The thing with most cycling shoes is that they are sold on the premise of enjoying the warm, fun and sunny summer life which is why they are generally designed to make sure your feet stay cool. Compared to the traditional cycling shoes, they can be quite chunky, however, you do get a variety of options that allow you to choose a pair that is more suited to your style of riding. This is also why it is important to do your research before you buy winter cycling shoes, so today we have lined up a list of some of the best winter cycling shoes for you to choose from.
Best Winter Cycling Shoes
Mavic Ksyrium Pro
Comes with Boa closure system
Has a very comfortable design
Keeps you warm even at subzero temperatures
Sidi Frost Gore-Tex
Gives you a reinforced heel
Fits very comfortably
Has a premium quality design
Fizik R5 Artica
Offers good protection and warmth
Maximizes airflow with the breathable membrane
Accurately fits the shape of your feet
Northwave Extreme XC
The sole is lightweight
Provides you with maximum comfort
It is very flexible and stable
Has a very grippy sole
Upper is also reflective
Offers a decent waterproofing
SPD-SL and SPD cleat compatible
Comes with a fleece liner for added warmth
1. Mavic Ksyrium Pro
In order to make sure that your feet are warm and dry when you’re riding, the Ksyrium Pro by Mavic used some borrowed features and designs from the nordic ski boots.
For you to be able to make adjustments quick and easy when the whole shoe is completely sealed up, the Boa dial stays uncovered to help you. The upper is made up of a Gore-Tex membrane and on all of the forward facing part of the shoe there’s a water resistant fabric while the ankle gusset on the rear ankle is constructed with neoprene.
The Ksyrium Pro gives you enough insulation to ensure that your feet will stay warm even when you’re riding in subzero temperatures. For the outsole of this shoe, Mavic has gone with the Energy Comp outsole which uses nylon and fiberglass.
To make sure you’re safe when you’re out riding in low light conditions Mavic has added some reflective accents for better visibility.
2. Sidi Frost Gore-Tex
These shoes made by Sidi have a synthetic leather and microfiber mesh upper while there’s also a Gore-Tex membrane that goes underneath, all of which make sure there isn’t rain or just water in general soaking through.
To make the toe box fit a bit better, over the forefront, the Frost Gore has a Techno 3 dial and a velcro strap, also at the top it has a tall ankle cuff that is made from neoprene to ensure that the velcro is secured.
You get an efficient transfer of power that is provided by the plate with Sidi’s choice of going with their Millennium 5 Carbon Composite sole which also has an added benefit of not having any effects from significant changes in the gradient of temperature.
In the back this shoe also features Sidi’s own trademark heel cup which is reinforced in order to ensure there’s no heel lift. The Frost Gore has two versions to it, the road version and the MTB version, but due to the added traction and versatility, the off road version is actually more preferred by most people.
Since this shoe only does offer compatibility with MTB cleats, you’ll have to buy MTB pedals to go with it, which isn’t really that much of a price to pay if you consider the features that this shoe has to offer.
3. Fizik R5 Artica
If you’re a cyclist who prefers road cycling shoes and cares about style but doesn’t want to give up on the comfort then the R5 Artica by Fizik is definitely what you’re looking for.
Sandwiched between the interior lined with plush fleece and exterior shell made from MicroTex there’s a membrane that is completely waterproof which ensures that no water can get in while letting your feet have enough airflow to breathe. To make sure the shoe isn’t too bulky, Fizik uses a foil insulation layer to keep the cold out.
The speed lace closure system which is underneath a waterproof zipper lets the shoe to distribute even pressure all over your foot. The upper section is made from neoprene so that you can get a rainproof seal and the high ankle cuff at the top also comes with a velcro. With its carbon composite sole, this shoe gives you a lot of sturdiness and mutes the road noise with ease.
4. Northwave Extreme XC
Northwave is a brand that is pretty well known when it comes to cycling shoes. You also get a good waterproofing and proper insulation thanks to the Gore-Tex membrane on the XCM GTX. It comes with a fleece and four layer aluminum construction, it also gives you a GoreTex membrane that is windproof with a thermal coating which is strategically placed around your toes.
