Oversocks seem to be everywhere at the moment and these Cover Sock ones from dhb are a decent option, providing a little extra warmth and adding protection for your shoes.
The dhb oversocks are made from polypropylene (65%) with nylon (31%) and elastane (4%) making up the remainder. Polypropylene doesn't absorb water and it dries super-fast, so even if these get wet with road spray, the air blowing over them as you ride means they're soon back to normal.
The Northwave Blade 2 overshoes, or Shoecover as Northwave like to call them, fall into the neoprene camp for overshoes. If you haven't come across this style of overshoe before it is basically like a wetsuit, water will eventually get through but the material should trap warmth and keep your tootsies toasty.
'Pioggia' is the Italian word for 'rain' and that tells you what these overshoes are all about. They're made from a polyurethane-coated fabric that won't let water through. And when I say that it won't let water through, it really won't. I scrunched one of these up and left a pool or tap water in the fabric and it was still there a day later. Of course, that's not real-world testing but, believe me, water doesn't soak through here.
These Galibier Shoe Shields are handy for keeping your toes warm on days when it's not quite cold enough for full overshoes, and also for adding a little extra insulation underneath overshoes on really cold days.
Cover socks offer a great medium during Spring/Autumn, when you want something to insulate those aerated shoes but overshoes a step too far. Craft's offering employs a varied stitching density - similar to performance socks. Does it create the cover sock of cover socks?
Overshoes come in two varieties: neoprene like a wet suit, good for an insulating layer but not waterproof and once wet, they tend to get colder and colder; and waterproof ones like the Craft Rain Bootie, which like a dry suit, hold the water off (there is of course TT overshoes too but let's just talk weather comforts). Craft say their Rain Bootie is 100% waterproof and they certainly kept my feet dry although I'm not sure that it's the ultimate "shoe poncho" as Craft also claim.
These Diluvio overshoes from Castelli cost a bit more than most but they're warm and well made.
Like many others, they're 3mm neoprene which is thick enough for plenty of insulation. Just as important for keeping your feet warm, that neoprene extends well over the sides and round to the soles. You get a hole for your cleat, of course, and another at the heel for grip when walking to and from your bike, but that little bit of extra coverage compared to a completely open-soled overshoe makes a big difference.
Endura gear has been around for almost 20 years, catering for roadies, commuters and the off-road crowd. Judging by the number of people in my local club that wear Endura kit – especially shorts and tights - it's jolly good stuff. Endura have now raised their own bar to produce the distinct Equipe range of high-performance garments, specifically aimed at performance road cyclists.
Rapha’s Oversocks are just one of the options in the off-season battle for warm feet. Others include waterproof socks inside your normal riding shoes (like Sealskinz), windproof and water resistant overshoes, and standalone winter boots. These options all work, and it’s really a question of personal preference and finances as to which you go for. But to a greater or lesser degree, the non-oversock options add bulk and weight, and so better suit training rides or the very coldest conditions.
Most overshoes are much of a muchness but the Nanos from Castelli have a few features that set them apart from the crowd, and not just their Ann Summers looks.