The best cycling overshoes: toasty toe covers for autumn and winter riding

A good pair of cycling overshoes can help keep your feet toasty and allow you to carry on riding in the worst of the winter weather. Here's our pick of the best

What are cycling overshoes?

Winter cycling overshoes are generally made from either thick neoprene or lighter, windproof, fleece-backed fabric. They’re designed to keep the cold, the wet, or both out – with holes at the bottom to allow your cleats to connect with the pedals.

>>> Best winter cycling shoes

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In cold, dry weather the traditional neoprene overshoe is an excellent insulator but gets waterlogged in persistent, heavy rain. However, if the overshoe itself doesn’t leak, water will eventually find its way in through the openings at the top and bottom.

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Lighter, Windstopper-type technical fabric is designed to be windproof, water resistant and breathable. As with neoprene, you only have a limited time before the water gets in, so it may be better to accept this and go for the lighter overshoe which will dry quickly.

The underside of an overshoe is prone to wear: look for a tough, seam-free base with reinforcements’ at heel and toe.

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Some brands say that hi-vis is most effective when used on moving parts, like the feet. Whether you agree with hi-vis or not, we would say reflective elements on winter overshoes are essential, particularly at the rear.

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Why wear overshoes when cycling?

Keeping feet warm and dry in winter is difficult for cyclists. Wind chill is the enemy for the extremities but add spray from the front wheel and unless your feet are appropriately insulated it won’t be long before you can’t feel them any more.

>>> Warm cycling socks for the winter months

Cycling overshoes reviewed

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Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes

Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes

Score: 8/10

Read more: Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes review

We were very impressed with these overshoes. They were warm, easy to put on, well-fitting, windproof and water resistant—basically all the points you want in an overshoe. Not only that, but the price is extremely competitive. With no discernible negatives, it was easy to give these a full 10/10.

The fabric has a woven appearance which Dexshell say is to make them more abrasion resistant, something that can be an issue for neoprene-based overshoes. No rips were suffered while on test and a gouge with a thumbnail was easily shrugged off.

On the underside of the overshoe, the criss-cross pattern of the thread provides a bit of extra grip when walking about. It also serves to make the overshoes even more robust, as this is an area that can sometime wear quickly.

A full-length waterproof zip at the back made getting them on and off a breeze. The zipper is secured by a tab at the top to stop it slipping down at an inopportune moment. Another nice touch is the elasticated cuff with an internal silicone gripper, which helps to secure the overshoes in place.

Buy now: Dexshell Heavy Duty Overshoes at Tweeks Cycles for £21

Lusso Windtex Stealth overshoes

best cycling overshoes

Lusso Windtex Stealth overshoes

Score: 8/10

Read more: Lusso Windtex Overboots review

British firm Lusso has gone for fleecy-backed Windtex fabric for its winter bootie and it’s a sensible choice. Although it’s not as thick as neoprene, Windtex is obviously windproof, as the name suggests. The manufacturers of Windtex also guarantee it waterproof. It’s also much lighter and more elastic than neoprene so has several advantages over the heavier, more traditional overshoe material.

Since Windtex is stretchy you can get away with a smaller size and a closer fit – the medium size for 44 shoes was perfect with no pulling of the rear towards the cleat cut-out, which is slightly elongated to accommodate different cleat positions. There are good reflectives up the zip at the back and on the sides.

As for durability, the Windtex upper, with its taped central seam, is sewn to a tough but flexible plastic base, which crucially has no seams to wear out.

Lusso says its overboots are good from 0-14°C and although we’re not yet in the depths of winter, the Stealths have been great in sub-5°C rides.

Lusso has created a good-looking, simple and well functioning design with the Stealth Overboot and at £30 it represents super value for money.

Buy now: Lusso Windtex Stealth Overboots at Lusso for £30

Sportful Reflex 2 Windstopper Booties

Sportful Reflex 2 Windstopper Booties

Score: 8/10

Read more: Sportful WS Bootie Reflex overshoes review

The ‘WS’ stands for Windstopper, the fabric from Gore that is windproof with a water-repellent treatment. Like the Windtex the Lussos are made from, Windstopper is lightweight, elastic and fleece backed.

Sportful stitches the Windstopper uppers to a stretchy, reinforced neoprene base that extends part way up the sides and the back.

We found that although the Reflexes were made from more panels than most overshoes via a more sophisticated construction, the rear of the overshoe tended to pull forward over the heel of the shoe, meaning that you tread on the rear of the overshoe when walking, which raises questions about the Reflexes’ durability (obviously depending how much walking around you do). This happened to our XL test pair despite using them with a size 44 shoe: the XL is designed for size 44-45. If the cleat cut-out was slightly longer to accommodate a wider range of cleat positions that might solve the problem.

Obviously all overshoes can’t fit all shoes and all cleat positions so it could have been that we were simply unlucky. Otherwise, the Sportfuls are warm, good looking, well made and have intelligently placed reflectives.

