Best cycling overshoes: full coverage shoe covers to see you through winter

Colin Levitch
·13-min read
 Best Cycling Overshoes
Best Cycling Overshoes

The best cycling overshoes are designed with one brief, and that is to stave off the winter weather in order to keep your feet dry, warm, and most importantly, comfortable during your winter cycling endeavours.

Your best cycling shoes probably aren't designed specifically for riding in the cold, and contrary to common assumption, wearing three pairs of thick wool socks won't necessarily keep your feet warm on a big day out in awful conditions, especially once the water creeps in. With this roundup of the best cycling overshoes and winter toe covers, your toes should remain toasty throughout the darkest months of the year.

An alternative method of keeping your feet comfortable is to invest in a pair of winter-specific shoes. The best winter cycling shoes are highly insulated, sealed, and explicitly designed to keep the cold and wet out. If you're committed to riding in freezing conditions for half of the year, then these might be a worthwhile purchase, but you don't need to invest in dedicated winter footwear to keep your toes toasty during the colder months. Depending on where you live, winter boots might be overkill, and a pair of toe or shoe covers may be just enough to keep your feet warm. With a pair of great neoprene overshoes, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how cold you can go, and if you go a step further and equip your bike with a set of the best road bike mudguards, you'll be well on the way to cosy toes all winter.

Keep scrolling for a roundup of our favourite overshoes, or jump to the bottom to find out how to choose the best cycling overshoes for you.

The best cycling overshoes you can buy today

Best cycling overshoes: Castelli
Best cycling overshoes: Castelli

Castelli RoS 2

The best cycling overshoes for mid-level protection and aerodynamics - perfect for early-season racing

Waterproof: Splash resistant | Temperature range: 0-14C / 32-57F | Material: Polyurethane, Polyester, Polartec | RRP: £75 / $100 / AU$TBC

Extra height keeps your tights dry and offers additional spray protection

Full-length zipper

High price at RRP

RoS stands for ‘Rain or Shine’, and Castelli designed the RoS Shoe cover to provide warmth, no matter the weather. The exterior fabric is windproof and water-resistant, while the interior is lined with Polartec fleece to keep your toes warm and cosy.

There is an extra tall cuff with a silicone gripper to keep water from sneaking in through the top, and a full-length zipper and pull tab on the heel for easy entry and exit. Most of the spray your feet encounter is splashed from your wheels; the seams on the RoS cover have been moved to the outside of the foot, and the inside splash zone sees extra moisture protection.

The RoS 2 overshoes see an upgraded aesthetic after the leather-look on the original RoS overshoe divided opinions. If you're looking for mild winter protection with a high cuff, whilst retaining aerodynamic performance - such as those early-season wet-weather races - the RoS 2 is a great choice.

Best cycling overshoes: Gore C5 Windstopper
Best cycling overshoes: Gore C5 Windstopper

Gore C5 Windstopper Thermo

Great cycling overshoes that show the cold wind who’s boss

Waterproof: No | Temperature range: 5-15C / 41-59F | Material: Windstopper | RRP: £60 / $90 / AU$TBC

Windstopper fabric works as advertised

Decent water resistance

The base is a bit fragile

Ankle could be higher

Membrane masters, Gore Bike Wear, has used its own Windstopper fabric over the front panel of the C5 overshoes to keep the frigid winds on the outside, without sacrificing breathability. The rear is made from a lighter weight fabric, and the entire cover is stretchy for a close-to-form fit.

There is a zippered closure up the side to help you get them on, but be warned they run small, so consider sizing up. Available in black and neon yellow, we’d recommend the black version as cycling overshoes don't stay clean for long.

Best cycling overshoes: Sportful Windstopper Reflex 2
Best cycling overshoes: Sportful Windstopper Reflex 2

Sportful Windstopper Reflex 2

Warm, water resistant overshoes

Waterproof: No | Temperature range: -5C+ / 23C+ | Material: Windstopper | RRP: £50 / $70 / AU$TBC

Fantastic cold protection

Wide range of sizes and good cut

Low-cut ankle

Borrowing a bit of tech from Gore-Tex, the bulk of Sportful’s Reflex booties are made from Windstopper fabric which cuts through frigid winds and will keep most of the rain out. Don't expect dry feet in a downpour, although even fully waterproof booties can’t achieve this feat.

The Neoprene side and rear panels add a bit of stretch to these booties to help you get them over your shoes, while also offering some water resistance. A zip at the rear packages everything up nicely and is lined with reflective material for added low-light visibility.

