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The Spatz Roadman 2 overshoes are the latest design from the British company that specialises in clothing for harsh conditions. They might look odd, but if you ride in wet and cold conditions typical of UK winters, these take comfort to new levels.
Let's start with the looks, as that is without a doubt what makes these stand out – and might be enough to put some off. Just bear in mind that the calf height neoprene is brilliant – and when you think about it, high performance cycling gear can often be function over form...
The overshoes are made from hydrophobic, waterproof neoprene with reinforced kevlar material in key areas that might see some abrasion, including under the toe cap and the inside of the heels. The thickness of the neoprene varies, with some areas such as the toe being a thicker 4.5mm to provide extra insulation.
There's a knack to putting on these overshoes; if you try putting them on like 'normal' designs you will probably end up frustrated and potentially damage the overshoes by overstretching them.
My eventual method is simple and reasonably quick:
The lack of a zip might seem like it makes them more of a challenge to put on, but using the method above it's surprisingly quick. No zip might also mean they last longer – my experience with other overshoes is that the zip area usually fails before the material.
The Roadman 2s will not stop heavy, torrential rain seeping down through bib tights, and water getting in through the sole of some shoes. However, the difference compared with ankle height overshoes is dramatic, and the same is true for winter boots in my experience – in wet weather they will also end up soaking inside and this can impact warmth. Another benefit over winter boots is that the Roadman 2s will dry out in a few hours, rather than days.
They do keep your feet dry on virtually all rides, especially where standing water is the main factor, as almost all the spray being thrown onto the overshoe's waterproof fabric simply rolls off, but the best feature of the Roadman 2s is the warmth they provide. In reality, it is impossible to keep your feet dry in the worst British weather, but if you can keep them warm you can keep riding in comfort.
I have tested the overshoes on some incredibly long rides in temperatures close to zero, with rain and standing water, and my feet have stayed warm every time. Even on dry days below zero, they've kept my feet warm in normal 'summer' shoes and mid-weight socks.
The warmth they provide is really noticeable when you take them off – which is best done in the reverse order to putting them on – and as you roll down the calf area with the thermal lining present, the warmth they've retained is instantly evident.
There is an upper limit to temperatures when the Spatz will be still be effective, and for me this was just above 10°C. It will be different for everyone, but for me around this temperature the warmth increases to a point that your shins get a little damp with sweat. I'd argue this is still preferable to soaking wet feet if the weather is particularly wet, but you might find something like a Velotoze more comfortable. The Spatz are far less fragile than Velotoze, though, and easier to put on.
Comfort is really excellent too. The tight fit initially felt like a compression sock, but after just a short ride I completely forgot I had them on. There is no added resistance, nothing that rubs or causes any form pain. You just ride and forget they are on. Perhaps the biggest accolade I could give them is that I chose to wear these for my 500km non-stop Festive 500 ride, and they were simply fantastic, not once causing a problem but just giving warmth and water repellency in some tough, wet and cold conditions.
The ability to use your favourite shoes year-round and keep them clean could be a big factor for some, especially if you struggle with foot comfort, as they remove the need to wear thicker socks or use a different winter shoe/boot.
The one potential downside is that the overshoes add a little width overall; for any pedal/crank setup that is running very close without an overshoe, it could lead to the foot rubbing in use, or require you to push the cleat in a little on your shoe. It won't affect all setups, but it's worth checking.
At £85 the Roadman 2s are expensive – more so than almost all other overshoes we've tested on road.cc. A quick look at more recent reviews shows just two that cost more: the GravelR siblings I tested for our sister site off.road.cc, at £120, and the Ekoi Heat Concept Overshoes that were £149.95 (though they're currently reduced to £80).
Durability and overall life will be a big factor, and if they can last longer, or at least as long as other overshoes, the added performance may then be worth the outlay. While everyone is different, for me overshoes are almost a yearly renewal, with soles or zips wearing out after heavy and frequent use. The materials on the Spatz seem promising, with no wear at all showing. If you often walk in your cycling shoes, wear may become an issue on the front around the toe, although this is one area where the Roadman 2s are reinforced.
Given their level of warmth and performance is close to or better than winter boots in some conditions, the price in comparison is more favourable, although a pair of winter boots should last longer.
If you keep riding outdoors year round and in all weathers, the Spatz Roadman 2 overshoes add warmth and extend the chances of having dry feet in even the foulest winter conditions. Some might say they look funny, but you'll be the one laughing with nice warm feet.
These take riding comfort to new levels in the most atrocious conditions – simply brilliant
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Spatzwear Roadman 2 Overshoes
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Spatz says: 'The SPATZ 'Roadman 2 Overshoe' is the next logical step in the evolution of the Roadman. Re-engineered with extended Kevlar toe area and targeted Aero-Armour super tough neoprene around the foot to guard against rips and tears.
'Integrated thermal lined shin panel to provide warmth and water management where you need it most. An industry first for an overshoe. Ride longer. Ride Roadman 2...
'Warmer. Visibly reflective. Tougher. But just as sleek and aero as before. Made for the commute. Made for rain. Made for the road, the gravel, the epic adventures.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Spatz lists these features:
Super insulating 4.5mm Kevlar toe box for the ultimate in warmth and abrasion resistance without adding excess bulk/weight.
Super Reflect 360 detailing for that 6am commute or epic night-time training sesh.
Tough Abrasion Resist fabric guards against heel rub.
Waterproof neoprene throughout with targeted panel thickness for exceptional insulation, fit and comfort. Intelligent water-dispersing lining. Hydrophobic outer layer. Heat welded and taped seams. Liquid seal gripper seals top and bottom. Wrinkle-free 'pro' cut.
Stretch velcro faster behind the cleat.
Made to keep you warm and visible.
Strong materials, good thickness, abrasion resistance where needed. Thick enough to be warm without being restrictive.
Simply perfect. Keep your feet warm in the harshest conditions, with no negatives.
Early days... Excessive walking will accelerate wear to the material around the toe cap, but with no zip and quality Velcro used under the sole area, there is little else to go wrong.
They are tight, but that is to be expected. I am at the top of the recommended size for the small (I'm a 41 shoe size) and they fitted fine. You might have an issue if attempting to use them on shoes that are not 'normal' road style clip-in shoes. With mountain bike trail shoes or flat shoes you may struggle, but they're not designed for those styles.
They are tight at first, although do stretch. For road shoes they should fit as intended. For mountain bike shoes, be aware that you might need a size larger.
Feel a little like a compression sock at first, but you soon forget you are wearing them. No issues with pedalling or long term use. I used them for an 18-hour ride non-stop with absolutely no issues or discomfort.
They certainly aren't cheap, but they are only £5 more than some high-end designs from Rapha and Assos, and if you struggle with cold feet and ride in all weather, you will think they are worth every penny.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simply rinse after use. Don't wash in a machine. They dry quickly when left somewhere suitable.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Exceptional performance. Used in truly awful weather, both cold and wet, and they kept my feet warm throughout which is something I often struggle with.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The level of warmth provided.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing. I have no issues with the look of them, but appreciate some will.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are more expensive than almost all other overshoes, bar their GravelR siblings and the Ekoi Heat Concept Overshoes. They are only a fiver more than some high-end designs, though, such as Rapha's Pro Teams and the Assos Assoisoires Winter Booties, and the Spatz are calf high, providing extra protection.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I have used numerous pairs of overshoes over the years and nothing has provided the level of warmth and protection that the Spatz Roadman 2s give. They keep your feet drier for longer, and create no issues when riding. They are exceptional – even with that price tag.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
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: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding