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Ekoi's Heat Concept range consists of these overshoes, and a pair of gloves. Both have the same aim – to keep your extremities from freezing in the cold – and both use a system of integrated heating elements and lithium polymer batteries to achieve that aim. And do you know what? They work.
I mean, it's not like having your feet in a warm bath while you cycle around in sub-zero temperatures all day, or anything like that, but the heating elements in the overshoes certainly do make a noticeable difference to the warmth of your feet on a cold ride. It was pretty easy to confirm this, simply by turning one of the overshoes on and leaving the other one off. At the end of two hours' riding in temperatures not far north of zero, it wasn't hard to remember which foot had been heated. It was the difference between losing feeling in your toes, and being cold, but comfortable.
The system is straightforward. Each overshoe has two removable batteries (wired together) that fit into pockets at the top of the overshoe. They plug into the heating elements and there's a big rubberised button on each overshoe to toggle through the heating options. Green is the coolest and gives you 5 hours of heating, and then there's yellow, orange and red, by which time the heat has increased significantly and the run time has headed in the other direction: just two hours of riding.
Generally speaking, they're pretty well-made. The battery connections feel a little bit flimsy and it's worth taking care when you're pulling them in and out of the pockets, but I didn't have any real problems. The pockets close with velcro, which started to come undone and had to be re-sewn, which was a bit annoying but not the end of the world. You get a dedicated charger which allows you to charge both batteries at once, but I can't help feeling it'd be a whole lot easier if they used a standard mini- or micro-USB connection, so you could charge them wherever you wanted.
The overshoe itself is medium-weight neoprene, with a full zip at the rear and reflective detailing. Neoprene isn't fully waterproof, and although the heating elements are sealed inside the fabric the batteries and the battery connection are prone to getting a bit wet when it rains, as water tends to funnel in from the top of the overshoe. I didn't have any issues with the circuits shorting during use, but if you know you're going to be out in the proper wet it's probably worth giving them a bit of extra protection: a wrap of insulating tape round the connector at the very least, and maybe another waterproof bag for the batteries. The boot has a reinforced toe section and plenty of room for a three-bolt cleat; the middle elasticated section of the base will probably turn out to be a weak point over an extended period, but that's easily mended.
The Heat Concept overshoes are fairly heavy, especially if you're wearing a heavy winter shoe underneath. I didn't, ironically, as I found the heat from the overshoes transferred to my feet better when I was wearing lighter-weight shoes and socks. It's a bit of a balancing act: if you're planning to use the heating elements for the whole ride then you're better off going lighter on shoes and socks, but if you're only planning to turn them on if things go pear-shaped then you'll want to have your shoes and socks doing the lion's share of the insulating.
Overall, these overshoes are a worthwhile addition to your cold-weather arsenal, and if your feet really suffer in the cold then you'll probably be more amenable to the fairly hefty price tag. Not everyone will need them, but they might be exactly what you're looking for. If they are, be assured that they work pretty well.
Heated overshoes that do a good job of taking the sting out of the cold weather
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ekoi Heat Concept 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?
The world's very first heated overshoes with 4 temperature level options (simple press-button selector to choose: 25°/30°/35°/40°C.
You'll never again suffer from cold feet out on a winter ride. And we all know it's what you do in winter that determines what you achieve in summer!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
4 different temperature levels:
- LED GREEN 25 ° (max. 5 hours run time)
- LED YELLOW 30° (max. 4 hours run time)
- LED ORANGE 35° (max 3 hours run time)
- LED RED 40° (max 2 hours run time)
- Guaranted for 2 years from initial purchase date.
Lithium polymer batteries: 7.4 V: 2500 Ma
Power output at 7.4 volts = 15 watts
Pretty good, nice chunky button and well made. The velcro pockets for the batteries are a bit fiddly.
They really do keep your feet warmer. Not warm, but definitely warmer
Velcro is snagging and coming loose on internal pockets, batteries seem a bit vulnerable
Feel very normal considering the extra bulk
Pretty weighty, especially if you're wearing winter shoes as well
No real issues, you can sometimes feel the batteries
£150 is a lot for some overshoes but that might be a price worth paying if your feet really suffer in the cold
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I didn't really wash them, just wipe them down
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well, all told
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They do what they say they'll do
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A bit bulky and the battery connections feel a bit flimsy
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they had real issues with cold feet, yes
Use this box to explain your score
This might be just exactly what you're looking for if your feet always freeze on a ride. They're quite expensive and bulky, but they definitely do a job
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.