Last summer I did a solo ride up and over the Nebo Loop here in Utah. This is a very scenic ride with ~5000 feet of climbing and 75 miles without much access to water or other support facilities. I have done this ride many times before but on this occasion I broke a spoke while ascending and I never want to do a high-speed descent with a wobbly wheel.
Something that all cyclists will eventually experience…
Sooner or later, if you ride long enough, you will break down in an area without cell phone coverage, access to necessary tools, or a ride home from a compassionate motorist. If you have ever tried walking home in your road shoes you will know how utterly useless they are off the bike. So you try walking for help in your stocking feet or even worse — barefoot. You then quickly learn how ill-adapted you are at walking on hot asphalt strewn with small stones. Even walking 1/2 mile this way will cause painful blistering. I know this from sad experience gained several years ago.
This time I was prepared. I used to carry aqua-socks with me when I would do solo rides in these situations but they were too bulky and uncomfortable when stuck in a jersey pocket. I now carry a pair of DIY walk-out socks for this purpose.
This post provides basic instructions on how to make walk-out socks from an old pair of cycling socks, constructive adhesive (AKA Liquid Nails®), and hot glue.
The walk-out socks are built on a “last” made from the insert from your cycling shoe and a Coke can.
Use a Sharpie® to outline fold lines to be masked off using hot glue. Use hot glue along the folds because it remains durable and flexible when set into the sock fibers. The hot glue also resists penetration by the construction adhesive which becomes rigid when dry. Construction adhesive is applied to the contact areas of the sole of the foot after inserting the shoe liner into the sock.
After you make a pair of these I suggest you take a walk in them. If you discover your feet sliding out the rear then you should provide additional stiffness in the heel of your socks to prevent this from happening. See image below for details.
IMPORTANT: When you actually need to use these socks for walking you should re-insert the inserts from your cycling shoes back into these socks for extra comfort.