Buy now: Sportful Reflex 2 Windstopper Booties at Wiggle for £39.95 or at Wiggle US for $35.99

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Gore Windstopper Universal Thermo overshoes

best cycling overshoes

Gore Windstopper Universal Thermo overshoes

Score: 8/10

Read more: Gore Windstopper Universal Thermo overshoes

The front of the Universal Thermo is made from a thick version of Gore’s Windstopper fabric. This is very windproof, having a three-layer structure with a built-in membrane. It’s water repellent although will wet out in a downpour.

The rear of the upper is made of thinner Windstopper fabric. There are quite a few seams which, although not taped, they are flatlocked with wide zigzag stitching, which keeps them watertight enough.

The fit is close enough to prevent draughts and also helps keep out water, without being uncomfortable – particularly as the Windstopper fabric is very stretchy and flexible.

The undersides of the Universal Thermos are a bit fragile. There’s a reinforced toe section but the middle of the underfoot is a continuation of the upper fabric. There are taped seams around the cleat cut-out and these are likely to look distinctly tatty after a couple of seasons’ use.

Gore displaces the zippers to the outer side of the leg so they don’t rub as you pedal.

There’s a reflective strip built into the rear of the overshoe and reflective lettering on the outer edge for better visibility.

Buy now: Gore C5 Windstopper overshoe at Wiggle for £49.99 or Competitive Cyclist for $69.95

GripGrab RaceThermo Hi-Vis overshoes

best cycling overshoes

GripGrab RaceThermo Hi-Vis overshoes

Score: 8/10

Read more: GripGrab RaceThermo Hi-Vis overshoes review

Not only are the GripGrabs bright yellow, there is reflective printing on the sides and an even more reflective rear tape tab. What they don’t have, unlike most overshoes, is zips. Since overshoe zips are prone to failure and needing to be waterproof or backed to keep out water, the GripGrabs should be that much more durable and efficient.

Made of 4mm neoprene, the GripGrabs benefit from the brand’s Intelliseal, which won an award at this year’s Eurobike show. There’s a stretchy cuff, to allow you to get the overshoes on. Because this is quite deep, it helps keep water from trickling down your leg. There’s a Velcro tab under the instep to hold the two sides of the overshoe together. It’s easier to put on shoe first, overshoe second.

The base is made with rubber-coated stitching to increase durability and facilitating a tighter fit around the sole, helping to keep out water. There’s a reinforced fabric area at the toe to help reduce wear.

Durability is good, but with the thick neoprene construction we got some scuffing on the cranks.

Buy now: GripGrab Race Thermo Overshoes at Wiggle for £45.95 or Wiggle US for $35.56

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

SealSkinz Waterproof All Weather Cycle Oversock

best cycling overshoes

Score: 8/10

Read more: SealSkinz Waterproof All Weather Cycle Oversock review

Sometimes you don’t want a full overshoe – in which case a lighter layer in the shape of an oversock is perfect.

This version from Sealskinz is particularly appealing because the brand has utilised its waterproof fabric, which promises to keep all the drops out without compromising breathability. The material is high stretch, so the warmers go on and come off easily and they’re machine washable.

Oversocks tend to be a little less resilient than overshoes, due to thinner material, but the Sealskinz version should be a good compromise.

Buy now: SealSkinz Waterproof All Weather Cycle Oversock at Rutland Cycling or at Competitive Cycles for $49.95

Ale Neoprene Shoe Cover

best cycling overshoes

Ale Neoprene Shoe Cover

Made from 3mm neoprene, these overshoes extend a good distance up the ankle comfortably covering the sock/tight overlap.

They’re made from a simple pattern of two halves, with the central seam on top of the foot taped for water and windproofing. There’s a zip up the back. A non-abrasive fabric is used to reinforce the underside of the toe and just behind the heel. On the inside of the heel is a small strip of silicone gripper to hold it to the shoe – a thoughtful and clever detail.

The Ales fit well since they’re open underneath between cleat and heel, with a Velcro strap to adjust tightness across the top of the foot. This means both cleat-forward and cleat-back positions don’t affect its position but it also means there’s limited coverage against water ingress from below and the Velcro strap is likely to wear out.

The thick neoprene is perfect for cold, dry days but gets waterlogged on the wet ones – as neoprene inevitably does. However, muck and filth from the lanes do not penetrate and they keep out showers.

A good deep-winter overshoe but it’s a shame there are no reflectives.

Buy now: Ale Neoprene shoe covers at BikeInn for £54.49 or at Wiggle US for $84

Castelli Toe Thingy 2 Toe Cover

best cycling overshoes


Another lighter option for those who don’t want a full overshoe is a toe cover, or a “toe thingy” as Castelli affectionally call it.

This windproof construction slips over the front of the shoe, with a rugged underside to provide grip and a silicone print to help keeps rips at bay.

If you get really cold toes, you can wear a set of these underneath full overshoes.

Buy now: Castelli Toe Thingy 2 at Wiggle for £18 or at Competitive Cyclist for $19.95

What to look for in cycling overshoes

We’ve had the pleasure of fully reviewing quite a few pairs of overshoes – there’s more full overshoe reviews here.

If, like us, you do the majority of your riding under the constant threat of rain, a fair threat of snow and likely freezing temperatures then a set of all-round cycling overshoes that will keep out the elements and keep you riding is essential.

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Be sure to keep checking back as the season goes on for more great overshoes.