The Bike List

Grip Grab Race Aqua All Season Overshoes £33

Tested by Christophe Demoulin, tester for The Bike List

The first thing that struck me when I pulled these booties out of the box was how absurdly shiny they were, to the extent that some might call them garish. In fact, I've had a number of comments involving the words fetish and kinky which might put off those without a sense of humour.

Fortunately, I've got the bad bit out of the way early, and now we can go into a detailed explanation about how awesome these booties actually are. The fabric used is an elastic PVC that is absolutely 100% water and wind proof. Of all the overshoes I've tried in the past, these have been the most effective at keeping water out completely and keeping my toes protected from the cold wind chill.

All around the sole of the Race Aqua is a reinforced fabric to withstand that awkward walk you have to do in cleated shoes. Generally, you can safely say that bootie and shoe soles alike get a good battering pretty quickly. While sitting on the train on the way back from a point-to-point ride, I thoughtlessly inspected the bottom of these overshoes, and not a word of a lie: they were like new. I'd been using them for about 3-4 weeks beforehand, and there wasn't even a mark on them!

The zipper on the back is a common closing mechanism for overshoes, an Grip Grab have gone for the highest quality zips from YKK zipper, the largest manufacturer in the world. This, combined with the elasticity of the actual bootie, means it fits snugly over any of my shoes including winter boots. I've pulled at them pretty hard, and they've resisted without tearing the material or breaking the zip.

Although these are called Race Aqua, and are intended for racing, I've used them for all sorts of road cycling. I nailed a 10mi TT personal best with them on, so I have no doubt that they improved my aerodynamics magnificently by smoothing the flow of air around my feet. I've also worn them on cold, wet rides and found them to keep my feet nice and toasty despite the weather. However, at slower speeds and effort, they did not retain as much heat as thicker overshoes, so a decent pair of winter socks will come in handy. Lastly, I took them out on a 100mile ride in the sunny South of France when temperatures got into the 20's and I even got sunburnt. It was no great surprise that this was a step too far for these overshoes, as they are not designed to be breathable or worn in such glorious weather. However, with my tendency to get cold toes as soon as the wind hits the front of my shoes, I was still grateful to have them on while descending a speed.

I've been extremely happy with the Race Aqua over the past few weeks, and have parked my usual booties completely. They've been on my feet in all sorts of weather, and have even made me faster! The looks may not be for everyone, and it may even attract some witty comments, but at least you'll be that little bit quicker than whoever's making it, and you'll probably have drier and warmer feet than they will! Again, Grip Grab have developed fantastic product at a price that will compete with most other overshoes on the market.

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At a glance

Verdict Grip Grab’s Race Aqua are fantastic all round overshoes that will keep you warm and dry, while making you even faster, as long as you can deal with the aesthetics.