If you’re tired of wearing out a pair of overshoes each season (typically, priced anywhere between £25 and £40) then a pair of winter boots might be the answer.
Embraced by our fat-tyred friends as a ‘no-brainer’, such heavyweight footwear is likely to spark revulsion in the roadie, who seeks lightness in every aspect of his equipment (those pictured below are Shimano’s MW80 mountain bike boot, and while the sole of the road-specific equivalent is slimmer, the upper is almost identical). They ain’t cheap, either. Or are they?
“My mountain bike boots are now doing their fifth winter,” says Ritchie, “ and I would have trashed many summer shoes if I hadn’t changed.”
While road riding, even in the worst conditions, is unlikely to damage your shoes, a £40 pair of overshoes each season would have bought road boots from Sidi, Northwave, or Shimano, according to our research, and in the case of the last two, left a healthy chunk of change. There’s little chance of them sitting in the cupboard unused either, given the appalling winters of recent years, and which now extend into April and begin as early as October.
Fabrics like GoreTex, Thinsulate, and neoprene will keep out the cold and wet. We’ll stop short of a recommendation – treated sympathetically, a good pair of overshoes should last more than a single season – but if you’re clocking serious miles through the UK’s ever-lengthening and increasingly wet winters, boots might be an option to consider.