Q36.5's lightweight Termico Overshoes offer excellent protection from damp, dirty roads and light rain showers, but although they are claimed to be 'a full winter thermal overshoe' and do provide some defence against cold winds, they perform best when the temperature is above 5°C.
Q36.5 is relatively new to the cycle clothing market; it claims to be 'researching cutting edge fabric technologies' leading to the design and production of the 'most essential and astute high performance cycling wear on the market.' I must say I have never come across such a lightweight overshoe, and have been pleasantly surprised by their performance and durability given their lightweight nature. (An improvement, it seems, on the toe covers that Ashia tested in November.)
I wear a 42 (men's) road shoe, and the 40-43 overshoe pulled on over it easily without a fight, and once on there was no excess gathering or bagginess. (Removing the overshoe was very easy too – not always the case with a snug fit.) The cleat and heel openings are ideally proportioned and lined with a study trim.
An obliquely positioned rear zipper secures the overshoe on your shoe. This helps spread the load of the zip's tension and minimise pressure against your calf. The overshoes reach a long way up the leg – higher than the average overshoe. The material isn't tapered here and the upper trim/seam isn't generous in size, though it does have some give, so it was an effort to get it fully zipped up. However, once achieved, they remained securely zipped thanks to the lock-down zipper, with – surprisingly given this snug leg panel and tight seam – no discomfort when riding.
Protection from road spray and light rain showers is outstanding. The shoes are made from a laminated windproof and water-resistant fabric – UF Thermal Shell – at the front, and fast-drying, water-resistant UF Hybrid Shell in the top and rear panels. Both perform equally well, without causing overheating. Q36.5 does only claim that the shoe is water resistant, and prolonged riding in rain did see dampness seep through, but thanks to the lightweight nature of the overshoe they didn't retain excessive water and never felt like a sodden boot on the foot.
Unfortunately, the Termicos don't offer the protection against extreme temperatures that might be expected from a 'full winter thermal overshoe'. Given how thin the material is, it's not really surprising, despite the brushed inner lining.
One thing that is thoroughly impressive is how quickly the shoes dry out and how, with a quick shake and rub, they look like new again in no time. They're available in two colours, silver and black, both with fluorescent green trims. Neither offer the visibility that many overshoes have these days, though the green seams do nicely break up the panels. Testing the silver pair I did feel a bit like an astronaut...
As far as value goes, £75 is a lot of money for a pair of overshoes. They are certainly good quality, but the fact that they don't provide the promised protection from the cold does make them seem overpriced. Shimano's S3000R Overshoes are nearly half the price; even Rapha's Pro Team Rain Overshoes are a tenner less!
Rain resistance is excellent, though, so if that's your concern then you might think they're worth it. They also have a drying time that's tough to beat.
Excellent lightweight protection for damp days and dirty, wet roads, but fall short on colder days
road.cc test report
Make and model: Q36.5 Termico Overshoes
Size tested: 40-43
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?
The overshoes are aimed at road riders who are willing to invest in cutting-edge kit. They're designed to keep your feet warm and dry in winter.
Q36.5 says: 'The Termico Overshoe exploits Q36.5's intense fabric research by employing the two most important proprietary fabrics of the winter collection to produce a full winter thermal overshoe with excellent water-resistance and fast drying times.
The front panel of the overshoe, where maximum protection from the elements is required, is constructed from UF Thermal Shell, Q36.5's laminated windproof and water-resistant fabric, while the top and rear panels employ the UF Hybrid Shell, an extremely fast drying water and wind resistant fabric.
The zip is positioned obliquely across the rear part of the overshoe in order to spread the load of its tension and minimizing pressure against the rider's calf. Similarly overlock seams are used throughout to avoid any irritation.
The result is 90g (per pair) of efficiency.'
The shoes are certainly water resistant and fast drying but they fall short where insulation is concerned. If you feel the cold, do not expect these to offer protection in anything below 5-6 degrees.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 45% Polyester, 19% Polyamide, 13% Elastane, 23% Polyurethane.
* Water resistant and windproof UF Thermal Shell front panel.
* Fast drying, water and wind resistant UF Hybrid shell top and side panels.
* Obliquely positioned rear zip.
Nicely finished product.
Water-resistance was very good, ideal for when the roads are wet, or it's raining lightly. They dry fast too. But for me they didn't offer the promised protection from the cold when the temperature dropped below 5-6 degrees – though keeping my feet warm on the bike has always been a challenge.
These appear rather flimsy on first inspection but a closer look reveals excellent construction at their potentially weakest points. They are showing no sign of wear and tear on the underside like so many quickly do after several outings – including the 36.5 toe covers Ashia tested in November.
They reach a considerable way up the calf and I found them a little tight around the top, not so much to cause discomfort but enough to leave a mark when removed. The upper seam does not have much give in it so these will not suit anyone with a larger lower leg.
Foot length and width was spot on. See comment above for reach and fit around the leg.
Superlight. You are not aware you are wearing them.
Despite the upper seam being noticeably tight when you zip them up, the shoes weren't uncomfortable when riding.
It's a lot of money for a pair of overshoes; they are certainly good quality and perform well in damp conditions, but don't provide the promised protection from the cold.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Exceptionally easy. Dirt simply brushes off them. They don't really need washing, but I did I used a branded washing product specifically for waterproof garments, and the shoes continued to perform as they had pre-wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are perfect for damp and dirty roads and light rain, and kept my feet warm in temperatures above 5-6 degrees. I suspect if you are not someone who suffers from the cold this could be lower. They dry extremely quickly, and don't cause your feet or lower limbs to sweat if you start working hard in warmer temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The rapid drying time and how they looked like new after a quick shake and rub post-ride!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Though claimed to be thermal, they really didn't keep me warm when the temperature dropped.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
They're exceptionally lightweight, fast drying and comfortable, with excellent water resistant properties. If they weren't promising warmth they'd score higher, but taking that into account – and the price – I'm giving them a 6 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, getting to grips with off roading too!