Louis Garneau 0-Degree LS-100 Winter Shoe
The blanket of winter has covered the northeast, and as cyclists we need to come up with ways to keep riding in all conditions whether it is on road or off. For road riding I have a number of shoe covers to keep the digits warm and toasty even in the harshest conditions. However, for mountain biking, slapping on shoe covers is a bit impractical.
Enter the LG 0-Degree LS-100 mountain biking shoe. With the temps dipping into the upper 30s this past weekend, it was the perfect time to finally take these shoes out for a ride.
LG has done a great job in designing the shoes to handle the cold off road conditions. It begins with the BOA lacing system that snugs everything together:
The BOA system is especially handy when you have big bulky winter gloves on and need to do a quick adjustment. Like all BOA equipped shoes, this performs nicely and keeps your feet in place, evenly distributing the tension.
Once your foot is firmly in place, LG adds a thick water proof zip lining to keep the warmth in and the cold and precipitation out. This also acts to secure the foot even further. The nice thing is that you don’t need to fuss with this to still be able to adjust the tension with the BOA.
To fully ensure that your foot is well protected against the elements, LG finally adds an insulated Velcro flap to cover up the whole front of the shoe. Just pull the flap back and easily access the BOA system
The sole of the shoe is the Carbon T-Flex Power Blade, effectively giving you the stiff benefits of carbon, but with the controlled flex and comfort of a nylon matrix. The shoe accepts standard 2 bolt cleats and you can also add front toe spikes.
This intentional flex amounts to a degree of give under load. The amount is so negligible when the load is high, but you will definitely feel the benefit of the give on your feet after several hours in the saddle.
From LG’s website:
All the features of the 0° LS-100 shoe contribute to making it the perfect shoe for the hardcore mountain biker and the cyclist that won't stop riding because of some bad weather. To keep your feet warm and dry, the shoe has an insulated inner sole, fully seam-sealed water-resistant 3 mm neoprene, a lined interior and a base of 4 mm foam insulation and waterproof membrane coated lining. For comfort and fit, the shoe is equipped with the BOA L4 attach system that is easy to attach, distributes pressure and ultralight, and is covered with a double flap with velcro for full protection. Finally, for performance, the Dual Density crampons offer rigidity and traction and allow better mud evacuation, and thermoplastic toe cover provides protection.
OFF ROAD TESTING
So, how did the shoes perform out on the trail? Getting the shoes on and tightened up was a breeze with the BOA system. I did notice a bit of snagging with the zipper but you just have to be careful when pulling this up. The Velcro cover tightens up around your ankle nicely for some additional support.
The shoes performed fantastically in keeping my feet warm. 2 hours out on the bike and my feet were still comfortable with just wearing my normal riding socks. The toe box is roomy enough that when the temps really dip, you can definitely slap on a pair of thick wool socks and push them even further.
There are a couple of items to note. When ordering them, make sure you go one size up. Per LG’s fit guide, I am a 47 (13), as I am with all of my shoes. I found the 47 to be much too tight and the 48s fit perfectly.
The other issue I ran into was when I initially tried to clip into my egg beaters. The tread on the shoe around the cleat gets in the way of being able to clip into Egg Beaters (several Giro Mountain Bike Shoes have the same clearance issues). After spending about 10 minutes with a Leatherman knife, I was able to cut enough of the surrounding tread off and clipping in was smooth and easy. Hopefully this is something that LG can remedy in the future.
0-DEGREE LS-100 VERDICT
I highly recommend these to anyone looking to keep riding through the winter. LG has done a great job hitting all of the key needs for a solid winter shoe. These are warm, comfortable shoes that you could easily wear from the low 40’s to the teens with some heavier socks.
For those roadies looking for a winter shoe who don't mind swapping in some SPD cleats, I would also give these shoes a look as the cold weather performance is equally impressive on the road as off the road.
Priced at $199, these are also much more cost effective than some of the other shoes out there and deliver everything you need.
If you want to extend your ability to ride comfortably year round you owe it to yourself to give these a shot.