If you're into the kind of winter bikepacking and dark-side-of-the-moon-cold commuting that warrants the protection of Louis Garneau's Klondike Mountain Bike Shoe for Men, then you probably already understand that cycling in these temperatures is only possible when myriad details align. Fair weather cycling is easy, because you may be a little under- or overdressed, but the temperate conditions mean the worst you'll experience is some slight discomfort. But when the temperature falls, the stakes rise dramatically.
The Klondike rises with them, though, as its primary material is a water- and wind-resistant 1680-denier Cordura nylon. While it's not waterproof, it is equal to almost anything shy of riding your bike into a lake, and if you do that in winter, you've got bigger problems to worry about. The neoprene cuff, of course, is waterproof, and it's accompanied by silicone elastic. Battening down the hatches with the zip fly and hook-and-loop closure all but guarantees the elements won't be able to find any weak spots in your winter armor.
While Cordura and neoprene keep the outside out, 400g of 3M's Thinsulate insulation helps keep the inside in. This specifically relates to warmth, though, as the insulation's breathable qualities let moisture vapor escape as your microclimate warms up, and even if the Thinsulate does somehow get damp, it shares wool's ability to maintain warmth in the presence of moisture. The theme of insulation continues to the insole, which is reinforced with three layers of body warmth preservation to block the chill emanating from the frozen road or trail.
Despite the obvious focus on warmth and weather-protection, the Klondike is still a cycling shoe and Louis Garneau is still one of the biggest names in cycling gear. Given those two facts, it's hardly a surprise that the Klondike's Vibram outsole balances winter functionality with pedal compatibility. The BOA IP1 dial is also a saddle-friendly addition that any winter cyclist will recognize from the warm day s of summer, and—though it won't make the seasons change any faster—the Klondike's high-volume EEE last provides space for thick sock layering in order to keep winter's effect on your feet to a minimum. In the event that conditions are approaching winter-lake severity, the Klondike incorporates an attachment ring for anchoring any of LG's separately sold gaiters.