To ride in Indianapolis summer heat, we all look for well ventilated cycling shoes. But when the seasons change, riding with cold & wet feet is not fun.
While dedicated winter shoes are available, shoe covers are the most popular midwest option. Shoe covers allow you to wear the same shoe and sock combinations year round. They are made in variety of materials, including nylon lycra blends, Gore-tex technical fabrics and neoprene. There are models designed to work with either smooth sole road shoes or lugged SPD compatible off-road shoes.
Gore Bike Wear’s Oxygen Light Overshoe using their Windstopper fabric offers the breathable fabric Gore is famous for. And yes, your feet will still sweat during cycling, even in below freezing temps.
For those milder late fall days, some riders are fine with just pair of toe cover, like the Pearl Izumi CalienToes
. They stop the wind, and can easily be pocketed as the day warms up.
Be aware while you are shopping that some shoe covers are designed for aerodynamics. Be sure to specify that you are looking for cold weather protection.
Avoid wearing a thicker pair of socks, especially if you were to fitted your shoes in traditional cycling socks. Thick socks may result in reduced circulation, which can leave your feet colder and may cause cramping. But you can find thin wool socks like the deFeet Woolie Boolies
to help keep your feet warm and dry, and cover the ankle.
Another tip for year-round riders: Check your shoes and cleat mounting hardware for rust and corrosion from exposures to ice removal chemicals! Perfectly good shoes can be ruined by rusted out cleat hardware.