Cycling Shoe overs Buying Guide 2022

GripGrab shoe covers rainy ride

A decent pair of cycling overshoes should be in every cyclist’s kit drawer when winter sets in. Providing a much-needed layer of warmth, and in many cases a waterproof barrier to the elements, cycling shoe covers are essential for keeping your toes warm on those long winter bike rides. 

1. Why should you wear shoe covers for winter cycling? 

Cycling overshoes are a simple but important addition to any cyclist's winter riding kit. Keeping your extremities – fingers and toes – warm and dry is key if you want to ride in comfort in the winter months. Cycling shoe covers work to keep your feet warm, even when the temperature drops.

 For most of us, the winter is the wettest part of the year; with plenty of rain and road spray contributing to the likelihood of getting damp and uncomfortable feet. Overshoes are an easy way to keep water away from your socks and shoes – a defensive barrier.

 Even on dry days, when rain and road spray are less of a concern, low temperatures and windchill can cause discomfort. A pair of winter cycling shoe covers will trap a layer of insulating air between your feet at the outside environment, while also shielding them from windchill.

 Finally, cycling overshoes can protect your expensive cycling shoes from the dirt and muck found on winter roads. Even for everyday commuters wearing casual shoes, shoe covers such as the GripGrab Everyday Shoe Covers will shield your office shoes or trainers from road grime and spray, so you can arrive at work looking smart. 

2. Why are there multiple kinds of winter cycling shoe covers? 

As with any cycling kit, the conditions in which you will be riding can dictate the best cycling shoe covers to choose. Equally, the type of shoes you will be wearing also has an influence. As such, there are multiple kinds of winter cycling overshoes. First, consider water protection versus breathability. Lightweight cover socks, such as the GripGrab Primavera Cover Socks, are highly breathable and insulating, but they will do little to protect your feet from water spray – they are best used on cool and dry days only.

By comparison a waterproof neoprene winter shoe cover, such as the GripGrab RaceThermo Shoe Covers, offer wet weather protection and insulation, but with a reduced breathability level.

Second, height – that is, how far up your leg each shoe cover goes – will be a factor in its level of protection. 'High Cut' shoe covers such as the GripGrab Aquashield offer enhanced wet weather protection because they extend high up your calf – shielding your lower legs from road spray and dirt. By contrast, the GripGrab RaceAqua Shoe Covers, while offering a similar level of waterproof protection for your feet, end just above the ankle and have a rear zip to make them easier to get on and off.

Third, price – GripGrab’s cycling essentials use the latest fabric technologies to get the best performance. The GripGrab 'Ride' Series Shoe Covers use more affordable fabrics though, while still delivering an impressive level of protection. The value offering means that when comparing for example the Ride Winter Shoe Covers and the RaceThermo Shoe Covers, the first has a simple hook-and-loop closure tab on the back, while the RaceThermo has advanced technologies such as the zipperless-cuff design and IntelliSeal™ technology.

Fourth, discipline and shoe type – an obvious way in which different shoe covers have different applications is the type of cycling you do and the kind of shoes that you wear for cycling. Our top of the range Flandrien Waterproof Knitted Road Shoe Covers are the ideal choice for those wet and cold autumn and winter days on the road bike but are not suitable for use with off-road shoes or on gravel rides. For rides off the beaten track, especially on the coldest days, a pair of overshoes like the GripGrab Artic X Waterproof Deep Winter MTB/CX Shoe Covers will be the better choice.

Because the soles of shoes are different, shoe covers need to be designed differently on the underside hem. The chunky soles of mountain bike shoes require a more open bottom hem to allow for the lugs of the tread to protrude out of the shoe cover, while a road shoe cover can wrap around the sole of the shoe to a greater extent as a road cycling shoe has a smoother sole. At the extreme of the spectrum, an everyday shoe, such as a trainer or work boot, needs to have a completely open bottom hem of the shoe cover so that you can happily walk around in them. 

3. What is the difference between the 'Ride' Series and the higher priced models?  

The GripGrab Ride series of cycling shoe covers have a simplified construction, such as a two layer fleece-backed waterproof stretch fabric on the Ride Waterproof Shoe Covers. In contrast, higher specification models such as the Flandrien Waterproof Knitted Road Shoe Covers have a more complex composition; this shoe cover uses a state-of-the-art three-layer fabric combining a soft knitted outer and inner, with a fully waterproof membrane.

The fit of the Ride series also differs to other overshoes in the GripGrab range: these are utilitarian overshoes – made to be easy to put on and take off. This contrasts to a performance product – with a very performance orientated fit – such as the GripGrab AquaShield High Cut Road Show Covers; these are water-resistant but also aerodynamic and designed for wet road rides and foul weather races.

