As a year round commuter, I have considered winter cycling boots for a few years but I have always held back due to the expense. Do I really need them? So in the past I have relied on my normal cycling shoes with overshoes when needed.
Last winter was the first winter I rode my bike long distances throughout the winter. I am quite a cold person by nature, when you cycle your feet don’t move much, so I had very cold feet. I had to buy quiet a lot of winter cycling kit to get me through and it cost me a fair amount to keep warm. I researched online laboriously for different ways to keep your feet warm, experimenting with different sock and overshoes. Eventually I relented and bought my first pair of winter boots.
This was such a good decision for me! Happy warm dry feet. I wore them pretty much every day throughout winter, so they were definitely a worthwhile investment. I found that for rides longer than 2 hours or when it was particularly cold I still had cold feet. My fiancé bought me some chemical foot warmers for Christmas and they solved the problem completely, happy feet :-). A very long cold ride and very long ride may require a second set of foot warmers but they are very small and can easily be put in a back pocket.
So the boots are bright. I do a lot of my commuting in the dark so this is a plus for me. They are made of Gortex material and there waterproofing is way better than I have managed to get from any overshoes. Water can always get in from the top the shoes are tight around the top which helps this somewhat but they are not unpenetratable but I don’t think there is a way round that. They quite thick and warm which I like. Best of all it’s so easy and convenient not to have to mess around with overshoes all the time. The only thing I don’t like is the fastening which is very basic. Behind the velcro they have laces which you pull tight using the clip provided. Comfort wise this works well because you tighten them around your foot, however you have to tuck the laces in somewhere and I lost the clip from one side after it coming off a couple of times, it’s very awkward to get back on. They have lasted well so far through daily use last winter, my feet were a little cold last night so I think they are about to start getting used again. The Northwave Arctic Commuter is available from wiggle here
So winter is coming… we’ve had some awesome weather so far but it’s definitely starting to get colder. If you are an all weather cyclist and you are struggling to find a solution to your cold or wet feet, I recommend investing in a pair of winter boots. The ones I have are great but maybe have a look at a few different ones and see what works for you.