How to choose your shoe covers?
When cycling in winter, extremities are the first body parts affected by the cold, which is why it's crucial to protect them to fully enjoy a ride. To that end, you have a vast choice of shoe covers that won't only isolate your feet from the cold, the wind and the rain, but also your shoes.
Many brands such as Mavic, Castelli, Endura offer models where the shoe cover is designed to be integral with the foot, in a more or less thick fabric depending on the season.
Some elements are common to all shoe cover models: a trim adjustment at the ankle and impervious seamed trims for perfect waterproofness, as well as reflective stickers on the rear to be seen. However, it is recommended to choose a shoe cover model well suited for your practice.
Shoe covers for road bikes
Shoe cover models for road bikes can vary depending on the brand: some can be put on like socks and provide a hole under the heel and a wedge hole to insure stability walking. Others are open under the foot and are attached with a zip behind the ankle and a Velcro under the foot.
Models focused on performance are made of latex, a light material, stretchable, impervious and aerodynamic; ideal for races or a time trial.
For the usual road trips, shoe covers are mostly made of a mix of neoprene-polyamide or polyamide-elastane, resistant fabrics, waterproof, which is perfectly insulated against the cold and isolates from water and mud. Some of them are provided with a coating in polyurethane for better protection. To stay warm in winter, prioritise polar fleece lining for your shoe covers!
Shoe covers for MTB
MTB shoe cover models are provided with a sole with grooves to facilitate walking and a rubber lining going from the heel all the way up to the toes for better protection and durability whatever the discipline. They are equipped with both a rear zip and a Velcro band under the foot for comfortable adjustment.
MTB shoe covers are conceived in a mixes of polyamide-elastane, polyester or neoprene, often with a protection in polyurethane. High-end models use technical fabrics like the Windstopper from Gore for maximum protection against the cold and difficult terrains.
Take note that some shoe cover models are adapted to road shoes as much as MTB shoes.
For mid-season, when the weather is rather unpredictable, when it's fresh in the morning and cooler around noon, toe covers can be placed on the shoe's front. They can be put on and taken off easily depending on the changes in temperature during a trip. They can even be worn under the shoe covers for maximum protection against the cold.
You have lots of options to choose how to protect your feet from the cold and the rain and everything that could stop you from pedalling to your heart's content in winter. It's up to you to choose the model that best suits you!