Drive My Bike

But What About My Feet?
November 15, 2008, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last Monday I learned that, even though I covered the rest of me, if my feet are hanging out in the rain they will definitely get wet… and I mean really wet!


I have been preparing to ride in the cold and snow lately, so when I woke up to rain on Monday morning it threw me off a little bit. I was still determined to ride, so I donned my water resistant windbreaker for the top half, and in a pinch decided to use my snowboarding pants to keep the bottom half dry. I thought my feet might get a little wet, so I grabbed an extra pair of socks… and then off I went.

The ride was uneventful, except for the fact that is was a good steady rain the entire trip. The road was completely soaked, and that meant that, even though I have fenders, there was water spraying everywhere. My snow pants actually kept my legs completely dry, but the flair legs meant for snowboard boots constantly flapped around and threatened to get stuck in the chain. I found out that my “water resistant” pullover windbreaker is not water proof, and my top half was not soaked, but I was quite damp.

The worst of it all was my feet. I had on a pair of running shoes with cotton socks, and about halfway through the ride I realized that was a very bad idea. I could feel the cold water on my feet, and I looked down to see that my shoes were completely soaked through, almost as if I had just stepped in a puddle. When I got to the office I immediately took my wet shoes and socks off, but then realized that even if I put on my other pair of socks, I didn’t have any dry shoes to put on. I actually put my dry socks on and tried to work that way, without shoes, for a couple of hours, hoping that my shoes would dry out, but it takes a long time for shoes to dry. When it came time for lunch, and it was still raining, I decided to put my wet socks and shoes back on as I went to lunch with the other guys.  I made it through the rest of the day in my wet shoes, and by the end of the day they were actually almost dry, but it sure wasn’t very pleasant.

After Monday’s experience I realized that I needed to be more prepared to ride in the rain, since that is also a possibility this time of year. I headed out to REI again, and, after trying on pretty much every piece of rain gear on the rack, I settled on their Novara Stratos pants and Novara Express jacket. I also looked at all of their options for foot protection, and I couldn’t find any of their shoe covers that would fit over my shoes. I came home and Googled a bit, and eventually found some boots that are made to go over normal shoes, and they claim to keep out water, as well as adding a layer of insulation. I ordered a pair of these NEOS Overshoes, and I should be getting them sometime next week.

I haven’t had to ride in the rain since Monday, but I’ll let you know how this new gear works out.

UPDATE: Those Neos Overshoes are AWESOME! Read my complete review here.


6 Comments so far
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for water i’ve used grocery bags over sox. they don’t keep the shoe dry, but the feet, yes.

Comment by Tim

Tim, I thought of that, but I’m looking for a solution that does a better job of covering the shoe also. (Not to mention the style points) 😉 Those overshoes look like they might do the trick, although I’m sure they’ll be a good bit bulkier than what I’m used to. Hopefully they’ll work out, and I might even get some insulation from the cold as a bonus.

Comment by Scott

Please keep us posted as to how the shoes work out.
I too have been looking for a solution for my feet for the wet weather. At the moment I have been keeping an extra pair of shoes at the office (Mainly due to style points.) 🙂 But I have recently started keeping extra socks at the office as well.

Comment by Bobby D

When it gets colder, I will be switching to some waterproof hiking boots and flat pedals. Sounds like you’re wearing the same pair of shoes to ride in and to work in. I prefer having two pairs of shoes so I can let the first dry if there is rain (I don’t much care if they get wet when it’s warm, I have the boots for cold+wet).

Tip for wet shoes: Wad up newspaper and stuff it into the shoe. It does an amazing job of absorbing the water and mostly dries the shoe out in a few hours.

Neoprene shoe covers might work, but the zipper on mine broke immediately and I exchanged them for something else.

Comment by Lazy Bike Commuter

I just got the overshoes today, and they look very promising. I’ll probably take some pictures and do a post about them soon, because they are pretty neat.

Comment by Scott

I ride everywhere, this tip about grocery bags over the socks may come in handy, until I can get the overshoes.

Comment by Boot Metal

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