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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have poor foot and hand circulation and at speed on all but the hottest days I will get cold and numb toes*. Blocking up my shoe vents with tape helps a bit when it's dry but not in the slightest when it's wet. I've not found winter socks effective either.

I think what I need is some sort of breathable oversock (not something sweaty like neoprene) that's ideally waterproof or at least water resistant for a good amount of time.

Does that make sense? Are they any particular brands or perhaps other approaches you can recommend?


* P.S. I've seen top foot, circulation and bike fit experts and it's just a genetic thing I have to deal with, sadly. It appears there's nothing they can do :(
 

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Hi,

I have poor foot and hand circulation and at speed on all but the hottest days I will get cold and numb toes*. Blocking up my shoe vents with tape helps a bit when it's dry but not in the slightest when it's wet. I've not found winter socks effective either.

I think what I need is some sort of breathable oversock (not something sweaty like neoprene) that's ideally waterproof or at least water resistant for a good amount of time.

Does that make sense? Are they any particular brands or perhaps other approaches you can recommend?


* P.S. I've seen top foot, circulation and bike fit experts and it's just a genetic thing I have to deal with, sadly. It appears there's nothing they can do :(
Shoe covers and thin fall/early winter level gloves? Shoe covers come in a lot of different weights, you should be able to find one that works? Sounds like you have doc approval for cycling with poor circulation, that's good.
 

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A very thin liner sock under wool socks might be worth trying. Definitely NOT cotton though. It sounds like wetness is the major cause and the purpose of thin liner socks is to wick that off your skin.
Be careful not to add bulk enough to pinch off circulation though.
 

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Have you tried wool socks? I've been using Smartwool cycling socks lately and really prefer them over synthetic socks in all conditions.

I agree with Strongbow about the liner socks, they can work like magic. I've used them in both wool and synthetic, and again prefer the wool. The thing about the liner socks is, depending on the fit of your shoes now, you may have to size up for the system to work.

Good prices can often be found at Sierra Trading Post

SmartWool Wool Socks at Sierra Trading Post

Goodhew Liner Socks average savings of 33% at Sierra Trading Post
 

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Anything under 65 degrees, I get cold feet. I start with regular Defeet Aereator socks and defeet shoe covers/oversocks. At 60 degrees, I start using thin wool socks and get thicker in about 5 degree increments. The full finger gloves start at 60 and get thicker as temps go down too. At less than 45, I have to pull out the neoprene booties.
 

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Try a pair of shoes a half-size larger than your usual.
 

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Try a pair of shoes a half-size larger than your usual.


This may work as any restriction of movement will decrease circulation and aggravate your problem. For this reason, I would not recommend liner socks.

Have you asked your doc about taking vasodilators? I know someone with your problem who uses these and it helps him. Unfortunately, one side effect is low blood pressure, so if your BP is already borderline low, this is probably not an option.

Staying well hydrated also helps with circulation.
 

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Agree with bigger shoes that don't restrict circulation. If they're big enough, you can wear thicker socks too. Also, shoe or toe covers that block the wind are most effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My shoes are fine (very extensively tested including not wearing any at all), but since you've mentioned it hopefully I can help someone else also. If there's any fellow paddle-footed humans out there, I strongly suggest looking at Lake first. Specifically their "Competition Last" (which is wider than their Race last) on their wide-fitting shoes. I have the CX237's in wide, sized about 1 EU size up from my day-to-day shoes and they been outstanding... I've I've tried everything (Bont, Mavic, North Wave, Sidi, Fizik, Shimano...) and nothing fits like these. Their customer support is excellent too and their CEO does some of their support calls. Nice chap.
 

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My shoes are fine (very extensively tested including not wearing any at all), but since you've mentioned it hopefully I can help someone else also. If there's any fellow paddle-footed humans out there, I strongly suggest looking at Lake first. Specifically their "Competition Last" (which is wider than their Race last) on their wide-fitting shoes. I have the CX237's in wide, sized about 1 EU size up from my day-to-day shoes and they been outstanding... I've I've tried everything (Bont, Mavic, North Wave, Sidi, Fizik, Shimano...) and nothing fits like these. Their customer support is excellent too and their CEO does some of their support calls. Nice chap.
You tried at least 7 brands of shoes? That's over 1K!! Why didn't you measure your feet and buy shoes that fit? I guess the random approach will eventually work, but that's a lot of trouble to get a pair of shoes that fit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You tried at least 7 brands of shoes? That's over 1K!! Why didn't you measure your feet and buy shoes that fit? I guess the random approach will eventually work, but that's a lot of trouble to get a pair of shoes that fit...
It's a pretty comprehensive list of the brands who truly support wide shoes, yes. And I've tried more but they don't come to mind. And please do list 1000 brands of cycling shoes. Don't worry; I've got all year.

And yeah, don't you think I've measured my feet? If it were that simple I'd just type a number into Amazon and boom; perfect shoes. The variations in foot geometry within a given size include toes, box width, height, arch, toe angles, ... well I'm not going to list them all since it's surely blindingly obvious that no two feet are the same? Surely. Perhaps not then.

What a daft comment.
 