Best cycling overshoes: DHB Extreme weather Neoprene Overshoe
Best cycling overshoes: DHB Extreme weather Neoprene Overshoe

DHB Extreme Weather Neoprene

The best overshoes for brutal weather on a budget

Waterproof: Yes | Temperature range: N/A | Material: Neoprene | RRP: £32 / $41 / AU$59

Dry and warm

Durable

Price at RRP

Bulky

Made from 3.5mm neoprene rubber, the DHB Extreme Weather overshoes are designed to keep the nastiest elements on the outside. There is only one seam on the front which gives water little opportunity to sneak in, and it’s flat stitched and taped on the inside to maximise ingress protection.

The toe and heel are reinforced with Kevlar fabric, so these DHB overshoes should last you a few winters. With so much rubber wrapped around your feet, it should come as no surprise that they are a bit bulky, and may touch your crank as your feet go round.

If you're looking for extreme weather protection on a bit of a budget, the DHB Extreme Neoprene are the best cycling overshoes for you.

Best cycling overshoes: GripGrab Arctic
Best cycling overshoes: GripGrab Arctic

GripGrab Arctic

Best for baltic

Waterproof: Yes | Temperature range: -10-5C / 14-41F | Material: Neoprene | RRP: £63 / $79 / AU$110

Zipless design

Thick and warm neoprene

Ideal for use with MTB / Gravel shoes

Open bottom

Made with hollow fibre lined 4mm waterproof neoprene, the GripGrab Arctic is one of the warmest shoe covers you can buy. The bottom of the cover is completely open only secured by a velcro strap. This not only removes the need for a zipper up the back, which can be the source of irritation over the course of a ride, but it also makes peeling them off your feet post-ride a breeze.

Around the heel and toe, GripGrab has used what it calls IntelliSeal, which creates a seal around the opening, to prevent moisture from sneaking in - it’s also said to enhance durability. The rear of the shoe also has provision to clip on a light and a reflective patch. They can also be used with the best gravel bike shoes.

Best cycling overshoes:  Pearl Izumi Pro AmFib WxB shoe cover
Best cycling overshoes: Pearl Izumi Pro AmFib WxB shoe cover

Pearl Izumi Pro AmFib WxB

A breeze to put on

Waterproof: Yes | Temperature range: N/A | Material: Polyester, Nylon, Kevlar, Polyurethane | RRP: £100 / $100 / AU$TBC

Available in black and ‘screaming yellow’

Velcro back makes them easy to put on, no sacrifice in fit

Velcro may not last

Combining an Outdry waterproof membrane and Primaloft Gold insulation, the Pearl Izumi Pro AmFib WxB shoe covers are designed to keep the elements out and trap as much heat in as possible. When water does eventually overcome the membrane or sneak in through the cuff, the Prima Loft insulation maintains its warmth.

The base of the shoe is made with Kevlar face fabric, and the toes are rubber reinforced to prevent abrasions. At the back, the overshoes feature a two-stage hook and loop closure for a tight fit and to seal the booties closed. This also makes getting them on a breeze.

Best cycling overshoes: Spatz
Best cycling overshoes: Spatz

Spatz Pro 2

Embrace overkill and stay warm

Waterproof: Yes | Temperature range: N/A | Material: Neoprene, kevlar | RRP: £100 / $111 / AU$189

Zipless design

4.5mm thick neoprene

Full-calf coverage

Open bottom

The major negative that befalls even the best cycling overshoes is the gaping hole through which you place your foot when putting it on. When rainwater hits your legs, it often seeps down the gap between your calf and your overshoes, and down into your socks. Many brands offer a sealed edge, but British brand Spatz tackles this issue by raising the length of the leg portion further than no other, resulting in an overshoe that extends to just below the knee. That's not all though, the Pro 2 overshoes are made using 'aero-armour' neoprene, which retains a non-baggy fit and abrasion resistance.

Kevlar-topped neoprene is used for the ankle area and toe box to offer flexibility and durability, whilst on the inside, there's a thermo fabric which is designed to breathe, whilst keeping your feet nice and cosy.

For anyone looking to make cold feet a thing of the past, these are the best cycling overshoes available.

Best cycling overshoes: Velotoze
Best cycling overshoes: Velotoze

VeloToze Road 2.0

A sealed latex skin that offers maximum water resistance

Waterproof: Yes | Temperature range: 5-16C / 40-60F | Material: Latex | RRP: £19 / $20 / AU$35

Low profile

Completely waterproof

Not breathable at all

Velotoze offers a simple, yet very effective solution to waterproofing. By creating a fully-latex membrane that encases the shoe like a swim cap, they are able to offer complete waterproofing. The downside was a lack of durability, meaning they very easily tore, and were regularly damaged if ever walked in. The solution to this was the Road 2.0, which offers reinforcement at the bottom and around the toe.

