Shopping for cycling accessories for the winter can certainly be a jump down a rabbit hole for a lot of people. There is something for everything, and people can really spend a lot of money on accessories as they prepare for the colder months.
While some of the accessories might be a bit excessive, plenty of people believe that a winter cycling shoe cover is one of those true essentials.
They are something that some people do not really realize how important they are until they are stuck without it, and then they are scrambling to find some solution right then and there. Every cyclist has dealt with super cold feet, and it does not have to happen like that.
What are the best winter cycling shoe covers out there right now? These are five of the best on the market right now, and they are more affordable in some scenarios than one might think.
It is usually the more affordable option instead of buying brand new shoes, which is also why people are so eager to give them a try.
1. Lusso Windtex Stealth Overshoes
The fleece fabric that goes up against the shoe works very well for this model. It is thick enough that it will provide some level of warmth, even if it might not stack up all that great compared to neoprene.
The goal is to provide the best type of windproofing out there, and it does a very good job for the most part.
A bonus is that this is also waterproof, which is surprising to some. It feels a little bit lighter than the traditional type of overshoes out there, which is certainly great for people trying to ride at a fast pace.
They are pretty simple overall, and blend well into many different types of outfits. For a subtle look that just works well, Lusso is definitely near the top of any list.
- Works well at cutting down on wind.
- Surprisingly good at waterproofing.
- Simple design.
- Tough to put on the first few times.
- Show dirt and grime a little easy.
2. Ale Neoprene Shoe Cover
Neoprene is the fabric of choice for a lot of people when it comes to a winter shoe cover. These covers from Ale (Amazon) are a little more on the expensive side, but with 3 mm of neoprene, these overshoes do a great job of providing comfortable protection where a person needs it most.
Like many other options out there, these over-shoes ride a little higher than some might be used to. This is done by design, as it helps to keep water out as much as possible.
This is one of the better options for people who do not want to have their feet wet by any means, and there is no need to sacrifice any type of comfort along the way.
Overall, this is a pretty simple pattern that stands out in a lot of ways. There are very few seams on the over shoes, which helps with comfortability and even putting things on.
There is less that can go wrong with the shoe cover, which is why so many people gravitate towards it in the first place.
With a good amount of thickness, even on the coldest days, this over shoe performs very well. A lot of people will go with it as an option if others are not providing the same type of warmth that they are hoping for.
It is still meant to work well when trying to ride fast, but people are willing to make the sacrifice of adding a little bit more weight in order to have some added protection.
Out of all five options on this list, this is probably the best of the best for people who live in a really cold area. Some of the other options might be a little bit too much built for performance, and therefore they do not get the same level of protection that would be nice.
3. SealSkinz Waterproof All Weather Cycle Over
If lightweight is really what people are looking for more than anything else, SealSkinz (Amazon) is built for exactly that. It is definitely a performance base over shoe, allowing cyclists to take things to the next level if they are trying to stay as aerodynamic as possible.
The first thing that stands out is just how thin the waterproof fabric is, while still being pretty valuable. It is not the very best when it comes to waterproofing, but it is going to hold up in most conditions.
This is also a very stretchable type of material that goes on pretty easily with any cycling shoe out there. The first time might be a little tough since the fabric needs stretched out a bit, but it becomes easier and easier as time goes on.
There is some level of durability concern with the over shoe, simply because it is so thin. If something happens to the shoe cover while a person is riding, they might need to replace it sooner rather than later.
It seems to be a little more prone to rips and tears if there is some sort of a mishap, so try to be a little delicate with them if possible. That is a lot of times easier said than done, but is one of the drawbacks to having this winter shoe cover over the others.
Those who want to shy away from some of the more basic colors and options out there can be a little more likely with this over shoe as well. Not everyone is going to be a fan of every color that is out there, but it is certainly worth checking out.
All in all, they are affordable and easy to keep clean by just throwing them into the washer and going from there. A lot of people will invest in at least two pairs of these, so they always have something clean to put on for a long ride.
- Easy to clean.
- Very stretchable.
- Rip and tear somewhat easily.
- Design is not for everyone.
4. Dexshell Heavy Duty Overshoes
These are one of the most impressive shoe covers out there for riders who want to take things to the next level. They are very warm, slip on pretty easily, and keep the form as time goes on.
One of the more frustrating things in buying an over shoe that starts to stretch out a little bit is that it does not feel the same a few months after purchase.
Since these are pretty expensive, the person does not want to have to go buy a brand new pair of shoe covers every few months.
As far as performance is concerned, these are definitely one of the best for the price. They keep things pretty competitive with the price overall, and should be on the shortlist for any person who needs to have full length windproofing and waterproofing.
One thing that a lot of riders will appreciate is how locked down the shoe cover feels every single time it is put on. The zipper is very secure, and it makes sure that there is no slipping.
The fabric is also pretty premium, so it feels comfortable and does not seem like something that will slip as time goes on.
A person might have some frustration here and there when they are initially getting things fit, but as long as a person orders the right size, they should be good.
It is one of the higher riding overshoes, but that is done in part to make sure the water stays out. If a person is frustrated with how high they ride, they can always go with an option of what are the other over shoes on this list that do not have that ankle collar.
It can be a little frustrating, but in the winter time, it also adds an extra layer of warm that can be beneficial.
- Zipper helps with security.
- Excellent overall performance.
- Keeps its form well.
- Rides higher on the ankle than most.
