Hailing from the United Kingdom, the folks at Sealskinz are no strangers to damp, cold weather. To combat those harsh conditions, the company developed a laminated waterproof sock designed to keep heat in, and water out. Over the years, Sealskinz’s lineup has grown to include gloves, hats, and cycling accessories. For riders who don’t want to hang up their cleats when the weather turns nasty, there’s the company’s Neoprene Overshoes ($50 MSRP).
The Sealskinz Neoprene Overshoes are constructed from a blend of–surprise–neoprene and nylon. Kevlar® reinforcements protect the toe and heel areas, and an extra-wide storm flap helps keep out water and cold air. The locking YKK zipper is secured by a high-viz strap, and the cuffs feature silicone grippers. Reflective logos and heel stripes offer increased visibility during early-morning or evening rides. Stitching and construction is first-rate, and the cleat openings easily accommodate a wide range of cleat styles.
We tested the large size (43-46) overshoes with Mavic road and Sidi mountain shoes (both size 44.5). The fit was snug, but not tight enough to restrict movement or cause discomfort. If you plan on using bulkier, or higher-volume shoes, you may want to size up, however (the company offers four sizes that fit shoes ranging from size 36 all the way up to 49). While we didn’t subject the Sealskinz overshoes to any extended hike-a-bikes, the Kevlar-reinforced heels and toes proved to be more than adequate for general, off-bike use.
Despite their sleek profile and light weight (162g for the pair), Sealskinz’s neoprene overshoes proved extremely effective in frigid conditions, outperforming several competitors’ heavier and bulkier overshoes. While individuals’ cold-weather tolerances can vary, our testers found the Sealskinz comfortable down to 32°F (0°C) with the aforementioned shoes and lightweight cycling socks such as those from DeFeet and SOS. Our autumn and early winter test period proved mild by Colorado standards, but the Sealskinz had no problem fending off road-spray and snow melt.
Sealskinz’s Neoprene Overshoes are perfect for riders seeking warm, yet compact shoe covers. The neoprene overshoes easily fit in a jersey pocket, but provide enough warmth and protection for all but the most extreme conditions. For extended rides in sub-freezing temperatures, the company’s Waterproof Cycle Over Sock offers even more insulation, but without the convenience of the neoprene overshoe’s zipper entry.
Disclosure: SealSkinz Inc provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.