Cycling overshoes (a.k.a. shoe covers) are one cycle clothing accessory that you should definitely add to your wardrobe. With the vast range of shoe covers on the market though, how do you choose between a light cover sock and a fleece-lined neoprene overshoe? Time to take a look…
You can separate out the range of cycling shoe covers on the market into two categories: midseason/summer overshoes, which are designed to improve aerodynamics, protect your feet from light rain, or take the chill out of those early morning rides; compared to winter overshoes, which are designed to insulated and protect your feet from foul weather.
Within the midseason / summer range, there are three main types of shoe covers: lightweight aerodynamic, lightweight waterproof, and lightweight insulating. You should also consider that within these categories there may be off-road and on-road variations.
The first shoe cover to consider is the simple and classic 'Cover Sock'. This is made from a fabric much like your classic winter cycling socks, and the primary purpose is to add a little insulation and warmth on those early morning or late evening spring / summer rides. Cover socks are road cycling shoe specific, because they only have one hole in the sole – to accommodate your pedal cleat; therefore, they are not suitable for the lugs on mountain bike shoes.
Within the GripGrab range, the Primavera Midseason Cover Sock is a great product to choose to add a bit of warmth to your cycling outfit. Available in a range of colours, including high visibility yellow.
For road time trials and road racing aerodynamics become a key consideration. The airflow over your rotating feet is one of the obvious areas where efficiency gains can be made – a shoe cover helps to reduce turbulence and drag caused by the buckles and ratchets on your shoes.
Within the GripGrab range, the RaceAero is a simple lightweight Lycra shoe cover that can provide effective aerodynamic gains; it is also great for providing a little insulation. At the peak performance level, the RaceAero TT Raceday Shoe Cover is the ultimate in marginal gains – with a tall cuff that extends mid-way up the calf, it provides an efficient and 'Fast' silhouette.
Unless you live in the desert, the chances are you will still encounter some rain and puddles in the summer months. Thunderstorms does not have to mean wet feet though, and a lightweight waterproof shoe cover will help prevent your feet from getting soggy.
Within the GripGrab range, the RaceAqua Waterproof Shoe Covers are the overshoes you want in these conditions. Made from a waterproof coated Lycra, and with fully taped seams, they are a breathable lightweight shield for your feet and shoes. Because mountain bikers and cyclocross riders also encounter mud and spray in the summer months, the RaceAqua X Waterproof Shoe Covers have been especially designed to accommodate the lugs and treads of a mountain bike shoe.
When the summer comes to an end, and the temperatures tumble, then it is time to bring out the waterproof and insulating shoe covers. These will keep your toes toasty and dry, whatever the winter weather can throw your way.
Within the autumn / winter cycling shoe covers range, we can separate the offering into three categories: 'Midweight Insulation' for 1-10 Celsius, and 'Deep Winter Insulation' for less than five degrees Celsius; then there is also a great offering for 'Everyday Commuters', who need protection for their city bike rides across town.
A midweight insulation shoe cover is an overshoe designed to provide waterproof protection and middle weight insulation for your feet. Made from high stretch neoprene or waterproof coated fleece; they are designed to fit snugly over your road or mountain bike shoes, to provide the best protection from the elements.
The GripGrab RaceThermo Shoe Covers are state-of-the-art protection; featuring GripGrab's Intelliseal™ technology – they do away with the need for a zipper, and therefore increase comfort, flexibility, and durability. The 4mm thick neoprene is great protection and insulation, and the RaceThermo comes in black and Hi-Vis versions. For the mountain biker and cyclocross rider, there is the GripGrab RaceThermo X Shoe Covers – designed with a sole that can accommodate mountain bike shoes, and also featuring Kevlar® reinforcements.
The GripGrab Ride Waterproof Shoe Covers are a top value offering for the midweight insulation category. Simple in design, and easy to put on thanks to their Velcro closure; these are made from protective waterproof fleece that will keep out the cold and wet winter conditions.
Both the GripGrab Ride Waterproof Shoe Covers and the GripGrab Race Thermo Waterproof Shoe Covers also come in HiVis yellow colour schemes, to help enhance your visibility in low light conditions.
A deep winter insulation shoe cover is an overshoe designed to provide maximum insulation and protection for the wind, rain, and snow; featuring think 4 mm neoprene fabrics, with welded seams.
The GripGrab Arctic Shoe Cover is as warm as they come. Featuring luxurious 4 mm thick fleece lined neoprene, with GripGrab's ingenious Intelliseal cuff – these are insulating, protective, and built to last through many long hard winters. The Arctic works best for road cycling shoes, but there is also the GripGrab Arctic X for off-road cycling shoes. Riding in traffic as well? – good news, the Arctic comes in Hi-Vis colour schemes too.
The GripGrab Ride Winter Waterproof Shoe Cover is the value offering in the deep winter overshoe range. It still uses 4 mm thick neoprene but swaps the Intelliseal zipper-less cuff for a simple Velcro closure. It is insulating, protective, and easy to use.
Last, but definitely not least – don't forget the hardy winter commuters. Those people that ride to work every day on their city bike and need some protection for their feet.
Within the GripGrab range, the GripGrab Dryfoot® Everyday Shoe Cover is made for the classic 'Copenhagen Commuter' – the individual who rides whatever the weather and does not want to arrive at the office with soggy socks and shoes. The Dryfoot® is a waterproof and windproof shoe cover that extends high up the calf, and fits around your everyday trainers or work shoes; providing you with valuable protection from rain and road spray. Keep on commuting.
Sometimes the rain and road spray are so strong that it will infiltrate the cuff of your overshoes, and creep down into your socks, leaving you cold and wet. The solution is to improve the seal around the calf and the overshoe, with a GripGrab CyclinGaiter.
The GripGrab CyclinGaiter is a neoprene cuff, which is designed to fit super snug onto the calf of your waterproof cycling tights or leg warmers; so that the water runs down your leg, down the gaiter, and over the outer face of the shoe cover rather than getting inside. Seal out the elements. Enjoy the ride.
Perfect how to put on your cycling shoe covers and CyclinGaiters with these guides: