Posted in Cycle

Why do I need overshoes?

Overshoes come in all sorts of varieties for all sorts of conditions and purposes.

In the summer, you can use overshoes to gain an aerodynamic advantage in a time trial. In spring or autumn, they can protect your feet from spray on wet roads. Then in the winter, a nice thermal pair will keep your feet warm and protected from wind chill. 

Getting the right overshoes for the job is important. For example, a sleek aero overshoe will provide far less protection from the cold than a thick neoprene winter boot.

Which ones will fit my cycling shoes best?

Most overshoes are designed to be worn with road-specific shoes. They are designed to wrap around the smooth sole for a streamlined profile. 

Mountain bike overshoes are designed to fit over studs and treads, so they normally have a larger opening.   

Some overshoes have a strap underneath that is opened and closed with a hook-and-loop fastening, such as the GripGrab Hi Vis RaceThermo Overshoes. This allows them to be used with both mountain bike and road bike shoes.

How do I know which size to buy?

Overshoe sizes normally correlate to your shoe size, but you should always refer to the manufacturer’s size guide. A close-fit minimizes drafts getting in and will be nice and secure as you pedal. 

If you are between sizes, it’s normally a good idea to go for the larger size. Remember, if they're not right you can return them for a different size. 

Which style is best for you?

Toe covers

Toe covers like the GripGrab Easy On Toe Covers are designed to keep your furthest extremity, your toes, at a comfortable temperature. 

They’re normally made of neoprene and can just slip on over the toes of road shoes. Toe covers provide good protection from spray and windchill.  

They're perfect for when you don't want to be wearing full overshoes, although if it’s really cold you can pop a full pair of overshoes over the top.

Oversocks

Oversocks are stretchy fabric covers which pull over the whole shoe and end at ankle height. 

Oversocks are not waterproof or windproof; but they provide an extra layer of insulation for those autumn and springtime 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 dirt off your shoes! Try the DeFeet Slipstream Neon Overshoes for a splash of hi-viz colour.

Overshoes for bad weather

There's a huge variety of overshoes to cover all the different degrees of 'bad weather.' Get it right and numb toes become a thing of the past. 

For when it might rain

Water-proof overshoes, and particularly neoprene ones, can be too warm for autumn and spring. You'll wish you had some if the heavens open though.

The dhb Equinox Windproof Overshoe was created with the transitional seasons in mind, when the weather can be unpredicatable but you don't quite need full winter protection. The waterproof and windproof fabric has enough stretch to make it easy to pull them on and there's a robust hyperlon sole for durability. 

For maximum visibility

When you're cycling, your feet moving up and down on the pedals can really get you noticed by other road users if they're clad in bright, reflective colours. The dhb Flashlight Overshoe is a great choice, whether you're training in the evenings or commuting through the darker days. The fluro-yellow is backed up with geometric, retro-reflective decals which are unmissable when they're lit up by headlights.

For the worst weather

Neoprene is waterproof and windproof, as well as being a highly effective insulating material.  These qualities make it perfect for protecting the feet from wind chill and road spray. 

Neoprene overshoes can be coated in a PU material, which gives them a shiny surface so that they are even more effective at repelling rain and dirt. Some neoprene overshoes are even lined with synthetic fleece to provide further insulation.  

The only disadvantage of neoprene is that it is not that breathable so your feet may become a little damp with perspiration if you wear it in anything but cold conditions.

Try the dhb Extreme Weather Neoprene Overshoe, made from 3.5mm neoprene with a tough TPU skin to keep the rain out. Even the holes in the bottom are optimised to minimise road spray getting in from the ground.

Overshoes to make you faster

Whether you’re a dedicated time-trialer or you’re just out to get that PB, you can find some easy performance gains by ensuring that your kit is as streamlined as possible.  

When you cycle, your rotating feet account for a significant proportion of aerodynamic drag. The straps and dials on your cycling shoes make matters worse so covering them up with aero overshoes can make a big difference. 

The dhb Aeron Speed Overshoe is perfect for early in the season when you're working on your speed and you no longer need the warmth of a full-winter overshoe. The durable textured fabric reduces drag and there's even reflective details for early morning or evening training sessions.

About the author

Nassrin Chamanian
Published on: 11 Dec 2018

Interests include riding my bike, talking about my bike, watching bike racing...