Six of the best winter cycling shoes

Waterproof, windproof and warmth for when the temperature drops

As the temperature drops, there’s no shortage of kit required to help you stay warm and dry through winter, whether you’re looking to refresh your cycling wardrobe or digging your cold weather kit out of storage for the next few months.

Bib tights, jackets, gloves… you name it, you’re going to need it if you have any intention of riding through winter in comfort.

Winter cycling shoes should be lined with a membrane suitable for protecting your feet from the cold and wet

For many riders, overshoes will be near the top of that list. There’s nothing worse than cold, wet feet on a winter ride and overshoes (essentially covers which you pull over your shoes) will provide a barrier from the elements.

But there’s also a growing range of winter-specific shoes on the market. While regular cycling shoes are generally designed for warm weather, with plenty of vents to let cold air and water in when the conditions are less kind, winter boots are built for the job in hand. That, most likely, means a thermal lining to stay warm and a water resistant membrane to help keep your feet dry.

While we can’t guarantee a winter boot will keep your feet dry in all weathers (the ankle cuff offers a potential entry route for water in heavy rain), they will put up a stern fight against the conditions, whether that’s biting cold or a winter storm. They also stop the faff of pulling overshoes on and off before and after a ride.

So if you’re looking for new winter cycling shoes, where should you start looking? Read on for our choice of six of the best…

Shimano RW5

Shimano haven’t just been busy updating their flagship Dura-Ace groupset this year, but have also introduced a host of new road cycling shoes to their line-up.

And the RW5 is their option for winter training, with a fleece lining to keep warmth in.

It’s also designed to keep water out, with a neoprene ankle collar and more neoprene in the form of a weatherproof flap over the top of the secure ‘speed lacing’ system.

Though primarily black, Shimano have also considered low light visibility too, with some fluoro detailing and a reflective print.

Price: £124.99

Northwave Fahrenheit Arctic 2 GTX

The GTX in the name of these winter cycling shoes stands for Gore-Tex, which is the material of choice for the membrane embedded in Northwave’s winter road shoe.

Designed to combat the most extreme weather conditions, the Gore-Tex lining offers protection from wind, rain and snow. Northwave say the shoes are suitable for a temperature range of -25c to +5c.

Elsewhere you have a high neoprene collar, speed lace closure system and carbon-reinforced sole, alongside plenty of high-viz and reflective detailing to help keep you safe through winter.

Price: £179.99
Website: Northwave

Specialized Defroster

While Northwave have teamed up with Gore-Tex to produce the Fahrenheit shoes, Specialized have called on the expertise of a different foul weather expert for their Defroster footwear, with Thinsulate 400g insulation helping to keep out the coldest and wettest weather.

A very high, thick neoprene cuff further keeps the rain out, while the shoes boast plenty of reflective material to spark into action when caught in a car’s headlights.

A single BOA dial makes tightening and on-the-fly adjustment super easy, and also means excess flaps and seams are kept to an absolute minimum.

Price: £159.99
Website: Specialized

Mavic Ksyrium Pro Thermo shoes

Mavic’s Ksyrium Pro Thermo shoes boast a Gore-Tex outer combined with a neoprene ankle and water-resistant zip.

A reinforced rubber toecap and reflective strips ensure these are a hardy pair of shoes, with the cover construction inspired by Nordic sports.

Beneath the weatherproof shell is an Ergo dial system for easy adjustment, and an Ergo Fit 3D Ortholite insole for added cushioning and comfort.

Price: £170
Website: Mavic

Gaerne Winter Road Gore-Tex

Handmade in Italy, Gaerne’s Winter Road Gore-Tex shoes use, as the name suggests, Gore-Tex fabric to offer a shoe claimed to be waterproof but also breathable despite being sealed against the cold.

They may be designed for winter training but the shoes still feature an thin carbon-reinforced nylon sole to reduce the stack height between the foot and the pedal, improving power transfer. Closure comes via a speed lace system, covered with neoprene flaps.

As ever, a high neoprene ankle cuff is also included, and a handful of hi-viz detailing complete the look.

Price: £199.99
Website: Gaerne

Lake CX145

Lake’s answer to the winter road shoe, the CX145, is a striking bit of kit, not least because of the super-high cuff which features one of two BOA closure dials.

Paired with the regular dial on top of the foot, the two dials are said to offer more adjustability, security and comfort than other winter boots on the market.

But it’s not just comfort that’s key here, of course, with a waxed canvas upper, water-resistant leather and waterproof membrane all combining for a weather-beating shoe.

Price: £169.00
Website: Lake

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