Hi, I am new here, apologies if this has been covered elsewhere.

We’re in training for a reasonably long ride at the Easter hols (Cambridge to Paris and back) 

Last weekend after about 40 miles both the kids (16 and 14 yrs old) feet were numb and freezing.

They don’t wear clipless neither of them seem keen to try them which is fine by me, but most winter riding solutions / articles focus on clipless winter boots and shoes.

Does anyone have any good kid friendly (as in my 14 year olds feet get bigger every 2 months and I don’t want to spend fortunes on usb charging insoles) ideas for keeping unclipped feet warmer than ice without losing circulation?

Thanks in advance for your kind help and consideration.



hawkinspeter [4096 posts] 8 months ago

First, check that their shoes aren't too tight as you need to encourage good circulation to keep your feet warm - maybe get a pair of shoes/trainers that are a size bigger than necessary so that they can wear thicker socks without reducing blood flow.

The next step on from warm shoes and socks is to get some overshoes to keep out the wind (most trainers won't be airtight as that'll increase the foot smell). There are overshoes designed for flat pedal MTBers - something like the Endura MT500 overshoes might do the trick.

Simon E [3847 posts] 8 months ago

Do they have any walking type boots that are more substantial than trainers (and not vented)? Although I'd advise against secondhand footwear for frequent use, if they wear them occasionally then someone else's cast-off isn't an issue.

Make sure they are loose fitting. Warm them on a radiator beforehand otherwise their feet may start to get cold before you've even started.

Thicker socks (ideally merino blend or try thermolite / walking socks) or use two thinner  pairs. Wrap some tin foil over the toes. Did I read somewhere that foil-lined crisp packets are more effective than plain cooking foil?

Make sure their legs stay warm as cold legs will mean less blood reaches the feet. Same applies with the arms and fingers.

Wet shoes will get cold quickly so use mudguards to keep their shoes and lower legs drier.

Daveyraveygravey [702 posts] 8 months ago

Surely by the time Easter comes round, it will be warmer anyway?

If cold feet is still a problem, you could try socks then plastic bags (A5 ziplock ones with the ziplock bit cut off) then the shoe.

Two thin pairs of socks may work better than one thick pair.

Mungecrundle [1568 posts] 8 months ago

Keeping legs well insulated will help to ensure the blood is still warm when it gets to the feet.

PRSboy [566 posts] 8 months ago

Whilst I see the point on the non-clipless side, proper cycling shoes would have stiff soles which would spread the pedal load properly over the foot, rather than focussing the pressure on one area which will cause numbness and make it susceptible to cold as blood supply is reduced.  Maybe MTB style clips and shoes would be a good compromise?

Anyway, cambridge to paris and back with the kids  Chapeau to all of you!

newuser [2 posts] 8 months ago

Thanks very much everyone for all your kind help and good advice. 

Hopefully by April the weather will warm up, but with all yr tips we should get through the next couple of months a bit more easily.

Thanks again.

ktache [2136 posts] 8 months ago

Self heating toe warmers, 5 for £4 in Tesco, keeps my feet toasty on the freezing commute, especially the waiting for the train bit, and once cold mine don't warm up enough when riding.

High merino blend thick socks and Odour Eater thermal insoles.

Thanks SimonE for the crisp packet thing, kitchen aluminium foil just fell to bits in my shoes.