QUESTION: I’m a beginning roadie although I have been a marathon runner for many years. I think I’ve done everything right in making the switch. I went to a reputable shop, got a good bike fit and bought clothes and accessories. But one item that some cyclists wear has me stumped. Do “toe covers” (for lack of a better term) actually keep feet warm? — Mark W.
RBR REPLIES: “Toe covers” is the right term for these useful items of cool-weather clothing.
They are generally made of neoprene or heavy fabric, fitting snugly over the front of cycling shoes. A cutout for the cleat helps hold them in place. Most models extend to about the middle of the instep. Pretty well all the major clothing companies offer a number of different versions.
Toe covers aren’t as warm as booties that cover the whole foot and ankle, but they do a remarkably good job of keeping feet cozy in temperatures down to around 40F degrees, depending on your own particular needs for toe and foot warmth.
Another plus: They are easy to carry in a jersey pocket, making them handy for rides that begin in cool temperatures but warm up later in the day (or start warm and get chilly).
Tip! Walking shreds the bottom of toe covers. Sew on a strip of nylon webbing to protect this vulnerable area and triple their life. Or simply take them off if you have to walk any distance. It’s the wind from riding that cools feet fast, so it won’t matter when you’re “hoofing” it.