used cycling booties before. They were made of a neoprene-like material (not sure if it was neoprene or not). They kept my feet pretty warm except for a ride I went on with a -10F wind chill. Looking back, I kind of wish I had gone with a Gore-Tex booty so it would've kept my feet dry and blocked the wind better. The bottoms of the cycling booties have a decent amount of material that goes under the arch portion of the shoe, with an opening at the heel for the hard plastic heel of the shoe and with an opening toward the front for the clipless pedal attachment. Because of the way the bottom is designed, they probably wouldn't be good for doing much walking around.

    Because of that, I'd imagine the hiking booties would suit your needs better.
     
  3. Outdoor_Fool

    Outdoor_Fool Member

    Messages:
    490
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    My first thought was a pair of gaiters. A Google search turned up this (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N2HUJFO/?tag=backcountrypo-20) and this (http://mnbiketrailnavigator.blogspot.com/2013/12/gaiters-for-winter-bike-commuter-or.html). Might be worth the investment for the OR gaiters although the overshoes you linked to look pretty nice also. Maybe using the overshoes with a pair of Teva-type sandals will increase their durability? Or perhaps a box of Hot Hand foot warmers will allow you to dry and warm your feet for the early hours of each day.
    Anyway, good luck with the rest of the trip, sounds pretty awesome!
     
  4. trampalong

    trampalong Hobo on Wheels

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Vagrant
    @Jackson I didn't even think about them having an opening in the bottom. That doesn't sound preferable to me, because I don't use clipless.

    @Outdoor_Fool I have looked at gaiters, but the ones I found didn't cover the foot quite as completely as the ones you linked to. Those look like a lighter-weight option. I just worry about that strap and piece of fabric under the toe wearing out. Still, the price and weight is very good compared to the overshoes. I'll certainly think about that, instead.

    I had a pair of Tevas, but in a hurry one day I left them on a park bench. I hope they found a good home. I don't like disposable stuff, so I'm going to stay away from foot warmers.
     
  5. pstm13

    pstm13 Auribus Teneo Lupum

    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Idaho Falls, ID
    This may be a dumb idea so take it with a grain of salt. But one thing you could do is get an old breathable rain jacket or pants from a thrift store for $5 and cut it into a sock type pattern and use Gorilla gear tape rather than sew it to avoid small holes. Packing tape is another alternative that sticks really well. It would also work for over shoes, mittens, or anything with a simple pattern. They will wear out but so what. Keep the extra material for the next project. I suggest a 2.5 layer like the REI rain jackets or 3 layer Gore Tex but almost any breathable material would work fine.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  6. Tystevens

    Tystevens Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    SLC, Utah
    If you don't use clipless, why not just get a pair of winter boots? Seems it would solve the cold, wet and other issues?

    I have Pearl Izumi thick neoprene shoe covers that I used when I was bike commuting in SLC in the winter. They work ok down to the low teens. Feet were always the first to get cold, though. They don't have bottoms, though, as they are designed to be used with clipless pedals.

    I've heard of cyclists using sandwich baggies inside their shoes to create a vapor barrier or something. I never tried it.
     
  7. Tystevens

    Tystevens Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    SLC, Utah
    I would think anything that covered the bottom and contacted the pedal surface would wear out pretty quickly. I had some thin ones for about a month that fit over the shoe and heel (open under foot for the pedal interface) and just the part under the heel wore out from very limited walking.
     
Loading...