It has a Speedlight 3D Carbon sole that is triple density integrated to make sure you get the proper stiffness from this shoe.
Instead of using a Boa dial system this shoe uses a SLW2 dial which does make putting it on a bit harder but with the rubber reinforcements you find on this shoe you do get better longevity out of it. While it may take some time to get used to the lacing system on the XCM GTX, you can rest assured that it is one of the best ones you’ll find.
5. 45NRTH Ragnarok
This shoe does a great job at making sure your feet stay dry and warm in moderate chilly winter weather conditions when you’re commuting through the drenched winter morning roads or pedaling through the snow covered tracks early in the morning. You also get an ankle gusset made from neoprene, a waterproof membrane that is 3/4 height and to resist abrasion and water it has a rubberized shell.
To make sure you’re able to have a good grip on slippery surfaces like ice or wet metal, these shoes have a microglass rubber compound which creates protruding abrasive shards on the rubber that has glass fibers which are embedded in it. For your safety in low light riding they come with an upper that is fully reflective.
6. Shimano RW5
For when it gets real cold outside these shoes are probably the best ones that’ll keep you warm. Shimano has made a name for itself with the quality of cycling shoes that it produces.
With a few designs borrowed from their own ME7 flagship trai shoes such as similar cover setup and speed lace system. The RW5 is able to keep out the cold and wet with real ease given its liner that is made of fleece and also the Dryshield membrane that it offers.
The sole of this shoe has both two and three bolt cleat compatibility and it also comes with the needed mounting hardware for both options. Right under the pedal you’re provided with a bit of stiffness due to the carbon cleat plate with a nylon reinforced sole.
Your feet are completely encapsulated with a waterproof membrane while still allowing the shoe to be vented. With a cuff that is made of neoprene this shoe keeps you safe from the harshest weather conditions by wrapping around your ankle in a sealed fit.
Winter cycling shoes on the other hand don’t just give you the warmth with the great insulation, it actually also gives you added protection and waterproofness. Their main goal is to stop the breeze instead of letting it in to ensure that your feet stay warm and dry.
While this may be a great choice for summer, it does however make it harder to keep your feet warm during winter. You may find a lot of people giving the solution for this by suggesting certain socks, overshoes and many different tricks, but at the end of the day nothing beats a dedicated pair of cycling shoes that has been tailored specifically for the purpose of protecting your feet from the chilly winter weather, moreover, it is often seen that overshoes aren’t as durable and tend to wear out after a few seasonal uses.
You need to understand that the comfort of your feet is the most important factor in cycling since it is the main contact point between you and your bike. It can negatively affect your performance if you’re uncomfortable and even more so if your toes just go numb.
When you’re buying cycling shoes for the winter, you need to make sure your feet are warm and comfortable to be able to give your maximum performance during the chilly cold winter day. For the safety of your feet you need to consider a few things before you go ahead and buy winter cycling shoes.
With winter cycling shoes, it isn’t really the absolute necessity to have a stiff sole since you most likely will just be riding base miles, which is why most winter cycling shoes have fiber reinforced or nylon soles.
There are some with carbon soles but those can be really expensive, so unless you have a big budget at hand, nylon and fiber reinforced soles will be your best bet to keep your feet warm.
The High Tops
It is better if you get shoes that overlap your leg warmers or tights with its extended ankle design and also have a cuff that is adjustable. To make sure the road sprays, cold and rain stay away from your feet, you need to be sure that you get a proper fit from the gusset.
To keep the water from seeping into your socks, it is recommended that you have the ankle of your shoes go underneath your tights, this way water doesn’t go in when it falls on your lower leg since it’s covered with fabric.
The Retention System
Winter shoes are mostly seen with closure systems like Boa dials, fast lace systems which are more common in MTB shoes and even velcro. Fast lace systems are preferred for riding in wet weather since it adds an extra layer of protection from weather by putting the laces under a flap.
Winter can be a challenging weather for cyclists who still want to get their practice in order to improve their performance. But for those who want to give it their best, it is important to protect your feet with the best too. We hope you can find something suited to you in this list and get riding even in the coldest weathers!
You can also read about best mountain biking shoes.