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.
Construction on the Rain Bootie is a thin, lightweight build with a smooth water repellent surface outer and fleece inner. A seam runs through the center line, tightly held using double stitching and with 'Kevlar reinforcement' below; the toe section also includes this armouring. Rather than a base section, the overshoe is held to your foot by a Velcro band. It's not a design choice I would have made, the only benefit I can see is a slightly easier application over your shoe but putting them on I never actually bothered undoing the strap; you still need to push your shoe through the tighter heel section.
The problem is, without a complete base section the bootie can pull up over the sole of your shoe, mainly at the heel but the small toe section too can cause the front to flip up over the front of the shoe - a problem which plagues overshoes as they start to become a bit tatty. To be fair it doesn't happen all that often (mainly after stopping and putting your foot down) and you can just push the cover overshoe back down again. The other issue with a sole-less design is that most shoes have ventilation holes or at least cleat holes in the sole and when riding for long periods in wet weather, water will find its way through here if not covered. That means whilst the bootie may be 100% waterproof, your shoes may not be, even with them on.
Saying this, it has to be very wet and by that point, wet feet is probably the least of your worries. In general, these rain covers did a grand job at keeping my feet dry. The actual bootie material does seem to be impermeable and even on the wettest of days, the inside always remained dry as a bone. Impermeable means wind didn't get to my feet either, a good factor for warmth but it did mean my feet could get a bit sweaty - a cost I'm willing to pay to stop my toes going numb. The bootie is tight fitting so could even double up during the TT season.
A reflective strip across the zip and reflective text on the side provides added visibility for the grey conditions these will be operating in. Talking of the zip, build quality is good, maintaining a smooth action even after a layering of grit, and the underside is protected from water with a strip of outer material. The strip does make doing the zip up a technique of pull and tuck but this can be ignored for the extra water protection.
Craft's Rain Booties are true to their '100% waterproof and windproof' claim, an impressive feat and impressive for your feet! A £36 suggested retail is slightly steep considering the lack of any real sole section (it has to be said shop around and you can find them for considerably less than that); there are cheaper overshoe options around but with their tight fitting, these could also double as aero shoe covers. If you find your current overshoes lack in the waterproof department, these should solve your problem.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Craft Rain Bootie Cycling Shoe Cover
Size tested: Black - XL
'The ultimate shoe poncho. Even in wild rain and wind conditions, this reinforced bootie is as impenetrable as steel. Tight fitting, 100% waterproof and windproof bootie, bolstered by Kevlar and secured with Velcro, keeps the shoe and foot untouched and dry.'
Ultimate is a strong word and without a sole section I'm not sure these warrant it, the rest is true however.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Kevlar reinforced seems, Velcro strapped sole, reflective strip on zip and text.
The seems are extremely built, a waterproof tag under the zip is a neat feature.
Kept my feet dry even in the wettest rides.
The sole section is what normally breaks down on other overshoes and without one here, I can't see what else would wear out.
Lighter weight than other overshoes I've come across, dropping the insulation in favour of waterproofing.
A bit pricey I'd say but they could double up as aero overshoes plus if you shop around you'll find them for considerably less then list price - we found them online for £21
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As intended, kept my feet dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The excellent waterproofing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No sole section leaves the hold around your shoes a bit vague.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 23 Height: 184cm Weight: 66kg
I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10
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,