Through materials, performance and design quality, every GripGrab product justifies its price, but that is not to say all products are the same price. A pair of shoe covers such as the GripGrab Ride Waterproof Shoe Covers will see any rider through winter but without the higher price commanded by a more performance focused product. 

Norway Winter Bikepacking Ride

4. What is the best cycling shoe cover for the coldest weather conditions? 

When the full arctic blast of winter arrives, lighter gloves and overshoes just don't cut the mustard. This is where very cold weather products such as the GripGrab Arctic and Arctic X Waterproof Deep Winter Shoe Covers are needed to keep your toes warm during road and off-road rides.

With a durable 5mm thermal neoprene outer, the impermeable coating protects your feet from spray and winter downpours. Inside, a premium fleece lining offers supreme warmth retention and protection from sub-zero temperatures and windchill.

Unique to GripGrab is the IntelliSeal™ technology – a hem that eliminates stitching fray, reduces fabric water uptake and enhances the seal against your shoe. 

Flandrien Knitted Waterproof Road Shoe Covers

5. Why would you choose a Waterproof Knitted Shoe Cover such as the GripGrab Flandrien? 

Sometimes you are forced to choose between form and function. That is, the best-looking product does not always do the best job. But that need not be the case… enter the GripGrab Flandrien Waterproof Knitted Road Shoe Covers.

Based on the classic ‘Belgian Bootie’, these shoe covers not only look great, but they are supremely comfortable – thanks to their snug, close-fitting cut and luxurious soft feel; and they are highly functional – with a three-layer waterproof membrane that keeps out the winter rain and road spray. 

6. How do you put on zipperless shoes covers? 

The Zipperless Cuff design found on many high-end GripGrab shoe covers reduces irritation, increases flexibility and extends the product life compared to zippered designs. They also require a new way of thinking when it comes to putting them on. 

Step 1
Wait! Don't put on your shoes yet. With just your socks on pull the shoe cover up your leg until the zipperless cuff is mid-way up your calf.

Step 2
Now, with the shoe cover rolled up, put your cycling shoes on and tighten them to your desired tension.

Step 3
Next, pull the front of the front of the shoe cover down and wrap it round the toe box of your cycling shoes. Then, pull the rear of the shoe cover down around the heel of your cycling shoes.

Step 4
Fasten the shoe cover’s hook-and-loop strap under your shoe and ensure the shoe cover is smooth and unfolded on all areas of the shoe.

Step 5
Enjoy your ride! 

How to put on a GripGrab zipperless shoe cover

7. How do you wear zipperless shoe covers with water-resistant leg warmers?  

If wearing a pair of GripGrab zipperless shoe covers with water-resistant leg warmers or bib tights, it’s important to get your layering right. We recommend putting the bottom cuff of the leggings over the top of your waterproof shoe covers to reduce how much moisture finds its way in the top. 

You can also get added protection from water ingress to the top of your cycling shoe covers by using GripGrab CyclinGaiters to form a better seal between your leg warmers and overshoes.

It is worth noting that GripGrab CyclinGaiters are sized on your calf circumference, not your shoe size – this is to ensure they form the best possible seal around your leg. Consult our size chart on the product page to get the optimal fit. 

 GripGrab CyclinGaiters

8. What are CyclinGaiters and how can then help keep your feet dry this winter?

What are CyclinGaiters and how can then help keep your feet dry this winter? GripGrab CyclinGaiters are an innovative product that gives added protection from water ingress through the top of your cycling shoe covers. They form a tighter seal between your leg warmers and overshoes to reduce the likelihood of water – from rain or road spray – creeping down the top cuff of your shoe covers and soaking your socks from the inside.

It is worth noting that GripGrab CyclinGaiters are sized on your calf circumference, not your shoe size – this is to ensure they form the best possible seal around your leg. Consult our size chart on the product page to get the optimal fit. 

9. How should you wash your cycling shoe covers? 

Washing machines and waterproof cycling kit really don’t mix well, so we recommend hand washing your cycling overshoes in cold water. This will remove any mud and grime that has built up but shouldn’t hinder the longevity of the product. If you’ve cycled down a lane after a herd of cattle has been through or are determined to wash your GripGrab shoe covers in the washing machine, these products should be washed on the gentlest spin cycle – likely to be called something like ‘Hand Wash’ – at a maximum temperature of 30°C. They should then be hung up to dry; don’t put them in a tumble-dryer or on a radiator.

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