Belgian Booties (Sock Overshoes)--Useless or Must Have?
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  1. #1
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    Belgian Booties (Sock Overshoes)--Useless or Must Have?

    Talk to me about Belgian booties (sock overshoes). Are they useless, or an essential piece of riding kit?

    I've got neoprene booties and thinner shoe covers, but not any oversocks. I suspect that their usefulness is limited to chilly (not cold) fall/spring rides, due to the lack of a windproof barrier. And I've heard negative things about durability.

    Belgian booties--yay or nay?

  2. #2
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    Booties help. I'd say they let me ride in 10 degrees colder temps than without them.

    Whenever it gets really cold the booties don't help me because the wind superchills the cleats which makes the bottom front of my foot freeze. This usually happens in the single digits (F) or lower. I suppose if I kept under 20mph it wouldn't be so bad but then where's the fun in that? I realize there are people that ride in minus temps, but I'm seriously doubting they're putting in 2-3 hour rides.

    My solution is not to ride when it's below 15 degrees and go running instead. FWIW I hate trainers and gave mine away a few years ago.
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  3. #3
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    As you've hinted, it's a temperature thing.
    The problem with neoprene boots is that you sweat underneath them, so it has to be cold to justify using them. They also eventually get wet when it rains, and you end up with big heavy feet.

    Oversocks, which don't have to be purpose made, Castelli branded things, fill the gap between neoprene and nothing; they keep the majority of grit off your shoes, they dry out quick after a shower and they are cheap. I use any old pair of socks that have worn through at the heel or are getting a bit too worn. You can even use two pairs.

  4. #4
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    I have neoprene booties. And Belgian booties.

    Neoprene booties - winter riding or cool, heavy rain. They keep my feet warm in the winter and relatively dry in heavy rain. The problem is that on long rides, or high intensity rides, my feet get damn from the inside out. I'll wear wool socks with them, of varying weight depending on the temperature.

    Belgian booties. I like mine a lot. They are just thin fabric ones. They are nice in a few situations - after it has rained and I don't feel like getting my shoes blasted with grit for two hours, in cool fall/spring weather, and even colder temps, with heavy socks. They are also easier to get on than my neoprene booties. I got mine for $15 or $20 and they were a good investment and something good to have. Mine are starting to get beat up around the cleat openings, but hey, a lot of use for 1-2 years...I think it is just one thing that is going to wear out like tires and chains. If they were too heavy they'd be too heavy.

    I think they are useful to have if you plan on riding year round and don't like in a very warm place.

  5. #5
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    Here in our part of the country, you buy your shoes for the summer heat and then layer up when it gets colder.

    It's not really getting colder yet, but $15-20 bucks and a bit more foot and ankle coverage is a good thing.

  6. #6
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    perfect for those 45 - 55 degree days. I have always had cold feet and "Belgian Booties" are my 1st choice for cool weather rides and rides when the road is wet. They don't keep your feet drier but they do keep your shoes clean. Defeet is my choice and they will last for a couple of years.

  7. #7
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    If you have thin toe warmers, you can use them in even lower temps. I have 2 pairs and find them useful for 45-55 degree days. With the toe warmers underneath them I can use them down to about 38 degrees.

  8. #8
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    You guys are doing an excellent job of making me part with money. More comments are always welcome.

  9. #9
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    I tend not to go for long rides in sub-freezing weather (just commuting 4 miles each way) but here's what I do:

    50's: plastic bag over the toes (only) inside the shoes, regular socks.
    40's: plastic bag over toes, smartwool socks
    30's: Neoprene shoe covers, regular socks
    20's: Neoprene shoe covers, smartwool socks

    Something like that anyway.

    Asad

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