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review

Velotoze Silicone Shoe Covers

3
£27.99

VERDICT:

3
10
Great protection from the cold and wet, but far, far too fragile to be practical
Completely waterproof and windproof
Easier to get on than the original version
Inexpensive
Very fragile
Not breathable at all
Still a bit of a faff to put on
Weight: 
200g

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Velotoze Silicone Shoe Covers – or Tall Silicone Shoe Covers with Snaps, to give them their full title – are the latest incarnation of the company's super-stretchy overshoes. They're now easier to get on thanks to press-studs – 'snaps' in American – that click together under the soles of your shoes. In terms of weather protection they are some of the best cycling overshoes you can get – they retain the total wet and wind protection of the originals, and also their tendency to make your feet a bit sweaty – but they're too fragile to recommend for day-to-day use.

We last reviewed – and liked – Velotoze overshoes back in 2015 when David Arthur praised their 'fantastic bad weather protection' but found them a bit too tight and 'a battle' to put on.

These Tall Silicone Shoe Covers with Snaps are much easier to put on, but just as effective as the originals. They're more expensive at £28 v £20 for the version without press-studs, but that's worth it for reduced faff.

2022 Velotoze Silicone Shoe Cover - sole.jpg

I've seen Velotoze shoe covers described as being 'latex'. They're not, they're silicone rubber which is considerably tougher stuff. It's completely waterproof and impermeable to wind, and as a result so are these overshoes.

It's also extremely stretchy, which allows Velotoze to leave out the zips or Velcro closures you usually find in overshoes. That makes these shoe covers surprisingly cheap, reliable and effective.

2022 Velotoze Silicone Shoe Cover - logo.jpg

They're completely waterproof. Water can still get in through the sole of your shoes, but you have to be actually standing in it for that to happen because they seal pretty well around your cleats and also around those bits under your heels that make walking in bike shoes a tiny bit less likely to put you in A&E. Road spray, puddle splashes and actual rain just run straight off.

> 9 top survival tips for cycling in the rain

However, they're fragile. I managed to put holes in both in just two rides, one cut and one actual hole where some of the rubber had completely torn out. There are plenty of reports on retail sites from buyers who found the same thing and say they won't be buying these shoe covers again, however much they love the water-resistance.

2022 Velotoze Silicone Shoe Cover - hole 2.jpg
2022 Velotoze Silicone Shoe Cover - hole 1.jpg

To put on the original Velotoze shoe covers you have to pull them on before your shoes, then stretch them over your footwear. The process is much the same with this new version, but having press-studs under the sole means there's a bigger, stretchier hole to start with; it's therefore quite a bit easier to pull them down over your shoes.

Pulling together the tongues with the press-studs on is a bit fiddly. I found it was easier if I put the overshoes on with the logos on the inside, because then I could pull the top stud inwards from the outside of my foot. Velotoze's own photos are inconsistent; in some, the top studs are on the logoed side of the shoe cover, on others they're on the inboard side.

2022 Velotoze Silicone Shoe Cover - sole detail.jpg

Like regular Velotoze, they're not breathable at all. I finished even quite short rides with damp socks, though I didn't achieve Dave Arthur's level of 'really sweaty'. That was probably because I wore merino socks, and I think that's the trick with these shoe covers: pair them with socks that can absorb some sweat and are still warm when damp. Your feet might end up a bit moist, but they won't be smelly and uncomfortable.

While I'm taking issue with the esteemed Mr Arthur, I don't think these shoe covers are too silly for non-racing use, though you're going to have to be very careful how you walk in them to get more than a few uses out of them. Yes, they're very stretchy, and that no doubt attracts racers and especially time triallists who see possible aerodynamic gains in smoothing out all those knobbly bits on your shoes, but they're so effective for winter riding in general that I'd be happy to use them for club runs and just Going Riding too if they were just tougher.

