Getting cold feet

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “getting cold feet” as “to suddenly become too frightened to do something you had planned to do, especially something important such as getting married”.

This post is not about that kind of cold feet. This post is all about keeping your feet warm on a bitterly cold winter’s ride. After all, just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to stop having adventures!

What’s the secret to toasty-warm feet?

The good news is it’s easy to keep your feet toasty-warm on even very cold rides. Before we look at how to do that, let’s first look at why we get cold feet.

Obviously, your feet are extremities, and all our extremities get cold quicker. Add to that the fact that on a winter ride, your shoes – at least on the outside – are far more likely to get wet. Sadly, as I know from personal experience, once your shoes get wet, your feet usually get wet, too. And of course, wetness is an enemy of warmth!

If you ride with clip-in pedals (but also to some degree with normal pedals) your pedals will act like a heat sink, sapping warmth away from your feet. Before you know it, your toes will be aching with cold. That’s no way to enjoy a bike ride!

The answer!

There are a few things you can do. If cycling with clipped-in pedals, I rather strongly suggest you get a pair of neoprene overshoes. These can also be worn over normal shoes, but be warned that walking in them will cause them to wear through quite quickly.

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My personal firm favourite neoprene overshoes are from Sealskinz. I found them to be very good quality, and quite capable of taking a beating. As a result, it would take a great deal to tempt me away from Sealskinz! Just remember, overshoes aren’t meant to keep your feet dry. Instead, they’re there to help your feet stay warm.

Technology to the rescue

If even Sealskinz overshoes aren’t enough to keep your feet warm, there’s a surprisingly simple solution: USB-powered, heated insoles!

I only wear mine on seriously cold days, and then only on longer rides. I power them from a normal power bank, and within minutes my feet are really warm. In fact, on long rides I sometimes find myself disconnecting them for a bit, as my feet are warm enough by then.

The benefit of the heated insoles is that they’re not limited to cycling, and you can easily use them with lots of different shoes.

Go on! Spoil yourself!

Having frozen toes is not fun, so go get your very own pair of heated insoles now. Honesty, you’ll thank me later!

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