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

The best cycling overshoes will keep your feet warm so you can stay riding in the worst of the winter weather

best cycling overshoes
(Image credit: Cycling Weekly)

What are the best cycling overshoes?

There's no one set of best cycling overshoes, as they're designed to do different things.

There are several different kinds of overshoe, ones to keep you warm, dry, or both. There are even go faster options, which aren't covered here, but you can read more about aero clothing in Aero optimisation: you or the bike?

We've had the pleasure of fully reviewing quite a few pairs of cycling overshoes - there are 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 cycling overshoes to keep out the elements and keep you riding is essential.

Here's our pick of the best cycling overshoes we've reviewed. You can read more about what to look for in our buyer's guide below.

Best cycling overshoes reviewed and rated

Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes

Specifications
Fabric: Neoprene
Sizes: S - XL
Reasons to buy
+Price is good+Windproof+Water resistant+Warm+Reflective detailing+Waterproof zip+Easy to pull on+Excellent fit
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing we could find

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.

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 from 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.

best cycling overshoes: sportful reflex

Specifications
Fabric: Gore Windstopper
Sizes: S - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Great protection from the cold+Good fit+Wide choice of sizes+Water-resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Could be more durable-A little too expensive

GripGrab RaceThermo Hi-Vis overshoes

Specifications
Fabric: 4mm neoprene
Sizes: S - XXXL
Reasons to buy
+Very warm+Great fit+High levels of waterproofing+Kevlar toes and heels add to the robustness
Reasons to avoid
-They will eventually start to lose their shape/structure, but much more slowly than others we've used

Not only are the GripGrabs bright yellow, there is reflective printing on the sides and an even more reflective rear tape tab. Made of 4mm neoprene, the overshoes do away with zips in favour of 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. Durability is good, but with the thick neoprene construction we got some scuffing on the cranks.

Huub overshoe

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications
Fabric: Neoprene
Sizes: XS/S - XL/XXL
Reasons to buy
+Waterproof+Stretchy for a close fit+Well made
Reasons to avoid
-Fabric durability not as good as some

Huub's neoprene is a bit stretchier than most, making getting these overshoes on and off a bit easier and leading to a close fit. The cuff on these Huub overshoes is a bit longer than most, which helps keep spray at bay. You do need to be careful getting them on and off and keep them away from sharp objects though.

best cycling overshoes

Specifications
Fabric: Outer Layer - 93% Nylon, 7% Elastane / Middle Layer - 100% Hydrophilic Membrane / Inner Layer - 52% Polyester, 27% Cotton, 21% Elastane
Sizes: S/M - XL
Reasons to buy
+Easy pull on/ pull off+Breathable+Very good waterproofing
Reasons to avoid
-Not for really cold conditions

There are multiple SealSkinz overshoes on offer, and this is one of its lighter weight options, appealing to riders wanting waterproof fabric, 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.

dhb Extreme Overshoes

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications
Fabric: Neoprene
Sizes: XS - XL
Reasons to buy
+Well priced+Good sole reinforcement
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky-Large under-foot openings

Made from 3.5mm neoprene, these overshoes from dhb are nice and warm, although that does make them a bit bulky and prone to scuff on the cranks.  The underside is very scuff resistant though, with Kevlar material throughout. There are good reflective elements at the rear and an effective waterproof zip.

best cycling overshoes

Ale Neoprene Shoe Cover
(Image credit: Picasa)

Ale Winter Shoe Cover

Specifications
Fabric: Neoprene
Sizes: S - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Longer length+Abrasion resistant base
Reasons to avoid
-No reflectives

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.

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.

best cycling overshoes

Lusso Windtex Stealth overshoes
(Image credit: Picasa)

Specifications
Fabric: Windtex Membrane Thermal
Sizes: XS - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Windproof and insulating+Good fit in both toe and leg+Visible+Fleecy inside+Easy to get feet in
Reasons to avoid
-Velcro fastening is hard to align-Durability issues

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.

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

best cycling overshoes

(Image credit: E.C.)

Castelli Toe Thingy 2 Toe Cover

Specifications
Fabric: Neoprene
Sizes: One size
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight, low bulk protection+Windproof+Can wear under overshoes for extra warmth
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't keep water out

 

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.

Buyer's guide to the best cycling overshoes

The best cycling overshoes for cold, wet weather are generally made from thick neoprene or lighter, windproof, fleece-backed fabric. Designed to keep the cold, the wet, or wind out they come with holes at the bottom to allow your cleats to connect with the best clipless pedals.

In cold, dry weather a traditional neoprene overshoe will work as an excellent insulator, but will get waterlogged in persistent, heavy rain.

For rainy days, you can opt for a more waterproof fabric, which, similar to the Best waterproof cycling jackets , uses a DWR (durable water resistant) fabric. It's likely to be thinner, so you might take a hit on the warmth. There is much debate as to overshoes inside out outside legwear, but suffice to say, even if the overshoe itself doesn’t leak, water will eventually find its way in through the openings - top or bottom (or both).

Lighter, Windstopper-type technical fabric is designed to be windproof, and will often provide water resistance and be breathable. As with neoprene, you only have a limited time before the water gets in, but unless if it's a showery day, it may be better to accept this as it will dry quickly.

The undersides of even the best cycling overshoes are prone to wear. Depending on your riding style, you may want to look for a tough, seam-free base with reinforcements at the heel and toe box, especially if you're often having to dab in gravel or stop at traffic lights.

Some of the best cycling overshoes will have reflective or hi-vis elements, essential when riding in the poor light conditions of the cooler seasons. You'll often find that any reflective detailing on bib tights or leg warmers is covered up by overshoes, so it's important that the overshoe adds this detail, particularly at the rear.

Are cycling overshoes worth it?

Keeping feet warm and dry in winter is difficult for cyclists. Wind chill is the enemy for the extremities, 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.

Can you wear cycling overshoes with trainers?

Technically cycling overshoes aren't designed for trainers or other non-cycling specific footwear. There will no doubt be some options for shoe protection on a bike, but even with a rain cover, your feet will get pretty cold in standard trainers or office shoes. It's certainly worth considering giving a clipless pedal system a try for keeping your feet warm throughout the year, you'll also be very surprised by the difference it makes to your riding.

If new shoes and pedals aren't an option, you could give a standard overshoe a whirl, but you'll need to pick a size or so bigger to take account for the larger sole on a trainer, as well as a more robust underneath. Alternatively, it might be worth investing in the best cycling socks which are thermal and wind and waterproof.

Hannah Bussey
Hannah Bussey

Hannah Bussey is Cycling Weekly’s longest serving Tech writer, having started with the Magazine back in 2011.

She's specialises on the technical side of all things cycling, including Pro Peloton Team kit having covered multiple seasons of the Spring Classics, and Grand Tours for both print and websites. Prior to joining Cycling Weekly, Hannah was a successful road and track racer, competing in UCI races across the world, and has raced in most of Europe, China, Pakistan and New Zealand. For fun, she's ridden LEJoG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, win 24 hour mountain bike race and tackle famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.