Essential Winter Gear Part 2 - Overshoes
The best way to review a product is to wear it yourself - as per my previous comments about the SPIUK winter tights, discussed a while ago (see our cycle news archive). Well after the snow comes the rain - and if you're riding around in Winter the time, most likely your feet are gong to get wet first and then cold. So even if it's just for comfort, it's well worth keeping your feet dry. If you're planning on longer rides then you will definitely want something to take the edge off the weather - I lose the feeling in my toes quite quickly when it's cold - and that's precisely where overshoes come in.
Last year I used a pair of Descent-made overshoes. They were good but made of fabric - which meant if they were exposed to continually wet conditions eventually the rain would soak through to your shoes. For some reason, and I think it has more to do with my pedal style than anything else, I also managed to tear holes in the sides of them - thus rendering them less waterproof and less effective. So a couple of weeks ago I splashed out and bought a new pair........
Enter the Tarmac Pro NPU+. I've been out today. Very wet 'under wheel' - the snow on the tops of the hills is still thawing. But my feet stayed completely dry - and toasty warm. Basically, they are made of 3mm Neoprene - the type of material dry suits are made out of. Double stitched, they are effectively a waterproof layer between your feet and the outside world - perfect for the current weather conditions. They have a reflective strip on the rear, just below the zip. They are alittle trickly to put on initially, but they do sport a cut out heel - so you know exactly where they should be in relation to your shoe. At the top of the 'boot' there's a small velcro wrap around to keep the fit tight, making sure no heat is lost or moisture gets in. My pair are predominately black with grey flashing...but frankly that's irrelevant. They do a great job of keeping your feet dry - so just consider them an investment.
Tarmac Pro NPU+ are available from www.wiggle.co.uk for around £30.