A terrific pair of winter overshoes for those riding in cold and weather conditions. A triple defence against the rain ensures that the shoes underneath stay dry, while a soft thermal fleece prevents the cold from entering.
Very hard to put on
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The wind is blowing, the rain is threatening and the temperatures are in their single digits: our feet are not content.
Cycling in such conditions can quickly become a ride to endure as opposed to enjoy, with frozen and wet feet having the potential to quickly sap any enthusiasm.
Gorewear’s Shield Thermo overshoes with Gore-Tex Infinium protection will keep you bone dry regardless of the rain and also toasty warm - and are among the best cycling overshoes.
There is poor reflectivity, in spite of the bright yellow neon colour I tested, and they are a squeeze to take on and off, but if they keep the extremities of our feet warm when the weather is doing everything it can to force us to stop riding, what’s not to like?
Gorewear Shield Thermo: construction
The outer shell of these overshoes are 100% polyester, this tight-fitting approach designed to ensure better protection against the wind
Claiming to be waterproof thanks to the presence of Gore-Tex Infinium, the technology repels light rain and provides a barrier against the wind. On top is the Gore Windstopper material that is said to be water-resistant, fast-drying and breathable; just in case a triple defence against the rain was needed, there’s even a treatment of DWR.
The overshoes are stitched together in the middle by a large seam, while the upper part includes a more elasticated black strip. The sole features an abrasion-proof material given that is the area with the highest foot fall.
Zips at the back are placed to the side to prevent a clash with bib tight zips, while the neon yellow colour that I tested has one singular reflective strip of silver at the rear of the overshoes, with the brand’s name reflecting on the outer edges.
Inside, a soft fleece fabric of medium thickness is made up of 92% polyester and 8% elastane. This thermal insulation is soft to touch and has the same feel and look as any deep winter fleece does.
Gorewear Shield Thermo: the ride
The first thing to note with the overshoes (I tested the EU 42 size; weight: 100 grams) is that they are difficult to put on. They’re not, for example, as time-efficient as the GripGrab Ride waterproof overshoes - ones that you can whip on and off in a matter of seconds.
Gorewear’s product is a real challenge. Because of the polyester fabric, there is limited stretch in the material and you have to fight to not only get the overshoes on, but then to straighten them out into the right place. Zipping up the zip at the side is also an effort.
Although clearly designed for a slim look to aid the aerodynamics credentials of the overshoes, the tightness created additional problems, namely around the cleat. It didn’t happen a lot, but sometimes the material would loop over the cleat and prevent quick-and-easy clipping in and out of the pedals.
Given the fleece on the inside and the thickness of the outer material, it's little wonder that winter riding is the stated use for these overshoes and they pass the cold weather test with flying colours. The coldest temperatures I have ridden in this winter have been 2°C and 3°C and my feet stayed as warm as they would have been sat at home on the sofa.
When I first started testing them, the conditions were not so cold. What did find though was that my feet were kept toasty warm throughout my ride without overheating. These are an exceptional pair of winter overshoes that can also be used in the autumn and spring.
Having Gore-Tex included in the overshoes will be a real appeal to many people; after all, no one wants soggy feet after a ride. At the time of writing I have yet to ride in torrential rain, but in semi-heavy rain the overshoes responded excellently to the wet weather. You can actually see the rain repelling off the fabric, and no matter how many puddles I unwantedly passed through, water never seeped through the overshoes and into my shoes.
I was also impressed by the cuff at the top of the overshoes, the thin black strip hugging closely against the leg to keep most water droplets out. It wasn’t skin-tight, and some water did trickle down, but it was minimal. Even in a thunderstorm I doubt much water would pass.
I opted for the all neon yellow colour because I am a big believer in being seen. There is no question that the brightness of the overshoes kept me visible to other road users, but I was disappointed by the paucity of reflective strips on the overshoes. It feels like a major error just making the brand’s name and a small slither of silver towards the heel the only reflective points.
Gorewear Shield Thermo: value and conclusion
These are a truly great pair of winter overshoes. They rebuff the wind, repel the water and keep the intense cold at bay.
I question their breathability properties given how tight the fit is, and I was also disappointed by the paucity of reflective strips, but choose the neon yellow colour and you shouldn’t have any issue with being seen on the road.
Gorewear Shield Thermo: specs
Colours: orange; neon yellow; black
Sizes (EU): 37-39; 40-41; 42-43; 44-45; 46-48
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Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.
Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.
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