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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.
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.
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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.
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...
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.
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
The seam taping is poor. And – more of a design issue – the cuff is much too tight on the leg.
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.
The seam taping broke the first time I put these on.
Tight around the leg, but then loose on the toe and ankle.
The shoe bit is fine; the 'sizing' around the ankle needs addressing.
They are pretty light.
The cuff was tight and very uncomfortable.
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.
About the tester
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!