Promising water resistance, breathability and warmth, can the Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes be the ideal training partner this winter?
Anyone who’s had the (non)-pleasure of riding with me through the colder months will tell you that my two most used phrases on a ride are “When’s the cafe stop?” and “I can’t feel my hands or feet”.
I’m well aware it’s a privileged occupational hazard to have, but as a sufferer of Raynaud’s (a medical condition that affects blood flow to the extremities when cold) the struggle, and pain, is very real.
So when the thick winter ready Dexshell Heavy Duty Overshoes arrived at CW Towers, I was champing at the bit to try them.
With most neoprene booties, such as the Sportful All Weather booties, you get a soft wetsuit-like fabric that, while doing a good job of keeping your feet warm, can be prone to snagging or even impact crushing (where the neoprene loses its loft).
The Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes, however, are significantly different in that the neoprene has a more woven appearance. Dexshell says this also makes them abrasion resistant and while I’m hoping not to test that specific attribute any time soon, they certainly stood up to the thumbnail test (giving the overshoes a good pinch to see if it penetrates), so I would be inclined to take it at its word.
On the underside and toe area of the bootie, panels of a more robust fabric have been used to provide grip for when putting your foot down/walking, as well as adding an element of durability to the high-contact areas. This grip comes in the form of a criss-cross pattern of thread across the entire section, a nice touch that, unlike a surface treatment, shouldn’t wear with washes or peel off.
At the back a full-length reflective waterproof zip is used, along with handy finger loop to help pull the Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes on and a velcro closure tab to secure the zip at the top.
At the top of the overshoes is an additional 2cm elasticated cuff with an internal silicone gripper to help secure them in place.
Like the Sportful All Weather bootie, the Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes are really easy to pull on thanks to the design, with any shoe closure adjustments easily accessed and made.
The fit of the overshoes was noticeably good, not only because coming in four sizes (many brands only offer two or three) allows it to be closer to your actual shoe size, but also because the thinner elasticated gripper at the top really holds them in place throughout the ride.
I confess I wasn’t out on a miserable rainy day, but with plenty of surface water around I found that the overshoes held back most of the wet stuff. However, as with all overshoes, they’re only really as good as the shoes you wear underneath, and with a pair of (now downgraded) Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite Road IV shoes on, the water eventually found the booties’ and shoes’ ventilated areas on the undersole and crept in that way.
Damp feet, but by no means cold feet. The Heavy Duty overshoes did a top-notch job of keeping my feet totally warm, providing total wind resistance, which is something Dexshell needs to shout about a bit more as for us cold feet sufferers it’s often more of a selling point than anything else.
I’ve already lamented the cost of neoprene winter overshoes when compared to their much bigger but similarly constructed wetsuit brethren. So coming in at around £5 cheaper than many other brands on the market is very pleasing to see, especially as they have great detailing such as the reflective elements and silicone gripper for this lower price.
The great-value Dexshell Heavy Duty overshoes are an excellent pair of winter booties that will keep even the coldest feet warm when the temperature plummets.