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review

Giro Xnetic H2O Shoe Covers

8
£59.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Deliver good all-round performance in changeable conditions
Breathable
Waterproof
Easy to fit
Not as warm in heavy rain
Weight: 
89g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Waterproof, warm and yet breathable too, the Giro Xnetic H2O Shoe Covers offer great coverage for typically chilly and showery UK conditions. They're not the best if it's very wet though, as they lose a little warmth once the outer layer is soaked.

These are designed for temperatures 'dipping towards freezing' rather than full-on winter hell, and as such use a layered fabric construction like you get in a technical jacket – the 'RainGuard' membrane is sandwiched by two fabric layers that protect it. They're a good option if you tend to struggle with sweaty feet, or want to use them in spring or autumn.

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In showery and chilly conditions, they perform really well – Giro has got the balance right. So long as the temperature gauge is on the positive side of zero, and you're not heading out in a deluge, they're up to the task.

They do lose some warmth if the nylon outer becomes soaked, though. It is able to bead off some water initially, but eventually it does start to absorb it and when this happens, it effectively cools the air making it through. The result? A greater feeling of windchill, and colder feet.

The fit is snug, and although the one-piece construction makes getting them around the heels tricky, once they're on they fit very well and are true to size. There's enough stretch to give reasonable sizing leeway, and that stretch is not so taut it causes uncomfortable overcompression on your shoes.

2022 Giro Xnetic H2O Shoe Covers - detail.jpg

The underside fabric is tougher than the sides and the cuffs, to withstand some walking about. There are hardier fabrics out there for this purpose, but as long as you're taking care not to scuff your feet over gravelly surfaces, it'll be fine. I've found it to be strong and resilient enough in typical conditions.

> 37 of the best pieces of waterproof cycling clothing

The cleat hole is generous, leaving more than ample space for my Look Keo cleats, and is well finished with a strong seam.

2022 Giro Xnetic H2O Shoe Covers - sole.jpg

The outer features a reflective cuff for visibility, and the inner lining is said to be hypoallergenic should it end up against any bare skin. The good news is there's no Velcro here, so there's no reason why you can't throw it in with your more technical stuff for a wash. I put them in a 'normal' wash cycle with ordinary detergent without any issues, too.

Value

At £59.99, the Xnetics are at the expensive end of things, though hardly alone there. Plus, as they closely resemble oversocks but perform like overshoes, you could argue you're getting the best of both worlds here.

Castelli's Diluvio UL Overshoes impressed us recently with a hardwearing construction with good all round performance, and they're also (now) £60. If you're looking to spend less, the Hydra Tech Pro Pioggia Winter Overshoes are thinner but still good, and £44.99.

If breathability is really key, you might also consider Lusso's aptly-named Breathe Overshoes at £45, although Anna Marie found the cleat hole and heel fit in need of improvement.

Overall

The Xnetic Shoe Covers provide good protection on chilly, changeable days where it could be wet or dry – the sort of days when full-on winter versions feel like overkill.

Verdict

Deliver good all-round performance in changeable conditions

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Giro Xnetic H2O Shoe Covers

Size tested: Large (43-45)

Tell us what the product is for

Giro says: "The Xnetic H20 shoe cover brings waterproof performance, seamless construction and breathable fibers together for the highest level of flexibility available. The unique three-layer composition fuses our RainGuard membrane between a durable nylon outer shell and hypoallergenic liner, for use in wet weather and temperatures that dip towards freezing."

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

Features:

- Abrasion-resistant, one-piece

- Xnetic knit shell w/stretch

- RainGuard internal waterproof membrane

- Stitch-free slip-on cuff

- Reflective cuff highlight

- Hypoallergenic lining

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

Very easy.

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Breathable, waterproof, easy to fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lose a little warmth once the outers become soaked.

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

At £59.99, the Xnetics are at the expensive end of things, though hardly alone there. Plus, as they closely resemble oversocks but perform like overshoes, you could argue you're getting the best of both worlds here.

Castelli's Diluvio UL Overshoes impressed us recently with a hardwearing construction with good all round performance, and they're also (now) £60. If you're looking to spend less, the Hydra Tech Pro Pioggia Winter Overshoes are thinner but still good, and £44.99. If breathability is really key, you might also consider Lusso's aptly-named Breathe Overshoes at £45, although Anna Marie found the cleat hole and heel fit in need of improvement.

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

These are well made and very good for those in-between days where it's not pouring, not dry, not freezing and not warm. They breathe well, fit very neaty and look good – the price is reasonably high, but not excessively so for what they offer.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 32  Height: 188cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL (2016), Fairlight Strael 3.0 (2021)  My best bike is:

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Dabble in Zwift training and racing

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