At the time of writing this review, it would appear spring has sprung. Undoubtedly, by the time you read this, it'll be raining. Or worse, snowing. For sure, spring is on the way though and when it arrives, these new Prendas Ciclismo oversocks are going to make you stand out on the roads while keeping the spring chill, and road muck, off your shoes.
Oversocks are traditionally worn in spring and autumn when it's warm enough to leave the heavy duty overshoes in the drawer, but too chilly to wear shoes without any protection. There's another reason too, outside of the summer the roads are usually much grittier, dirtier and muckier, and you don't want all that crap being deposited on your expensive shoes by the front wheel.
The practice of wearing overshoes seems to have emerged in the late 1970s when continental pros began pulling socks over their shoes for the spring classics. Invariably run in grotty conditions, these took a heavy toll of lightweight racing shoes made of thin, fine leather and the pros must have found that socks, while doing nothing to keep out water, kept off the grit that actually does the damage.
So oversocks serve two purposes, and these Prendas oversocks fit the bill nicely. Pulling them on to the shoes reveals they're well shaped and provide a snug fit. There's two holes, one for the cleat and the other at the heel, stitched at the edges for durability. The length of the ankle is judged just right, neither too low or too high.
We tested the previous version of these oversocks, when they were made from a Meraklon 100% knitted polyester. They've since been updated and are now made from Cordura. My single complaint about the previous version was that they didn't last all that long, and could start looking tatty far too soon. The material change appears to have remedied that, and they've so far proven to be far more durable.
The Cordura material provides just the right level of insulation on chilly mornings with decent breathability for the midday highs. You can wear them in the summer, or what passes for summer in the UK, without fear of overheating. Another benefit of the material is the increased colour options now available, as demonstrated by these new bright yellow ones. 2013 will be remembered as the year when fluoro yellow was all the rage, so get them while they're still cool. They're also available in black and my favourite white (you're weird - ed).
They're sold in three sizes covering shoes from 37 to 47, with each size of sock covering three sizes of shoe. Plenty of stretch ensures they accommodate all shoes. My trick is to order a size down so you get a tighter fit over the shoe.
Very reasonably priced oversocks ideal for the spring and available in on-trend bright yellow. Black and white also available.
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Make and model: Prendas Ciclismo Cordura Oversocks
Size tested: n/a
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?
Available in black, white and new for 2013 fluro yellow with contrasting logo colours and made in Italy for us by our sock manufacturer, hence satisfaction guaranteed.
Ideal for damp and cool conditions, perfect intermediate solution when a full overshoe is too warm (keeps the crap off your shoes also).
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Stitched heel and cleat holes
Made in Italy
They last very well, the stitched holes provides good durability
They provide good protection from mucky roads, keeping your shoes from getting covered in filth. They also provide just a little bit of protection from the cold and rain as well
They material change has improved durability, they last much better now
Excellent value for money as usual from Prendas
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They do exactly what Belgian Booties should do, and they do it very well
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good fit, excellent price and keep your shoes and toes protected from changeable spring weather
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The yellow is a bugger to keep clean, but at this price you can easily afford to buy new ones regularly
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: 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, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.