We say 'complete waterproofing', but it's worth remembering that there are still holes at the top, cleat, and heel, so like any of the options here, water can find its way in during the worst of the downpours, and be aware that breathability is reduced, so you might find your feet damp from sweat too.

Those concerns aside, if you're looking for great aerodynamics and/or incredible water resistance, then the Velotoze Tall overshoes are a superb solution.

Best cycling overshoes: VeloToze toe cover
Best cycling overshoes: VeloToze toe cover

VeloToze Toe Cover

Like a swim cap for your toes

Waterproof: Yes | Temperature range: 10-18C / 50-64F | Material: Latex | RRP: £10 / $13 / AU$22

Low profile and completely waterproof

Price

Fragile

VeloToze uses natural Latex rubber in the majority of its shoe covers because it's entirely wind and waterproof. The toe covers still allow your feet to breathe a bit, but encase the front of your shoe in a weatherproof barrier. They conform around any shoe and leave the cleat clear.

For true rain-battling winter warriors, a neoprene overshoe paired with a VeloToze Toe Cover is a worthy pairing to increase ingress protection against road spray.

Best cycling overshoes: Castelli Toe Thingy 2
Best cycling overshoes: Castelli Toe Thingy 2

Castelli Toe Thingy 2

Neoprene toe warmers

Waterproof: Yes | Temperature range: 10-18C / 50-64F | Material: Neoprene | RRP: £17 / $20 / AU$24

Rubberised outside

Use cleat to stay on

Limited warmth and water protection

Made from Neoprene fabric, Castelli’s Toe Thingy blocks wind and water to provide warmth over the most sensitive part of your feet. Looping over the back of your cleat to stay on, the bottom features a rubberised outsole for added grip and durability.

They are low profile, lightweight and provide the bit of extra warmth needed for riding in moderate weather.

How to choose the best cycling overshoes

Toe or shoe covers

Just as you may not need full winter boots, full shoe covers might be too warm if you’re just trying to take a bite out of a brisk afternoon. Toe covers, as the name suggests, only cover the toe box of your shoe, ceasing just past the cleat to hold itself in place.

Cycling overshoes, on the other hand, engulf your whole shoe and see a cuff that will continue up the calf - the length of which varies by brand and model. Of course, the further up the leg, the greater the protection against the elements, and with the additional coverage, it should come as no surprise that full overshoes are considerably warmer.

Windproof or waterproof

Are you riding in the UK where there is a constant threat of rain? Or Colorado, where if the road isn’t covered in snow there probably isn't much precipitation to worry about, but the temperature is likely to regularly dip below freezing?

If the threat of wet weather is a constant, look for something made of neoprene. It does well to keep water out for a while, and when moisture inevitably finds its way in, acts like a wetsuit and keeps your feet warm.

Windproof shoe covers will have an internal membrane and are ideal for taking the bite out of cold winds. Booties with waterproof membranes are available too, but water has a habit of getting in anyway, and their neoprene cousins are usually a bit warmer.

Waterproof isn’t totally waterproof

Even if you have the best cycling overshoes on the market, your feet are still going to get wet in heavy rain. Water is a sneaky devil and will make its way in through the upper cuff and the cleat and heel openings in the bottom.

How to wear them

While most will argue wearing your overshoes should go over your tights, there's an argument for wearing them underneath. Water will usually land on your tights, then run down your leg. Wearing the tights on the outside of your overshoes will mean that this water doesn't run down inside and straight into your socks.

Talking of socks, if you're ever wearing your overshoes with shorts rather than tights (think rainy but warm weather), then you should avoid wearing socks that extend beyond the height of your overshoes. Many overshoes are designed to seal against the smooth skin of your leg to keep out the rain. Introducing a fabric sock ruins this seal and offers an open door for water to seep into your socks.

The other place that water tends to sneak in is through the cleat hole. Pairing your overshoes with a waterproof toe cover can help that water to run straight off your toes and onto the floor, rather than being soaked into the front of your overshoes.

Insulation

The thicker the shoe cover, the warmer it's going to be, but one thing to keep in mind is how much of the bottom of your shoe it covers. Carbon is a terrible insulator which, combined with the metal cleat screws, can radiate cold into your feet and lead to discomfort. Unfortunately, there needs to be holes in the bottom of your cycling overshoes to accommodate the cleat and heel pad, but in most cases, the more of the sole that is covered, the warmer you will be.

Zips and Velcro

Wrestling shoe covers onto your feet can be a workout all on its own, but well-placed zippers can make the process considerably more manageable. Look for a pair of cycling overshoes that feature a pull tab built into the heel to simplify the process. Velcro straps at the top cuff can allow you to tighten up the opening and help to prolong water ingress, but its effectiveness will eventually deteriorate.