dhb's Aeron LAB Neoshell overshoes offer excellent waterproofing, breathability and a lightweight feel with a solid underside that makes the £50 price tag a bit more bearable.
- Pros: Waterproof in all but the heaviest rain, breathable, good warmth from the thin fabric
- Cons: Slightly tough to get on, similar performers cost less
Chances are that there will come a ride when you need overshoes, and those of us who ride outside all through the winter need something that will keep out as much water as possible and last more than one winter. Breathability and low bulk are also features that are very welcome.
dhb's Aeron LAB range is its top-end kit. It uses the best fabrics and the focus is on getting the best performance for the lightest weights functionally possible. That, dhb believes, will open up its winter range to use in early season races. While I've not been bowled over by all of the new kit, these overshoes are really good and well worth the money.
Making these overshoes feel light on the feet was one of dhb's primary concerns and so it turned to Polartec's NeoShell material to make up the bulk of the overshoes. This softshell fabric is thin, flexible, windproof and pretty good at keeping out water as well. It results in overshoes that sit very close to the shoes and allow the ankles their full range of flexion.
There are four pieces of the NeoShell, all stitched very neatly. These seams are then taped inside and I've not seen any water squeezing its way through. The material extends a good length up the leg and ends in a large gripper that sits snugly against the skin. Personally, I've taken to wearing my bib tights over my overshoes. I know, revolutionary. But it works to prevent water seeping down the shin and into my socks. I'm happy to deal with the slightly odd look for drier feet.
The worst weather that these saw was three hours of falling rain and plenty of standing water. These kept out everything so I really can't fault them for normal rain. Maybe the heaviest stuff would get through and deep standing water might flood the cleat holes, but for normal riding, these are as good as I've tried.
The temperature range was also pretty good thanks to the breathability. I've used these from around 12°C down to about 5°C on their own. Anything lower than that and I popped some oversocks underneath for a little extra insulation. But the front toe section covered the vents on my Shimano S-Phyre RC9 shoes so no chilly air was getting in. For harder rides and mild weather, they breathe well, though you'll probably get sweaty feet if you go for it up a climb in mild weather.
Sizing is quite small, in keeping with the aims for a close fit. My medium was snug and I sit right between the small and the medium sizes with my UK8 feet. One thing I will mention is that my ankles are pretty skinny and the medium was tight on my leg. If you've got big legs then size up.
That brings me on to getting these things on and off, which is a slight struggle. The base isn't flexible at all, but once you've got it over the cleat and heel, it's easy. That heel is tough thanks to the Kevlar reinforcement that does very well to help protect the overshoes from stones and gravel.
Additional features include some reflectivity on the heel and from the logos, and a pull tab that I didn't really find that useful for getting the overshoes on. It's easy to cut off, though.
Now we come to the slight issue of the £50 price tag. It's higher than Lusso's Windtex Terrain Overshoes (£30) that also deliver good waterproofing. But your £50 is going to last a good few years thanks mainly to the tough underside. These are certainly more durable than Castelli's Diluvio Pro Shoe Covers (£50). You can easily spend a lot more, too: Rapha's Pro Team Overshoes are a whopping £80.
All things considered, I'd say that these are excellent value for money, with great waterproofing from a lightweight and breathable shell. The base is tough and does make them a slight faff to put on, but the close fit is worth it. If you're out on your bike whatever the weather, it's £50 well spent, I'd say.
Good breathability and waterproofing from a lightweight and flexible fabric
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Lab Neoshell Overshoe
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Wiggle says: "The new Aeron LAB Polartec Neoshell Overshoe uses Polartec® NeoShell® fabric technology to create a breathable, protective overshoe designed to keep the weather at bay and your feet comfortable. A lightweight, flexible and durable option for winter."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Aeron LAB Winter. Ride Like Its Summer.
Winter training doesn't need to be a struggle. The Aeron LAB Winter Collection is a head-to-toe wardrobe solution, designed to allow you to keep riding through cold weather with that nimble, summer riding feeling.
Polartec® NeoShell®: advanced softshell technology
They key to creating an overshoe that's nimble and non-restrictive but still offers plenty of protection is to use the right fabric. dhb have turned to leading technology partner Polartec® and used the advance Neoshell® fabric for the main body of this overshoe.
NeoShell® is a softshell fabric which is windproof and waterproof, with plenty of stretch to ensure a perfect fit. It's also incredibly breathable, with highly aerobic air permeability there to keep your feet comfortable through winter training and in milder spring and autumn conditions.
It's this lightweight fabric that makes this such a versatile overshoe.
The Aeron LAB Polartec Neoshell Overshoe has been designed to make you forget it's there when you're out pushing the pace, without leaving out any features you need in harsh conditions.
With holes in the bottom, an overshoe can never be fully waterproof, but the front seam of the Aeron LAB has been taped to provide a waterproof barrier to stop the worst of the rain and road spray.
A Kevlar reinforced sole fabric is there for durability, keeping these overshoes going for seasons to come. Add to this a YKK® Vislon Zip, and an effective silicone cuff which grips onto your winter tights and keeps the overshoe in place: the end result is a lightweight, weather resistant and winter-ready overshoe.
Being seen in the cooler months is key. dhb have included a large reflective tab at the rear of the heel to help you be seen on the road, along with a reflective strip along the rear zip, and large reflective logos.
If the base could be a tiny bit more flexible, that'd be brilliant. Otherwise, excellent.
Waterproof and breathable.
Close fit so size up if you've got chunkier ankles.
£20 more than the Lusso overshoes but the durability and performance mean your cash is well invested here. Cheaper than Rapha and Castelli versions.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed with other kit as per usual. Don't tumble dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These do very well in heavy rain and cool-mild temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The waterproofing was surprisingly good for the lightness of the fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The base isn't that flexible so these are a bit tough to get on.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Compared to Rapha and Castelli versions, these look like a great deal. You might want to go for the Lusso Windtex Terrain overshoes at £30 if you're on a tighter budget.
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 overall score
A tougher base than Castelli's Diluvio means that they score slightly higher. If they were comparable on price to Lusso's Windtex Terrain overshoes, they'd be looking at a full 10/10.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.