Saturday, April 25, 2015

Shoulders and Toes: Specialized Defrosters


These boots have changed my life.

I know that sounds dramatic, but, honestly, I can’t think of another piece of cycling gear that has so profoundly improved my cycling experience. I wore them last autumn and now this spring, and on every single ride I look down at my Defrosters and think, Damn! I love these boots! how did I ever live without them?


It all comes down to shoulders and toes. Here in central Alberta, we have short summers, long winters, and shaggy shoulder seasons that present challenges for the road cyclist. Road riding is certainly possible during the stretches from mid-March to early May, and then from mid-September to late November, but you’re going to face some cold-ass conditions if you want to ride the shoulders —especially if, like me, you like to ride in the early morning.

Keeping my toes warm has always been an issue for me. I must suffer from some kind of circulatory retardation. I can layer up the rest of my body, but with feet, the options are more limited. In olden times, I just wore wool socks, pathetic, flappy shoe covers and, more often than seems manly, I stuffed chemical warmers in my shoes. And still, my feet were almost always cold on shoulder-season rides. So cold that—I’ll admit it—I once seriously considered stopping, removing my shoes, and peeing on my frozen feet to warm them up, if only for a few precious minutes.

Now, I put on my Defrosters and just ride, without having to even think about my toes, about frostbite, gangrene, or toe transplants. The boots quietly work their dark, thermal magic; I don't want to know how it works. It just does.

Defrosters aren’t cheap. But they are serious boots. Your toes are worth it. If you ride shoulder seasons in a place with a cold climate, then Defrosters are de bomb.

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