Cold feet and hands can turn a pleasant ride into a miserable one, and we can all recognise the feeling of cold water seeping through your socks and sitting against your skin. My feet feel cold just typing this!
Overshoes are one way of limiting the likelihood of the curse of numb toes.
Overshoes are often exposed to muck and grime, and they’ll be touching the floor every time you put a foot down – so they need to be hard wearing.
Here’s a roundabout of some of the best:
Castelli Diluvio 16 Overshoes £31.50 (RRP £35)
Made of 3mm neoprene, these protect against rain and cold, locking warmth in and keeping out the wet. All the seams are thermosealed, and stretchy fabric means these will hug your ankle and reduce the risk of water dripping down the cuff to almost zero. I own a pair of these and have returned from many a wet ride with jersey, gloves, and overshoes soaked – but still to find my shoes were relatively dry.
As well as an open space for cleats there is also a gap for your heel so that fabric should not be worn away from occasional walking. However, my only criticism of these is that I do now have a hole forming on the toe where the overshoes have met the ground at traffic lights and so on.
These do the job of keeping you warm and dry, but they aren’t the most resilient, or the cheapest, a conclusion that a Road.CC reviewer also arrived at.
dhb Neoprene Nylon Overshoe £19.99
These own brand offerings from Wiggle are one of the best value pairs around, and 147 reviews give these an average mark of 4.5/5. Similar to the Castelli pair, these are made of 3mm of neoprene and taped seams help to build a strong resistance against wind and rain whilst a Velcro top tab closes any gap between ankle and overshoe.
A more robust Kevlar material is used on the underside, to ward against unwanted holes forming from girt and road abrasion, and the back of the overshoe features two reflective stripes for visibility.
Endura FS260-Pro Slick Overshoe – £21.84 (was £22.99)
These overshoes are super stretchy to fit over your shoes, and they are also made to be light weight, so they’re a good option for cool but not freezing days. The high stretch main body fabric is waterproof so you’ll be protected from the rain. A silicone gripper on the ankle and heel will keep these in place and reflective features add to visibility – and of course, if you go for the white version, you shouldn’t be missed!
These got 4/5 based on Evanscycles.com customer reviews, and one roadie from Manchester said: “All in all very pleased and an essential part of my commute kit.”
Louis Garneau Glacier Road Shoe – £79.99 (was £114.99)
I’ll admit this is not actually an overshoe. However, I’ve heard complaints from some cyclists who claim to have tried every overshoe in the store, and still find unwanted water creeping in and numb toes featuring on their rides.
These LG shoes are designed to be completely watertight and use a fibreglass-reinforced outersole and aluminium-coated insole to provide heavy duty insulation. A zip is used to seal the front of the shoe, and a Velcro flap covers this to prevent any drips escaping inside. Of course, should this happen, there is also a thinsulate waterproof lining.
Front and back reflective piping provide visibility, and these are compatible with Shimano, SPD, Time, Look and Speed Play Cleats.
These had an overall rating of 4/5, but reviewers suggested that it’s generally a good idea to buy these one size larger than your normal shoes – we’d recommend you try them on before you buy if you can.
It’s worth noting that with all these overshoe recommendations, it’s a good idea to minimise the amount of time you walk around with them. This should help prolong their life.
Do you have a favourite overshoe?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.