Shoes or boots?
Speak to a lot of people who commute on a bike or cycle a lot for pleasure and they will tell you that one of the real issues for them is cycling shoes. Commute or ride in anything but nice, dry weather on tarmac roads and the protection of your feet suddenly becomes important. There is really nothing worse than having cold, wet feet. Most of us go through a lot of trial and error when it comes to keeping feet warm and dry. I am no different! I have gone from “Aldi” cycling shoes with additional toe protectors to “Northwave” shoes with full (good quality) overshoes. Some of the combinations have worked and some simply haven’t. But, I hadn’t considered boots before.
Being a little careful with my money probably hasn’t helped my cause but, why change the habit of a life-time? I also like to use the good old Shimano SPD mountain bike pedals and cleats so that I can switch between mountain bike and road bike without changing shoes, etc.
Anyway, to cut a long and boring story short, at the end of the summer last year, I saw a pair of these reduced on the Chain Reaction Cycles site:
By my standards, these were still anything but cheap (from memory, they were around £100 and, at the time of writing, can be found on offer at Evans Cycles website for around £90) but, they did look mighty good – and the reviews were impressive as well. So, I took the plunge.
Perfect for winter cycling.
The boots are really made for mountain bike use but, I have had no problems at all using them on my road bike (or my MTB, of course). They are comfortable with a carbon re-enforced sole, very flexible top and “Goretex” lining. They are warm, well made and they are genuinely waterproof. Due to the MTB-style soles, they are also easy to walk in without damaging your cleats too much. They feature a “quick-close” lace and waterproof velcro fastenings. My pair are shown below after 6 months of use in most conditions including temperatures of around -5 degrees this winter (I know, they need a clean!!):
One winter in and I can say I wholeheartedly recommend these boots. Cheap they are not though I have a feeling they will last several winters at least – and I find it hard to put a price on keeping your feet warm and dry!