Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Cure For Frosty Toes When Snowshoeing

I admit it: I love a good snowstorm. Watching the snow float down and blanket everything with quiet gives me a lot of peace. And heading out into the snow for a run or a few hours of snowshoeing makes me feel like I'm a five-year-old kid again, running outside to play.

Here in Fort Collins, a lot of snow accumulated overnight. Local schools even closed for the first time in two years!

So it was the perfect day to spend my lunch hour on a quick snowshoe run. Or rather, a slow snowshoe slog, because I was breaking trail the whole way! But it was beautiful, and such a pleasure to have the trails all to myself.
The prairie dogs weren't even out today.

I thought I'd write this post because over lunch, I got to try out a wonderful piece of equipment that could potentially help many snowshoe runners out there: Pearl Izumi ELITE Barrier MTB shoe covers. I bought them over the summer, but it hasn't snowed much here this year so today was my first run in them, and they're awesome! I'm considering running the 2016 Peak Snowshoe Marathon this coming March, but I remember how completely frozen my toes were after just 13 miles when I ran the half marathon in 2013, so I've been on the lookout for something that would be breathable, but could help me keep my feet warm while snowshoeing. The PI covers are perfect!

They look like this...
I know, totally sexy, right?!

...and for sizing reference, a medium was really snug -- but a perfect fit -- over my Pearl Izumi size 8.5 Trail M2s. If your shoes are any bigger than mine, definitely size up.

I put on my socks, shoes, & running tights, then the shoe covers (they close with strong velcro at the back of your heel), then put on knee-high gaiters. My feet were toasty the whole way, and though I was only out for about an hour, I can tell already that they'll be wonderful for multi-hour snowshoe treks like the Peak race in Vermont. When I got home, my socks were a little damp like they would usually be after a run, but not soaked through and frozen as they always used to be when I'd go for long snowshoe runs.

The shoe covers aren't designed for snowshoeing, but they worked great. Enjoy, and see you on the trail!
Happy runner with warm toes.

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