Published on January 30th, 2013 | by Greg0
Cold Weather Cycling: Louis Garneau 0 Ergo Grip Shoes
The cold snap has hit Manhattan hard- and it’s turned more into a real winter than a brief spot of weather that drives us indoors. It’s been a good couple of weeks to sit by the fireplace, relaxing after CES and before this week’s NY International Gift Fair hits. But there’s no rest for the wicked writers here, who were sent out to bike around the city despite (and to some extent because of) the cold spell.
See, today’s piece of gear isn’t just another pair of cycling shoes. These are the Louis Garneau 0 Ergo Grip shoes, rated to be warm in even zero-degree temperatures, though we should note that is in Celsius and not Fahrenheit. As with most decent biking shoes, they offer an SPD-compatible cleat opening, and some studs for stopping and gripping (they’ll come in handy, despite the fact we could have used a bit more traction). We’ve heard great things about the Canadian company, which has been around for 25 years, and takes the name of it’s cyclist founder. But we haven’t had the chance to check out their products before, so this was a chance to put our feet to the pedals and see how they compared to some other cycling shoes that we’ve tried (that aren’t nearly as adequate for cold weather use).
Our first impression was: tight. As in, small. These seem to be built about a full size below normal, at least if you want to wear winter-appropriate socks. We switched to a lightweight sock and managed to fit in, but we definitely recommend looking a half to a full size above your typical choice. The shoes slides on and feels fairly normal inside- no comfy inner- but offers a nice and well-sealed neoprene outer layer. There doesn’t initially seem to be much weather-proofing, other than good seams and the neoprene insulation to hold back the wind, but you’ll quickly find the difference when outdoors. They aren’t that breathable, and we wouldn’t call them waterproof, but they do a good job of keeping your toes warm even in extremely cold weather. It was dipped and dived around 32 degrees here, which test the limits of most any boot, and these were satisfying if not toasty during a couple of miles while riding about.
Plus, they look great, and hold up well to dirt, thanks to the easy-to-clean outer. The sole is nicely stiff and feels good while pedaling. There is reflective piping too, for visibility, and a nifty quick tie and release system on the inner laces. Definite points for style! On the other hand, they are fairly pricey- expect to spend around $160, available in stores and online.