The GripGrab RaceAqua Black Overshoes are a decent set of waterproof and windproof overshoes that fit well and look good. Don't expect them to do much in terms of insulation, but for foul weather or early/late season overshoes they are hard to fault.
There are, broadly speaking, two types of overshoes: those you wear to keep your feet warm in freezing conditions, and those you wear to keep your feet dry and the wind off. The RaceAquas certainly fit into the latter category.
Waterproofing is pretty impressive, with fully taped seams throughout, and the 75% Polyamide (Nylon) and 20% Polyurethane mixture in the material means they are considerably thinner and more stretchy than neoprene overshoes. Water tends to roll off better too, rather than sitting in the neoprene, which often tends to simply allow it to enter the fabric. It would be practically impossible for overshoes to be completely waterproof given the big hole at the top and two big holes at the bottom, but these give it a good go, and it was only a couple of times in the most intense prolonged rainfall that anything came through at all.
Windproofing is also impressive for overshoes that are so thin, with only a little really getting through in the coldest conditions and descending at 50kph. This means that for the bulk of the ride these are more than adequate.
These aren't deep winter overshoes so insulation isn't top priority, but I used them quite comfortably down to around 4°C with only a pair of merino socks on, which is pretty good.
Fit is designed to be tight to help with aerodynamics during TTs or early/late season races; I certainly found the thin and stretchy material relatively tight around the shoe. Getting them on and off isn't too much of an issue – I've certainly used overshoes that are considerably more difficult, and others that are easier. The cleat holes are huge too, so it was easy to get them in place and I never had any issues with them catching on the pedals.
The toe areas are reinforced, and GripGrab has used tough, resilient material throughout the base – there were no signs of ripping or scuffing throughout the review period. There is also a fair amount of reflective material used throughout, with a large area on the outside of the foot, across the elastic at the top, and on the ball of the foot.
They stay in place well thanks to the elastic around the top of the overshoe and the zip at the back of the ankle. GripGrab has also included a large flap at the back to cover the zip when the overshoes are on, which helps protect against irritation when riding. The overshoes are well made too, with strong stitching on all seams (which are also taped, as I said earlier).
With an RRP of £36 they are relatively expensive, but bear in mind the quality of the shoes and their effectiveness and it's justifiable.
Overall, I was really impressed with these overshoes. The fit is good, and they keep out the wind and rain. Perhaps they are a little expensive, but in terms of performance, they do their job very well.
A strong set of early/late season overshoes that deal well with the elements
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GripGrab RaceAqua Black Overshoes
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?
A set of early/late season, tight-fighting overshoes to protect against the wind and rain.
Gripgrab says: 'A lightweight, waterproof and aerodynamic shoe cover that protects against wind and rain. The waterproof stretch fabric gives a tight fit and the rear zipper makes it easy to pull over the shoe.'
This seems like a relatively accurate description of what they are and how they perform.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ultra slim fit
Reflector for safety
Really well made overshoes, a strong zip and good material choice.
Performed really well throughout, with decent waterproofing and windproofing combined with a strong fit.
Taped seams and reinforcement on the toes and under the sole means they are likely to last a long time.
Very good fit thanks to the stretch in the fabric.
Fitted like I would have expected.
Relatively lightweight materials used, not a heavyweight set of overshoes at all.
Flap at the back stops the zip from rubbing, and the windproofing and waterproofing make them comfortable in most conditions.
Relatively expensive, but the price can be justified given the quality.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, washed at 30°C with no issues at all.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well, kept the worst out, and did exactly what was required of them.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The windproofing is really impressive given the thickness of the materials.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Perhaps a little insulation wouldn't go amiss?
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
They did exactly what was needed throughout the review period, regardless of what was thrown at them. Very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.