Nothing can ruin a ride more than frozen and sodden toes, and a good pair of overshoes can really make the difference between cycling misery and happiness at this time of year. These Shimano S3000R NPU overshoes, with their thick neoprene construction and water resistant coating, provide the necessary barrier to the elements and insulation to keep you pedalling happy circles and not frozen squares.
Shimano may be best known for their components, but they also dabble in in clothing and produce a wide range of overshoes - which makes sense given their vast array of shoes. These S3000 NPU overshoes sit towards the top of the pile with a 3mm thick neoprene construction and smooth water resistant polyurethane coating.
Their bulk suggest they're going to be good in the cold, and that has certainly proven to be true during several weeks of testing. The thick neoprene construction provides excellent insulation for colder rides, and I have such bad circulation that I can be in discomfort after a couple of hours in chilly conditions.
And with taped seams, the S3000R NPU overshoes seal out most of the rain, puddle splashes and spray without wet feet concerns. Shimano only describes them as being water resistant, but they actually do a really good job of keeping your feet warm in several hours of rain.
They've been designed to fit over race shoes, with 3D modelling used to shape the different sections to provide an optimal fit over the shoe. It works too. Despite the bulk caused by the sheer thickness of the material, these are really good fitting overshoes with no discomfort or restriction.
There is plenty of reinforcing, making them a good commuting option, with a tough and durable material stitched into the front section and extending to the cleat opening, and zigzag stitching at the heel opening. The zipper is lined with a windproof flap of material, and there's a Velcro closure around the ankle.
The bright yellow colour certainly provides good visibility during daylight, and for riding at night there's a large reflective tab at the back, but they could really do with some more reflective details around the sides and toe area.
The pricing is on the high side but I've seen them a tenner off so it's worth having a look around. For the level of performance they offer though, they're really up there with the very best overshoes if you value warm and dry feet.
The only downside is the fact you can't stick them in the washing machine after a ride, so instead you have to wipe or hose them down between rides. Despite my best efforts to keep them clean between rides, they're not looking as good as they did new, a fact which would make the black colour option more practical for regular riders.
Great insulation and rain protection; ideal for the most challenging winter cycling conditions
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Make and model: Shimano S3000R Overshoes
Size tested: yellow, large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Overshoes are a simply way to make winter riding far easy on your feet, which can really take the brunt of the chill. Shimano's excellent S3000R overshoes are both water resistant and windproof, as well as featuring taped seams and reflective elements for low light visibility. Available in sizes Small to XX-Large.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Optimal Panel Construction
Water Resistant and Windproof
Specifically designed for road bike shoes
Reflective elements for low-light visibility
There are cheaper overshoes, but these can be had for a tenner less if you shop around. Really good performance for the price though.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Ideal for the hardest, coldest and grimiest winter cycling conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Insulation and very good rain barrier.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can't machine wash them and the yellow isn't very practical for daily cyclists.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
If you want really warm overshoes for cold and damp winter cycling, these are up there with the best
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.