The Assos Assosoires Winter Booties combine great breathability with good thermal retention, but while the windproofing is great, the highly water resistant fabric is let down by the lack of taped seams, which is disappointing for £70. The zipless design works very well, though they are a tight fit.
Overshoes are the best bit of kit that I suffered without for a winter when I first got into cycling. Oh, the pain of numb toes under three pairs of socks. Thankfully, this winter I got to shelter those poor toes under these very nice Assosoires Booties. The aim of these is to provide a lot of protection without much bulk, and are more akin to an oversock than an overshoe.
Essentially, Assos has attempted to combine the lightweight feel of oversocks, which allow the foot to move naturally, with the protection of an overshoe. The two materials that make up the booties are Cordura for the front part and Neos Medium for the ankle and leg area. Both materials are hydrophobic and rain simply beads off; in showery, changeable conditions, the fabric is generally very good. Give them a proper soaking, though, like when riding for several hours in persistent rain, and water will get through.
The two parts are stitched together very well, but the two stitch lines haven't been taped, so if it's pouring down you can expect damp socks. It's a real pity as the material around the stitching holds out water for ages.
Putting the booties on is rather like putting on Velotoze. You start with your shoes off and put the Booties on up to your shins, with your feet going through the cleat holes. Then with shoes on, you pull the heel down and over, and finally, the rest stretches over the toe. It was easy to do on my Shimano S-Phyre shoes, though the fit is tight, so if you're in between sizes I'd recommend going up.
Once on, the booties are just as comfortable as oversocks. I found that the material is totally unrestrictive and allows the ankle to move freely. Breathability is also great and on dry days I was able to ride at a high intensity without my feet getting too sweaty. You'll need some decent socks on for seriously cold days, though, below 5°C; the fabric's windproofing helps, but these aren't the warmest overshoes I've used.
If there's one feature that I really couldn't care less about, it's the claimed aerodynamic performance gains from the lack of a zipper. Why anyone would care about saving a watt while they shiver their way to the cafe in winter is beyond me. That lack of a zipper is very comfortable, though. In fact, these are the comfiest overshoes that I've ever worn.
In terms of value, you're paying out a lot of money for these, though the construction and materials used are very good. It's slightly difficult to find a pair to compare them with as very few brands successfully go down the zipless route. Rapha's Pro Team Overshoes are more expensive at £80, but dhb's new Aeron LAB Neoshell Overshoes are quite a bit cheaper at £50, and they have taped seams.
Overall, I love the fit of the Assos and they're really comfy, but the lack of seam taping lets them down rather. The price is also steep compared with most.
Great materials and really comfortable for dry days, but taped seams would make them so much better
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Assos Assosoires Winter Bootie
Size tested: 3/3
Tell us what the product is for
From Assos: "Made to endure the colder seasons on the bike, these tech-savvy Winter Booties deliver supreme thermal protection in our most compact iteration to date. A reworked overshoe with an all-new ergonomic cut that eliminates wrinkles and an improved aerodynamic performance thanks to its zipless construction, these winter overshoes embody the essential characteristics of a must-have, lightweight, yet super warm shoe cover. Our internal test team classifies them as the convergence of an aero bootie and a warm winter overshoe with a blend of materials that lock out wind and water without compromising on their low weight or breathability. Sounds like prime riding equipment for winter, and these are certainly a product that we're excited about.
"For these Winter Booties, our fabric specialists have flexed their know-how to deploy their latest weapon against the elements. As your feet are so vulnerable while pedaling in bad weather, they've engineered the waterproof and abrasion-resistant Cordura on the toe area, while reserving our proprietary NEOS Medium on the ankle, which adds stretch, thermal protection and impermeability. Their compact, packable design is practical, so you can easily stow these overshoes if the temperature rise."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Assos lists these features:
CORDURA: Aerodynamic and waterproof, this proprietary fabric has been deployed on the toe area to tackle weather headfirst.
NEOS MEDIUM: Our in-house developed tri-layer thermo soft-shell constructed with a bonded PU membrane. Water-repellent and form-fitting, this tech-savvy textile is waterproof to >10 m, wind-resistant and highly breathable. Waterproof >10 MT. High breathability MVP 14.600 gr/m2/24h JIS L 1099 B-1:2006.
Sens 2L: These overshoes have been constructed with a double layer stripe of our lightweight, super-stretch warp-knit in blue, our demarcation for winter. Engineered by our textile developers, Sens Tex is known for its low volume, freedom of movement, and secondskin-like sensation.
Zip-free construction: Taking inspiration from the design and cut used on the prototype bootie worn to Gold in the Men's Time Trial at the Rio Olympics, this is a design that has been stripped back for increased comfort and performance.
Raw-cut edges: The raw-cut edges for the cleat, heel and ankle edge eliminate seams to retain warmth and increase comfort.
Tape the seams and these would be so much better.
Great in dry weather; less so in the wet.
No signs of wear. But I don't go walking around on gravel much.
A bit small; size up if you're on the limit.
The lack of a zip is great, though damp feet in the rain less so.
Not the best. Then again, with proper seam taping these might just fly up the value rating.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy. Wash at 30°C and line dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliantly on chilly, dry days: you can push hard and feet remain comfortable. On wet days, water quickly gets in through the seams.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fabrics are light, breathable, windproof and highly water resistant.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of seam taping.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Quite high, though not the most that you can spend on overshoes. The quality of the finish is lower, but dhb's Aeron LAB Neoshell Overshoes (£50) would be a better bet if you want proper water resistance.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, on dry days.
Would you consider buying the product? No, too expensive for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Hmm. Maybe.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Great fit and the materials are top quality, but the water resistance in the fabric is let down by the lack of taping on the seams. They're good, but could be so much better, especially for the price.
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. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.