Bad weather shouldn’t stop you from cycling (unless you’re looking for an excuse!) but the fact is cold and wet feet are miserable. What’s the answer?
There should be no surprise that there are plenty of choices when it comes to finding the best cycling shoe covers for wet and winter rides.
Our favorite is the Fizik Winter Shoe Covers. It’s designed in collaboration with professional cyclists so it fits cyclists’ needs perfectly. They are wind and waterproof and also do a great job at keeping your feet warm. All important stuff!
So let’s look more in-depth at the offerings and what else you should know before purchasing a pair of shoe covers for wet and winter rides!
When Should I Use Shoe Covers For Cycling?
There are some riders out there who will were shoe covers all year round, whatever the weather. This is for aerodynamic reasons.
However, if you’re not one of those riders, then when the temperature drops down to around 10C/50F, then it could be time to bring out the shoe covers. I also bring them out when it’s raining.
I know some riders who wear them in higher temperatures as their circulation isn’t brilliant and it helps to keep their toes warm throughout a long ride.
Related article – Are Cycling Shoes Worth It?
What Do You Wear Under Shoe Covers?
I’ll state the obvious first off – cycling shoes.
Socks that are suitable for the weather are a good shout though, I’m a fan of merino wool socks as they provide plenty of warmth, particularly when it’s cold outside.
I would suggest that you get overshoes that are taller than your socks, if you don’t you won’t be blocking out the rain. When the rain hits your socks, gravity will work its magic and the rain will work downwards.
The result? You’ll have wet feet.
Overshoes take away breathability so the rainwater won’t have anywhere to go. So yep, overshoes taller than your socks are highly recommended!
Do Shoe Covers Go Over Or Under Your Cycling Tights?
Over! Always over.
If you put them under, they are likely to stretch your tights and be uncomfortable all around.
Buyers’ Guide To Cycling Shoe Covers
Like with most things in cycling, there is plenty of choices when it comes to shoe covers so there are a few things you might want to consider before you buy!
Style Of Riding
If you ride on the road then you have plenty of options when it comes to shoe covers!
Choices start to slim down for mountain bike riders. The reason for this is that shoe covers tend to get trashed on trails so there is little point. However, for gravel riders, you do have a few options, provided you don’t go out in bad weather much either.
So it’s worth thinking about where you ride as to what type of shoe cover will be best for you.
The Temperature You Ride In
If you ride a lot in cold weather, your focus should be shoe covers that are rated for cold weather.
Though if you’re more of a fair-weather rider (🙌) who occasionally gets caught in the rain, then place your focus on making sure your shoe covers are waterproof.
If you need any other winter cycling tips, check out our guide on layering for winter cycling.
Some manufacturers will use neoprene and that’s great as it’s the same material wetsuits are made from so waterproofing is going to be spot on.
I would recommend avoiding brands that only use polyester as the waterproofing qualities will be fairly poor, as will the ability to keep your feet warm!
Brushed fleece on the interior is always nice so worth looking for.
We all know that I like a few extra features on my gear, even shoe covers!
Reflective points or high-visibility colors bring an extra element of safety which is appreciated.
My top tip is to check the zipper on all shoe covers before you take them out on a ride. If they’re difficult to use the first time, think about how much more difficult they will be when your fingers are cold and it’s wet.
A simple one but double-check the sizing charts to ensure your cycling shoes will fit inside the covers ok. If you find that you’re between sizes, go for the size up.
The Best 5 Cycling Shoe Covers For Wet And Winter Rides
Temperature Range: 5-16C / 40-60F
VeloToze doesn’t complicate shoe covers, they give you a simple solution that is very effective – especially for waterproofing. Off to a positive start.
They have created a fully-latex membrane that creates basically a swim cap for your shoe. You will notice that this is version two of the Tall-Road.
Well, version one was super waterproof but the problem with that was that it wasn’t so durable and they were vulnerable to tearing. VeloToze has resolved that by adding extra reinforcement at the bottom and around the toe area to provide that needed durability.
I suppose one thing to remember when I’m talking about being totally waterproof, is there are holes at the top, cleat, and heel so you may find water still get this. However, this is unavoidable with every shoe cover.
One thing that I like is that there is a huge range of colors available so you can match them with almost any kit you have.
I also like that they go a long way up to your calf so they offer a superb level of protection that many other shoe covers don’t.
Overall, I’m a big fan of the VeloToze Tall-Road 2.0 overshoes. They’re aerodynamic and as close to being fully waterproof as you can get.
Temperature Range: -2°-12°C / 28°-54°F
Material: PU-coated stretch fabric
‘Pioggia’ is Italian for ‘rain’ so that gives you a good clue what these overshoes are all about. Constructed from polyurethane-coated fabric, water should never get through. The zip is also waterproof and again, it really should stop anything getting through.
Another thing the polyurethane fabric has going for it is that it’s very stretchy so you get a close fit and it’s a comfortable fit.
To add a bit of warmth, the Pioggia is lined with a thin fleece layer. You’ll note that I said ‘thin layer’. These overshoes are good until around -2C and then it gets a bit too chilly. They may not keep you warm when the cold weather kicks in but when you’re out in the wet, these will keep your feet dry.
These overshoes are impressively durable, don’t get me wrong, if you plan on doing lots of walking in them, then they aren’t going to last but for general cycling, they should be with you for years and that can’t always be said about overshoes.
Overall, the Castelli Pioggia 3 are the overshoes if you want some seriously waterproof overshoes.
Sportneer is bringing something a bit different to the table, with no zips these shoe covers are said to be more durable and easier to wear.
These shoe covers are all about keeping your feet toasty and dry. One of those things they excel at and that’s thanks to the windproof material on the exterior and the fleece interior.
The thing the Sportneers don’t excel at is keeping your feet dry. If it isn’t raining too much, then you should be just fine but if you’re wanting to ride when it’s raining a fair bit, then these aren’t the shoe covers for you.
I am a big fan of the color of these, being bright yellow, which increases your visibility. Not only that, Sportneer added reflective strips along the side of the boot and a hanging tab, where you can attach a light if you want to.
The thing about overshoes is that you only tend to use them when the weather isn’t very good, which means they’re likely to get dirty. Helpfully, these shoe covers only need a wet wipe to get them back to showroom standard.
Overall, there are a lot of things to like about the Sportneer cycling shoe covers. They’re warm, durable, and very visible but they don’t offer 100% waterproofing.
Material: 100% Neoprene
The name Extreme Pro gives you a good clue as to what to expect from these overshoes. Extreme weather welcome!
Constructed from neoprene, the Northwave Extreme Pro shoe covers do an excellent job at keeping out bad weather. They are fully windproof and water-resistant so your feet should stay warm and dry.
The seams (which is a common weak spot), are taped so water can’t get in that way either. Whilst the Extreme Pro overshoes can be a little bit of a faff to get on, they do give you a snug fit but they don’t compromise on airflow so your feet can still breathe. Good news if your feet sweat like mine! 🙈
These overshoes are 22cm in length, giving you decent coverage on the leg too. Having used shorter shoe covers myself, I do appreciate the extra length as it can make quite a difference.
Alright, so I mentioned that they can be a bit of a faff getting them on but Northwave has put a little hook at the back so you have something to grip on to.
The finishing touches don’t end there, with a reflective flash you get a bit of boost in darkness. Always a bonus.
These Fizik winter shoe covers have been designed in collaboration with professional cyclists so straight away, you know they’re going to understand what works best for cyclists.
Fizik offers a range of covers from toe covers through to these winter overshoes. After all, not one piece of kit can cover all conditions. The winter shoe covers are going to allow you to focus on your performance because they’ve taken care of keeping your feet warm and dry.
I have to say, the design of these shoe covers is very good, they wrap around your shoes and deliver comfort. The waterproofing comes from the 3 layers bonded membrane upper. To finish off, the seams are Thermowelded, this ensures that moisture doesn’t creep in but it does make the Fizik Winter Shoe cover very durable too.
Then there are the YKK zippers, which are 100% waterproof also. So yeah, Fizik take design seriously!
One thing to note is that Fizik is a racing brand and as such, they develop things with that ethos in mind. This means that these shoe covers aren’t great for bulkier shoes, especially not mountain bike shoes.
That said, you get decent grip from the rubberized outsole and a nice touch of reflectiveness from the logo.
As you can probably tell, I like the Fizik Winter Shoe covers, they deliver in spades. I wouldn’t ride them when it’s seriously cold outside but then I’m not sure I would be riding when it’s super chilly!
Feeling warmer just reading about shoe covers, right? 😆
There’s more to shoe covers than meets the eye. Consider your riding conditions and when you like to ride before buying as pair as you need to ensure that they meet your needs.
Your main focus could be staying warm, as you never ride in heavy rain, or vice versa.
I’m sure there’s no surprise, but my favorites are the Fizik Winter Shoe Covers. They do what is asked of them and they do so in style.
What weather conditions won’t you ride in?