Cold-Weather Cycling - How Do You Keep Your Toes Warm?


Image credit: Tejvan Pettinger, used under Creative Commons license.

Even before I adopted the car-dependent lifestyle of the rural green elite, I was somewhat of a fair weather cyclist. So stories of keeping bike lanes clear in Copenhagen, of potato omelets and winter cycling, and of DIY snow tires using zip ties have only ever been of academic interest to me. Yet a discussion over at The Guardian caught my eye—not least because it addressed one of my biggest turn offs about winter cycling. How the heck do you keep your feet warm!?Writing over at The Guardian's bike blog, Damian Carrington (who previously spent 3 months in Antarctica) complains that it seems almost impossible to keep his feet warm during his 7 mile bike commute. Having tried four pairs of socks, plastic bags, and even considered deploying battery-powered hand warmers in his shoes, he seems at the end of his tether. So he has turned to the Guardian's own readers to help him out:

"So what's the solution? I guess there is a high-tech answer, but until now I've been too cheap to cough up for Goretex socks or some other fancy footwear. Are they worth it? I have read that some of the bootees are good but wear out pretty quickly.

Or is there a low-tech trick I have missed? In Antarctica, we had mittens and balaclavas made from wool, but they had been knitted too big and then deliberately shrunk in the wash - they were fantastic, but can you get socks like this, and where?"

The responses so far from readers range from the helpful ("Get heated insoles that run off a battery." "Cycling overshoes..."), to the sarcastic ("Put the heating on and use an exercise bike."), to the downright dismissive ("You could try drinking a warm glass of toughen up!").

Any TreeHugger readers have any tips to share?

More on Winter Cycling
a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/how-they-keep-bike-lanes-clear-copenhagen.php">Keeping Bike Lanes Clear in Copenhagen
On Potato Omelets and Winter Cycling
DIY Snow Tires Using Zip Ties

Tags: Bike-Friendly World | Biking | United Kingdom