- Feels slightly bulky.
5. Gore C3 Windstopper Overshoes
As the name suggests, GORE C3 (Amazon) do a very good job of killing the wind when people are riding on their bike. It is made up of the perfect type of fabric that is able to keep a person warm when they need it most.
The fabric is also very good at repelling water, allowing people to ride in places that they might not feel comfortable in other scenarios.
The construction is pretty unique, as there are three layers overall. This is why it stays so dry, as it is very hard for moisture to get through all three layers. They all work together to provide something that is taken, yet still pretty breathable and flexible as well.
One good thing about the shoes as well is that they do a better job than most at really riding up against a person’s foot so that there are no seams for water to get through.
Not only does this help fight off against water, but it allows people to feel like they are not weighed down nearly as much as they might in other situations.
There are ways to make slight adjustments on the go, but once a person puts them on, they should be just fine. They stay in place as they should, and Gore always uses premium products to make sure that people are not too frustrated.
- Premium fabric and materials.
- Easy for adjustments on the go.
- Lightweight feel.
- A little expensive.
- Sizing is tricky when ordering online.
6. Sportful Reflex 2 Windstopper Booties
The Sportful Reflex 2 (Amazon) is a very good over shoe that fights against wind better than most. It is a slightly different fabric type that is still stretchy and comfortable, but does a great job of practical performance.
There is a neoprene base to the fabric, and it goes on the side and the back to add that different layer of protection.
The design is a little bit different, but some people are a fan of them looking more than just an all-black option that so many other companies offer.
There is a little bit of extra design, without going over the top. Not everyone wants to broadcast that they are wearing shoe covers in the first place, but this is a nice touch that some companies overlook.
Those worried about having visibility concerns while on trails will love the fact that there are a lot of reflective details with these options.
It is certainly something to consider for people who are going to be riding in low-light conditions. A person can never have too much reflective detail on their body when they are riding at certain times.
- Fights wind well.
- Great reflective details.
- Design is not for everyone.
- Looks a little different than other choices.
Winter Cycling Shoe Cover Shopping Tips
All five are great options, but what should a person be looking for when doing their initial shopping? It really comes down to what a person prefers most, and what type of budget they are working with.
Consider these factors to be as satisfied with a purchase as possible.
Cycling shoes are expensive, so some people will make sure that they are spending at least a little bit of money on over shoes for protection.
After all, why would a person want to have very expensive shoes damaged because they are riding in the winter? With that being said, spending too much shoe covers can make people wonder if they should just buy a pair of shoes specifically for this time of year instead.
The options above are all great and the best value in that price range. What people will find is that there are great options that are not going to break the bank, but going with the cheapest option is probably not going to work either.
Windproof focused, or waterproof focused?
Most over shoes are particularly great at either windproofing or waterproofing. Yes, all of them claim to say that they are great at both, but there is usually a strength and a weakness.
Before going out and purchasing, think about what is most important as a rider.
When purchasing many different accessories, fabric might make more of a difference than with shoe covers. The reason being is that a person does not really make direct contact with the over shoe and their skin, so they do not have to worry about any allergic reactions.
It really just comes down to performance, and most of the over shoes are using the same type of material overall.
There are certainly different types of winters out there depending on where a person lives. For example, the winter months in the upper part of Canada will be much different from the winters in the Carolinas.
That means not everyone needs to have the same level of warmth in order to get through a ride.
Think about how cold feet get when riding without any over shoes. When it seems like it is just mild discomfort, it might be best to go with a pretty thin option overall at first.
If it looks like that is not going to work, go up from there. If a person goes too warm, it can start to feel just as uncomfortable as being too cold.
Shoe covers need to be flexible and lightweight enough for performance, but that means that most of them are not particularly durable.
Yes, they are going to hold up during normal use, but it really takes just one somewhat serious spill to cause some damage to a shoe cover.
If an over shoe is damaged, it is likely not going to perform the way it should. All it takes is a little hole for water to start seeping through, and wind is going to be a problem as well.
Try to take as good as care of possible with the over shoes when they are not on, and that is really all a person can do. Inevitably, there is going to be some type of spill that will rip a pair of over shoes, but that is part of the cycling experience.
Are Winter Cycling Shoe Covers Designed for Non-Cycling Footwear?
For the most part, cycling shoe covers are designed to fit cycling shoes specifically. It is meant so that a person has the most amount of protection, and it goes up right against the shoe as it should.
They are even openings for certain parts of the cycling shoe so that a person has no holes whatsoever once they are on.
There are some options out there for more standard athletic shoes, but a person is going to make at least a few sacrifices here and there.
For starters, they are probably not going to get the same amount of perfect fit that can keep water out. There will be some level of protection against wind and water, but not what people are used to for the most part.
If a person is riding without specific cycling shoes, there are shoe cover options that fit those as well. They do not make this list, but more generic options can be used for a variety of athletic activities if a person really wants to.
Are Cycling Shoe Covers Ultimately Worth It?
No one likes to have wet feet, but they can become very frustrating during the winter. One of the best ways to keep the feet warm is to keep them dry, and over shoes will help considerably with that.
Even if it is not wet, over shoes help kill wind, which can be detrimental for riders. While they are not necessary for every rider out there, as there are other ways to keep the feet warm, most people begin to make them a riding habit.
Since they are pretty easy to get used to, it is not that big of a hassle to put one more layer on in that area.