Lizard Skins Dri-Fiant Toe Covers are perfect for those rides with a chill in the air when you aren't going to need full on overshoes. At twenty quid they are at the top end pricing for a cover but the finish and fit justifies it.
Just like arm and knee warmers, toe covers offer flexibility for changing conditions and while they are a simple piece of kit Lizard Skins have really put some thought into creating a long lasting, well fitting product.
The majority of the toe covers we've tested have used neoprene in their construction because it's good for insulation even when wet. Lizards Skins have instead gone with polyamide (a form of nylon) with a bit of added elastane to provide some stretch.
In terms of performance there is very little difference compared with the Caratti covers I tested the other day with the Dri-Fiants being impressively water resistant and thanks to a fleece backing they stay warm when wet. Dry weather performance is great; they keep your toes toasty down to around 5°C.
The Lizard Skins covers are much less bulky and lighter. Okay it's not much but they are only 2/3rds of the weight of the neoprene ones, and it is rotating weight. They are much more packable in a rear pocket too.
Being thinner they will also fit comfortably under a full overshoe to create a layering system should we get the minus double figure temperatures of a couple of winters ago.
They are available in four sizes which cover shoes from 35-50 in Euro sizing. The large (43-46) fit my sizes 45s perfectly. The small amount of elastane means that they are stretchy enough to fit easily over buckles and large Speedplay cleats.
Overall they perform no better than the Caratti's at half the price though the Dri-Fiant's do offer a layering option and less bulk. The rubberised underside should see them lasting well to if you do a lot of walking. One thing is for sure though is that they impress on the wind and water resistance tests.
Little performance benefit over cheaper neoprene versions, but they have other benefits
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lizard Skins Dry-Fiant Toe Cover
Size tested: Large
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?
The Dri-Fiants are a water and wind resistant toe cover to keep your toes dry and warm on chilly days. They are very good at both and are light and small enough to fit in a jersey pocket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Wind resistant Polyamide fabric
Available sizes S-XL
S (35-38) M (39-42) L (43-46) XL (47-50)
Robust neat and tidy stitching especially around the cleat area
Very warm and water resistance is impressive.
Look tough and are standing up to plenty of fitting and removing.
66% of the weight of neoprene versions.
Nice close fit without being tight.
Five to ten pounds more expensive than others we've tested for no intrinsic performance gains. Layering options and lighter weight are the only benefits.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Kept the water out to a decent level and the wind, very warm.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The build quality and water resistance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, as part a layering system if we were looking at a freezing winter.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The Lizards Skins Dri-Fiants are very good at what they are designed to do and are very well built. At 100% more than the Caratti versions, though, I'd only consider them to wear under overshoes for the winter as well as on their own in the autumn; I do suffer from cold toes though.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
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.