socks

Dec 4, 2008
169
3
38
Tokyo
#1
does anyone have any recommendation for winter socks?

My feet always feel like blocks of ice.......granted I don't have proper shoes like you guys, but if I did, they'd be the MP-66 from Shimano.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
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639
133
Kanazawa
#2
I'm a believer in wool. Thick, heavy, wool, with as little other fiber in it as possible. It's hard to find, has been for a while, which is why I have a stash of new, unused wool socks in a drawer (besides the ones I'm now using), sourced on my last trip to New Zealand. Wool socks sold as rag wool seem a little coarse, and not thick/dense enough.

The best addition to a good wool sock is a silk liner. That warms them up a little more, and the two layers slide very well against each other--kind of like having a lubricant in there. Also, the silk/wool combo is a pre-synthetic choice for cold-weather mountaineering. The silk wicks moisture off into the wool. It's a pretty lux combination.

Silk liners wear out fairly quickly, maybe 2-4 sets of liners per set of wool socks.

***

That said, I recently tried some North Face-branded wool blend socks out of one of the big box sports stores (Alpen). They're very nice, a plush weave with lots of cushion/loft, but I haven't got a season on them yet and I'm not sure how they'll wear--how long they'll last.

***

Also, try the locally available "kairo"--the little self-adhesive hotpacks. They're annoying to have under your forefoot when walking around, but great when just pedaling.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#3
Army surplus stores in Ueno will set you up with some excellent pure wool winter socks without the stupid prices. Also wearing a cheapo pair of glove socks inside another pair of socks will also create a nice warm haven for your toes.... it's all about creating air pockets that warm up.
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#5
Tom purchased neoprene socks (the material wetsuits are made from) from a "workman's" clothing store. Warm but wet. Surely can result in a bad case of trench foot :)

Chazzer purchased neoprene shoe covers from Montbell. Warm & dry but extremely heavy.

I purchased thick wool socks from Montbell - so thick I had to remove the insoles in my shoes just to get them on. Delayed the onset of frost bite by 30 minutes. Pointless on a 9 hour ride :eek:uch:

Deej purchased chemical shoe warmers. Warm & dry & lightweight. Possible danger of fire :)

Yellow Giant purchased more socks at the first combini stop. 95% man made fiber / 5% wool. Delayed the onset of frost bite by 15 seconds but came in handy the next day for work.

Philip
 
#6
I've been wearing socks that are wool/silk blend (30%/5% maybe). They aren:t perfect but do alright, especially if they are clean:confused: I got them in Costco in the states, I don:t know if they are available in Costco here.

also, if you are using clipless shoes, I find that when my feet are getting cold it:s often because of not enough circulation and putting more energy into pulling up than pushing down seems to help quite a bit.
 

AlanW

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Jan 30, 2007
1,214
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103
Tokyo
#7
Overshoes

I like overshoes in preference to thicker (supposedly) warmer socks. My cycling shoes, both road and MTB, are a snug fit even with thin socks. Thicker socks just constrict my feet and reduce the blood flow, making my feet much colder.
For temperatures down to about 5 C I use these:
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pearlizumi.com%2FphpThumb.php%3Fsrc%3D%2Fdata%2Fuploads%2Fproducts%2F9295_021.jpg%26w%3D290%26h&hash=823f7f0cc31959ed4eddecf1f3399070

which are very light and not bulky. The windproofing makes a big difference to foot-toastiness. They are delicate though and only last 2 or 3 winters.
For colder temperatures I use neoprene overshoes like these:
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wiggle.co.uk%2Fimages%2Fcastelli-9525-med.jpg&hash=687d5f2adffbefa3bfb3f9cd9d167447

Happily used these in snowy conditions down to about -5 C. With the overshoes I do up the shoes a bit looser, since the overshoe does compress the shoe slightly.
 

Wolfman

Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
631
18
38
Suginamiku
#8
I use Assos full winter socks with Endura neoprene overshoes, which were only 20 quid from wiggle.

Actually, I once unwittingly did a small experiment where I compared Assos early winter socks to the full winter socks. I'd mixed the pairs and so on my left foot I was using the early winter model and on my right foot the full winter sock. Even with the neoprene overshoes I could tell the difference - my left foot was noticeably colder. It wasn't just psychological either, honestly.

Regarding the overshoes, yes, it's true that they hold the sweat in, but you don't notice it on rides as they keep the heat in and the wind out. It's only when I take them off afterwards that you notice that they are a bit wet inside.
 

jecjec81

Maximum Pace
Dec 12, 2008
106
28
58
Meguro-ku, Tokyo
#9
Another recommended stuff is the Assos thermal socks. It is warm but thin enough that you can actually put another pair of socks on top of it.

My combo right now is the Assos themal socks and the Assos wool socks. So far so good.
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#10
cheap alternative...

Tom purchased neoprene socks (the material wetsuits are made from) from a "workman's" clothing store. Warm but wet. Surely can result in a bad case of trench foot :)

Philip
I actually wear them not inside but pulled over my shoes...not so wet; they even got "kuuki'ana" breathing holes !! :D.
Picture here: http://vlaamsewielrenner.blogspot.com/2007/12/otarumi-recordmore-mental-strategies.html For a more aesthetically-pleasing effect (??), I pulled an extra toe-only shoe cover on top of the neoprene in this picture.
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi47.tinypic.com%2F2lj5chi.jpg&hash=79cde31f970823011298283ba660637b
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#12
Snowboard socks!

