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The Q36.5 WP Cycling Overshoes are Italian-made knitted-style overshoes with the performance of high-tech overshoes but the feel and look of oversocks. They are surprisingly weather resistant and extremely comfortable to ride in, but I wasn't so keen on the VeloToze style of having to put them on before your shoes – and I also found them slightly finicky to take off when it was cold. And though undoubtedly expensive, their price isn't out of kilter with some others in our best cycling overshoes buyer's guide.
The Q36.5 WP Cycling Overshoes are made using a 'three-layer Anfibio' fabric to help to keep your feet warm and dry.
Do they really keep your feet warm? Yes. Do they keep them dry? To a certain extent, yes. They actually performed better than some waterproof overshoes I've had in the past, and I was pleasantly surprised at their water resistance.
The material is in the style of oversock, which means they fit nicely over your shoes. I was impressed with how much water these were able to shrug off before your feet start to get wet. And typically, it wasn't because of the weakness of the overshoes that the water came in after a long downpour – it was through the bottom of my shoes where I still hadn't taped over the vents in a vain attempt to avoid facing the fact that winter is fast approaching.
Temperature-wise, my feet never overheated – there is a good degree of breathability even through their 'integral waterproof membrane'. They're advertised as being suitable for rides between 2°C and 18°C, and even though I rode them through most of November, they didn't see temperatures below about 7°C, which felt more like 5°C when you take wind chill into account. So, while I can't comment on their use through deep winter, I can confirm that they work really well up to that point with a lot of wind chill and the occasional shower.
I also appreciated the overshoes' reflective logos – small on the front and much larger on the back. I prefer this method rather than going for the dayglo option.
I tested the medium size overshoes that are designed for shoe sizes 40-43. I wear size 40 (wide) shoes with dual Boa dials and the overshoes fitted snugly with only a minor bit of breathing room on the front ankle crease. They did go quite high up my calf, over my bib tights, which is worth bearing in mind if you're not comfortable with that.
I never felt like they were compressing my legs or too tight over my shoes, and the material means they also weigh very little.
You put these on the same way as you put on VeloToze overshoes – before putting your shoes on. Then you stretch them over your shoe, lining up the holes on the bottom of the overshoe with your cleats and rear part of the outer sole. The material feels quite sturdy when you stretch it and it's reinforced on the openings, but if you've ever torn a VeloToze you'll understand the apprehension of stretching material over your shoe. It can also be a bit fiddly if you've got cold or wet on your ride.
There's no getting away from the fact that £81 is a lot of money – for overshoes of all things. But they are high-performing bits of kit and live up to most of their marketing promises. Similar styles of overshoe include the Giro Xnetic H2O Shoe Covers that Leon reviewed, which at £59.99 offer slightly better value with a very familiar styling.
For the same money, and with a Velcro enclosure on the sole, the MAAP Deep Winter Neo Overshoes that Stu rated highly are a great option. They don't come up as far on the leg and they lack the reflective markings of Q36.5's WP overshoes, but the MAAPs are likely to be better equipped to deal with more wintry conditions.
Whether the Q36.5 could become a go-to deep-winter overshoe, I'm not entirely sure, but they are seriously good for everything up to that – if you're willing to pay the price.
For light winter temperatures and the odd rain shower, Q36.5's WP overshoes are a brilliant and comfortable choice
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Q36.5 WP Cycling Overshoes
Size tested: 40-43
Tell us what the product is for
Q36 5 says: 'A rainproof overshoe that could quickly become your go-to winter overshoe, the Anfibio features a 3-layer fabric that includes an integral waterproof membrane to keep you warm and dry during rides from 2°C to 18°C.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Q36 5 says: 'Thanks to its seamless construction, the Anfibio fits like a second skin, without wrinkles.
A reinforced outsole constructed with a different yarn and a PU print assures durability, while to the rear, a large Q36.5 logo provides eye-catching reflectivity.'
Surprisingly solid for what at first glance looks like a giant sock.
Kept my feet nice and toasty in temperatures below 10°C. During testing the temperature didn't fall below 7°C, which felt like around 5°C taking wind chill into account.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much these stood up to in the test period – but I am aware that November doesn't represent the depths of winter.
Comfortable on the leg without feeling too restrictive, and they fitted really well over the size 40 wide Lake cycling shoes I wore during testing.
I tested the size 40-43 and wear a size 40 cycling shoe. The fit was nice and snug over the shoe with minimal bagginess at the front ankle crease.
Nice and light – enough for me to forget I was wearing them.
Not too compressive on the lower calf, and they fit well over the shoe.
They are towards the dearer end of the scale for overshoes, at £81, sitting within the range of the Spatz Legalz overshoes, which are more focused on wet-weather protection. For less money but with a similar 'oversock' look, the Giro Xnetic H2O Shoe Covers impressed Leon with their performance in changeable conditions.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well and without issue at 30°C.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Despite my testing time being November, and in Yorkshire, the temperature hovered around 10°C until the last week or so of testing. The overshoes worked really nicely when it dipped below 10°C, although I'm not sure how they would fare at sub-zero temperatures.
I was surprised how effective the membrane was at keeping water out – with water first appearing in my socks from the usual places on the sole, but even then only after a heavy downpour.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I really liked their low-key look. It does look a bit like you're wearing socks over your tights but that keeps the weight down and I genuinely forgot I was wearing them on more than one occasion. They work well in chilly temperatures even without thermal winter socks on.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I know there isn't a better way to get them on, but there's no escaping the fact that it's a bit finicky. In contrast to most other overshoes, where you put your cycling shoes on first – you actually put the Q36.5s on first, pulling them over your ankle and then stretching them back down over the shoe. It is time-consuming and it also doesn't feel like you're giving the material the best chance to survive long-term. Removing the overshoes can also be a little difficult after a cold and wet ride.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £81, the WP over shoes are expensive for a pair of overshoes. They're within the realm of the more wet-weather-focused Spatz Legalz. For £20 less you can grab the Giro Xnetic H2O Shoe Covers, which impressed us with their performance in changeable conditions and which have has a similar oversock design.
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
The Q36.5 WP overshoes are seriously good. While I can't comment on whether they would be suited to a full-on winter's day, they are well suited to the sub-10°C November weather I tested them in. They kept my feet warm and mostly dry, as there will be some water ingress when you ride in heavy rain rain. They can also be a bit fiddly to take off after a ride.
About the tester
I usually ride: Bianchi Oltre XR1 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, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Gravel