Shoe covers: are knit "over socks" any good?

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Johnny Rad
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by Johnny Rad

Consider me a fair weather winter roadie. By fair weather, I mean dry and no cooler than 39F / 4C ... that's where I draw my line in the snow err sand. I'm looking for some advice on shoe covers.

When it gets down to 39F / 4C, I put on a simple set of Pearl Izumi toe covers over my cycling shoes and then put a ziploc sandwich baggie over my socks. It works for awhile and almost long enough, but my toes eventually get cold bringing an end to the fun.

So, will knit shoe covers (aka big over socks) gain me anything if I use them with my current set-up?

And what about the thinnest of overshoes over top of my current set-up?

Thanks and stay warm out there! (And for those of you in warmer climes right now, please don't rub it in.)

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by hurricanejosh

i use thermal (fleece lined) pearl izumi shoe covers on cold dry days. mind you a cold day to me is -5C, and i ride down to -25C. they break the wind and provide insulation, so if you have issues with cold feet, that's what i would suggest.

oversocks coupled with toe covers may be just as effective. if baggies aren't working, i'd hazard a guess aero shoe covers won't do much more. what are you wearing for socks? i always wear wool if colder than 10C (to varying thicknesses, and i like defeet and smartwool brands best). defeet thin to around 5C, smartwool to -5C and defeet woolie boolies any colder.

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Oversocks provide limited insulation and breathe well. I use them from autumn through to spring switching from DeFeet Wooleator to Woolie Boolie sock depending on the temperature. I find the choice of sock makes a big difference, like hurricanejosh says.

Down below 4C I wear neoprene overshoes and find Endura Road are a good fit and well constructed.

I haven't tried toe covers as I like to keep my ankles and achilles warm. I have poor circulation to start with, so any exposed joint needs covering up.

I guess to answer your original question, yes, an oversock will add some insulation and are a relatively cheap solution to try. DeFeet Slipstream are good. As are the Prendas ones.

Once had a kid ask me why I put my socks on the wrong way though.

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by rijndael

I also prefer neoprene shoe covers for temps in the 30s, I've only tried Castellis - they've been great.

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by bombertodd

I have a couple pairs of oversocks. They work good when your feet are a little cold. Although I'd recommend an upgrade to the shoecovers with a zipper. My oversocks are hard to get on and off. They snag on the velcro/buckle straps which is a fight to put on and remove.

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by eurperg

When I'm using standard road/mtb Sidis and it's cold, my tips are:

- Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier shoe covers ( 3mm fleece-backed neoprene). Warm but not so bulky they rub your cranks
- Aluminum foil under standard insoles, helps a lot. You need insulation below your feet, not on top of them, that's where all shoecovers fail
- Some proper socks like Northwave Husky Ceramic, or tho thinner Rapha merino socks

I would switch from knit over socks to thin neoprene covers when its below 10°C, but that's just me...

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by Geoff

we haven't had nice, warm 4-degree weather in quite some time. I was trying to do intervals last weekend (-19), but there was too much snow for it to be done safely.

We used to use those types of sock shoecovers back 'in the day', but not since the 90's. Today, I would recommend that you use a fleece-backed, 'Windstopper' (or other, similar fabric) shoecover for those cooler Fall days. The gloves made from the same fabric are also very good. I recommend the MOA Sport (Nalini, Adidas, Rapha or other sub-brands), which I have personally had very good luck with over the years. Santini makes great product, too.

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by stella-azzurra

Forget shoe covers. What about some good winter shoes.
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