Along with gloves and base layers, overshoes are unsung heroes of autumn and winter cycling. Cold and wet feet will take all the fun out of a ride, but you can fight back thanks to modern fabrics that keep out wind and rain. As well as keeping your toes toasty, overshoes will help protect your cycling shoes from salt and grime thrown up from the road. We’ve found an amazing selection – from totally waterproof versions aimed at professional riders to eye-catching high-viz ones that will help to keep you seen and safe. You can make your shoes extra water-resistant by covering up any air vents in the soles of your shoes with duct tape during the winter months.
Sportful Neoprene All Weather Booties: £27.16, alpinetrek.co.uk
These booties are beauties – superbly stitched together and with some thoughtful details such as the handy puller at the heel to help you haul them into place over your boots. There’s a reflective stripe down the that will show up in oncoming headlights, while under the toes is a large protective panel to keep the weather out of any front air vents in your shoes. Fully waterproof and windproof, they will see you through anything the winter throws at you but you’ll find them too toasty for use in milder weather.
SPATZ Pro Overshoes: £79.99, Spatzwear.com
These are the business – calf-length fully waterproof neoprene protectors that will keep your feet dry in conditions Noah would think twice about venturing out in. At twice the price of a pair of decent “ordinary” overshoes you’d expect them to be something special… and they certainly are.
They look a nightmare to pull on, but it’s a cinch once you get your head around it. You ease them on over your socks and leggings before putting on your shoes and stretching the toe and heel sections into place. To finish, you just do up the Velcro sole strap. Former pro rider Tom Barras came up with the idea for them in 2006 but then put the design to one side for 10 years until the technology to create them commercially came along.
Countless prototypes had input from fellow racers, top-level triathletes and even special forces veterans, and they have been tested in the toughest weather the Yorkshire Dales can throw at them. If you’re the sort of rider who has to be out training for hours at a time in all weathers, then these are game-changers.
Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier WxB Road Shoe Cover: £31.99, Cyclestore
Hate zips? Then you’ll love these attention-grabbing covers. A Velcro-style hook and loop closure at the rear lets you open them up really wide to make pulling them over your shoes. The fluorescent-yellow versions should really grab the eyes of drivers as you pedal, but there are black versions for those who prefer to keep a lower profile. They have a rubbery outer coating to keep the rain out, with a fleecy lining to keep the warmth in, and are designed for use at temperatures between 10 and zero degrees.
Prendas Windtex Overshoes: £19.99, Prendas
This pair were the only ones in our tests with a full-length hard rubber sole. It makes them a little fiddlier to fit but once you have eased the cut-out section into place around your cleats it makes for an effective extra barrier against road spray. They’re not waterproof but the Windtex fabric keeps your tootsies lovely and warm on dry but chilly days. At under £20, we think they’re a real steal
Lusso Windtex Stealth Vision Over Boots: £30, Lusso
If you ever find yourself invited into an overshoe fitting contest, then this is the pair to take along. They’re super-stretchy, meaning you can have them on and zipped up within seconds. The combination of yellow and black stripes is great for visibility on the road and they are both windproof and water resistant. There’s a decent zip at the rear with a nice big puller you’ll appreciate on cold days when your fingers are going numb.
Altura Thermostretch 3 Overshoe: £39.99, Evans Cycles
A no-nonsense pair that uses extra-thick neoprene to keep your feet warm and hold light rain at bay while you pedal. They’re nice and stretchy, so very easy to get on, and there are rubberised sections at the heel and toe so you don’t wear them away walking to and from your favourite café stop. A quality zip with a Velcro closure keep them securely in place and there is reflective detailing on the sides to catch car headlights.
Proviz Reflect360 Waterproof Overshoes: £39.99, Proviz Sports
Commuting at dawn or dusk, or out training at night? Then check out these from reflective wear specialists Proviz. The silver/grey fabric contains millions of tiny glass beads which become amazingly bright when caught in headlights or street lights, so even the dopiest drivers should spot you. The black fabric on the insides is really stretchy, making them easy to pull on and off. They’re waterproof, but the fabric is quite thin so they’re not particularly warm and you might need thicker socks in the coldest months.
Gore Wear C5 Windstopper Thermo Overshoes: £59, Wiggle
Some people find it irritating having a zip up the back of their ankles. Gore has tackled that gripe by offsetting it towards the inside. As you would expect at this price they are beautifully stitched together and, at just 85g, are super-light. The front sections are made from a slightly thicker Windstopper material, giving your toes a bit more of a barrier against the cold.
Although not rated waterproof, they will keep your feet dry in showers. They’re not particularly stretchy, so can be a bit fiddly to pull on over larger cleats such as Shimano’s SPD-SL type, but once in place, they’re a really snug fit and look the business, especially the high-viz yellow and black version.
Endura Road II Overshoe: £26.59, Evans Cycles
Full disclosure – I’ve been wearing a pair of these for a couple of winters now and they’re still going strong. I can’t remember ever getting my feet wet while wearing them. They’ve got a really hard wearing Kevlar stitched section underneath in case you need to walk short distances in them, while there’s a Velcro and plastic strap at the top to keep the zip in place while riding.
Being neoprene, they’re nice and flexible so easy to pull on too. I’ve got the plain black, but if you want something a bit jazzier take at peek at the ones with silver and red detailing. At this price, they’re another bargain buy.
Velotoze Short Overshoes: £14.99, Wiggle
This pair folds down into a carrying wallet small enough to stick in a pocket, pannier or a saddle bag so you can have them ready for when the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worst. They did a great job of keeping out the wind and rain but did get a bit sweaty inside on warmer rides. They’re made from a super-clingy latex compound and are actually a lot easier to put on than you would imagine at first glance.
Given they have no extra protection at the heel or toe they could wear through fairly quickly if you walk in them, so maybe hold on to them for emergencies when you want to protect your best shoes. Available in a great range of colours including red, green and pink.
Dhb Extreme Weather Overshoes: £30, Wiggle
If you’re not one to obsess over boutique-brand labels then this no-nonsense pair could be for you. Made from thicker 3.5mm neoprene, they should see you through the wettest and coldest days in comfort. There’s a Kevlar undersole plus protective areas at the heel and toe to limit wear when you’re walking. A quality waterproofed zip at the back is flanked by silver reflective stripes and there’s a Velcro strap at the ankle to stop them opening when you ride. We’ve tried out some great items from dhb over the years, and these are another quality bit of kit at a bargain price.
The Verdict: Best men's cycling overshoes for autumn and winter
The fantastic Spatz are amazingly effective at keeping water out but are aimed at really hardcore riders and won’t suit those of us whose regular runs includes much walking – you’ll end up damaging the neoprene. If you need a tough pair of overshoes you can trot in and out of cafes or shops in, then take a look at our Best Buy – the super-tough Sportfuls – or the Enduras. If you find the whole overshoes thing a bit of a faff then try out the Lussos as they’re really easy to get on and off.
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