Toes freezing on the bike

I did my second long bike ride today and after about 45 minutes my toes felt as if they were frozen solid. They've still not warmed up properly after several hours. The rest of me was nice and warm but not my feet, I even tried wearing two pairs of socks to see if that would help.

How do other people keep their feet from getting so cold on the bike in cold weather?

I'm wondering if toe warmers would help or if my shoes aren't right for this time of the year,  I'm using Shimano TR31s.



  • Neopere shoe covers work a treat, I've got some Endura ones, and since having them don't have to worry about toes or feet, just the tips of my fingers.

  • Another vote for Neoprene shoe covers, I suffer terribly with cold hands and feet even on warm summers days. But 1 pair cheap thermal socks, my cycle shoes (which aren't winter ones just your standard usual mesh sort) and then neoprene overshoes and my feet are toasty an warm  even on a 3hr ride in the snow.

    Mine are these terribly expensive ones image

  • I've got weird Assos socks which are supposed to keep your feet warm at minus 6c, neoprene overshoes, I've tried putting Mycoal warmers in my shoes, and spraying my feet with anti-perspirant in case I'm sweating in there and the sweat is getting cold!

    My toes actually go numb, although with the Mycoals they don't go totally numb, just very cold.

    I've resigned myself to having cold toes until summer image



  • I had the same problem last Saturday. It was my first long ride. Since then I have taped up the vents in the bottom of my shoes and bought castelli toe warmers.

    Seem to have a good write up. Haven't tried them yet, will be doing so this Saturday. Hopefully it will be better image
  • following on from blocking out the wind byt taping up the vents in shoes, my missus has had good succes in wearing plastic bags on her feet - between the sock and shoe - and then neoprene overshoes.  makes her feet sweat like buggery but she says that at least they stay warm!


  • Wool socks, winter shoes or boots, neoprene overshoes, 2nd pair of neoprene overshoes over the top - that does me down to minus 3 or 4.   Not tried Wilkies toe warmer things.   

    Out of all those I reckon the winter boots make the most difference - if you do a lot of cycling then it's worth getting a pair for Winter - I've got some Diadora size 12s unworn that are a touch too big (they are big even for a 12) if anyone wants some cheap!  

  • Second popsider's winter boots - I bought a pair of Lake ones really cheap in the sale and a size too big which I wear with thermal socks. I've also put a pair of sheepskin insoles in there. My feet still aren'texactly toasty but much better than they were.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • Can't say I've had much of experience of other brands, but another vote for the Planet X overshoes, which do the job for me in all but the coldest temperatures, and the circulation in my feet is shocking.

  • snap Philimage

  • Planet x are ok i have them while you are there get some of their ridiculously cheap merino wool socks toastie feet sorted
  • Thanks for all the suggestions. Just had a good look at my bike shoes and they're definitely summer shoes with lots of mesh on the sides. I've got some neoprene overshoes so I'll try them. Hadn't thought about them as I've got them associated with wet weather in my head. I've got some socks that my son took to wear when skiing which should be quite warm as well, he always has cold hands and feet and didn't whinge about his feet being cold when he was away. Looks like I have a plan for this weekend. 

  • kittenkat wrote (see)

    Trap the warmth between layers. image

    I look like the Michelin Man as it is image Not sure I need a pair of Hobbit size feet too but I know what you mean image

  • kittenkat wrote (see)

    Trap the warmth between layers. image

    True.   A cheap solution is an old pair of wool socks, stretch them over the shoes then just cut a small hole and stretch it round the cleats, if you cut the hole before putting them over the shoes when you stretch them the hole ends up too big.  You can put that under or if they are big enough over your neoprene overshoes or just use them on their own.  

  • At work I have a pair of slippers which you connect to the USB port of your computer and they warm up.

    I need to figure out a way of making them work on the bike image


  • Have renaulds AND icy feet at all times: Thermal base layer socks (merino)+sealskinz socks, (can't afford winter shoes so work a treat for the wind)+ neoprene over shoes (£7ish decathlon) BUT... underneath it all... those snappy little heated handwarmers (99p - last up to 5 hours; I have NEVER been on my bike for 5 hours (yet!).

    Good luck - just need to get the fingers right now.

    (my friend swears by 'marigolds' over her woolly gloves)

  • I think I need a bigger pair of bike shoes to get all these base layers on. I'm liking the idea of thick socks over the top of the shoe though and cutting a hole round the cleats.  Then neoprene over the top of those sounds cosy.

    But I'm hoping spring is round the corner. image

  • Ges - I wear skiing gloves, £2.50 from Lidl last year, kids size so snug fitting works a treat. 

  • My hands don't get cold at all, it's just my feet.

  • Don't laugh at the bigger bike shoes... commuter colleagues do that!

    Doesn't matter if it's summer or winter for me - think my feet get cold 'cos their 'still' (oh yikes have I said something wrong... do proper cyclists move their feet?). Oh what a beautiful morning! Hope you're all heading out now.

    I'm going to the (newish) Tri 'outlet' shop, who knows there might be a whole 60p off some nice thingsimage.



  • Yes I really did write 'their' instead of 'they're' (I'll suffer for that). Was still thinking of the 'human element'... colleagues.

  • Much better today. Toes felt slightly numb but not as cold as they have been. One pair of cycling socks, one pair of the Hobbit's ski socks and neoprene overshoes. 

    Think the numbness might have been due to the thickness of the socks in the shoes, so will try several pairs of thinner socks next time.


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