By Scott Packard
on 8.23.12
Photo by 45NRTH

The idealism of commuting by bike meets reality in the upper latitudes, where induced wind chill can quickly turn digits into frostbitten pink popsicles. 45Nrth, denizens of the great white north (Minnesota), enshroud your feet in veritable toasters with their Wolvhammer Cycling Boots ($325), allowing you to hammer winter rides like a Minneapolis metal band. The company was influenced by a background in mountaineering sports, and with an insulated bootie and a waterproof, breathable outer, the shoes are essential gear for any ride where there’s snow or ice in the forecast. They come SPD-compatible, with Aerogel (the super lightweight stuff NASA uses to insulate against the cold of deep space) in the midsole—perhaps to offset the 27.5 ounce heft per shoe. Clad in these and a pair of gaiters, your dogs will even be ready for Iditabike, the cycling version of Iditarod. Just make sure you take similar steps to protect your other tender bits.

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