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It's a pretty comprehensive list of the brands who truly support wide shoes, yes. And I've tried more but they don't come to mind. And please do list 1000 brands of cycling shoes. Don't worry; I've got all year.

And yeah, don't you think I've measured my feet? If it were that simple I'd just type a number into Amazon and boom; perfect shoes. The variations in foot geometry within a given size include toes, box width, height, arch, toe angles, ... well I'm not going to list them all since it's surely blindingly obvious that no two feet are the same? Surely. Perhaps not then.

What a daft comment.
$1K not 1K shoes. That's crazy. You measured your feet and ignored the measurements then? I'm a Bont fan. You can get a pair that fit any foot perfectly. The vast majority of buyers can do so with a stick shoe, others go semi-custom for like $30.00 extra and a few like or need full customs. Compared to the time and money you have invested full custom shoes would be cheap and easy. I'm sure Bont can't be alone in this, I haven't spent nearly the time or money you have on shoes so I don't know, I buy shoes that fit instead. But other makers must have semi-custom and custom options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
$1K not 1K shoes. That's crazy. You measured your feet and ignored the measurements then? I'm a Bont fan. You can get a pair that fit any foot perfectly. The vast majority of buyers can do so with a stick shoe, others go semi-custom for like $30.00 extra and a few like or need full customs. Compared to the time and money you have invested full custom shoes would be cheap and easy. I'm sure Bont can't be alone in this, I haven't spent nearly the time or money you have on shoes so I don't know, I buy shoes that fit instead. But other makers must have semi-custom and custom options.
I can't quite tell from your phrasing, but "ignoring the numbers" is perhaps better taken as "using the numbers as a guide". In which case, yes; I used them as a guide only. It's clear that you can't describe complex 3D geometry with 2 measurements and an idealised form. Even then you'll see words to the effect of "I recommend going up half a size" in almost any review of any shoe.

Interestingly enough, I wore Bont Vaypor+ Wide for 1 year. In the end I couldn't live with the toebox, which turned out to be insufficiently high and actually caused some numbness itself; no amount of remoulding could help. I've looked into custom shoes and was on the verge of putting money down either to build my own (I'm an ex motorsport engineer so I have the resources and skills to build them) or sell a few things and get some from a US company whose name escapes me right now. Fortunately I've not really spent much money investigating this; the Bonts I resold for a good amount and most of the shoes I was able to return during the trial periods. There was also a very considerate LBS who let me try some demo ones out on the road. In terms of putting a value on my time... well... I simply can't afford to spend £1000 on customs so that's not an option I'm afraid...

And all this is moot anyway because I ended up with the Lake 237s which fit beautifully :)

It's worth mentioning my feet are pretty extreme in terms of width thanks to spending a lot of time barefoot. I have one of the leading orthopaedic surgeons in UK and even he said "Wow, your feet are really wide" or words to that effect when he first saw them.
 

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I can't quite tell from your phrasing, but "ignoring the numbers" is perhaps better taken as "using the numbers as a guide". In which case, yes; I used them as a guide only. It's clear that you can't describe complex 3D geometry with 2 measurements and an idealised form. Even then you'll see words to the effect of "I recommend going up half a size" in almost any review of any shoe.

Interestingly enough, I wore Bont Vaypor+ Wide for 1 year. In the end I couldn't live with the toebox, which turned out to be insufficiently high and actually caused some numbness itself; no amount of remoulding could help. I've looked into custom shoes and was on the verge of putting money down either to build my own (I'm an ex motorsport engineer so I have the resources and skills to build them) or sell a few things and get some from a US company whose name escapes me right now. Fortunately I've not really spent much money investigating this; the Bonts I resold for a good amount and most of the shoes I was able to return during the trial periods. There was also a very considerate LBS who let me try some demo ones out on the road. In terms of putting a value on my time... well... I simply can't afford to spend £1000 on customs so that's not an option I'm afraid...

And all this is moot anyway because I ended up with the Lake 237s which fit beautifully :)

It's worth mentioning my feet are pretty extreme in terms of width thanks to spending a lot of time barefoot. I have one of the leading orthopaedic surgeons in UK and even he said "Wow, your feet are really wide" or words to that effect when he first saw them.
Sorry you never spoke with a rep... you are obviously one of the few people that need full custom shoes... I'm glad you found a shoe that works! Sounds like you are extremely unusual. Toe box can be raised btw, again, they will tell you how or you can send them to a good rep and they will do it free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry you never spoke with a rep... you are obviously one of the few people that need full custom shoes... I'm glad you found a shoe that works! Sounds like you are extremely unusual. Toe box can be raised btw, again, they will tell you how or you can send them to a good rep and they will do it free.
Did I not speak with a rep? Well I suppose I'm going to have to set that assumption straight also.

Firstly the shop I dealt with regarding the Bonts is a pretty well-established dealer and the guy who helped me had the same pair himself; secondly I fired a lot of questions off to Bont themselves (very helpful, despite their reputation at the time) about things I could do to help them fit in that regard but to no avail. And no it is not possible to increase the forefoot height any significant degree; in fact Bont have a section on their site talking about how anti-stretch their uppers are.

