Riding between October and March can be fraught with difficult, agonizing wardrobe decisions. Overdress, and you're a clammy mess after 30 minutes; underdress, and you'll never recover from your first chill. When it comes to feet, though, we typically err on the side of over-doing it, so items like the Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell Shoe Covers handle the bulk of our riding duties when the temperatures drop into the 40s and below. Keeping feet from freezing is just too important on cold rides. The Elite Softshell booties combine wind- and water-resistance with a reasonable amount of breathability and a healthy dose of insulation. They're by no means a Belgian bootie, but--frankly--if a thick-ish sock over the outside of our shoes is enough for the day's temperatures, then we'd just as soon double sock or pull on some woolies under our shoes. The Elite Softshell booties are for days when that option would result in a sodden mess of road spray-soaked merino or a chilly numbness that necessitates pulling over and calling for an emergency extraction.
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