Endura gear has been around for almost 20 years, catering for roadies, commuters and the off-road crowd. Judging by the number of people in my local club that wear Endura kit – especially shorts and tights - it's jolly good stuff. Endura have now raised their own bar to produce the distinct Equipe range of high-performance garments, specifically aimed at performance road cyclists.
Previously on road.cc we've tested some Endura Equipe winter clothing, such as the Exo Softshell Jacket , and we also got some Superstretch Thermal Overshoes to go with it. Designed for riding in wet and cold weather, these overshoes are made from a thick neoprene - the stuff that's used for wetsuits - so it ought to do the job.
First thing I noticed was the complete the lack of zips and Velcro tabs. 'They'll be a bugger to get on', I thought. But I was wrong. The neoprene fabric is remarkably stretchy (the clue's in the name) and they went over my shoes pretty easily.
Just to be sure, I tried them over some different shoes, including my chunky racing shoes with old-style Look cleats and ski-boot-style buckles, and they were still fine to pull over the various protuberances.
And once they're on, these overshoes are a dream. That super-stretchiness and lack of zips means they hug tight. And that means no flapping fabric, no rubbing on the crank and no gap at the top to let the rain in. The tight fit also means less air on the inside, which means warmer feet - hence the 'thermal' tag. They're more aerodynamic too, and - although style isn't important for everyone - when things fit snugly, they just look neater and more stylish.
But style means nothing if the gear doesn't work. So I tried these overshoes on a few rides in early spring, and they did a very good job at protecting my feet from the worse of the weather. In rainy conditions, they didn't keep the water out - but I didn't expect them to be totally waterproof. I've never used a pair of overshoes that are. I expected these Enduras to keep my feet warm, rather than dry - just like a wetsuit - and they did just that.
If you want more comprehensive weatherproofing, various manufacturers have more heavy-duty overshoes available, but if you're cracking on during a winter training ride, and prepared to sacrifice a bit of protection for a more streamlined cut, then these Superstretch overshoes are ideal for all but the most serious of conditions.
Despite the lack of zips and tabs, the overshoes do have several other features worthy of note: reinforced material round the heel hole, a patch of shiny fabric on the inside just in case you get crank-rub, a small tab at the back of the heel to help get the sole lines up, reflective stripes front and back, and - oh yes - 'Equipe' in big letters on the outside edge of each overshoe.
Retailing at a penny under £35, these are not the cheapest option around. You can definitely save money by buying a pair for 20 quid that'll be almost as good. On the other hand - or foot - you can pay up to £80 for overshoes that are only slightly better. But for all the practical benefits of a tight fit, plus a dash of style too, these Endura Equipe Superstretch overshoes are good value and well worth considering, it also has to be said that if you shop around, partiuclarly in the summer time, you can find them for well below list price.
Top quality overshoes at a good price - ideal for all but the most serious of conditions
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Make and model: Endura Equipe Superstretch overshoes
Size tested: 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?
With characteristic brevity (and modesty), the Endura Equipe website says these are: 'the ultimate waterproof thermal overshoes featuring new technology superstrech neoprene with zip-free design for unrivalled comfort and weatherproofing'. While the fabric itself may be waterproof, the overshoes themselves are not - although I've never used a pair of overshoes that are totally waterproof. There's a big difference between 'waterproof' and 'weatherproof'. And I'm always wary of anything that claims to be the 'ultimate' or 'unrivalled', but there's no denying these overshoes are very good quality.
These overshoes show all the hallmarks of the Endura Equipe range, including top-notch construction, with perfect seams and not a thread out of place on the stitching.
The superstretch fabric allows the overshoes to do away with zips and tabs, which means all the benefits of a tight fit, but it can't be denied that pulling the overshoes on and off will put more strrain on the stitching than if a zip was employed. How the stitching will cope remains to be seen, but so far it's standing up well. Like all good kit, if you show it a bit of respect and it'll probably last much longer.
compared to overshoes of similar quality, weight is good - thanks partly to the lack of zips.
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,