Sportful's WS Reflex 2 Bootie is a good option for long winter rides. The fabrics are well-chosen, allowing you to get the booties on and off with ease while still offering good protection from the elements. The placing of the heel cap cut-out could be improved or made bigger, though this might not be an issue for everyone; it'll depend on the design of your shoe. At $75 / £59.99, you'd be well-advised to try before you buy; it's a significant outlay when comparable alternatives can be bought for much less.
Good fit at ankle
Misaligned heel pad opening
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Here it comes, the unpredicatbale and potentially grim British winter... when time taken to get dressed for a ride needs to be factored into your schedule, not to mention the palaver of peeling off damp and dirty layers at the end of a ride.
Booties are unquestionably a great piece of kit to protect both your feet and shoes. Finding the perfect pair isn't always easy though. You can end up with something that's baggy, or at the other extreme, stretched to its limit and straining its seams, potentially pinching above the ankle too. Alignment of the cleat and heel cap openings is paramount and there's also the important detail of just how easy they are to get on and off.
I tested a couple of the best cycling overshoes last year, Sportful's WS Reflex 2 is my first pair this year. By comparison, it has a lot going for it in terms of performance.
Sportful WS Reflex 2 Bootie: construction
The WS Reflex 2 is primarily made from Gore-Tex’s Infinium, a four-way-stretch windproof and water-resistant fabric.
A neoprene trim runs around the sole and up the rear of the bootie. There's also a raw neoprene trim at the ankle opening to help prevent water ingress.
The toe, underside and heel box are made of a robust, rough material.
Inside there's a soft, fleecy lining.
A single zipper at the rear features a hook at the base and a garage at the top - a continuation of the neoprene guard that prevents the zip coming into contact with any other layers (including skin!).
Overall construction and finishing is outstanding and reflective detailing doesn’t seem as fragile or vulnerable as on many overshoes.
The WS Reflex 2's are designed as a unisex overshoe and come in sizes S to XXL, covering sizes 38-47 inclusive.
Sportful WS Reflex 2 Bootie: fit
The WS Reflex is a staple in Sportful’s winter range, we reviewed a previous version back in 2015. The Reflex 2 takes on the same basic design in terms cut and shape, a positive in my opinion. A single rear zip with a loop at the base helps make pulling on the overshoes a breeze in comparison to some I’ve tested. The neoprene around the sole and ankle add give to the overshoe which really helps with getting them on and off.
I've been testing an L, intended to fit sizes 42-43. The overall fit was good and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to go one size in either direction; they offered a snug but not over-tight fit. I guess it's worth noting that I wear a 42 shoe.
I personally found the ankle opening to be perfectly judged; many overshoes are tight here and lead to pinching but there were no post-ride signs of pinching with the Reflex 2's.
The underside is the only let-down in my opinion, though this will be somewhat down to your shoes. For me, the heel pad opening was positioned too far forward (or consider it simply too small). I could stretch the bootie over the shoe’s heel pad (see photo below) but walking around invariably dislodged it. Even if I refrained from walking around, it tended to slip out of position while riding. Either scenario leads to treading on the bootie itself at some point, so adding excessive wear.
Sportful WS Reflex 2 Bootie: performance
I’ve hardly had extreme conditions for testing, certainly no where near the -5 degrees that Sportful claim as a lower limit. I’ve resorted to setting an early alarm in order to get them out in the coldest possible temperatures. They've kept my feet toasty warm down to 4 degrees.
Despite the fleece lining, I have been pleasantly surprised by just how breathable they are; the cosiness is misleading. At 8 degrees, pressing on up hill, my feet were no where near boiling in a bag. In fact, when I returned home, there was no sign of damp, sweaty socks or leg warmers. This in itself makes the booties perfect for longer training rides when it starts out exceptionally cold but can quickly warm up.
I’ve had my fair share of rainy rides using the booties. For the first 30 minutes or so water beads and rolls. In persistent rain, the membrane eventually becomes saturated and water begins, albeit slowly, to seep through. I could ride for 2+ hours without actually sensing dampness and, even then, my feet remained warm despite being damp (remember my temperature window though).
Sportful WS Reflex 2 Bootie: value
I reviewed a couple of pairs of overshoes last year, from Altura and Dexshell, costing £40 and $51/ £37 respectively. I’d say they weren’t so different to the Reflex 2's in rainy weather, though Sportful's definitely win on the breathability stakes. Durability should play a part here and if you can't get the heel cap cut-out on the Relfex 2's to align with your own shoe, you'll be adding to wear-and-tear. With an RRP of $75 / £59.99, these are pretty pricey and will certainly only justify that tag if they are compatible with your shoes.
Booties that fit perfectly aren’t always easy to find and the WS Reflex 2's weren’t a perfect fit for me. Just as with shoes, a ‘try before you buy’ approach should ensure shoe compatibility.
Sportful WS Reflex 2 Bootie: specs
- Main fabric: 100% polyester
- Lateral inserts: 80% elastodiene 10% elastane 10% polyamide
- Overlay: 90% polyurethane 10% polyester
- Sizes: S-XXL
- Contact: www.sportful.com
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