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Verdict: 
Good main material let down by a bad fit and poorly taped seams
Weight: 
109g
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Caratti's Lightweight Waterproof Overshoes are a bit of a mixed bag. The main water resistant material is very good at keeping water out, but the taping on the seams is incredibly delicate, and then there are fit issues that make the zip difficult to do up, even on thin legs.

  • Pros: Breathable, good water resistance
  • Cons: Very tight on the leg, delicate seam taping

Getting a pair of overshoes that are waterproof, offer good movement and also breathe well isn't easy, but if you can get two of these features then you've got a pretty good pair. Caratti has tried to get all three features into this £40 pair of overshoes and it's a great attempt – these are very good in some areas – but there are also some fundamental flaws.

> Buy these online here

Let's start with the good stuff. The lightweight material used for the majority of the overshoe is great at keeping out the water. Having used them in heavy rain, this material isn't letting anything through. It also breathes very well, allowing you to use these in milder spring conditions when the rain can be heavy and come in bursts.

I also found that the overshoes protected my feet down to 5°C, a much colder temperature than I was expecting from such a lightweight pair of overshoes.

Durability is good, too: the heel, toe and underside of the overshoes are protected very well by a material that shows no sign of wear despite quite a bit of walking on gravel.

Caratti Lightweight Waterproof Overshoes-2.jpg

My first problem came when putting these on. The fit is close thanks to the stretch in the material, which is great around the top of the foot and heel. But the taped seams don't have the same stretch, and my pair have developed several rips along with the tape peeling nearly everywhere. This compromises the overshoe's waterproofness, allowing water to seep in via the main seam that runs right where water is going to hit.

The second main drawback is the tight fit around the leg. To prevent water from running down the leg and into your socks, the fit has to be close, but this is just too tight – even on my spindly legs. It makes the zip really hard to do up, and very uncomfortable when you do manage to.

That's not to say the fit is so close elsewhere, though. The toe has quite a bit of excess material, which doesn't look good, with the same problem at the ankle. All things considered, the fit just isn't good. Okay, we're all different, but if anything I'm skinnier in the leg than most/many – and here I'm still not skinny enough. Sizing therefore also becomes an issue, as I'd need to go up to the 44-46 size for comfort at the cuff, which would compromise fit around the actual shoe...

> Buyer's Guide: Essential wet weather cycle clothing and gear

As for value, even though these are currently down to £20 on Caratti's website, they can't compete with plenty of much better rivals. Altura's Etape II (£29.99) and GripGrab's RaceAqua (£36) are both brilliant options for less money, and if you've got a bit more cash to splash, dhb's new Aeron Lab Neoshell overshoes (£50) offer better performance and build quality with similar durability and are worth the extra tenner.

Overall, I like the lightweight feel and the amount of stretch in the very water resistant outer, but it's not backed up by taped seams or the fit at the cuff, toe or ankle, which makes comfort an issue too.

Verdict

Good main material let down by a bad fit and poorly taped seams

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Caratti Lightweight Waterproof Overshoes

Size tested: Large, 41-43

Tell us what the product is for

From Caratti: "Made from a waterproof material, these overshoes are perfect for when the roads are wet and the rain is falling. Designed for autumn/spring temperatures, the waterproof lined seams will keep most water and wind out, while also offering an aerodynamic advantage."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Caratti lists these features:

Water resistant material

Reflective zip pipping

Quality YKK zip

Reinforced sole and cleat opening

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
3/10

The seam taping is poor. And – more of a design issue – the cuff is much too tight on the leg.

Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10

The actual material is good at stopping water, and it's pretty breathable, but because of the poor taping, water will seep through quite quickly.

Rate the product for durability:
 
4/10

The seam taping broke the first time I put these on.

Rate the product for fit:
 
4/10

Tight around the leg, but then loose on the toe and ankle.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
4/10

The shoe bit is fine; the 'sizing' around the ankle needs addressing.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

They are pretty light.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
2/10

The cuff was tight and very uncomfortable.

Rate the product for value:
 
3/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Easy. Chuck them in with your kit but don't tumble dry.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The main material keeps water out well, while still being breathable. But the taping is poor and they're very uncomfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

If Caratti can sort out the taping and the fit issues, they'll be a very capable pair of overshoes.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The fit is the big one for me. They just dig in, making them unwearable.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Expensive compared with Altura's Etape II at £29.99, and GripGrab's Race Aqua are £36 – both brilliant options – and while dhb's new Aeron Lab Neoshell are more expensive at £50, they offer much better performance.

Did you enjoy using the product? No

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

These gain points for the lightweight material that is waterproof and breathable. But they then lose those points thanks to the uncomfortable fit, poor construction and higher price than their main rivals.

Overall rating: 4/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

6 comments

Avatar
Freddy56 [408 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Looks like the sole is designed for road shoes. Putting a mtb sole in them will kill them ?

Avatar
cyclesteffer [397 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I had these - had to send them straight back - their XL did not fit size 12 shimano shoes, although it said it did , it was absolutely miles off.

Avatar
Liam Cahill [169 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Freddy56 wrote:

Looks like the sole is designed for road shoes. Putting a mtb sole in them will kill them ?

Just for the photos. These were tested with road shoes and cleats.

Avatar
Kendalred [347 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Freddy56 wrote:

Looks like the sole is designed for road shoes. Putting a mtb sole in them will kill them ?

I've worn 'spd/mtb' shoes for years - never 'killed' any overshoes because of this.

Avatar
Freddy56 [408 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Kendalred wrote:
Freddy56 wrote:

Looks like the sole is designed for road shoes. Putting a mtb sole in them will kill them ?

I've worn 'spd/mtb' shoes for years - never 'killed' any overshoes because of this.

thats ok for ballroom dancing. but during these 'years' if you had ever walked into a cafe or over a fence, the material - pictured over the outer sole will quickly perish, or have you spent these years developing anti gravity mtb shoes as well? or frictionless cafe floors, or thin but bulletproof overshoe material.. the mind boggles with prospects of these lost years.

Avatar
janusz0 [343 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

In the long run, winter cycling boots, will outlast several overshoes and save you many hours of faff over their lifetime.