I used to have a pair of winter bike shoes, they were never all that warm, I was disappointed and very expensive for the two or three months I'd be using them, and I gave them away. Even worse, bike shoe covers are all too small (my feet are Euro size 46 or US size 12) and they all have that ridiculous rear closure. So you have to put on your shoes, then pull on undersized neoprene shoe covers, and then fasten them in the back. Why can't someone make a shoe cover that one can leave on the shoe, and make them warm enough to really matter? I really enjoy riding in the winter, except for this.
Does it need to be clipless shoes? Because for flat pedals I've honestly just been using my general winter boots and felt alright so far (for MTB/fat biking, I'm not a road rider). I've heard some people swear by putting a plastic grocery bag over their sock before going into the shoes, but I've not found a need myself to try it. Plus it sounds like it would just accumulate the foot sweat and make tons of crinkling noise the whole time. I've also heard it suggested that if you normally use aluminum pedals to switch to composites for the season as the metal can just be a heat sink for your foot (same thing for handlebars and hands, carbon bars won't suck as much heat as alu).
If you do really want clipless I'm not sure you'll get around the expensive part easily. Not sure what you had before but the 45NRTH boots are supposed to be highly rated.
Thank you for your reply. I did find some winter bike shoes from Mavic (I didn't know they had a clothing line) less clunky and less expensive than the REI offerings such as a the 45NRTH. Ultimately i had in mind was something like a "pogie" for your feet, I use hand pogies on both my road bike and my mountain bike, and find they make all the difference. I've tried a couple of the shoe covers on the market, and think they're a poor design, very hard to get on and second they don't help with the cold all that much. For me, I think I need to clip in, especially on the road bike. Thank you.
Why are bike shoes all so small anyway? I've tried on US sized 13 bike shoes in several different brands and found them to be way too small, too narrow and I wear a size 12 in most other kinds of shoes.