The onset of autumn has meant taking measures to keep hands and feet warm while cycling and the DeFeet Duragloves and Slipstream oversocks have proved an effective and high-viz solution.
The gloves and oversocks are available separately, for £14.99 and £13.99 respectively, and while both effective in their own right, we’ve been using them together so will review them as such.
Let’s start with the gloves. They’re made from a 40 per cent nylon, 40 per cent Cordura and 20 per cent lycra mix. Cordura is the key as it’s a tough, durable fabric which means these should stand the test of time better than most knitted gloves.
Because that’s what they are – simple, lightweight, knitted gloves ideal for this time of year, when there’s enough of a nip in the air, particularly in the morning/evening, to warrant covering your hands. Same goes for spring and, we reckon, milder days in winter when full windproof gloves aren’t required.
The gloves aren’t windproof but the knit is fairly dense and we’ve used them comfortably down to the upper reaches of single figures through early morning mist. They’re not waterproof either, so are best saved for when it’s cool and dry.
Most of the elastane is in the cuffs, which are ribbed and provide a snug fit. There’s also plenty of grippy print across the entire side of the glove which will be in contact with the handlebar and shifters/brakes, which means you get plenty of grip and feel.
And that’s it as far as features go. These are simple gloves but that’s no bad thing, being affordable, lightweight, durable, breathable, warm through a reasonable temperature range and with plenty of grip.
The gloves are available in five colours – black, blue, red and white options for £13.99, and a high-viz option for £14.99 – and four sizes from small to extra large.
DeFeet Slipstream oversocks
I’m a big fan of oversocks in spring and autumn, and even through a fair slice of winter, as they’re easy to pull on, keep your feet reasonably warm down to low-ish temperatures, and keep your feet reasonably dry from road spray and your shoes clean. These are a little warmer than most thanks to a relatively dense fabric made up of 60 per cent Cordura, 30 per cent nylon and 10 per cent lycra. The stretchy cuffs, which extend further than expected up the leg, ensure a close fit over the ankle.
DeFeet also say the oversocks can be used “for anytime you want an aerodynamic advantage”, in a time trial for example, and while most pros use shoe covers when racing against the clock, we can’t vouch for the effectiveness of these in your pursuit of marginal gains.
The Slipstream oversocks require you to cut your own cleat hole, which while not a massive inconvenience, is one we’d rather do without. A faint centre line on the bottom of each oversock acts as a cut guide, and DeFeet recommend placing the socks over your shoes and then making a slit in the bottom to expose the cleat.
You have to be careful to get a clean cut to ensure the hole doesn’t fray and quickly become bigger. We’d prefer a pre-cut hole with reinforced edges to improve durability. One old-school tip is to apply a clearcoat nail varnish to the edge of the hole, though, ultimately, how long the oversocks last depends on how careful you are when pulling them on and using them. That’s the same for any oversocks, which, in general have a tough time of it, exposed to the elements and with plenty to get snagged upon.
Cleat hole aside, the Cordura fabric ensures these are more durable than most oversocks we’ve tried, and the extra thickness of the fabric also provides a touch extra windproofing. However, at £13.99 they’re a little more expensive than rival offerings.
The oversocks are available in two sizes, small/medium for 34-41 size shoes, and large/extra large for 42-48. My shoes are a 43 and our large/extra large sample was a close fit, so it may be a bit of a squeeze if you’re at the other end of the size range.
There are also five colour options: high-viz, black, blue, red and white. The high-viz option is very bright and particularly visible when your legs are pedaling away. We like being able to use the super-bright gloves and oversocks without being dressed head-to-toe in high-viz.