A shade unconventional, but excellent nevertheless, the Endura Deluge overshoes do a great job of keeping your feet warm, wetsuit sock-style.
When I received these I was reminded of the adage that there is no such thing as bad weather, simply bad kit. With this in mind I began hoping for some properly filthy weather to test the Endura Deluge overshoes in, and not because of my childish delight in riding through puddles.
The Deluge overshoes take the neoprene approach to weather protection, rather than the waterproof fabric tack. The first thing that stands out is their lack of fixings: there are no zips or Velcro fasteners at the back to aid with putting them on. It is not a quick or smooth process to put these overshoes on; there is an element of 'unrolling' that fits them without snagging on the cleat, and then a bit of working to get the best fit around the heel.
Those used to careful rolling to get into a wetsuit will find it familiar, although the stretchable neoprene is thick enough that it never suggests that you could tear them. The size Large samples were snug on my size 10 Shimano road shoes and I had no problems from the ratchet and Velcro straps.
They also behave like a wetsuit in that they don't repel water so much as initially soak it up before shedding it, but also allow what is within to stay warm. When exposed to a full soaking they did transfer some water to my shoes, but their snug fit covered the vents and fabric areas of the shoe very effectively and my feet were barely damp. Most importantly though, my feet weren't cold.
They are very definitely winter overshoes, and as the temperatures crept up earlier this year my feet were less comfortable. I suspect that this was partly due to the vents on the shoes being well covered.
The things that make the Endura overshoes stand out are the fine details. The fit is very close to most of the shoe; the only holes in the underside are for the cleat and the heel and both have reinforced stitching in the stretched sole. The way that the stretched sole meets the neoprene upper is carefully finished so that the two don't pull apart, and spray can't get up between the overshoes and the cycle shoe.
The lack of fasteners means that there is less to go wrong, and the stretch neoprene means that they are away from the ground and haven't started fraying when walked on.
The only slight oddness is the 'heel loop for easy access'. This is a reflective tab about 15mm long that I didn't associate with helping me to get them over my shoes, because it doesn't serve anything close to that purpose. A bit of extra reflectivity on the back on of the shoe is no bad thing, though.
The overshoes look more like time-trial oversocks than heavy-duty winter covers, and I think that this is appealing and sets them apart from many other overshoes in the market. The neat orange stitching and small reflective patches on the top might not be to everyone's tastes, but I think it looks understated and attractive.
Excellent quality overshoes which are worth the tricky fitting. Attractively styled and effective in wet and cold conditions.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Deluge Zipless Overshoe
Size tested: Black - L
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?
Endura describe them as a zipless winter overshoe, using high stretch fabrics and thermal neoprene, offering:
* High Stretch fabrics provide zipperless access
* Superstretch waterproof thermal neoprene upper heel/cuff
* Tough Nylon faced neoprene upper front
* Reflective logos on heel/toe area
* Reflective heel pull tab for easy access
* MTB and Road Cleat compatible sole
* Stretch abrasion resistant sole/heel
Apart from the rather pointless heel pull tab, there is nothing to argue with.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
90% neoprene construction make these more like wetsuit boots than fabric overshoes. No zips or Velcro to foul or break, and the stretch abrasion sole seems robust.
Excellent full-covered stretch sole, with cut-outs for cleats and heel. The stitching looks strong, and the stretch sole and shape is very well fitted, particularly at the heel - where wear from walking is often an issue with overshoes.
Even when it was chucking it down and the spray from the road was heavy they let very little water through.
My pair have been extensively used and the only sign of wear is a small hole in the stretch sole, where my SPD-SL cleat has rubbed through when I've been putting the overshoe on.
Probably about as light as a winter overshoe can be – I'm sure the winter weight-weenies will be happy.
They kept my feet toastie warm even when the morning temperatures must have been nudging -5c.
The RRP (£28) is getting into the upper range for overshoes, but they are extremely well made and seem to stand up well to regular use.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are effective at keeping your feet warm and dry when the rest of you isn't.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The orange stitching on the upper looks nicely understated, but most impressive is the neatness and attention to detail on the sole. The stitching looks robust and effective, and has stood up well to daily use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
This is not an overshoe to be taken with you 'just in case.' I can't imagine trying to put them on at the roadside if the weather turns in – you need a place to sit down for starters!
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 182cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport 2008 My best bike is: Moda Tempo 2010
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Triathlon