What you see here are the latest generation of Sportful's Speedskin Silicone Booties, overshoes to you and me. They keep the wind and water out brilliantly but only really work on milder days because of their lack of insulation.
- Pros: Brilliant at keeping rain and road spray out
- Cons: Not the warmest
The Speedskins started life as a time trial overshoe, developed more for controlling airflow over the bumps and buckles of your shoes, but with the addition of taped seams and a silicone coating over the Lycra they are some of the most weatherproof overshoes I've worn.
The material is near-impenetrable by both wind and water – riding on wet roads caused them no issue at all. They finish quite high up your calf so that cuts down on a lot of the spray hitting your tights and soaking down in through to your socks that way. Something that inevitably happens when you are riding in persistent heavy rain, but no overshoe is immune to this.
They do have a snug fit around your leg, backed up by a silicone gripper to keep them in place. If you are pairing the Sportfuls with mudguards, I'd suggest your feet are going to remain dry for a very long time indeed.
The water from the road beads on the surface of the overshoes and doesn't have time to soak through the fabric; even on long wet rides no water made its way through.
They aren't that breathable, so if it is quite mild your feet do get warm. This helps on colder days as long as you start off with warm feet in the first place; keeping them warm isn't that much of an issue, but if you head out with cold feet there is no insulation here like you get with a pair of neoprene overshoes, so you'll struggle to warm up. They are definitely a pair for wet days rather than freezing days.
They are closed by a sealed zip at the rear, and unlike some brands the zips remain done up at all times. You have a little zip garage at the top to stop it digging into your heel.
There is a reflective strip up the rear, too, which helps catch the eye of following motorists, and another reflective on the front, either side of the logo.
Walking in overshoes can destroy them pretty quickly and the Sportfuls are no different here, but it is good to see that they have plenty of reinforcing around the cleat hole and the hole for the heel tab of your shoe to stop damage here. That cleat hole is big enough to deal with Speedplay cleats, some of the biggest out there.
The Speedskins are available in sizes Small to XXL, with these Large ones suiting up to a size 42. I usually wear a 44 so they were a bit of a stretch, but if I was to go up a size they would fit fine. I ordered some to try.
Money-wise, at £45 per pair they're not cheap, but they certainly performed better than the 40 quid Caratti Lightweight Waterproof Overshoes, which were let down by the fit and poorly taped seams, and their waterproofing far surpasses the £70 Assos Assosoires Winter Bootie.
Overall, if you want an overshoe to keep the rain out then the Sportfuls are up there with the best of them, but they are limited to milder days.
Excellent at keeping out wind and water, though lacking in insulation
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Speedskin Silicone Bootie
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Sportful says, "AN UPDATE TO OUR TOTALLY WINDPROOF AND WATERPROOF BOOTIE WITH A STEALTH LOOK
"The second generation of a bootie that started as an aero TT bootie. Taped seams make it totally waterproof and windproof. Ideal for nasty, wet weather when the temperature is still reasonable."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Matte-finished silicone-coated Lycra® fabric
Cut high to limit water entry and optimize aerodynamics
Very close-fitting and with reduced seams
YKK® rear zipper with reflective piping
Sealed ankle seam for waterproofing
Use Sportful's chart and you'll be fine.
They're not cheap but they perform better in the rain than the £40 Carattis mentioned in the review, and the Assos also referred to are much more expensive.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Sportful recommends a 30 degree wash and drip dry and I had no issues. Washing overshoes isn't something I normally do, mind, leaving that to the wet roads.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
When it comes to windproofing and waterproofing you can't knock them.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
If they were warmer they'd see you right through the winter.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Caratti's Lightweight Waterproof Overshoes are £40, the Assos Assosoires Winter Booties are £70.
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 overall score
If keeping your feet dry is the main purpose of your overshoes then the Sportfuls are very good, but you are limited to wearing them on days above freezing.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!