Sugoi Zap Shoe Covers  £55.00

8/10

Superb option for wet weather training rides or racing where comfort is key

Weight 116g   Contact  www.cyclingsportsgroup.co.uk

by John Whittington   February 1, 2014  

Sugoi Zap shoe covers strike a good balance between insulation and aerodynamics, with reflective material for aided visibility in poor weather.

Shoe covers seem simple on paper but the wealth of different options and manufacturers' attempts quickly make you realise that this is not the case. Sugoi Zap shoe covers fall into the high performance segment, for those that want a their feet to stay dry on long training rides and look good while doing it.

They are constructed from a polyester/Lycra material that provides a good deal of stretch - similar to what you might expect from a time trial shoe cover - and will actually hold around the shoe well even before closing the zip. Said zip is kindly positioned to the right of the Achilles tendon, zipping from the ankle up, creating a tight seal that stops water ingress down the leg.

Clearly the designers at Sugoi have experienced some of the overshoes that I have, with inflexible material throughout restricting movement. At the back - where there is most movement - their solution is a more flexible nylon material. Wwith the off-centre zip it helps prevent and irritation after prolonged use.

In terms of water proofing, I found the Zaps were up to scratch. The material is thin and barely permeable - a bit like a dry suit. The only way your feet will get wet is through vents and cleat holes in the base. As the material is more like a dry suit than a wet suit, there isn't much insulation but because they are wind proof, wind chill is less of a factor. I used them down to around 5°C.

Another benefit of the Zap overshoes is that they are highly reflective. Making your feet glow is an ideal way to improve visibility to other road users because they are moving at 90rpm. For a piece of kit that is generally used in poor light I think it's a really good move.

All these features don't come cheap. Priced at the top end of overshoes, Sugoi ask for £55. Like most items, they can be found for less, with the going price around £40. Still a hefty chunk of money when you may consider other options before riding in the conditions these will thrive! However, they are priced similarly to other race-orientated overshoes such as Castelli's, and if you find your self riding in wet gloomy weather, they'll be worth every pound.

Verdict

The Sugoi Zap shoe covers are a superb option for wet weather training rides or racing, were comfort is key. Reflective material through the upper body of the foot will help visibility in these gloomy rides. If you find yourself out in the rain a lot, with wet feet, they will prove a worthy addition to your wardrobe.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Sugoi Zap Shoe Cover

Size tested: Large, Silver

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Designed to provide a water resistant cover for racers and those training. Given the price, I don't think they're aimed at commuters but given the visibility and weather proofing they'd do a fine job.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Off-centre zip.

Elastane material offering stretch, tight fit.

Highly Reflective.

Soft nylon along Achilles tendon area.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Solid, don't feel like they'll fall apart after a few walks through cafes.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Water proofing is excellent.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Quite expensive at SRP, can be found cheaper.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Great water resistance shoe covers, that kept my feet warm and dry down to around 5°C.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Reflective material really does glow, even in low light.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

High price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes - in a sale.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 25  Height: 184cm  Weight: 68kg

I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 1  My best bike is: Giant TCR Advanced 1

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,

 

8 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

So, the rear of the overshoe, the bit that drivers would take most notice of when it shows up in their headlights, is black.

OK there is a logo to the rear that I hope is reflective but the overshoe appears to be much more reflective from the front and side than the rear which makes it far less useful than it could have been and no more visible than 'normal' overshoes at half the price.

posted by Bagpuss [99 posts]
1st February 2014 - 17:45

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You should have one of those sort of light things on the back if your bike. You know, a red one so people know it's the back of you, making a couple of reflective heels sort of moot. Side on though, I'm sure reflective shoes are helpful - your lights don't point that way - and there seem to have that covered.

posted by Nick T [621 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 0:27

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Nick T wrote:
You should have one of those sort of light things on the back if your bike. You know, a red one so people know it's the back of you, making a couple of reflective heels sort of moot. Side on though, I'm sure reflective shoes are helpful - your lights don't point that way - and there seem to have that covered.

Of course! Why didn't I think of that?

Oh, hang on I did think of that, times 3, and pedal reflectors, you know, like reflective things on pedals, but that's not what I was commenting on or what the review is about. The point of this product, and those like it, is to add to a riders visibility in low light and after dark when other vehicles have their lights on. Maybe you should have thought of that? You know, before you started to type?

Side on if that's all a driver is going to notice then it's probably a little too late. I guess you might suggest something like a lighthouse for that situation? You could mount it on your helmet and supplement it with a fog horn for really bad conditions.

posted by Bagpuss [99 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 7:52

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Good looking cover, price makes it a pretty touch item to choose though

Specialized Allez 2009, Campagnolo Centaur 10, Campagnolo Shamal Wheels. 8.3kg

Miles253's picture

posted by Miles253 [116 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 13:30

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Bagpuss wrote:
The point of this product, and those like it, is to add to a riders visibility in low light and after dark when other vehicles have their lights on.

I was under the impression that the point of this product, and those like it, is to cover your shoes. Between you and me, it's the name what gave it away.

Bagpuss wrote:

Side on if that's all a driver is going to notice then it's probably a little too late. I guess you might suggest something like a lighthouse for that situation?

Side on like when a car is stopped at a junction and checking wether it's safe to pull out yet as you cycle across their path, or did you not try and consider any other possibilities than the ones that suit you before you started to type?

posted by Nick T [621 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 15:09

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Exactly NickT, overshoes. But for these overshoes one of the selling points is to be a more visible overshoe. It would appear to fall short of that aim when viewed from the rear and my original observation was that a cheaper pair would do the same job.

Given that they are reflective, a driver at a junction waiting to pull out won't see them unless they have a light shining on the reflective surface. Between you and me that is how reflective surfaces work. Even cars with smart lights don't go that far around so for the majority of junctions the reflective surfaces make no difference in the situation you describe.

If the sides of overshoes are reflecting light from a vehicle then the vehicle will be roughly side on to the rider. If the vehicle is stopped at the junction then your feet are likely to be below the line of sight of a driver as you pass, reflective clothing at eye level would be far more noticeable. If the vehicle is not stopped at the junction but approaching it then of course they will work but you are likely to have cleared the junction by the time they get there.

To improve your visibility to vehicles at junctions I refer you back to your original suggestion, a 'light thing'. Or more than one. I'd suggest white ones, so drivers know which way you are going.

I don't feel the need to consider anymore, I'm sure that you'll describe a junction near you where these will work perfectly. That's great and I suggest you buy some. I'll stick with some that have something reflective at the back. Bye.

posted by Bagpuss [99 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 16:40

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You've finally grasped that these are Overshoes and not Foot Reflectors, that's great. You're still missing the point in these particular ones though it seems. Are they thin, aero overshoes aimed at cyclists who want to look a bit Europro when out on a club run? Yes. Did Sugoi have a 5am January commute through Croydon in mind when designing them? Probably not. Are there warmer, more flouro, cheaper options available for that market? Yes. Are these just about on trend reflective enough to complete the current Europro look? I'd say so. Does any of that make this a bad product? Not really.

So what are you getting so upset about?

posted by Nick T [621 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 18:03

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For £55 I'd want a decent toe pad that won't wear out. My overshoes generally get thrown out when the toe is completely worn out. It wouldn't take much to add a little rubber toepiece and a pad underneath, but hardly any overshoes include this.

posted by alexb [35 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 12:44

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