Riding in cold, wet, and miserable conditions and getting cold feet?
That’s definitely not my definition of having fun while riding. While riding in these conditions are never fun, the least you can do it to make it more bearable.
I’m talking about shoe covers.
The question is, which type suits your needs and riding conditions?
Shoe covers or overshoes?
They come in all types of sizes, coverage areas, and made from different materials that serve a specific purpose.
On this page, I’ll discuss them in more detail and share with you some of the most popular shoe covers among cyclists.
A Quick Glance : Our Favorite Cycling Shoe Covers
For the Budget Minded
The Velotoze is lightweight and affordable because it is made from rubber.
The material is so elastic to the point where it acts as a second skin to your cycling shoes. Velotoze shoe covers are also windproof and this keeps your feet warm when you are riding at low degrees. Take note that even though the Velotoze is good in bad weather, they are not very breathable.
These are snug around the ankle area and have two holes. One is the cleat hole, and the other is around the heel to help you fit these shoes perfectly.
- Pros : Cheap and affordable
- Cons : Hard to put on and not durable.
For Autumn & Spring
The Defeet Strada is basically a pair of durable, oversized cycling socks. While it is not as well-known at the Slipstream, this is our preferred choice.
They will keep your feet warm throughout the chilly mornings in autumn and spring. It is highly breathable because it is made from 92% nylon and 8% lycra.
Unlike the Defeet Slipstream, these are 2″ taller, more durable, and has a cleat opening pre-cut for you from the factory, making life easier.
- Pros : Made from very durable fabrics.
- Cons : Fabrics tend to get loose and stretched overtime.
Fizik is a brand that has been around since 1966, their products today are of high-quality. This pair of winter shoe covers are made from waterproof and windproof materials to keep your feet temperature high.
The bottom part is made of neoprene, while the upper part is made of a more stretchable material. To give you a perfect fit, it has a velcro strap, which you can use to adjust the tightness.
- Pros : Fully waterproof.
- Cons : Expensive.
For Maximum Visibility
Giro is a U.S. company specializing in cycling accessories and clothing.
The Giro Knit comes in 2 colors; black and lime green. For increased visibility, Giro has included a reflective cuff near the top.
Cordura, a piece of highly durable and tear-resistant fabric is used in manufacturing. It is lightweight and yet provides plenty of insulation for those chilly morning rides.
- Pros : Reflective cuff provides added visibility in the dark.
- Cons : Not waterproof nor water-resistant.
Best Toe Cover
Sportful Pro Race
If you don’t like wearing full shoe covers, try toe covers. They are very easy to put on and you will be ready to go before you realized it.
These toe covers from Sportful will keep your feet warm as it is made from a lightweight, 4mm neoprene that acts as an insulator. These toe covers have 4 mm neoprene material that is windproof and waterproof to keep your shoes dry.
- Pros : Very easy to put on.
- Cons : Limited coverage to only the front half of the shoe.
For Aerodynamics & Speed
If you like shoe covers that provide aerodynamics advantages, this would be a perfect fit for you.
To start, it has a smooth surface, which makes it more aerodynamic. The material used is waterproof and very stretchable to make it fit perfectly.
To boost the waterproof feature, this shoe cover has sealed seams. Graphics that are drawn on the surface are reflective, increasing your visibility at night.
- Pros : Sleek and modern-looking design while maintaining full functionality.
- Cons : Expensive.
The Castelli RoS is the best shoe cover from the Italian brand Castelli.
RoS is the acronym for Rain or Shine, which means that this shoe cover can be used in all weather conditions. It is fully windproof and waterproof and slightly more breathable than those neoprene shoe covers such as those from Fizik.
And if you are a weight weenie, you will be glad to know that this pair weighs in at only 120g.
- Pros : Lightweight and fully waterproof.
- Cons : Zippers can be very tight for those with large calves.
Shoe Covers Buying Guide
1. Coverage Area
Generally, there are 3 types of shoe covers. They can be categorized based on the coverage they provide for your feet.
- Toe Covers. They are designed to protect your toes in chilly and cold weather conditions. Most toe covers, such as the Sportful Pro Race, are made from neoprene, which is waterproof. Toe covers are easy to wear and remove.
- Full Coverage. They cover your feet completely up to a height that’s just below your calf muscles. They can keep your feet warm and dry because there is no extra space left out that will make your feet vulnerable. Some examples include Velotoze Tall and Castelli RoS.
- Ankle. Similar to full coverage shoe covers, but the only difference is ankle shoe covers protect your feet up to the ankles only (not your socks).
2. Materials Used
Let’s take a look at the common materials used to make shoe covers.
Apart from possessing windproof and waterproof qualities, this material is also a good insulator, making it a perfect match for cold and chilly seasons. Even if it gets damp, it will still retain the warmth that was there initially on your feet.
Insulation in neoprene shoe covers is also boosted by a fleece. However, neoprene shoe covers are not as breathable as knit shoe covers, so they might get damp on the inside when your feet perspire.
Knit shoe covers are also light. The main setback is the non-waterproof feature they possess.
Rubber is one of the lightest materials used in making shoe covers, such as the Velotoze.
It is also waterproof, this makes it a good fit for shoe covers that are used in wet and cold seasons. Although rubber possesses such amazing features, it is not as durable as neoprene.
You may notice some tear and wear after using it for a while. Rubber shoe covers are also not breathable, you cannot wear them during warm temperatures.
Finding the right size of shoe covers is an important aspect.
An oversized shoe cover can leave an opening at the topmost part, and water might get into your cycling shoes through that. On the other hand, shoe covers that are so tight might be uncomfortable for you.
When Should You Use Shoe Covers
1. Riding in The Rain
Most shoe covers that are designed to be used in wet conditions are often made from neoprene because it’s a waterproof material.
In some cases, the neoprene is boosted with an additional waterproof layer. If you are riding in rainy conditions, your shoe covers should be tight but not too tight to make you feel uncomfortable.
A tight grip at the top of the shoe cover prevents raindrops from getting in your shoes.
2. Riding in Cold and Chilly Conditions
Shoe covers designed for cold and chilly conditions have a layer of textured fleece in the interior part, which acts as an insulator. It traps a layer of air that keeps your feet warm.
3. Racing in Time Trials
Racing shoe covers are always lightweight. This makes sure that your performance is on-point because your feet are not strained by excess weight.
Aerodynamics shoe covers are also tight. However, these shoes are so vulnerable due to the light materials used to manufacture them.
If you want a pair of shoe covers that provide maximum aerodynamics advantage, take a look at the Castelli Slicker Slip-on.