Why are overshoes important?
Overshoes have a variety of uses which makes them an indispensable product; in the summer you may use overshoes to gain an aerodynamic advantage in a time trial, in spring/autumn you may use them to protect from spray on wet roads, and in the winter you may use them to keep your feet warm and protected from wind chill.
Despite all these benefits being delivered by overshoes, an overshoe can take many different forms, cuts and can be made of many different materials. Therefore getting one that matches your desired purpose is key; for example a sleek, thin Lycra aero overshoe will provide far less protection from the cold than a thick neoprene winter boot.
Compatibility with cycling footwear
The majority of overshoes are designed to be worn with road specific shoes; these shoes have a smooth sole except for a heel pad and the cleat, therefore the overshoes can wrap around the sole allowing a close fitting profile. However, you can also buy overshoes that are suitable for mountain bike shoes as well; mountain bike shoes have lugs and studs on the sole, so these overshoes have a larger opening on the base to allow the tread to protrude. These kind of overshoes are also useful for commuting, where you may have to walk longer distances in your shoes, as they avoid you scuffing the fabric underneath the shoe when you walk.
If you are looking for overshoes that are suitable for mountain bike shoes as well as road cycling shoes, then consider those that have a Velcro fastening under the sole rather than just two openings at cleat and heel. The Velcro fastening is less likely to interfere with the tread on mountain biking and commuting shoes.
Wiggle recommends: The Altura Attack Overshoes are specifically designed for mountain biking and their high stretch neoprene gives them an adaptive fit and excellent weather protection.
Size and fit
Overshoe sizes correlate to your shoe size. You want your overshoes to be as close fitting as possible so that they don't flap, fold or irritate in any way whilst they are being worn.
The best way to identify the correct size for you is to look at the individual size chart of the product you are considering. Some brands group their overshoe sizing by EU sizes e.g. 44-46, whilst others use a named sizing convention such as Medium or Large, with an adjoining size chart to show how this relates to shoe size. If you are between sizes, then go for the larger size to ensure the cover is large enough for your shoe.
If you want some reassurance on the sizing of the overshoes you are considering, take a look at the product reviews from other customers that have used and tested the product. Remember, if the product arrives and it's not quite right then for both UK and international customers you can return it to us within 365 days, as long as it's unused and supplied with its original packaging. Visit our Help Page for more information on returns.
Note: You do not need to size up your overshoes because they are on the outer side of your shoe, a 45 overshoe will fit a 45 shoe for example.
What types of overshoes are available?
Toe cover overshoes
These are more "over-toes" than overshoes, but their purpose is similar; they are designed to keep your furthest extremity, your toes, at a comfortable temperature. Normally made of neoprene, they slip on over the toes of road specific cycling shoes (they will not fit on mountain bike shoes because of the studs),they are then held in place by the cleat on the sole of the shoe. Toe covers provide good protection from spray and windchill, and are a great product to use when you don't want to be wearing full overshoes. They can also be worn underneath standard overshoes to provide even more warmth.
Wiggle recommends: The dhb Toe Cover Overshoe has a 3mm Stretch Neoprene toe cover and removes the chill factor on dry, cooler Spring/Autumn rides.
The next step up from toe covers is over socks; these are stretchy fabric covers that pull over the whole shoe and end at ankle height. They are not waterproof or windproof, but they provide an extra layer of insulation for those autumn and spring rides. They are also a great way of keeping your shiny white cycling shoes clean; just throw these in the washing machine with your kit at the end of a ride, it's far easier than scrubbing off your shoes.
Wiggle recommends: The dhb Aeron Oversocks is lightweight and quick drying to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Neoprene overshoes provide high level protection from the wet and cold. Neoprene is the same fabric used in wetsuits and drysuits; it is waterproof and windproof, as well as being a highly effective insulating material. These properties make it ideal for overshoes, where it shields your feet from road spray, wind chill and mud.
Neoprene overshoes can be coated in a PU material, which gives it a shiny surface, making it even more water and wind resistant. Some neoprene overshoes are even lined with synthetic fleece materials as well, providing further insulation. The only downside to neoprene is that it is not highly breathable, which means your feet may become a little damp with perspiration if you wear these in anything but cold conditions.
Wiggle recommends: The dhb Neoprene Nylon Overshoe has a 3mm stretch Neoprene, taped-seam overshoe that will protect your feet from the cold and wet of winter!
There are some "specialist" overshoes that are anomalies, in that they do not fit into one of the above categories. These include overshoes made with fabrics such as Gore-Tex and textured rubber synthetics, with thermal linings. These state of the art overshoes can provide as much warmth as some heavy duty neoprene overshoes, but they are significantly more breathable; providing superb cold weather protection and comfort.
Wiggle recommends: The BBB HeavyDuty Overshoes are extremely tough and will keep your foot insulated and your shoes protected from adverse weather.
Neoprene overshoes shown above are waterproof, however sometimes you don't want the warmth of neoprene, rather you just want protection from wet roads and trails in the autumn and spring. For this purpose, you can find dedicated waterproof overshoes made of materials such as PU coated Lycra; these lighter weight materials will protect from wind and water, but will allow your feet to stay cooler than they would inside neoprene overshoes.
Wiggle recommends: The GripGrab RaceAqua White Overshoes are lightweight, waterproof and aerodynamic!
The final overshoe category to consider is the Aero Overshoe. When you are cycling, your rotating feet represent a significant portion of the air resistance that you have to work against. Cycling shoes typically have numerous buckles and straps, and these interrupt the air flow over your feet; covering these up with overshoes is therefore a simple way to make yourself more streamlined.
Aero overshoes are not designed to be warm or waterproof, their primary function is to reduce drag; they are therefore normally made of thin materials such as Lycra, which will stretch tightly over the shoes and provide the smoothest possible surface for the air to flow over.
Wiggle recommends: The Castelli Nano Shoecover is aero for time trials and windproof and waterproof!