The WS in the name comes from the use of a fleece-lined, windproof and water resistant Gore Windstopper 4-Way Warm fabric in the overshoes’ construction. The bright yellow Gore material might help you to be seen on rides where the light is fading, but it does get grubby very quickly, more so than any other hi-viz kit I own (the overshoes are also available in black or red). However, the visibility is further helped by the use of a reflective Sportful logo across the top of the foot and more Scotchlite detailing under the toes, up the side of the zip at the rear and on the heel pull tab.
That pull tab at the base of the zip at the heel is one example of the thought Sportful have put into the design of the Bootie Reflex overshoes. It makes the overshoes easy to pull up and over the heel of shoe, and also makes them easy to get off, too. Wrestling with overshoes is something I hate but that’s not a problem here.
Detailing on the overshoes continues with a flap that folds over the zip pull when the overshoes are done up and that goes some way towards stopping the zip from rattling. Then there’s the reinforced panels at the toe, under the arch of the foot and on the heel – all high-wear areas. The openings for the shoe cleats and heels are also edged with neoprene to add a little stretch and improve the fit. Neoprene also makes an appearance at the top of the overshoes, where it is used to help prevent water ingress when riding in wet conditions.
However, the dominant fabric is Gore’s Windstopper 4-Way Warm material and that results in adequate warmth for riding in temperatures down to four or five degrees, without adding too much bulk, but in colder conditions my felt began to feel chilly. Everyone’s feet react differently to the cold, but, in my experience, these overshoes are best reserved for slightly warmer winter rides and I’d likely reach for something toastier when it’s Baltic out.
The Gore fabric also deals well enough with light rain and road spray but they’re not completely waterproof and if it’s raining heavily (and even more so if you’re riding through winter without mudguards, thanks to the additional water kicked up by the front wheel) then water will get in, particularly through the stitched seam that runs across the top of the Booties.
The Sportful WS Reflex Booties, available in five sizes from S to XXL, are one of the most comfortable pairs of overshoes I’ve worn, no doubt helped by the lack of bulk and the stretchiness of the Gore Windstopper 4-Way Warm fabric used in the majority of their construction. The provide ample warmth for early spring, late autumn or milder winter rides when it’s dry or damp out, but there are warmer – and bulkier – options for really cold conditions.