You’re not going to enjoy riding through the colder months in just your best cycling shoes, which are typically designed for more clement conditions, with lots of ventilation and lightweight uppers. The best cycling overshoes will keep your feet warm and dry in the worst weather.
While a pair of winter cycling shoes is the best option if you’re a dedicated foul-weather rider, a pair of overshoes is the most convenient way to add some weatherproofing and insulation to cope with cold, wet conditions.
Read on for our top-rated picks, links to full reviews of all the overshoes we’ve tested and more buying advice.
Best cycling overshoes 2022, as rated by our expert testers
- Castelli Pioggia 3: £55 / $59.99 / AU$102
- Endura Freezing Point: £49.99 / $69.99
- Gore C5 Windstopper Thermo: £59.99 / $79.99 / AU$105
- DexShell Heavy Duty Overshoes: £37
- Rapha Overshoes: £55 / $75 / AU$95
- Shimano S3100R NPU+: £49.99
Castelli Pioggia 3
- £55 / $59.99 / AU$102 as tested
- Smooth, stretchy and good looks
- Comfortably warm despite their lack of bulk
Finally, an overshoe that looks quite nice on, with low bulk and a stretchy, close fit. Functionality is good too, with excellent waterproofing and wind resistance, and enough insulation for comfort on winter rides in typical UK temperatures.
Castelli claims that they’re aero (they certainly look it), and they’re thin enough that you can adjust Boa dials on your shoes through them too.
Endura Freezing Point
- £49.99 / $69.99 as tested
- Thick neoprene with a fleeced inside face
- Sturdy base and strong stitching
Endura’s range-topping road overshoes are neoprene, with a fleecy lining for extra warmth, which extends to the base too, so the soles of your feet shouldn’t feel the chill.
Sturdy construction should ensure longevity and there are plenty of reflective points to add road presence.
Gore C5 Windstopper Thermo
- £59.99 / $79.99 / AU$105 as tested
- Low bulk, comfortable fabric construction
- Good water resistance without neoprene
Gore uses thicker, more insulated fabric on the front of the C5 Windstopper Thermo overshoes, where most water will hit your foot, and thinner fabric at the rear, for a comfortable, lightweight feel and a less bulky profile.
These overshoes are DWR treated, with a breathable construction that keeps out water, without getting sweaty inside.
As well as the black overshoes pictured, there is also a neon yellow option.
DexShell Heavy Duty Overshoes
- £37 as tested
- Well-made and warm
Made from four panels of neoprene with flat-lock stitching, these DexShell overshoes provide instant, sustained warmth and wind protection. They will resist road spray and light rain well, but they will eventually saturate, which can lead to wet feet.
Overall, these overshoes are well-made and well-considered. The wide opening at the bottom should minimise any damage when walking around and the ankle cuff is snug enough to keep water out, without being too tight.
- £55 / $75 / AU$95 as tested
- Neoprene, but without too much bulk
- Available in bright pink as well as all-black
Although these overshoes are neoprene, Rapha’s cut is good and there’s not too much bulk.
We found the Rapha Overshoes to be good for single-figure temperatures (Celsius), but they might be a bit too light to be comfortable in colder climes.
The optional hot pink colour adds a bit of flash to get you noticed, although you’ll need to wash these overshoes frequently to keep them looking fresh.
Shimano S3100R NPU+
- £49.99 as tested
- Heavyweight neoprene will handle cold, wet conditions
- Bright colours and reflective detailing help with visibility on the road
Designed to work down to -5°C, Shimano’s neoprene overshoes have a water-resistant outer, a high ankle cuff and a robust base.
Their bright colour and reflective details are good for your road presence, and the cut is close enough not to feel too bulky.
These overshoes scored fewer than four out of five stars in testing, but they’re still worth considering, particularly if you find a good deal.
dhb Extreme Weather overshoes
- £32 / $41 / AU$52 as tested
- A straightforward neoprene design that won’t break the bank
- Do the basics well
Made from 3.5mm neoprene, dhb’s Extreme Weather overshoes provide plenty of insulation and are water-resistant.
They have taped seams and a Kevlar-reinforced base, along with enough reflective details to get you noticed. All this comes at a budget price.
Sportful Fiandre Bootie overshoes
- £80 / $90 as tested
- Quality Gore-Tex fabric construction for low-bulk rain resistance
- No insulation, so best for milder conditions
High-end materials give excellent rain protection in a lightweight, if pricey, overshoe.
The absence of insulation may leave your feet a bit cold on winter rides, however. These are better suited to wet but mild conditions.
Altura Firestorm overshoes
- £40 / $56 / AU$72 as tested
- Lightweight fabric construction
- Cool colour with extensive reflective detailing down the sides
A nice change from black, Altura’s softshell overshoes come in this grey option, with reflective speckles down their sides. There is still a black version if that’s your preference.
With fleecy insides, they’re warm, but the fabric wets out quicker than some of the competition.
They’re also less stretchy than some, so sizing is important.
Have you found what you’re looking for?
How to choose the best overshoes for cycling
All-weather overshoes tend to follow the same basic pattern; there’s a high ankle cuff to try to prevent rain from running down your leg and into your shoe, and a bootie-style lower section that covers your shoe. That typically has a central seam on top, which is taped to keep out wheel spray. Other seams will usually be taped too.
The classic material for overshoes is closed-cell neoprene rubber. It’s the same stuff used for wetsuits and provides wet-weather protection while adding insulation. Unfortunately, it’s not that durable, so it’s often covered with a tougher outer fabric. At 3mm or so thick, it has quite a bulky look too, and it’s not at all breathable.
Sometimes, kit makers will use a less bulky fabric for the uppers, one that’s typically DWR (durable water repellent) coated to repel water, and includes a breathable membrane. It’s an alternative to neoprene that’s lighter and less stiff, but it can lose its water-resistance over time and, unless additional insulation is added, may not be as warm in cold weather.
Whether that matters, of course, depends on when you’re planning to use your overshoes. It doesn’t only rain in winter, of course…
Overshoe sole design
The Achilles’ heel of overshoes tends to be their sole. First, it needs to have a couple of holes in it to fit over your shoes’ cleats and heel. This inevitably lets water in, which can creep into your shoes’ uppers and through vent holes in their soles.
Also, you’re going to end up walking in your overshoes at some point, and you’ll have to put a foot down at junctions or stops, all of which subjects them to wear.
Most overshoes use a much tougher fabric on the base, sometimes including Kevlar fibres, to cope with the abuse. Even so, you’re likely to find that your overshoes wear quite quickly and need replacing after a couple of winters’ riding.
With that in mind, cheap but functional might be better than technical and flashy if you’re budget-conscious.
Do you actually need overshoes?
An alternative to overshoes is to buy a pair of dedicated winter cycling shoes. They’ll have sealed soles, so water ingress from below is avoided. The upper is usually insulated, waterproof and breathable, meaning your feet shouldn’t get cold, wet or sweaty.
With some winter-specific shoes, heel lift can be an issue because the ankle cuff needs to be wide enough to allow you to insert your foot into the boot.
In the last couple of years, brands such as Mavic, Fizik and Northwave have brought out winter cycling shoes. These have a waterproof upper and sole, and include insulation, but without a cuff the fit around the ankle is closer, leading to better pedalling dynamics and a more comfortable fit.
If you’re planning to ride extensively in cold, wet conditions, a dedicated set of winter shoes or boots may work out cheaper than hammering your summer shoes and replacing overshoes regularly. Waterproof socks are a boon for the winter rider too.