Most of us have suffered with cold feet while cycling during the winter. I personally really struggle to keep my hands and feet warm on cold days. Throw rain into the mix and a ride can become a real test of will.
Altura’s Thermostretch Windproof Overshoes are an ideal solution for protecting your feet from the elements They are a worthwhile investment if you like to keep riding outdoors during the winter months.
The main body of the overshoes are made up of three panels of 2.5mm neoprene. They have a reinforced sole with a ribbed surface. The toe and heel area benefit from a textured finish, incorporated within the fabric- almost a roughed up weave, so there’s no danger of it peeling off. It certainly helps with grip and durability for these high contact areas.
At the rear, there’s a full length, off-centre zip with a large garage at the top to prevent rubbing against other fabrics. There is a full-length baffle on the interior. A small loop can be used as a tab to hold the shoes in place while you zip them up.
Altura has a reputation for excellent reflective detailing on its Nightvision garments and the overshoes have a good dousing of this too. It spans the outer edge of each shoe and reaches round the back of it, up to the zip.
Sizing and fit
I’m a size 8/42 and have been testing a medium. The fit is very good; snug and secure round the entirety of the foot and ankle. I’ve been using them solely with road shoes. If you wanted to get them over something bulkier, sizing up might be an option.
Getting the shoes on wasn’t quite as quick as with the DexShell Heavy Duty overshoes, for example, but it wasn’t overly energy consuming. I’ve certainly battled with worse.
I found the underside ‘strap’ positioned a little to far forward for my liking; interference with clipping in was occasionally a problem. There is scope for it to be shifted further towards the heel, maybe a revision for Altura to consider.
The cuff is about standard in terms of height. I’ve been testing DexShell’s Heavy Duty Overshoes along side these (yes, I’ve spent 6 weeks riding round in odd overshoes), they have a lower cuff which I personally prefer. I also found the top edge of Altura’s too tight; it’s oversewn with a thin, elasticated trim which dug in. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but I’d have liked a wider trim with some more give.
The reinforced toe did form an elf-like point, not as bad as some shoes I’ve worn. You can see how it compared to DexShell over shoes in the photo below.
Performance is comparable to DexShell’s Heavy Duty Overshoes. The biggest difference for me was simply the longer cuff, which can be more stifling in milder conditions while offering more protection in colder ones. This will simply be personal preference.
I’ve been testing in temperatures ranging from 0°C to 10°C. At the lower end of this scale, teamed with some decent winter socks, I never once felt like my feet were suffering. Nearer double figures, things were starting to get a little too warm. It’s conditions like these that made the longer cuff uncomfortable.
Add rain to the mix and the shoes continue to work well. They are not 100% watertight, nothing with holes in the bottom of them can be, but they do a great job of holding off water for a decent amount of time. The hems on the underside sit snug to the sole of the shoe, though water ingress here will depend heavily on any ventilation holes in your shoes’ soles. Eventually, water penetrates the fabric itself, unlike with a smooth surfaced neoprene which forces water to roll off it. However, the shoes offer outstanding protection against the wind, so even though your feet may be damp, they will unlikely get cold.
I’ve done plenty of walking around in them. The undersides have handled my wanders well; they look just as they did on the first day of testing. All the photos that you see here have been taken at the end of six weeks of testing.
I’ve made loads of comparisons to DexShell’s overshoes throughout the review, so it’s not surprising that they come close price-wise as well as performance-wise. Altura’s have an RRP of £40, DexShell’s £37.
Considering the quality and performance, I’d say Altura’s are decent value for money. For me, the fit wasn’t as good as with DexShell due to the tight cuff, but this won’t be the case for everyone. The reflective detailing certainly beats DexShell’s.
Alternatives will set you back considerable more. Huub’s Neoprene Winter Overshoes have an RRP of £59.99, and may not be as durable; they are a smooth neoprene. Sportful offer a very similar bootie to DexShell’s for £45.
The Altura Thermostretch Windproof Overshoe have become my preferred choice for both early morning and late evening rides; the reflective detailing is better than on any other overshoe I own. Elsewhere, it’s a classic bootie that’s well-made and offers excellent protection in cold, damp weather. However, I found the top edge of the cuff a little tight for my liking.