One of the worst feelings on a cold, wet day is having numb feet mid-ride. Galibier combats this with its Barrier Overshoes, a hybrid of warm neoprene and a lightweight, waterproof PU fabric. The combination of fabrics means they don't feel at all bulky, unlike full neoprene overshoes, but don't compromise on warmth.
They are relatively easy to put on and a simple but ingenious flap at the base of the zips means they are very easy to do up, unlike a lot of other overshoes I've used. The zips have been offset away from the Achilles, which Galibier claims is to prevent possible irritation, and I certainly found no problems with comfort here.
Like many cyclists, I have relatively large calves compared with your average person and have struggled to find overshoes that actually do up without cutting off my circulation. Galibier has evidently considered this and the overshoes are a great fit, tight enough to stay up, but still easy to do up. I did wear a large, though, which fit well over my size 41 shoes, but is specified as a 43-44, so I would advise sizing up.
The base of the overshoes feature an intentionally large cleat hole and I found no problems at all clipping in and out while wearing them.
The thick reinforcement on the base of the toe area proved very hardwearing and has so far showed no signs of wear after a few weeks of regular use.
I was a little disappointed in the waterproofing, as after an hour in heavy rain my toes were still dry but water leaked through to my heels and ankles. However, in cold and light rain conditions these are the perfect solution for toasty toes without feeling bulky or irritating when riding.
Perfect for toasty toes on cold rides, but not the most waterproof
road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Barrier Overshoe
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?
Galibier says they are made for winter road riding, to be warm and protective without restricting pedalling.
It seems to have considered every minor detail and the overshoes perform brilliantly, defeated only by heavy rain.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Composition Base: 84% Neoprene, 16%PU
Composition Upper 12,ooo/6,000
Waterproof seam sealing
Strong, Strong, YKK Zip
Road specific sole design
Neat reinforcement on toe area
Zip has been offset, away from the Achilles to remove any possible irritation.
Neoprene ensures they're warm while the thinner waterproof material on the crank side doesn't compromise on temperature and keeps the weight down. However, they started to let water through in heavy rain.
Very impressed with the hardwearing material on the base of the overshoes, and saw no signs of wear after a month's regular use commuting and riding.
I have typically large cyclist's calves and often struggle to get overshoes done up. These were a very good fit without being too loose.
Come up a little small. I wore a large which Galibier says is 43/44 and I'm a 41/42 in most shoes.
Lightweight and don't feel at all bulky.
Thinner PU material on the crank side means they don't feel bulky and fit nicely around my calves without being too tight.
Not super-pricey and they do deliver.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very warm and one of the most comfortable pairs of overshoes I've ever ridden in. Waterproofing was good in most conditions, but in heavy rain water started to leak through around the ankles and heel area.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Love the mixture of materials used, which means they are protective and durable without feeling bulky.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Waterproofing leaves room for improvement.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Comfortable, not too pricey, easy to get on and off, and performed well in the cold. They're good – but would be very good with better waterproofing.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
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: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.