Sugoi's Firewall overshoes, or booties as they're known on the Sugoi website, fit into the windproof category rather than providing waterproof full winter protection. We've seen the Firewall 220 material before on various other items from Sugoi and it's basically a layered fabric where the outer is a softshell style material that provides some water resistance, while the next layer works with the outer to keep the wind at bay.
Warmth wise they're pretty good down to mid-single figures but even with some DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks on they were too cold once the mercury reached zero. The outer layer of the Firewall material does a pretty good job at keeping minimal road spray and light drizzle at bay but anything heavier and your feet will be soaked. Saying that though they do remain as warm as when they were dry.
One thing that I was impressed with though is the zip position, it runs horizontally along the bottom outer edge which with Velcro attachment from the end of the zip to ankle makes getting them on and off easy. Shoes with buckles can make things a little more difficult but you just have to pull everything taught before doing the zip up. On the flipside though it does give you easy access to the buckles should you need to adjust them on the fly.
The material isn't overly thick so it moulds to the shape of your foot/shoe without bunching and allows full movement through the pedalling motion. Some overshoes tend to feel tight at the top of the instep but no such issues here. When pulled tight there is a reasonably good seal at the cuff but as the Firewall Booties aren't really intended for wet weather that isn't a major consideration.
On the whole the Firewall overshoes are a good option for early spring or autumn but not really hard-core enough for the winter temperatures. The £35 rrp might be difficult for some to swallow for a part time overshoe but in their defence the build quality is very good, especially the elasticated edges around the sole cut-outs which show no signs of wear at all despite plenty of walking on gravel.
While we're on the subject of the cut-outs, they fitted easily round both SPD-SL and Speedplay Zero cleats, pretty much the biggest out there, so compatibility isn't going to be an issue regardless of what pedal system you're using. There is an opening at the rear as well for the heel stop to poke through.
Comfort is good and they're nice and light. The only thing I can see them lacking is some decent reflectives to catch the headlights as the feet rotate. There is a small heel tab on each but a good strip up the back or something would be nice especially as there is no zip taking up that position.
Size wise the range goes from small to extra-large of which we tested the large (44-46) which fitted around various pairs of size 45 shoes without issue so it's safe to say the sizing is as it says on the tin.
Decent mid-weight windproof overshoe for mild winter days.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sugoi Firewall Bootie
Size tested: 44-46, black
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?
Sugoi say the Firewalls are 'Windproof foot protection for the deepest winter cold, featuring an updated step-in design' I wouldn't go quite as far deepest winter cold, 4-5 °C is about the minimum I reckon.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Firewall 220 material
Horizontal zip and velcro closure for easily getting them on and off.
Sizes - S (40-42)
Good windproofing and light water resistance but don't meet the manufacturers claims of dealing with the cold of deep winter.
A bit on the pricey side for a windproof only overshoe that you can only really use in the milder months.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Technically they didn't perform to Sugoi's claims as there is no way I could wear these in the depths of January when its snowing and -10 degrees on the commute, but they are a decent pair of windproof overshoes in their own right, good construction and durability should see them last.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The horizontal zip makes putting them on and off easy plus they are comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of reflectives at the rear and the temperature range is a bit limiting.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, I like to have varying thicknesses of overshoes just as I do with gloves to cover every weather condition.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.