Waterproof bike shoes

Foul weather bicycle commuting often seems difficult to those new to cycling for transportation.  Most recreational cyclists don’t ride when the weather is bad, so they don’t have bike clothing that keeps them warm without sweating in the winter or dry in a heavy rain.  Bicycle specific footwear for clipless pedals is the most problematic of bicycle specific clothing.  The cheapest solution are waterproof booties that go over your bike shoes. These can keep your feet warmer when it is cold, and drier when it is wet.  But many clipless pedal riders still complain about cold feet in the depths of winter.  I think this is because most bike shoes fit too snug.  They limit blood circulation and have no insulating airspace around the foot . Similarly, many complain that booties leak or ride up, or water gets in through the sole where the cleat attaches.

These MKS 3000 pedals have rubber blocks that dont slip when when and dont hurt dress shoes.

My answer is always swap your clipless pedals for platform pedals come winter and wear whatever boot you would wear if you were walking in the cold or the rain.  This is a much lower cost solution than buying expensive winter bike shoes. Platform pedals are cheap and most people already have boots that keep their feet plenty warm in the cold and dry in the rain.

As far as specific foul weather footwear, that can usually be found in your closet, or wherever you keep your boots.  If you walk in Uggs in the winter you can ride in Uggs too.  If you put on rubber goloshes in the rain, you can ride in rubber boots in throughout the spring rainy season. The options are only limited by your closet. See below for one of my coworker’s hi-tech solution to riding his minty vintage Schwinn Varsity to work on rainy days, brilliant.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

4 thoughts on “Waterproof bike shoes

  1. An old roadie tipped me off to those old unused bread bags sitting in the drawer, slip em over your shoes and instant water-proof shoes. They work well with toe-clips too.

  2. Clipless pedal shoes with holes all the way through the sole for securing the plate must have been invented in some warm country. Spain, Italy, or maybe southern Japanese islands. I don’t understand why they can’t use a slide in plate with short, not through the sole screws to keep it in place. I put tape on the bottom inside, but still the cold gets through. Just have to ride with regular boots in the wet cold.

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