When the temperature drops but the desire to ride remains you need some serious protection for your feet, these oversized BBB Arctic Duty overshoes could be the answer.
BBB make clothing, accessories and tools. Despite being a jack of all trades they're also near masters in combining good design, well-chosen materials and delivering them at a price that makes them contenders for the mid-range – similar to DHB in many respects. So, to their Arctic Duty shoes covers.
At first glance you could be forgiven in thinking these are some sort of white water footwear. They're quite thick and rubbery rather than the svelte neoprene jobs we wear in warmer 'cool' weather. These are the wellies of the overshoe world. Not exactly sexy. What they lack in glamour and sophistication they more than make up for in their ability to deflect falling rain, road spray and even deep bow wave trips through flood puddles. This is because the booties have a rubber outer shell, and while that does add to their overall weight, the protection it affords is well worth carrying. Both heel and toe areas have extra rubber to give them extra durability.
'Arctic Duty' is a big claim. We tried them with our regular cool weather merino wool socks and standard shoes and were happy with dry feet. Eventually on a very puddly three hour ride we got enough water running down our legs to seep inside the cuff, though this is the Achilles heel of all overshoes, not just the BBB Arctic Duty. So rain performance we're happy with. The cold was a tougher nut for the Arctic Duty overshoes. They certainly add a good degree of insulation, but we have to say that on the coldest rides we still felt like adding an over sock to the shoe before putting these on over the top. The Arctic title may be a little overplayed.
Fit was good, and getting them on and off was about as easy as this game of push and pull can be (big buckles can be an issue with any overshoes). We liked the easy action of the heavy duty zip (usually the first element to fail on overshoes we find). One small niggle was the tendency for the inside edge of the rubber rand on the front of the shoe cover to rub the crank arms when the cranks were between 3 and 9 o'clock on each stroke, this might be just wide feel and short pedal axles but it was something we don't normally experience even with other 'heavy duty' overshoes.
All things considered we like the BBB Arctic Duty overshoes, though there is still work to be done to make them perfect. They offer a high degree of protection from the worst of the winter that most other overshoes struggle to get near to.
Warmer, dryer feet, but don't live up to Arctic claims.
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Make and model: BBB Arctic Duty overshoes
Size tested: Medium
Fifty quid is a lot to pay for overshoes – even really good ones, we'd like to see a tenner off these.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Generally very good on road and off road. The cold was the thing which they struggled with, which is odd when they're called Arctic Duty.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Apart from actually doing what it claims, damping vibration the P6 Hi Flex is both good looking and lightweight.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 41 Height: 5'9 Weight:
I usually ride: My seven titanium My best bike is:
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: cyclo cross, club rides, sportives, mtb, A bit of everything