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Resembling a motorcycle derri boot, Pro’s Vanguard are technically advanced and versatile winter overshoes, offering unparalleled protection from the elements when worn with waterproof socks. Intended as multi-fit overshoee, they work much better with broader road, sports touring, MTB, and even trainer type/booties than more traditional types, lending themselves perfectly to freezing winter commutes or cross races.
If you are looking for overshoes to wear over trainers for winter commuting these should fit the bill. However, intended for temperatures between five and minus fifteen they can feel uncomfortably warm in milder weather and weigh a fair bit more than the traditional type-especially caked in wet mud.
Dense 2.5-3mm stretch neoprene clings to the shoe’s contours while the water resistant PU coating and tapered seams keep the elements firmly at bay while still offering some breathability-keeping feet warm and dry, even immersed up to the cuffs. This I aided by the thick, anti bacterial fleece linings that also keep things hygienic-a real plus given that foot odour can prove embarrassingly potent. Mercifully they’re tolerant of low temperature washing. The large open sole area with loop and hook sole works brilliantly with all cleat types, although water can seep through the drillings more readily than enclosed designs. Similarly the sturdy rubberised toe, valance and heel sections mean they should withstand the rough and tumble of urban riding and competitive off-roading while ample Scotchlite detailing reflectives are very effective safety aids when caught in car headlamps.
There’s a definite knack to getting them on though-early attempts were a major operation resulting in much frustration and hilarity until I learned to slide them up my calves, zipping them up first before stepping into my shoes and pulling them into position afterward. For all their virtues, thirty-eight quid’s not cheap and you’ll want a thinner pair for the milder months but die hard four seasons’ commuters, 'cross riders and mountain bikers will not be disappointed.
Worthy, if weighty overshoes for the worst weathers
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Make and model: Pro Ventura overshoes
Size tested: XL
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?
Billed as a multi-fit overshoe that works with road, mtb or commuting footwear, the Ventura are a suitably sturdy and weatherproof overshoe capable of handling cross and four season's commuting in temperatures between +5 and -15 degrees.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2.5-3mm stretch, PU coated neoprene and tapered seams keep the elements firmly at bay, zippered rear closure and velcro sole hook entertains a much wider choice of footwear while ample scotchlite detailing increase night-time safety.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
There's no doubt the Ventura are a fine companion for cold riding full-stop-especially cross, mtb or foul weather commuting/winter training but they can leave feet feeling very clammy in milder conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Rugged styling, good fit and attention to detail.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing but best suited to more extreme weathers.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)