Lusso's Breathe Overshoes are supposed to be both warmer and more breathable than its own excellent Windtex Stealth Overboots – and they achieve exactly that. They're very good, but could be – arguably should be – better still with a few tweaks to the fit and construction.
The Breathe overshoes are an incredibly comfortable, close fitting outer layer and provide considerable warmth for such thin fabric. They're a great choice for someone doing intervals where you want the breathability when smashing it, but to keep your toes warm in the recovery sections too.
Lusso says the fabric 'works like a fish's gill', with the promise that moisture is let out while nothing gets in (not that fish gills actually work like that...). Whatever, they've proven very breathable, with no clamminess even during hard efforts on mild days.
Wind is blocked and water beads off the surface well, though prolonged rain defeats the main taped seam that runs through the centre. It's only to the extent that your feet get damp, rather than sodden, but it's still a fail.
The Breathe overshoes are rated for temperatures from -6°C up to 12 degrees, although it never got lower than -1° during the test. My toes were edging into cold at this point, but still happy enough – I am not confident I'd choose these for -6° without pairing with some decent thick socks.
From zero up to 12° these regulate heat very well, staying comfortably warm across this spectrum. Being able to cope with such a range like this, without you even needing to consult the thermometer before going out, is the beauty of them.
With EU43 feet, I tested the recommended mediums and found them a tug to get on, but once on you get a comfortable, form-hugging fit. Sizing is just as you'd want it to be.
As well as being slightly stretchy, it's an incredibly cushioning fabric, so sits against the skin nicely. This fabric is a tad thicker than the thin and soft material of Hydra Tech Pro's Pioggia Winter Overshoes, but in no way bulky; it moulds to shoes and ankles without bagginess.
Rising to a fairly tall eight inches, these strike a good balance for protection, and the stretchy cuff has a gripper inside to prevent water trickling down into the overshoe. It clenches the calf reassuringly, but isn't too tight. No gaps at all.
Even with the tight fit, the fully waterproof zip feels robust and glides up reassuringly. The reflective strip is a neat aid to visibility, and the logos on both sides shine too.
On the underside, the cut-outs for road cleats are slightly on the narrow side, and there have been a few occasions where I haven't been able to clip in straight away because of this.
The kevlar-reinforced toe pads are holding up well, but the heel is a little loose, which makes it easier to catch and scrape when walking around. I could see this wearing out quicker than the rest.
At £45, these match the Hydra Tech Pro Pioggia Winter Overshoes (£44.99) which, at 108g, are 35g lighter and can cope with colder conditions. Rapha's Pro Team Overshoes are also pleasingly breathable, but only suitable down to around 5° and are lot more expensive at £80.
The Lusso Breathe overshoes are a great option for typical UK temperatures for the greater part of the year. The excellent breathability means they're very comfortable and the build feels robust; cleat clearance could be wider and the heel could be snugger, but once you're clipped in, the performance very is impressive.
Impressive breathability, warmth and versatility, but a few areas need work
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Breathe Overshoes
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says: "We looked at producing a cover for people seeking extra warmth and breathability over our award winning Windtex stealth overboots. Our new 'Breathe' thermal fabric is made up of three layers and works like a fish's gill, letting moisture out of the overshoe without allowing the elements to penetrate in."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Breathe insulating & element blocking fabric
Kevlar reinforced toe and heel pads
Long 8" cuff length
Next to skin feel gripper
Reflective tab and branding
-6 ° C to +12° C
Road cleat use only
Water Repellent Zip"
Feels very well made and durable.
Delivers on extra warmth and breathability, but dosen't stop water penetrating the middle seam after prolonged rain.
Baggy heel can catch and scuff, but the zip is holding up very well.
Comfortable, snug fit.
Not the lightest.
Lusso has other, better value overshoes.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Suitable for 30 degree washes but cannot be tumble dryed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very breathable and keep my feet happy in a wide range of temperatures, but not totally waterproof.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cushioning fabric and breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The baggy heel, slightly narrow cleat cut and the poorly taped seam that let water in.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These are more expensive than Lusso's own Windtex Stealth and Windtex Thermal Terrain overboots, which are both £30. But they're the same price as the Hydra Tech Pro Pioggia Winter overshoes, and around the price you'd expect.
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
I'm really impressed with the warmth, breathability, robust zips and the cushioning, close fit. If the taped middle seam didn't let water in and the cut around the cleats and heel were better, they would score higher than seven.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike 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, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.