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How To Choose The Best Winter Cycling Shoes?

  •  There are several factors you should consider when shopping for the best winter cycling shoes to make sure you get the right pair for yourself.
  • For you to avoid the cold weather and discover pedaling perfection this winter, factors like cleat compatibility, fit, adaptability for conditions, and simplicity of modification will all be important.
How To Choose The Best Winter Cycling Shoes?

Do we need winter cycling shoes?

  • Are your overshoes waterproof and windproof? The best bicycle overshoes will have a waterproof membrane or something made of neoprene for maximum protection and warmth if you live in an area where riding in the rain is a given. The best winter cycling socks can also provide a little extra warmth.

How should my winter cycling shoes fit?

  • Should you get a size larger to allow for thicker socks, or does their fit already take that into account?
  • Finding a shoe that fits is the first and most crucial step. Keep with us even though it seems obvious. Finding a pair of shoes that fits correctly is crucial since a shoe that hurts your feet at room temperature will only get worse in the cold.
  • You might be tempted to size larger when purchasing a pair of winter cycling shoes so that you can wear a second pair of socks underneath, but you should absolutely resist doing this. When I was a ski instructor, parents shoving two pairs of ski socks on their kids' feet before stuffing them into rental boots was the torment of my existence. They did this in the mistaken belief that adding more layers would make their children warmer. It was inevitable that the outer pair of socks would cling or wrinkle, leading to hot areas, reduced blood flow, and cold feet. The same is true for cycling in the cold; you're far better off with only one pair of the best cycling socks.

How To Choose The Best Winter Cycling Shoes?

1- Weatherproofing
  • Your feet are cold in the winter for many reasons including just the frigid air and the wind. The key to a decent pair of winter cycling shoes is weatherproofing and extra insulation because wet circumstances are also a big challenge.
  • Look for footwear with waterproof membranes such as Gore-Tex or other membranes incorporated into the uppers. These materials aid in making shoes waterproof, windproof, and breathable, just like they do with waterproof cycling jackets (the last of which is important to avoid sweat building up on the inside and eventually making feet cold).
  • Although winter shoes are made to keep the rain out, the cuff can occasionally serve as a point of entry for water.
  • Because you want to keep heat inside the shoe rather than allow it to escape to the outside air, insulation is also essential. This is achieved by using thicker, fleecy textiles and preventing ventilation in the uppers.

2- Sole

  • While you could lose a few watts when really hammering on the pedals, you'll appreciate the added comfort over the course of a long ride or if you have to get off the bike and walk. Winter-specific cycling shoes often have a more flexible sole than race-dedicated summer shoes.
  • If you're a serious road rider, a shoe with a road sole—one devoid of tread and made to fit a road cleat—like the Fizik Artica R5 will work just fine and frequently compliment the modern style of your road gear.

3- Road or MTB cleat?

  • Similar to the sole, you should choose shoes that are suitable for roads; these should work fine on cold, dry rides on beautiful roads, but for all other situations, think about MTB cleats.
  • In winter rides, road shoes and mountain bike cleats are significantly more compatible.
  • Road cyclists rarely ride through mud or tracks, but they occasionally come across slippery patches that prevent them from moving their bikes through them.
  • You'll quickly regret having to dismount the bike and walk the distance in your road shoes.

4- Fit

  • A little additional room for warm socks in winter shoes can be really helpful, whereas you often want a pair of summer cycling shoes to fit snugly with thin, lightweight socks.
  • You might stick with your normal size because many products have this extra space as standard, but this isn't always the case.
  • To try on shoes with the socks you'll probably want to wear while riding, it's always a good idea to visit a store in person or order from one with a solid returns policy.


  • Look for winter boots with a high ankle or a cuff that can be adjusted to reach your tights or leg warmers. These tops should be snugly fitting to prevent road spray, cold weather, rain, and snow from seeping inside your shoes.


  • you should consider going for Mtb shoes with a two-bolt cleat interface. Road shoes can be slippery and we know it. 
  • Mountain cleat shoes help your clear mud as well as snow and slushes during winter months and are a much better option than road cleats and pedals. 


  • The first element to be discussed is ventilation. Winter cycling shoes won't have as many enormous vent holes as summer models, but you can still anticipate a little bit of breathability (no one wants to bake their own feet).
  • A neoprene cuff or cover is frequently found on the shoe's top. This will serve as an additional barrier against the chill and keep the rain out.
  • Additionally, the ankle cuff will be high to prevent water from puddles from seeping into the shoe. If you can try the shoes on, make sure the cuff does not restrict your range of motion and does not feel too tight; ideally, you want an adjustable fit.

Do I need a carbon fiber sole for winter cycling shoes?

  • Any ride you go on while wearing winter cycling shoes is probably going to be for commuting, leisure riding, or logging base miles rather than competing in criteriums, so a super-stiff sole isn't required. A less firm sole won't be as taxing on your feet.
  • Since manufacturers are aware of this, most winter cycling shoes have soles made of nylon or fiber reinforcement. There are winter riding shoes with carbon soles available, but they cost a fortune.
  • Of course, there is cyclo-cross, when the need for both winter protection and maximum power transmission may be present. However, because of the additional material used, a lack of stiffness is rarely a problem with the best winter cycling shoes.

How tall should my winter cycling shoes be?

  • Most of the top winter cycling shoes have a long, mid- or high-top ankle. We advise you to opt for shoes with an adjustable cuff and ankle that will fit over your tights or leg warmers. To prevent cold, rain, and road spray from seeping into your boots, this gusset needs to fit snugly and follow your leg as you bike. Wear your tights over the ankle of your boots, if you can, to prevent any water from falling on the fabric covering your lower legs from just seeping into your socks.

Which cycling shoe retention system is best?

  • Boa dials, Velcro, and even some of the rapid lace systems typically found in MTB shoes can be found on the top winter cycling shoes.
  • We like the fast lace closures for riding in rainy conditions since they typically feature a flap that covers the laces and adds an additional layer of water protection, but it's your choice.