Two years ago I did as pictured: cut the toes off a an old pair of snowboard socks, cut another hole for the cleats, and wore them over my shoes. :eek::eek:

Now I know better (cf. Deej's thread about cycling fashion) and have purchased some proper overshoes like Alan...
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
30
48
Tokyo
#13
for me....

Cool/cold days - Merino wool socks - along with thin poly liners. Simply amazing. I hear Smart wool is also good.

Cold/rainy days - Sealskin socks. These are also nearly waterproof. Not sure how its done but it works.

Suprise find: Japanse 100yen store. The other day, I was on a mission to find practical and creative buys in 100yen stores. Suprising combo was calf/knee high stockings/nylons (suprisingly warm and worked like 6000 compression sock), and acrylic "warm" sock. Their acrylic gloves also work as well as some of my more expensive glove liners I use for skiing. This was bomber combo for 300 yen.
 
Oct 28, 2009
87
0
26
Edogawa-ku
#14
something I've read...

... Suprising combo was calf/knee high stockings/nylons (suprisingly warm and worked like 6000 compression sock), and acrylic "warm" sock. ...
I read about Canadians using knee high socks to keep their calves warm which is supposed to keep their feet warmer in the process. Sounds feasible, but personally haven't tried it yet.
 
Dec 4, 2008
169
3
38
Tokyo
#15
Hmmm, plenty of options there. Thanks!

Once upon a time I did a stint as a postman, seem to recall something called the 'X-sock' (a running sock) worked wonders against blisters - essentially two layers thus pretty much eliminating friction - similar to the sock liner/main sock idea.

Merino wool sounds like my best option, seamless on the inside? Have also used Thorlo Hiker Lows, iirc.
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#17
This weekend, I had tremendous success in the chilly mountains using the following combo: Layer 1) thin poly-something socks; Layer 2) "thin-type" kairo heating pads specially designed to adhere to socks. I placed these over my toes (the brand I used was Mycoal); Layer 3) Wool ankle-high socks made by DeFeet.

Then over my Sidis I had some Pearl Izumi "Windbreak" shoe covers.

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Ffarm3.static.flickr.com%2F2708%2F4268984914_771f2cd200_o.jpg&hash=cb4cac6952dc23e59ff4fea0f9fdf861


For me, winter rides -- even short ones -- have automatically meant numb toes. With the heating pads, not only could I feel my toes, but they were warm.

At the start of the ride, I foolishly slipped each pad on the balls of my feet. While the pads generated some warmth, my toes were still numb. Early on during the ride, Clay, my riding partner, suggested I put the pads on the tops of my feet. I followed his suggestion and not only was it more comfy, but the warming effect was almost immediate. Really, it was quite a luxury.

Perhaps the warming effect would have been just as strong without the thin under layer and shoe covers. But maybe the layers help trap the heat. I'll try a little experimenting and report back.

Deej
 
#18
An angel

you are Deej :)! Thanks for this most precious piece of info. I'm getting these pads on my way home this evening. You & Clay riding this Sunday perchance?

This weekend, I had tremendous success in the chilly mountains using the following combo: Layer 1) thin poly-something socks; Layer 2) "thin-type" kairo heating pads specially designed to adhere to socks. I placed these over my toes (the brand I used was Mycoal); Layer 3) Wool ankle-high socks made by DeFeet.

Then over my Sidis I had some Pearl Izumi "Windbreak" shoe covers.

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Ffarm3.static.flickr.com%2F2708%2F4268984914_771f2cd200_o.jpg&hash=cb4cac6952dc23e59ff4fea0f9fdf861


For me, winter rides -- even short ones -- have automatically meant numb toes. With the heating pads, not only could I feel my toes, but they were warm.

At the start of the ride, I foolishly slipped each pad on the balls of my feet. While the pads generated some warmth, my toes were still numb. Early on during the ride, Clay, my riding partner, suggested I put the pads on the tops of my feet. I followed his suggestion and not only was it more comfy, but the warming effect was almost immediate. Really, it was quite a luxury.

Perhaps the warming effect would have been just as strong without the thin under layer and shoe covers. But maybe the layers help trap the heat. I'll try a little experimenting and report back.

Deej
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#19
you are Deej :)! Thanks for this most precious piece of info. I'm getting these pads on my way home this evening. You & Clay riding this Sunday perchance?
Hey Tom. I hope it works as well for you as it did with me! Due to family obligations, I won't be able to do a longer ride this weekend, I'm afraid. I'll probably do a quick Onekan out-and-back shortly after sunrise, if only to maintain some semblance of sanity. I'll definitely let you know next time I'm heading out for a longer ride!

Deej
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,514
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#20
Just got in from sprint training and feel like I have frostbite on my feet.

My shoe covers are in tatters and quite useless.
Thought I'd survive this winter with them but I'll be getting a new pair tomorrow and will also try out some of these other foot warming tips in this thread..

Trying to have a shower with frozen feet is a bad idea..

Ze pain... Ze:warau: pain....