Here we go again: another extraordinarily good, but extraordinarily expensive, Assos garment. These winter boots kept my feet warm, dry, and comfortable. The lack of zips means they're harder to put on, but that also helps ensure longevity. Personally, I'd rather buy one £80 ($110) pair of overshoes, than four £20 ($27) pairs.
Warm yet light
Kept the rain out
No zips/velcro increases longevity
Leave an extra couple of minutes in the morning to get them on
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Setting aim at lightweight flexibility and aerodynamics, Assos's winter booties have the unintended benefit of doing away with the weakest areas affecting most overshoes, namely, zips and Velcro fastenings. They're warm, water-resistant, breathable, and - so far - long-lasting. The only thing not to like, really, is the price.
Assos Winter Booties: construction
Assos has combined two key fabrics to create its "aerodynamic and waterproof" overshoes.
The toe area uses its proprietary Cordura fabric, to keep the wind and rain off. The leg portion uses 'Neos Medium', again, an in-house creation made up of a three-part construction featuring a thermo soft-shell with a bonded PU membrane. The result is reportedly waterproof to over 10 metres.
The zip-free construction takes inspiration from the prototype which Fabian Cancellara wore en-route to Gold in the Olympic time trial of 2016. Anyone who has worn a pair of VeloToze will be familiar with this. To don the overshoes, you'll first thread your foot through the ankle and toe hole, then add your shoes, before snapping the toe area over the front of your footwear. The good news is that, unlike VeloToze, these aren't made from a fabric similar to a swimming cap; I never punched myself in the nose when putting these on.
The edges are raw-cut and taped at the cleat, heel and ankle. Assos says that eliminating the seams retains warmth and increases comfort; I'm not sure I can attest to this benefit, but after concerted use, they've not frayed.
Sizes range from 0 (from size 36 EU) to III (to size 46 EU), I wear a size 39/40 in cycling shoes and opted for the size I which fitted well.
Assos Winter Booties: the ride
My expectation for these overshoes was that they'd be racey and smart (owning to the aero design) but not particuarly warm (owning to the low weight). However, I've ridden them through the coldest part of the year, and they've brought nothing but surprise. I've not had to put up with numb toes once.
In terms of waterpfooing, rain beads from the surface, and even when forced to ride through an 'almost hub high' puddle (yes, I regretted it when the grit began to chime with every wheel rotation), they've kept my feet pleasantly dry.
Having used these booties for around four months, their longevity has surprised me, too. Unlike the typical experience - whereby, come January, an overshoe looks like it's acted as a chew toy for an overexcited puppy - these still look relatively fresh. There's no fraying around the cleat or heel holes, and there are no zips to break or Velcro to lose its grip.
I can't say that aerodynamics is an important consideration for me on winter rides, and the VeloToze style fitting operation means I genuinely factor in an extra minute or so when leaving the house in the morning. However, if I were a time triallist planning on those early season 'hardriders' events, I'd certainly be pricking my ears up. The breathability on offer from these overshoes is such that I can't imagine you'd overheat at 6am on a March morning.
As is nearly always the case with Assos, the price is the sticking factor. You can get some very good overshoes for £25. However, they'll likely look like that dog's chew toy by the end of a season, whilst the Winter Booties from Assos will be fresh as a daisy.
- Weight: 66g (size I)
- RRP: £80 / $109.27
Are cycling overshoes worth it?
For keeping your feet warm and fending off the worst of the winter rain, overshoes are definitely worth it if you value warm feet. If you are doing a lot of foul-weather riding, you might want to invest in a set of dedicated winter boots for better longevity and being easier to put on.
That said, overshoes are significantly cheaper than a set of winter boots, so for most people they would be the most economical choice.
Do overshoes work?
A good pair of overshoes is an effective way to keep your feet warm and fend off the worst of the winter weather. They do certainly work, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be overwhelmed in particularly heavy rainfall. After all, with bib tights typically tucking into the overshoes, if enough water runs down from the top, it will eventually run into the overshoes.
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