Rapha launched the Pro Team Rain Overshoes as part of its new Pro Team Softshell range, designed for racing in cold and wet conditions, with input from Team Sky. The overshoes are made from the same softshell fabric used in the jacket from the same range. They're less bulky than a neoprene overshoe and provide impressive wet weather protection.
They're constructed from a three-layer fabric that Rapha has developed, with a polyurethane membrane sandwiched between the inner and outer layer. The fabric is then soaked in a DWR treatment – most fabrics have a DWR treatment coated on the outer surface.
To ensure water resistance all seams are taped, the main seam externally from the toes right across the middle. The zip is water resistant too. The sole is constructed from a durable fabric with cut out cleat and heel holes. A few reflective details are added, but it's a shame the signature Pro Team horizontal stripes aren't reflective, though they do add a useful bit of contrast for low-light riding.
I found the Medium shoes a good fit over my size 45 Fizik shoes; the ankle could be slightly tighter, though it's fine when worn with a pair of legwarmers or bib tights as the extra layer of material around the ankle fills them out. A size Small provided a much more snug fit, but required a bit more wrestling into place.
Performance in the conditions they're designed for is very impressive. They do a top job of keeping road spray and rain out of your shoes. They're not completely impenetrable – ride in heavy rain long enough and the water will eventually overcome their ability to keep the damp out – but for short rides and races, I found them easily up to the task of keeping my feet dry.
They're also highly breathable, and that makes them well suited to riding and racing in the changeable conditions of spring and autumn (and wet summer days). When it can be warm but very wet, full-on winter overshoes are overkill and oversocks, my usual go-to choice for spring, aren't up to the task. The Rapha Pro Team Rain Overshoes suit these conditions perfectly. They keep the rain out, or most of it anyway, and certainly enough for a typical race distance or short training ride, yet don't overheat the toes.
With a lightweight build and excellent and comfortable fit, backed up with impressive bad weather protection, the Rapha Pro Team Rain Overshoes fit the bill for riding and racing in challenging weather, and are well suited to spring (and autumn) conditions.
Excellent rain protection and low-bulk fit makes them ideal for spring and autumn riding and racing
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
Make and model: Rapha Pro Team Rain Overshoes
Size tested: Medium
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?
Rapha says: "Traditional neoprene overshoes are ill-suited to racing and training, with their high saturated weight, bulky fit, and lack of breathability. The Pro Team Overshoe uses the same fabric as the Pro Team Softshell Jacket to overcome these problems, creating an overshoe that's suitable for high-tempo efforts in cold and wet conditions.
"The high-stretch fabric allows for a low-profile and aerodynamic fit, while taped critical seams and a water-resistant zip maximise weather protection. A durable sole panel prevents wear and tear from road grit, while pre-cut cleat and heel holes allow for grip when walking. Finished with high-visibility details."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Low-profile, aerodynamic fit
Durable sole panel
Pre-cut heel and cleat holes
First class construction provides a great fit and durability is good.
Perfect for mixed conditions, like the whole of spring and, unfortunately, plenty of the summer, with none of the bulk of winter overshoes but more protection than oversocks.
Solid construction and the durable sole and cleat openings has stood up well under demanding test conditions.
About as light as you want to go and still offer a decent level of protection.
Really good comfort with a low bulk fit.
Yes they're expensive but they offer first class performance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Keep much of the rain out with none of the bulk and they're breathable as well so ideal for warmer temps.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Close aero fit and low bulk and nice balance of rain protection and breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fit around the ankle could be improved a little.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
With a lightweight build and excellent and comfortable fit, backed up with impressive bad weather protection, the Rapha Pro Team Rain Overshoes fit the bill for riding and racing in challenging weather, and are well suited to spring/autumn conditions.
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, mountain biking
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.