Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Craft overshoes - a review

Finding the perfect overshoe is a continuing task. In my opinion, it is actually a very important item, at least when you live in conditions I face. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably live in California, south of France or Texas - somewhere warm and sunny.
Let's say the day you thought should be sunny turned ugly halfway. Pouring, ice cold rain vs road shoe. I know which will win, I was surprised once - and I hope it will be long until next time. Being cold, wet and miserable is a cyclist mantra, but I prefer staying dry for as long as possible. I would go so far to say overshoes are a necessity. A nice pair of overshoes look PRO as well, remember Cancellara winning Paris-Roubaix 2010?

So I bought myself a new pair of overshoes. Yes, I bought them, no discount either in case you wondered.
Let's begin the fun - will it fit?
Size 43 in shoes=XL in overshoes

The Craft rain bootie is actually very good. Firstly, it is slim fit. I don't know about you, but bulky neopren overshoes are not my style. The Craft overshoe is thin, seams have been taped both inside and outside, which always is a good sign.

The basics
The inside of the overshoe consists of very thin fleece, adding comfort to you while riding in wet conditions. As mentioned, the seams are taped on the inside as well, meaning that the chance to stay dry is far greater. Riders, be aware I wrote "far greater", not guaranteed.
Fleece equals comfy, at least mentally.
On the outside, the fabric is water and wind resistant. The material is very elastic, giving the tight fit I like. It has reflective prints on the side as well as a thin reflective line along the zipper on the back, which is great for safety.

The only thing I was worried about concerning this overshoe, was the zipper. Being one of two critical aspects of an overshoe, the zipper is the first thing to break or cut holes in the overshoe. The zipper is a so-called 3/4 zipper, so applying the cycling in the overshoes might be tricky the first times. The overshoes are to a certain degree quite open underneath the shoes, it's just a broad velcro holding the two pieces together.

The zipper on the Craft shoe look very thin to me, but so far it has been working quite well. Of course there is a flap on the inside of the zipper, preventing water to come inside. This flap annoys me, since it has got the initiative to get stuck in my zipper while I zip it. This could be a source to everlasting pain, but I prefer to register it under the fact that the shoes are quite new.
Reflective line and the zipper

The overshoe also has the mandatory Kevlar reinforcements on its nose and on the shoe cover heel. They are positioned to areas vulnerable to wear and make sure you are able to walk without destroying your overshoes. They give the overshoes a good grip on the cycling shoes as well, so that they stay in place.

The shoes have a Velcro adjuster on the very top, making it easy to get a tight fit around the ankles. No good in having water resistant overshoes if all water known to man can get into the shoes by following your ankles.
Ready to ride

I mentioned it is slim, right? It is to put on too, but that is how things are. The overshoes' size is so small you can easily bring them in a jersey pocket if you want to, but I think it is necessary to stop to put them on. I've seen pros putting them on while on the bike, but either I'm not pro, or my overshoes are too new, I can't imagine doing that. For safety reasons, use your head.

The overshoes work very well. I'm pleased with having bought them, they are water and wind resistant, not water proof, even though I didn't get wet while using them during rain. On the downside, the shoes are vulnerable to water underneath and the zipper look very thin. That said, the zipper hasn't let me down yet. The fit is superb and they do their job.

Remember to bring your road shoes when buying, so you can try them on.
Tight fit - a definitive bonus.

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