Although the selection is limited, there are several manufacturers that produce winter specific cycling shoes designed specifically for women, especially for riding in cold, wet weather. The advantages to wearing winter cycling shoes over trying to winterize traditional cycling shoes include the following:
- Traditional cycling shoes are designed to wick moisture and breath. That means they are not waterproof, and in fact, encourage air flow and moisture to pass through the shoe. Adding waterproof shoe covers, and winter cycling socks help; but are not as effective in keeping feet warm and dry as a shoe that is made from a waterproof breathable fabric.
- Cycling shoes are designed to fit the foot like a glove so that maximum power can be applied to the peddle during pedal rotation. When thick winter socks are worn in traditional cycling shoes, it affects the fit of the shoe, and the power of the force that is applied to the pedal. The insoles of winter cycling shoes are designed to keep feet warm and fit your foot like a glove so that there is not loos of power during the pedal rotation.
The only winter cycling shoe that is designed specifically for a women's foot is the Lake I/O 140-W WInter Road Cycling Shoe MSRP $189.00. If you don't ride enough in cold wet weather to warrant buying a pair of shoes just for winter riding, click here for more options.
The female foot is not just a scaled down version of the male foot. In general, a womens foot has a higher arch, narrower heel and a shallower first toe. The ball of a womens foot has a smaller circumference than a males. The circumference on the instep of a womens foot is also smaller. Both the ankle length, and the instep length are shorter than their male counterparts.
The anatomical differences in the male and female foot should be taken into consideration when purchasing cycling shoes. Women should look for shoes designed specifically to fit the anatomy of the female foot.