It might be worth mentioning to anyone who's not yet bored of this toing and froing between me and PBL450 that these were the 2014 Vaypor+. I've since seen that the newer designs such the Vaypor S have much more space there... something you might argue is evidence they themselves were aware of the limitations for some foot geometries.

Ok enough of this. Time for a ride!
 

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Did I not speak with a rep? Well I suppose I'm going to have to set that assumption straight also.

Firstly the shop I dealt with regarding the Bonts is a pretty well-established dealer and the guy who helped me had the same pair himself; secondly I fired a lot of questions off to Bont themselves (very helpful, despite their reputation at the time) about things I could do to help them fit in that regard but to no avail. And no it is not possible to increase the forefoot height any significant degree; in fact Bont have a section on their site talking about how anti-stretch their uppers are.

It might be worth mentioning to anyone who's not yet bored of this toing and froing between me and PBL450 that these were the 2014 Vaypor+. I've since seen that the newer designs such the Vaypor S have much more space there... something you might argue is evidence they themselves were aware of the limitations for some foot geometries.

Ok enough of this. Time for a ride!
I have not owned that specific shoe so I stand corrected, happily. Who'd you talk to at Bont? There are only a few people that would handle this and I likely know them... I'd love to follow up. Back in the day they used Alex's feet for some of the lasts and he has pretty petite feet for the size, so that had to be corrected. But that was a while ago. Btw, again, that shoe sounds different, I just checked all 3 of mine and there is plenty of space above the toe box before the tongue. I raised my customs a little bit in 3 places because I was getting small pump bumps (Haglund's Deformities). Again, your shoes aren't something I know... or you are talking about lifting the area dramatically. Regardless, I'm glad you have shoes that are working for you now.

Just for curiosity, when I talk Bont peeps, you mention "more space there," where specifically are you referring to? Toe box height?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have not owned that specific shoe so I stand corrected, happily. Who'd you talk to at Bont? There are only a few people that would handle this and I likely know them... I'd love to follow up. Back in the day they used Alex's feet for some of the lasts and he has pretty petite feet for the size, so that had to be corrected. But that was a while ago. Btw, again, that shoe sounds different, I just checked all 3 of mine and there is plenty of space above the toe box before the tongue. I raised my customs a little bit in 3 places because I was getting small pump bumps (Haglund's Deformities). Again, your shoes aren't something I know... or you are talking about lifting the area dramatically. Regardless, I'm glad you have shoes that are working for you now.

Just for curiosity, when I talk Bont peeps, you mention "more space there," where specifically are you referring to? Toe box height?
Yeah, the key issue is the toe box height for me - especially towards the very end. The V+'s were conspicuously flatter than other brands/models to the point my big toenails were pressed against the uppers and I couldn't wriggle them. I actually had to sand my custom insoles down to 1mm with my orbital sander to give me some extra headroom. I was new to cycling shoes at the time and assumed everything had to be close fitting so tried to put up with it. Whilst I'm on the subject I just remembered another issue: width-wise they were good on paper, but the monocoque was heavily curved at the sides which tended to jack up my little toe and create discomfort.

Regarding who I spoke to, I've looked through my emails and the only threads I could find were a discussion with Wynne about trying to make them wider at the toebox. (Over 18 months ago) Apparently the V+'s mouldability is really only intended for the arch/heal region which is why I wasn't having much luck. I did manage to add 1mm to the width by shear brute force involving a shoe expander and the oven.

Despite all that, I do like Bont's shoes. I think if the Vaypor S had come out the same time I was looking at the Lakes I might have bought them.
 

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Yeah, the key issue is the toe box height for me - especially towards the very end. The V+'s were conspicuously flatter than other brands/models to the point my big toenails were pressed against the uppers and I couldn't wriggle them. I actually had to sand my custom insoles down to 1mm with my orbital sander to give me some extra headroom. I was new to cycling shoes at the time and assumed everything had to be close fitting so tried to put up with it. Whilst I'm on the subject I just remembered another issue: width-wise they were good on paper, but the monocoque was heavily curved at the sides which tended to jack up my little toe and create discomfort.

Regarding who I spoke to, I've looked through my emails and the only threads I could find were a discussion with Wynne about trying to make them wider at the toebox. (Over 18 months ago) Apparently the V+'s mouldability is really only intended for the arch/heal region which is why I wasn't having much luck. I did manage to add 1mm to the width by shear brute force involving a shoe expander and the oven.

Despite all that, I do like Bont's shoes. I think if the Vaypor S had come out the same time I was looking at the Lakes I might have bought them.
Hmmm... sounds like they were kind of experimenting on that shoe. Bad move on their part. People don't go back... typically the foot bed is the least modable because it has the lowest ratio of composite ingredients vs cf for the sake of stiffness. That toe box sounds like a very high rate of cf so heroic efforts will barely move it and sometimes it wants to move back! If you ever find yourself in that spot again PM me. I've struggled through making adjustments over the years that last. I favor the heat gun over the oven. Bont is still new to cycling shoes. They also have a far eastern bend where they sell much of their product.
 
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