Best Winter Biking Shoes in 2023

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Biking in the winter can be a challenge, especially when it comes to finding the right footwear. Not only do you need shoes that will keep your feet warm and dry, but you also need shoes that are comfortable, fit well, and are light enough for long rides.  To help you select the best winter cycling shoes, here are some key factors to consider.

1. Waterproofing

One of the most important considerations when selecting winter cycling shoes is waterproofing. Your feet will likely get wet during the winter, so it's important to choose shoes that have a waterproof or water-resistant upper to keep your feet dry. Some shoes also have a gusseted tongue to keep water out, while others may have a waterproof membrane or coating.

2. Insulation

 Keeping your feet warm is also crucial in the winter, so it's important to choose shoes with good insulation properties. Some shoes have a fleece lining or thermal insulation, while others may use a reflective material to trap heat. When selecting a shoe, consider the conditions you'll be riding in and choose a shoe that provides adequate insulation for those conditions.

3. Fit

Comfort is key when cycling, so it's important to choose a shoe that fits well. Consider the shape of your feet, your preferred level of support, and any pressure points you may have when selecting a shoe. It's also important to try on shoes in the afternoon or evening, when your feet are at their largest, and to wear the same type of socks you would wear while cycling.

4. Power Transfer

Efficient power transfer from your feet to your pedals is crucial when cycling, so it's important to choose a shoe with a stiff sole. Look for shoes with a carbon fiber or nylon composite sole, which are stiff and provide excellent power transfer. Some shoes may also have a more flexible sole for comfort and improved grip when walking.

5. Closure System

The closure system of a shoe can also impact comfort and fit, so it's important to choose a shoe with a closure system that works well for you. Some shoes have a lace-up closure, while others have a BOA dial or ratcheting buckle closure. Consider the ease of use and adjustability of each closure system when selecting a shoe.

6. Performance versus Cost

Winter cycling shoes can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. While high-end shoes may have better performance and more advanced features, they may not be necessary for everyone. Consider your needs and budget when selecting a shoe, and choose a shoe that offers the best balance of performance and cost for you.

Best Winter Biking Shoes in 2023

We'll take a look at the five top shoes for biking in the winter, highlighting their specific attributes and the pros and cons of each.

1. Pearl Izumi Select Road V5 Studio

Pearl Izumi Select Road V5 Studio

This shoe is designed specifically for indoor cycling and features a durable, water-resistant upper to keep your feet dry in wet conditions. The shoe also has a stiff sole for efficient power transfer, as well as a comfortable footbed with arch support. The insulation properties of the Select Road V5 Studio are excellent, with a fleece-lined interior to keep your feet warm on those cold winter rides.

What We Like

  • Water-resistant uppert
  • Stiff sole for power transfer
  • Comfortable footbed with arch support
  • Excellent insulation properties

What We Don't Like

  • May not be suitable for outdoor use in extremely wet or muddy conditions

Professional Cyclists Who Use This Shoe:

Many indoor cycling studios and spin instructors recommend the Pearl Izumi Select Road V5 Studio for its durability and comfort.

2. Giro Empire E70 Knit

Giro Empire E70 Knit

The Giro Empire E70 Knit is a lightweight, breathable shoe that is perfect for winter biking. It features a knit upper that is both water-resistant and breathable, as well as a foam footbed for cushioning and support. The Empire E70 Knit also has a rigid outsole for efficient power transfer, as well as reflective details for added visibility in low light conditions. The insulation properties of this shoe are good, with a fleece-lined interior to keep your feet warm on those cold winter rides.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Water-resistant knit upper
  • Foam footbed for cushioning and support
  • Rigid outsole for power transfer
  • Reflective details for added visibility

What We Don't Like

  •  May not be suitable for extremely cold or wet conditions

Professional Cyclists Who Use This Shoe:

Many professional road and mountain bike riders swear by the Giro Empire E70 Knit for its comfort and performance in a variety of weather conditions.

3. Specialized S-Works 7 Road

Specialized S-Works 7 Road

The Specialized S-Works 7 Road is a top-of-the-line road shoe that is perfect for winter riding. It features a water-resistant, breathable upper to keep your feet dry in wet conditions, as well as a stiff carbon sole for efficient power transfer. The S-Works 7 Road also has a comfortable footbed with arch support, as well as a Boa dial closure system for a secure, customizable fit. The insulation properties of this shoe are excellent, with a fleece-lined interior to keep your feet warm on those cold winter rides.

What We Like

  • Water-resistant and breathable upper
  • Stiff carbon sole for power transfer
  • Comfortable footbed with arch support
  • Boa dial closure system for customizable fit
  • Excellent insulation properties.

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive.

Professional Cyclists Who Use This Shoe:

Many professional road riders choose the Specialized S-Works 7 Road for its performance and comfort in a variety of weather conditions.

4. Shimano SH-MW7

Shimano SH-MW7

The Shimano SH-MW7 is a mountain bike shoe that is perfect for winter riding. It features a waterproof, breathable upper to keep your feet dry in wet conditions, as well as a stiff sole for efficient power transfer. The SH-MW7 also has a comfortable footbed with arch support, as well as a lace-up closure system for a secure, customizable and comfortable experience for the users.

What We Like

  • Excellent insulation properties thanks to Gore-Tex liner and neoprene ankle collar
  • Wide toe box allows for ample room for the toes to spread out and stay warm
  • Secure, Velcro closure system for a snug and comfortable fit.

What We Don't Like

  • Some users may find the shoes to be on the bulky side
  • May not be suitable for extremely cold temperatures

Professional Cyclists Who Use This Shoe:

During the colder months, the Shimano SH-MW7 shoe's warmth and waterproofing is commendable.

5. Mavic Cosmic Pro Thermo Road Shoes

Mavic Cosmic Pro Thermo Road Shoes

The Mavic Cosmic Pro Thermo Road Shoes are a top pick for biking in the winter thanks to their insulation properties and overall comfort. These shoes are made with a waterproof and insulated outer layer to keep your feet warm and dry in wet and cold conditions. The insulation is made with a combination of Thinsulate and foam to provide maximum warmth without adding unnecessary weight to the shoe.

What We Like

  • Standard fit with wider toe box for comfort
  • Secure lace-up closure and heel loop for easy on and off
  • Lightweight at just over 250 grams per shoe

What We Don't Like

  • Some users may find the insulation to be too warm for mild winter days
  • Some users may prefer a different closure system, such as a Boa dial

Professional Cyclists Who Use This Shoe:

Mavic Cosmic Pro Thermo Road Shoes, are the perfect combination of warmth, comfort, and performance.

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