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Winter shoes for cycling on chilly, cold and ice cold days [Buyer’s Guide]

You demand more from your cycling shoes during winter. Few things are as uncomfortable as riding with cold feet. Fortunately, there’s such a thing as winter cycling shoes. Particularly mountain bikers have a plethora of choices available when it comes to winter cycling shoes. Road cyclists have slightly fewer options available, but with the right winter cycling shoes, they too can remain warm and comfortable.

With proper winter cycling shoes, you’ll hardly ever need to use overshoes again. Cycling shoes for ice cold conditions are windproof and waterproof on their own. Keeping out wind and water is, after all, essential to keep your feet warm.

What winter cycling shoes should I go for?

We have different kinds of winter cycling shoes for mountain bikers and road cyclists. But why should you pick one cycling shoe over the other? Which performs best in what conditions?

The Northwave XCM GTX keep your feet warm in weather up to -15 degrees!
The Northwave XCM GTX keep your feet warm in weather up to -15 degrees!

It might be tempting to just buy the warmest possible cycling shoes. However, if you don’t use them in extreme cold, they might turn out to be too warm. This will make your feet more sweaty, and it’s common knowledge that this will only rapidly cool down your feet. This is why your winter cycling shoes need to suit the circumstances you’re going to be cycling in.

Brave the freezing cold

The most important factor in choosing your winter cycling shoes is the temperature you expect to be using them in. The colder this temperature, the more insulation your winter cycling shoes need and the better the material must be.

The Northwave Raptor GTX has a flexible raised cuff around the ankles to keep your feet even warmer and dryer.
The Northwave Raptor GTX has a flexible raised cuff around the ankles to keep your feet even warmer and dryer.

Northwave’s winter cycling shoes can be divided into two types. The Raptor series is designed for mountain bikers, road cyclists can hit the road with the Flash series. Within these two categories, you can choose different grades of warmth.

Winter cycling shoes for moderately cold days

When it’s freezing out at night and the day temperature hovers around zero, you don’t need utmost protection. Good cycling socks and a windproof and waterproof winter shoe will suffice.

Rather stay in when there’s severe frost? Then the Northwave Raptor TH will likely suffice.
Rather stay in when there’s severe frost? Then the Northwave Raptor TH will likely suffice.

The Northwave Flash TH road bike shoes and the Northwave Raptor TH MTB shoes are made for these more temperate days. When the weather is colder on occasion, you could opt to cover them with overshoes.

Winter cycling shoes for light frost

When there’s light frost during the day, you need to start picking your material more carefully. For this temperature category, you’ll start seeing winter cycling shoes with a raised cuff around the ankles. This is soft material, so your ankles retain their freedom of movement.

A wintery cycling shoe for every temperature.
A wintery cycling shoe for every temperature.

For road cyclists, the Northwave Flash GTX road bike shoes are ideal for these weather conditions. Mountain bikers can choose between the Northwave Raptor GTX mtb shoes and the FLR Defender.

Winter cycling shoes for substantial frost

Heavy frost at night and moderate frost during the day? In weather like this it’s important to properly protect your feet against the cold. This type of cycling shoe has great insulation and keeps out the wind and the weather.

For road bike winter shoes, visibility is an important and safe extra, as seen in the Northwave Flash Arctic GTX.
For road bike winter shoes, visibility is an important and safe extra, as seen in the Northwave Flash Arctic GTX.

The Northwave Flash Arctic GTX Road Bike shoes and the Northwave Raptor Arctic GTX MTB shoes were designed to brave the coldest circumstances. On top of great insulation, these shoes offer you a rigid sole that also insulates the bottom of your feet.

Winter cycling shoes for the strongest frost

If even the worst cold conditions cannot deter you from going for a ride, naturally you’ll want the best of the best material. For this temperature, only the Northwave Extreme XCM 2 GTX MTB shoes are available.

These shoes grant you the best possible insulation. It also comes equipped with a very rigid carbon sole. You’ll not only get a very warm MTB cycling shoe, but one that’s made for maximum performance too.

Our winter road bike shoes

Our winter mountain bike shoes

All winter cycling shoes listed

We listed all our winter cycling shoes for you. For each shoe, we’ll display price and insulation. Keep in mind: never buy winter cycling shoes that are too tight, you’ll need a pocket of air to keep your feet as warm as possible.

Sensitive to the cold? You could consider buying slightly warmer shoes than the temperature calls for. Prone to sweaty feet? In that case, shoes with slightly less insulation might be better.

Which winter cycling shoe for which temperature?

Winter cycling shoe Road bike or MTB? Price Insulation
FLR Defender MTB ££
Northwave Flash TH Road bike £££
Northwave Raptor TH MTB £££
Northwave Flash GTX Road bike ££££
Northwave Raptor GTX MTB ££££
Northwave Flash Arctic GTX Road bike ££££
Northwave Raptor Arctic GTX MTB ££££
Northwave Extreme XCM 2 GTX MTB £££££

No more cold feet during winter

Already own cycling shoes, but not quite warm enough? Or they are, but not waterproof? You could take a look at good cycling overshoes. These also come in waterproof and insulating versions. Plenty of choice if you don’t like the prospect of cold feet while cycling during winter.

Apart from winter cycling shoes, there’s plenty of options to keep cycling comfortably warm during winter.
Apart from winter cycling shoes, there’s plenty of options to keep cycling comfortably warm during winter.

Are your feet warm, but is the rest of your body still lacking? We also have a wide range of winter cycling clothing. If you want to be extra visible in traffic, we also have lots of high-visibility cycling clothing and accessories. And then we haven’t even mentioned all types of
bike lighting. In sum: whatever you need for cycling this winter, we’ve got you covered.

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Agnes Ronner

Agnes Ronner

Track-, road-, or mountain bike. Whatever it is, I love it. Cycling started out as an alternative to skating in the summer. I then moved to track cycling at the highest level, and rode my mountain bike on rainy days and during the winter. I currently have a Giant TCR Advanced 1 LTD and a Sensa Merano SFB Pro. I might just get a racing licence next year, and start competing again!

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