By Colin Dennis
Fizik have produced an extremely well made pair of waterproof neoprene winter overshoes that are warm, comfortable, snug-fitting and highly effective at keeping out the wet weather. As an added bonus they’re lightweight and dead-easy to fit and take off too.
I tread very carefully whenever a clothing company declares an item waterproof. How waterproof is waterproof? Most clothing, and that includes cycling overshoes, are only as waterproof as the stitching and zippers allow, regardless of the materials used. Therefore if your waterproof jacket or neoprene overshoes aren’t taped at the seams then there’s every chance that they’ll leek like the proverbial sieve after prolonged exposure to the wet.
The design bods at Fizik (fi’zi:k) have thankfully done their homework when it comes to cycling overshoes though, and if you’re a keen cyclist, you’ll already know that Fizik produce excellent quality products such as the ubiquitous Arione range of performance saddles.
Quality and detailing are obvious here on the winter overshoes too. Fizik’s approach to winter protection for your feet is clearly as important as your backside, if you’re comfortable or/and warm, you’ll perform better. The main body seams are welded closed with waterproof tape that is flawless in its construction. No signs of peeling back or fraying along the inside edges here, even after prolonged use in the recent wet weather.
I suffer terribly from cold feet, chillblains are a constant winter companion, and the thought of going out in the cold and often wet British makes me wish I lived somewhere dryer and warmer. Each winter I try out several overshoes, generally with much scepticism, and feel my poor digits suffer the consequences. We should break our winter footwear down into three elements: appropriate winter socks, shoes and of course, overshoes.
Fizik have built their winter overshoes using a panelled construction with the body built from 2mm thick neoprene. The instep and lower shin areas to these overshoes are much more flexible thanks to the inclusion of the 3L waterproof and windproof membrane material that is popular with outdoor companies who produce high-end waterproof, softshell clothing.
The technical construction continues with the toe cap and sole areas being made from reinforced PU fabrics. This should extend the life of your Fizik winter overshoes as although it’s recommended to keep any walking to a minimum, inevitably, plodding along over short distances in overshoes can’t be avoided.
The large Fizik logos are both reflective yet stylishly unobtrusive until the headlights pick them out and the Velcro tab that covers the top of the zipper is large enough to do the job properly and doesn’t come unstuck.
While we’re on the subject of zips, Fizik utilise one of the biggest names in outdoor clothing when it comes to fitting their zippers, YKK are the market leader when it comes to zips, especially waterproof ones. It’s a difficult job to make something with zips fully waterproof, yet YKK are the zips that the majority of top-end outdoor clothing companies opt for.
In summary: The Fizik winter overshoes have done exactly what they promised to do: thanks to their technical construction they’ve helped keep my bony feet warm and dry over the past month or so. They’re also snug fitting and very comfortable to wear. Yep, worth every penny!
Winter training and commuting doesn’t seem quite so formidable now.