How do pros keep hands and feet warm in winter CX?

Winter arrived yesterday so it’s cold and wet. The mud is coming, would love to know what, if anything, the pros do to keep toes and fingers from cold in both comfort and safety situations. I’m guessing an hour of wet/muddy feet at 33*f could kill you, repeatedly.

A lot of running. And gloves.

The pros have enough suppprt to be only shedding layers directly before the start, and they have a motorhome with a warm shower to go to after.

To be honest, racing in freezing weather, during the race, you’re workin so hard you’re warm anyway. And usually it’s muddy enough for some running, so your feet stay warm.

Make sure you get changed directly after the race, especially getting out of your wet shoes and socks.


I have a couple tips that have worked great for me.

  1. Waterproof socks from places like seal skinz or others

  2. Waterproof gloves made from neoprene or other material

  3. Get extra set of shoes 1 size bigger so it can fit the thicker socks along with a toe warmer

Those are the best ones I have. Not sure if the pros are doing this stuff but I imagine they are.

Waterproof socks

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I don’t know about the pros, but I can’t keep my hands and feet warm. Once my extremities get cold, it’s hard to get them warmed back up so for me, prevention is key. This means keeping water and wind out.

For my hands, a silk glove liner + latex glove solves this. Then put on a full-finger glove. And for freezing weather, I’ll put a neoprene glove over that.

Similar for my feet, except I haven’t found any latex booties so a plastic bag has to suffice for windblock. They can slide around a bit, so it’s nice if you can layer a sock, then the bag, then an outer sock. And if it’s seriously cold, I also have a neoprene bootie. To fit that in the shoe, taking the insole out usually does it.

When riding, avoid tensing limbs up. You gotta stay loose, as if it were warm. Avoid death-gripping the bar. I make sure to wiggle my fingers and toes as much as I can. Swinging an arm around, or smacking it on the bars can help force some blood into the finger tips.

Don’t know about the pros either, but racing I’ve only had issues with cold a couple of times. Once was in wet snow with one corner on the course under a foot of water so feet were submerged once a lap. Other was close to freezing, torrential horizonal rain, both times I think I had early stages of hypothermia, not nice. But in normal…ish, even around freezing conditions, race intensity usually keeps me warm enough.

Training rides are another matter because obviously you’re not going full gas the whole ride. Thin plus thick socks, sometimes toe / shoe covers, double gloves and layers. I still get cold extremities though.

We have a dozen threads on this but none regarding battling hypothermia in the wet.