Value

Compared with many overshoes, they're relatively cheap. A pair of Dexshell Heavies will cost you £42, up from £37 when we tested them in February, while Castelli Diluvio ULs are now £65 (they were £50 when Mat tested them last year), and for ultimate protection a pair of Spatz Roadman 3 Super-Thermo Hi-Viz Reflective Overshoes with Kevlar will now set you back £95 (up a fiver since George tested them in January).

However, you'll get more than a couple of rides out of all those.

Conclusion

The water-resistance of these shoe covers is absolutely stellar; they are far and away the most effective overshoes I've ever used when it comes to keeping out the wet. However, that I managed to put holes in them while walking between garage and bike, and bike and pub table demonstrates that they're so fragile you really can't use them for anything that involves getting off your bike.

Who should buy Velotoze Tall Silicone Shoe Covers with Snaps?

If you're able to ride out from your front door and back without walking more than a very few steps, then you'll be able to benefit from their superb water resistance. Likewise if you're racing, so you can put them on just before you start and take them off as soon as you finish, and you'll get some aerodynamic advantage too.

But for general riding that involves getting off the bike from time to time, they're just too easy to damage.

Verdict

Great protection from the cold and wet, but far, far too fragile to be practical

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Velotoze Silicone Shoe Cover with Snaps

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

They're shoe covers, so they're for keeping your feet warm and dry in the winter.

This particular version has tabs under the sole for ease of putting on. We tested the standard version a few years ago. https://road.cc/160630

Velotoze says:

"veloToze Silicone Shoe Covers are designed to keep your feet warm and dry in cold, wet weather. They are made to provide additional insulation than our 2.0 Tall Shoe Covers, waterproof and windproof silicone material provides excellent protection for your feet from the elements. To improve the ease of installation, we added snap buttons at the bottom of shoe covers which can be fastened easily under your cycling shoes. The silicone material is also very flexible to form a smooth snug fit over the dials and buckles of your cycling shoes. The cleat and heel pad openings are large enough to fit most gravel cycling shoes. Whether it's race day, training day, gravel day, or just another commute day, veloToze Silicone Shoe Covers will keep your feet dry and comfortable."

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

Velotoze lists these 'FEATURES AND BENEFITS':

Waterproof: designed to form a tight seal with your calf, to keep your feet and shoes dry

Windproof: windproof material keep your feet warm on cold mornings or winter rides (-5C/20F to 15C/60F)

Easy to put on: innovative buttons snap on easy under cycling shoe

Aerodynamic: smooth, flexible material creates a snug aero fit

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
5/10

They're tidily moulded.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Superb at keeping the rain out.

Rate the product for durability:
 
1/10

Ridiculously fragile.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Stretch means they're a snug but not constricting fit.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

Our size L samples were bang on around my size 43 shoes.

Rate the product for weight:
 
5/10

It's not noticeable when riding, but 200g is actually slightly heavy for a pair of overshoes.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

I didn't notice I was wearing them until I pondered how wet my feet weren't.

Rate the product for value:
 
2/10

They're at the cheap end of the overshoe price range, but if you're going to have to replace them after every few rides that pulls down the value.

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

You can just rinse off the muck.

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

At keeping your feet dry and warm they're brilliant. At lasting, say a whole winter, not so much.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Having dry feet at the end of a very wet ride.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Finding holes in the rubber at the end of a ride.

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

Compared with many overshoes, they're relatively cheap. A pair of Dexshell Heavies will cost you £42, while Castelli Diluvio ULs are now £65, and for ultimate protection a pair of Spatz Roadman 3 Super-Thermo Hi-Viz Reflective Overshoes with Kevlar will set you back £95.

However, you'll get more than a couple of rides out of all those.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only if they were able to ride without ever having to walk more than a couple steps.

Use this box to explain your overall score

I'm rating these as poor, because however good they are at keeping out the wet, they're too fragile to be a sensible proposition.

Overall rating: 3/10

About the tester

Age: 55  Height: 5ft 11in  Weight: 100kg

I usually ride: Scapin Style  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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