I have been using over shoes for a few years and I like them. Sure they are a bit of pain in the arse to get on and off sometimes and I tend to refer to them as my clown shoes but over all I think the benefits out weigh the draw backs.
- They are an extra layer that means the wind chill isn’t as bad as it might be.
- Being coated neoprene makes them easier to rinse clean than riding shoes are.
- Although not completely waterproof they normally deflect enough water that your feet don’t get wet so quick or get completely saturated in anything but the worst of wet conditions.
- If being worn with normal riding shoes they make them into a “boot” of sorts.
- Handy to carry in my commuting bag to put on if the weather changes during the day.
The old pair I had been using gave up the ghost this week with the zip breaking so I immediately ordered another pair of the same ones; the BBB Hardware Over Shoe. BBB have a huge range of very slightly differing types which seemingly cover every conceivable niche. As such I just went with what I knew. They had lasted me 2 winters and a very wet summer before the zip breaking and some slight tearing around the underside of the toe area. I have put literally thousands of miles on them so felt they didn’t owe me anything and had been reasonable value for money. I’ll actually probably keep trying to use the broken ones for commuting. I think the lack of heel coverage won’t be so much of an issue over 30mins backwards and forwards to work.
They are made from 3mm neoprene and although they say the outer surface is waterproof, in practice they are never really going to keep your shoes 100% dry. Not only is there a big hole on the top where your leg sticks out, there clearly has to be holes in the bottom where your cleat sticks out. To not be completely disingenuous though, as I mentioned above, they will keep splash water and rain at bay for a decent amount of time.
This years model is very similar to my old ones but there does seem to be some slight variation in the cut. Although I went for the same size, the cover seems to be slightly shorter in the length and slightly longer at the point where it loops under the toe. One of the few complaints I had about the previous version was that if I needed to do any hike-a-bike the toe would often slip off. This does however appear to be a problem with many brands offerings. It seems that you either go for a pair one size to small that are a complete nightmare to get the zip done up on or you go for the right size and experience the toe slipping issue. As this problem never happens when actually peddling I reckon it’s another incentive to man up and peddle that hill harder. Hopefully the slight changes in cut should go some way towards keeping the cover on the shoe. Only time will tell.