Castelli Toe Thingy 2 review – useful foot protection for fall/spring
Keep your favourite summer shoes going into autumn - but fit them carefully if you use larger cleats
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When it’s too cold for summer shoes, but not dank enough for full overshoes, Castelli’s Toe Thingy 2 does a good job of protecting your feet. They’re easy to use and are small enough to carry in a pocket. However, the thin neoprene means you do have to be delicate with them as you stretch them into place.
Fend off the chill
Very easy to use
Red can run
Needs careful handling
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Want to keep wearing your favourite summer shoes into Autumn? The marvellously-named Toe Thingy 2 blocks all those pesky vents and mesh panels over your toes that are so handy in the summer but distinctly chilly in cool weather.
They are essentially the answer to the (quite specific) question ‘How do you keep the chill off your toes when it’s not really cold enough for full overshoes?'
Castelli Toe Thingy 2: construction
The design is simple enough: a neoprene cover for the front of your shoes so that cold air can’t get through. The upper section is made from neoprene that’s about 1.5mm thick, so it’s very stretchy. The rubberised lower is 3mm neoprene and has a cut-out for your cleats that I found fitted round SPD-SL, Look Kéo and Speedplay cleats.
Castelli says they weigh 91g. UK importer Saddleback puts it at 62g. On my scales they’re 53g. Not exactly heavy anyway.
That thin top section means you do have to be careful stretching them into place, and some users report failing seams or rapid wear. You surely don’t want to walk in them more than necessary but that’s true for all but the toughest overshoes.
Castelli Toe Thingy 2: the ride
I pulled the Toe Thingy 2s over a pair of summer shoes and set out on an early-morning ride. Or to be precise, I pulled one Toe Thingy on, leaving my other foot exposed to the chill.
And yes, as it was foretold, the toes protected by the Toe Thingy were warmer than those not. At the end of a 90-minute ride that saw the temperature down around 6-7°C the toes protected by the Thingy were a couple of degrees warmer than those not, as measured by my infrared thermometer.
They also help to fend off spray from damp roads, but there’s not enough protection here to keep rain from soaking your feet. That’s the point at which you need full overshoes, and if you want a bit more insulation put the Toe Thingy 2s on first and you end up with properly toasty toes.
One extra bonus: the Toe Thingy 2s are small enough to easily fit in a pocket, so you can take them along in case the weather changes, or peel them off and pocket them if a day starts cool then warms up.
However, they’re looking a bit tatty, possibly because I’ve been stretching them around Speedplay cleats, which are a little larger than Look Kéo or Shimano SPD-SL cleats.
Castelli warns that the red interior can transfer, so don’t wear them over your Euro-pro box-fresh shiny white shoes.
Castelli Toe Thingy 2: value and conclusion
At the $25 / £22 RRP they’re a shade on the pricey side. You can, after all, buy a pair of full overshoes for that.
However they’re currently £13 from Tredz (opens in new tab), which is a bargain for a bit of very useful weather protection. In the US, they’re $25 pretty much everywhere, which is a lot cheaper than most full overshoes (except Velotoze) and the same as other toe covers from Giro, Endura and several others - plus cheaper than Specialized’s neoprene toe covers, whose $45 pricing seems somewhat optimistic.
Overall, Castelli Toe Thingy 2s are a very handy addition to your cycling wardrobe for spring and autumn riding, just be a bit careful how you stretch them.
Castelli Toe Thingy 2: specs
- Windproof Neoprene protection for your toes
- Rugged, rubberized sole with openings for cleats
- Red fabric on inside
- Can be worn on its own or as a layer between your shoe and shoecover
- WARNING: The colour of this product may transfer when wet. Avoid long term contact with light colored surfaces.
- Sizes: one size fits all
- Weight: 53g
- Temperature: 10°C - 18°C / 50°F - 64°F
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One of the UK's most experienced cycling journalists, John started writing about bikes for Mountain Biking UK magazine back in the late 1980s. A spell in Sydney saw him editing Australian Mountain Bike magazine, before getting online as a news and production editor at Cyclingnews.com, in the 'the drugs are for my dog' era.
Since returning to the UK in 2006 he has worked on the launch of Bikeradar.com, and launched Totalwomenscycling.com before handing the editorship over to someone more representative of the readership. He has also written for Cycling Plus and Cyclist magazines, and most recently was editor-at-large for road.cc.
He lives in Cambridge with his partner and a silly number of dogs (or possibly a number of silly dogs), and divides his riding time between Tarmac and gravel while battling the notorious Fenland headwinds.
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