Sunday, 30 December
Happy Birthday, Old as Dirt !
[warning: unsolicited product endorsement follows]
One of the biggest challenges for me of winter training is keeping my hands and feet warm on cold, sometimes wet, rides. I've been doing pretty well with heavy fleece socks and two pairs of booties, but I just added something new to my arsenal: Toasty Feet.
I bought these from Sahalie mainly as a way to inflate the value of my Christmas order to the minimum for free shipping. I forgot about them when the box arrived until it was time to wrap the gift inside. They went for their first bike rides this weekend.
They are inserts that replace the liners that came with your cycling shoes; they probably won't work if you have special orthotics, although the packaging says you can just put them on top of whatever you're currently using. They have a rubber layer that faces out (down) and a waffly "nanoporous" layer that keeps your body heat next to your foot. "NASA space-age insulation," "microscopic air pockets," blah blah blah. I was dubious but always eager for warmer extremities.
On Saturday's 5-hour ride, I wore them with two pairs of booties, and sometimes my feet were almost too warm. Not like overheated on a long, hot climb in the middle of July when the hotspots pop up in odd places on your feet, but just really toasty and a little sweaty. The temperature was about 37 degrees for most of the ride. Today's ride was shorter (4 hours) and marginally warmer, and I only wore one pair of booties. I could feel that the insoles warmed the bottoms of my feet while the mesh in my shoes was creating a colder draft across the tops of my feet. Microclimates, indeed. But wiggling my toes every once in a while seemed to redistribute the warmth and banish the cold.
These things are going to stay in my training shoes for the rest of the winter. At $15, they're better than buying toe warmer packets that go into the trash. I'll be curious to see how they do on a wet ride. Maybe we won't have any more of those this winter? Yeah, right! :)