Madison's Sportive PU Thermal overshoes are a great option for wet weather riding, with the added thermal benefits providing some much-appreciated insulation at times.
Although described as a mid-weight overshoe by Madison, they don't struggle when the temperature gets down to low single figures.
Featuring a fleece lining that fits snugly to your shoes in tandem with an unvented, taped waterproof top layer, these overshoes are surprisingly warm in all conditions bar freezing or below.
That unvented top, which features seam taping on the inside for maximium waterproofness, is very good at keeping your feet toasty warm and dry. I noticed zero water penetration during the several rides when the UK weather came over all wintry.
The smooth upper surface also, Madison claims, gives a slight aero benefit. While I can't confirm or deny this – I don't have access to my own wind tunnel – it makes sense considering the overshoes were developed in tandem with the Madison Genesis professional team, who are probably always looking for every performance benefit they can get.
The Sportive overshoes are augmented by strong rubberised toe ends and heel structures, which serve to strengthen the covers when you need to dismount. The downside of this is that fabric flexibility is at a premium here, so fitting them over your shoes is an effort, but you can get around this by leaving the cleat part of the shoe covered between rides, only releasing the sturdy Velcro strap and unzipping the quality zip so you can slide your feet out.
Left half-fitted like this makes for easy donning and removing each time you go out, so long as you've made sure to vent the shoes by peeling the heel structure back to your straps, laces or Boa dials. Otherwise, completely removing and refitting the overshoes is quite tough – so tough in fact that I worried about pulling the Boa dials clean off my shoes each time.
But with that toughness comes a sense of security; you always feel like your shoes (mine are pristine white Fizik R5Bs) are protected from dirt, and therefore your feet are too.
Flexibility around the ankles is good – you never feel restricted – and that's thanks to an elasticated cuff which also features a silicone gripper on the inside. This, working in harmony with the decent zip and Velcro fastening system, means the overshoes stay fitted and secure at all times. Reflective tabs and Madison branding add visibility.
Sizing comes up as you'd expect, with each size (small, medium, large and extra large) catering for a range of shoe sizes. As a size 11-11.5, I got on well with an extra large – so would recommend following Madison's sizing guidelines, which is all the more important thanks to the solid and tight fitting around the body of the shoe and cleat area.
Being able to rely on good overshoes is a must in UK weather, regardless of the season, and while you'll probably put these away in the summer, they're good for anything other than sub-zero temperatures. At an RRP of £19.99, the Sportive overshoes represent a good investment for the UK's changeable conditions.
A great investment for the UK's changeable conditions
road.cc test report
Make and model: Madison Sportive PU Thermal Overshoes
Size tested: Extra Large
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?
Madison says: "[The Sportives are] a mid-weight waterproof overshoe with an aero touch. Built with the Madison Genesis road team, the Sportive PU Thermal overshoe is a great year round piece"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Fleece backed PU fabric works to prevent the chill biting your feet
- Tape seams prevent water leaking into the top of the overshoe
- Reflective details are a welcome aid in low light conditions
- Abrasion resistant toe and sole fabric is tough with an element of stretch to ease the fitting and removal process
- Waterproof rear zipper and adjustable cuff make for an easy fit
- Elasticated leg cuff with a silicone gripper keep them firmly in place
- Size small fits 37-40 shoe sizes
- Limited lifetime warranty
These aren't breaking own in a hurry thanks to sturdy reinforcement and strong seam taping.
They kept my feet warm and dry on all but the most bitter of days (when ice can be a real problem keeping me off the road anyway), and my shoes remain pristine despite some tough going over the last few weeks.
Again, the fabrics are so tough that I'd be shocked if they didn't last multiple winter seasons.
Very snug fit around the shoe, which is a positive, but bear in mind actually fitting them can be difficult, especially if your feet are on the larger side of each size offering.
Sizing is as you'd expect – follow the size guidelines on Madison's website. But these are designed with a tighter fit in, mind.
145g certainly doesn't feel heavy when attached to your feet – no real complaints here, especially considering the warmth they also provide.
These are hardwearing and will be long-lasting. At £19.99 they'll prove to be a good investment, I'm sure.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple rinses suffice, so caring for them is easy. Make sure you dry and air them out properly between the odd wash though.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're great – my new go-to set of overshoes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fitting them takes a bit of persuading, but once on you don't need to fully remove them if you know you're going to use them again.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Great overshoes that perform well in a wide range of UK conditions, and I think they will stand the test of time.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding