Home
Cold feet equals misery; here's how to keep your toes toasty

Winter riding is challenging, and wet and frozen feet don't
make it any easier. Your feet, right in the line of spray generated by the
front wheel (especially without mudguards), can suffer more than any other
body part. Overshoes, designed to protect your feet from the weather, are
a top investment if you're aiming to ride through the winter, whether
you’re a racer or commuter.

Put simply, overshoes are made from a weatherproof fabric designed to sit
snugly over your shoes and keep the rain and wind out, preventing your
feet from getting wet and cold. They broadly fall into two camps: those
that are waterproof, and those that are just windproof.

Neoprene is a popular material for waterproof overshoes, and has the
advantage that when water does finally get inside, your feet don’t freeze;
the dampness stays relatively warm in there. Nylon and polyurethane are
other popular materials, used sometimes in combination with neoprene, with
a waterproof layer to add extra protection.

Overshoes aren’t perfect by any means. Ride in heavy rain and your feet
will get wet sooner or later, but you can delay that from happening with
good quality overshoes. The biggest chink in their armour is water getting
in around the leg openings, soaking down your tights, and through the
cleat holes in the sole. Overshoes with good weather protection, including
taped seams, a Velcro strip around the ankle, waterproof zips and a taller
ankle will delay the onset of wet feet.

Overshoes typically have a rear opening with a zip to seal them up,
making pulling them on and off easy. For insulation in really cold
weather, you want to keep the soles of your shoes as well covered as
possible because a lot of heat can escape there. Some overshoes have much
more sole coverage than others – it's something that's worth checking
before you splash the cash.

Sizing is very important. It’s always worth trying on overshoes with your
own shoes in the shop. Differently designed shoes with various buckles and
ratchets can work better with some overshoes.

Typically black (to hide all the dirt) though other colours are
available, some overshoes have generous reflective details to boost your
night-time visibility — some are better suited to commuting for this
reason.

As well as keeping the wet out, overshoes provide another layer of
insulation, and some have a thicker material to provide more warmth on
really cold rides. Generally speaking, the thicker the overshoe, the more
it's going to keep the cold out. A trick some cyclists resort to on really
awful days is two wear two pairs of overshoes for even more protection,
although that will have an effect on flexibility around your ankle.

Toe covers are handy for days
when it’s not cold or damp enough for full overshoes. Typically made from
neoprene, they're ideal if your shoes are well vented, and are very useful
in the autumn. Another use for them, and one we’ll admit to have resorted
to on more than a few occasions, is wearing toe covers under overshoes for
a double layer of protection.

So, now you know what to look for in overshoes, here are 10 good
examples.

Lusso
Windtex Stealth Over Boots — £30

Lusso Windtex Stealth Over Boots.jpg

The Lusso Windtex Stealth overboots offer a large working temperature
range across a myriad of different weather conditions. And don't let that
Windtex name fool you – these booties will also keep the rain at bay for
way longer than you'd expect of a fabric this light and thin.

Read
our review of the Lusso Windtex Stealth Over Boots

Galibier Mistral Toe
Covers — £9.60

Galibier Mistral toe covers 2.jpg

The Galibier Mistral Toe Covers bring together strong protection, warmth
and water resistance. They also come with an impressively low price.

I used to be a huge advocate of overshoes when the temperature drops, but
I haven't regularly worn any for a year, instead using toe covers in all
but the coldest conditions. They have one big advantage: you can just
leave them on your shoes, so you don't need to constantly struggle into a
set of thick overshoes because it's a bit cold outside.

Read
our review of the Galibier Mistral Toe Covers

Ekoi
Heat Concept Overshoes — £151.57

Ekoi Heat Concept Black Overshoes.jpg

Ekoi's Heat Concep overshoes aim to keep your extremities from freezing
in the cold using a system of integrated heating elements and lithium
polymer batteries. And do you know what? They work.

The heating elements in the overshoes certainly make a noticeable
difference to the warmth of your feet on a cold ride. It was pretty easy
to confirm this, simply by turning one of the overshoes on and leaving the
other one off. At the end of two hours' riding in temperatures not far
north of zero, it wasn't hard to remember which foot had been heated. It
was the difference between losing feeling in your toes, and being cold,
but comfortable.

Unfortunately they seem to be out of stock at the moment, but the rest of
Ekoi's range of overshoes is well worth a look.

Read
our review of the Ekoi Heat Concept Overshoes

Madison
Sportive PU Thermal Overshoes — £19.99

Madison Sportive Aero overshoes.jpg

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.

Read
our review of the Madison Sportive PU Thermal Overshoes

Find a Madison dealer

SealSkinz
Neoprene Halo Overshoes — £27.03

SealSkinz Halo overshoes

SealSkinz Neoprene Halo Overshoes incorporate a powerful LED light in the
heel, a clever idea that I'm surprised has never been done before. Don't
discount them as being a gimmick, they really do work well and are ideal
for regular after dark cyclists.

Read
our review of the SealSkinz Neoprene Halo Overshoes

Find
a SealSkinz dealer

Sealskinz
Waterproof Cycle Over Socks — £27.95

Sealskinz Waterproof Over Cycle Sock

Less of an overshoe and more an oversock, albeit a waterproof oversock,
the SealSkinz Waterproof Cycle Over Socks offer lightweight protection
against wind and rain that fall somewhere between Belgian booties (over
socks) and full-on neoprene overshoes.

Read
our review of the Sealskinz Waterproof Cycle Over Socks

Find
a Sealskinz dealer

BBB
Arctic Duty overshoes — £54.95

At first glance you could be forgiven in thinking these are some sort of
white water footwear. They're quite thick and rubbery rather than the
svelte neoprene jobs we wear in warmer 'cool' weather. These are the
wellies of the overshoe world. Not exactly sexy. What they lack in glamour
and sophistication they more than make up for in their ability to deflect
falling rain, road spray and even deep bow wave trips through flood
puddles.

Read
our review of the BB Arctic Duty overshoes

Find a BBB dealer

Sportful
Reflex Windstopper Booties — £27.60 - £29.90

Sportful Windstopper Reflex booties

These Sportful WS Bootie Reflex overshoes employ Gore's Windstopper
fabric and serve to keep your feet warm and keep out most of the rain and
cold out.

They're not 100% waterproof, but on typically showery days they'll keep
most of the rain out and it needs a decent spell of prolonged rain before
saturation occurs. They cope just fine when it's not raining but the roads
are slick with water.

Read
our review of the Sportful Reflex Windstopper Booties

GripGrab
Arctic Overshoes — £40

GripGrab Arctic Overshoes

The Grip Grab Arctic Overshoes are great for those properly cold days we
sometimes get in January and February. They provide excellent insulation
and very effective waterproofing. With 80% neoprene, these were always
going to be warm, but we're also impressed by their ease of fit and
adjustability.

Read
our review of the GripGrab Arctic Overshoes

Velotoze —
£14.99

Velotoze Tall Cover

Like a swimming cap for your feet, these divide opinion and can make your
feet very sweaty indeed. These are, however, the most waterproof overshoes
in this list.

When placed directly onto the shin, they prevent water from seeping down
into your socks and also offer complete windproofing. When worn on top of
oversocks, they form possibly the ultimate deep winter combination.

They're also surprisingly robust for what is essentially a thick balloon.
They are the most fragile covers in this list though.

Read
our review of the Velotoze shoe covers

Want more
options? See the full road.cc overshoes review archive

About road.cc Buyer's Guides

The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product in a if we think it's one of the best of its kind.

As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

Here's some more information on how road.cc makes money.

You can also find further guides on our sister sites off.road.cc and ebiketips.

Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

19 comments

Avatar
Freddy56 [377 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Galibier's Barrier for the road and Endura's MT500 for CX or mtb. The Endura have the same rubber sole as the BB ones pictured but for £20 less and are bomb proof.

Avatar
stwjimmy [1 post] 2 years ago
0 likes

I have some Pearl Izumi WXB - nice and lightweight with a velcro fastener, which I love. But I ripped them and they're no longer made, nor can I find any others with velcro instead of a zip. Do they exist?

Avatar
TLem [2 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
stwjimmy wrote:

I have some Pearl Izumi WXB - nice and lightweight with a velcro fastener, which I love. But I ripped them and they're no longer made, nor can I find any others with velcro instead of a zip. Do they exist?

Check out Endura's overshoes. I have the Luminite II model with velcro fasteners and am quite happy with them.

Avatar
Johnnystorm [111 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
stwjimmy wrote:

I have some Pearl Izumi WXB - nice and lightweight with a velcro fastener, which I love. But I ripped them and they're no longer made, nor can I find any others with velcro instead of a zip. Do they exist?

PX neoprene are all Velcro and ok for a tenner. Altura night vision are also all Velcro and have a nice wipe clean finish and are a lot thinner material than the thick neoprene type.

Avatar
BigRich [3 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Finding ones to fit  EU48.......

 

Avatar
offshore_dave [65 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Am I alone in wearing my cycling tights over the top of my overshoes?
I find that it helps stop water ingress.

Avatar
BarryBianchi [418 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
offshore_dave wrote:

Am I alone in wearing my cycling tights over the top of my overshoes?

Pretty much, yes.

The Bontrager ones with the fleecey linings are brilliant - if you get cold feet with those on, it really is too cold to be out on a bike.

Avatar
Freddy56 [377 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
BigRich wrote:

Finding ones to fit  EU48.......

 

Galibier have an XXL in their aquaChrono  which fit my 49s at a stretch, so be spot on for 48

Avatar
offshore_dave [65 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
BarryBianchi wrote:
offshore_dave wrote:

Am I alone in wearing my cycling tights over the top of my overshoes?

Pretty much, yes.

The Bontrager ones with the fleecey linings are brilliant - if you get cold feet with those on, it really is too cold to be out on a bike.

 

I didn't mean for warmth but for water ingress.

I will check out the Bontrager ones as cold feet are an issue, even when dry.

Avatar
Reedo [41 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

What tights can I get to wear over the overshoes that will keep rain from running down into the overshoes?

Avatar
Chris Hayes [396 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

How come no one has combined the velotoze interface with the shin with a neoprene overshoe?   The biggest issue with all of these is water soaking through tights or spraying down the top of these overshoes.  

I have some Northwave winter boots, gore-tex lined, which are lovely and warm - BUT water gets in the top, can't get out through the goretex and then you're cycling in your very own puddle. 

Avatar
Shugg McGraw [30 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I bought a pair of Velotoze but after putting them on I was too tired to go for a ride. 

Avatar
dmack [40 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
offshore_dave wrote:

Am I alone in wearing my cycling tights over the top of my overshoes?
I find that it helps stop water ingress.

Makes sense to me!

Avatar
JeffB [10 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Chris Hayes wrote:

How come no one has combined the velotoze interface with the shin with a neoprene overshoe?   The biggest issue with all of these is water soaking through tights or spraying down the top of these overshoes.  

I have some Northwave winter boots, gore-tex lined, which are lovely and warm - BUT water gets in the top, can't get out through the goretex and then you're cycling in your very own puddle. 

Cut the wrist off washing up gloves and wear that as a seal from top of cycling boot to shin. You still have glove for washing up.
Or, buy the Velotoez and use until they rip, ( the first ride?), and cut/ use the ankle part on boots

Avatar
PaulosUk [1 post] 1 year ago
1 like

I bought the Velotoze on a reccomendation. Ripped the first one putting it on.

Will have a look for some neoprene ones next!

Avatar
pastyfacepaddy [35 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Reedo wrote:

What tights can I get to wear over the overshoes that will keep rain from running down into the overshoes?

I've got the Sportful Fiandre Extreme Bibtights.Not waterproof but with two layers of Sportful's 'No Rain' material on the areas that get most spray i.e. front of the calves, thighs and arse they are about as water-resistant as I've found. With zips on the ankle it also makes it easier to put them over the overshoes.

The double layers do make them warm though so not for summer downpours.  1

Avatar
pastyfacepaddy [35 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
offshore_dave wrote:

Am I alone in wearing my cycling tights over the top of my overshoes? I find that it helps stop water ingress.

 

Nope. I do the same. What's the point of buying overshoes to keep your feet dry and then putting them over bibtights that allow the water to run inside them and your shoes?

Avatar
shutuplegz [70 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
pastyfacepaddy wrote:
offshore_dave wrote:

Am I alone in wearing my cycling tights over the top of my overshoes? I find that it helps stop water ingress.

 

Nope. I do the same. What's the point of buying overshoes to keep your feet dry and then putting them over bibtights that allow the water to run inside them and your shoes?

 

Agree. In wet weather I always wear the tights over the overshoes (and make sure that socks are fully contained inside the overshoes, not poking out of the top!) which further delays the gradual seeping down into the shoes! This will happen eventually whichever way you do it but putting tights inside overshoes is guaranteed to speed the process up! If it is just cold, or muddy roads, I will put overshoes on the outside, only because the velcro closure can be a bit uncomfortable against the back of my leg, but not as uncomfortable as soaking, cold feet!

Avatar
tugglesthegreat [118 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Freddy56 wrote:

........Endura's MT500 for CX or mtb. The Endura have the same rubber sole as the BB ones pictured but for £20 less and are bomb proof.

You must be right trying to find these in XL but seem to be out of stock.  2