The Craft Neoprene Bootie is a simple overshoe made from, you guessed it, neoprene, with a full zip rear closure and Velcro tab underfoot. The seams that run down the top of the overshoe and around the toe section are taped for increased waterproofing, while the toe and heel are reinforced with Kevlar to improve durability. The large Craft logos along the side, and the thin strip of reflective material which runs parallel to the zip ensure decent visibility in low light.
The mid-thickness neoprene (approximately 3mm) results in an overshoe which can cope with temperatures down to the mid single digits. For anything colder, or if you're prone to getting cold feet, then you'll need something a bit more substantial. The cuff section is also a little shorter than some other overshoes which did lead to some unsightly (and cold) gaps between overshoe and bib tight.
The trade-off is that the Booties are quite light and don't interfere with the pedalling action which is sometimes an issue with thicker overshoes.
When it comes to waterproofing, the neoprene material and sealed seams should ensure that your feet stay dry. However, the lack of sole to the overshoe means that road spray has easy access to any vents in your shoe, which will result in wet feet. Even on dry rides with road spray the only moisture around, I found that my feet still got damp.
The decision to use a Velcro strap instead of a continuous sole doesn't really add much utility to the Bootie either, as you still end up putting it on in exactly the same way. The only real advantage seems to be that you can remove your shoes without removing the overshoe, but is this really necessary?
In addition, the Velcro strap means that the fit is less secure overall. The toe section has a tendency to ride up over the shoe when pushing off from a stop or when walking. This trait was especially annoying on mountain bike rides when I had to dismount to open gates, or to push round a particularly muddy section.
On the plus side, the Booties have proven very durable, given that on recent mountain bike rides, more time was spent pushing through the snow than actually riding. The lugs on mountain bike shoes tend to eat up overshoes, but the Booties don't show any sign of damage. For road duties, they should last a good while.
Do an ok job of keeping the wind off your feet, but for serious winter riding, or riding in the wet there are better options out there
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Make and model: Craft Neoprene Bootie
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?
Craft describe the Neoprene Booties somewhat ambitiously as "Waterproof overshoes for protection in cold and wet conditions". Unfortunately, this claim doesn't tally with my experience.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-Taped front Seam
-Multi-stretch Neoprene to keep a tight fit
-Reflective prints for good visability
-Velcro strap for a secure fit
-Kevlar Re-inforcement on heel and toe
-3/4 Length Zip on Back
All seams are stout and have held up well during the test period
It doesn't deliver on the wet and cold weather performance it promises. The open sole section lets road spray in from the bottom while the neoprene isn't thick enough for those truly cold days
Kevlar reinforcing at key points is used to aid durability. This seems to have worked as they are still all in one piece despite a number of walking-intensive mountain bike rides
Lighter than full winter overshoes, but less protective for it
The low cuff and flexible neoprene don't hinder the pedal stroke
Though you can find some good discounts if you shop about, there are better options out there for the money
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Not really warm or waterproof enough to be used as a full on winter overshoe, but would do a job in autumn or spring, if you don't mind your feet getting wet
Did you enjoy using the product? Enjoy might be over-stating things
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Age: 21 Height: 190cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: Canondale EVO Red My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.