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review

DeFeet Slipstream Strada overshoes

6
£29.99

VERDICT:

6
10
Well made and fairly warm, but inability to block wind and rain limits usefulness
Tough
Good fit on the sole
Effective in the dry
Can get soggy
Not totally windproof
Weight: 
91g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The DeFeet Slipstream Strada overshoes add useful warmth on cold rides, feel thick and tough, and keep your shoes lovely and clean. They're neither windproof nor waterproof, and they don't claim to be, but that does limit their usefulness a fair bit – you can still get wet, chilly feet with these. They're tough to get on and off, too.

The fabric is both thick and densely woven, and even thicker around the cuff. It's nylon with just a dash of Lycra (8%) for a wide, if quite strong, stretch.

The main panels feel like they can handle many miles and the odd crash without struggling, but the seams are under a lot of strain, both around the ankle as you drag them on – which can be tough enough to count as a warm up – and on the sole as they settle over your cleats and heel bumpers.

It's possible I was caught out by the sizing (US ones are half a size smaller than UK ones), but I'm a size 10 and and these M/Ls (7.5-10, or 40-43) were tight, though the cleat and heel holes fit my shoes very well.

2020 DeFeet Slipstream Strada 3.jpg

The holes have fairly substantial edges, but they get some serious abuse as you pull them over various pointy bits and stretch them around the cleat. They're looking a bit untidy in places already, though certainly nothing has failed.

It's a treat to peel them off after a ride on grim Welsh lanes (I live in a beautiful place called Llockddown) and see your shoes still sparkling underneath, but they don't keep you entirely dry. I found the toe vents in my soles were still fairly vulnerable as the fabric there soon became soggy – as did my toes.

> How to dress for cycling in autumn

They do add useful warmth, but perhaps not as much as I expected. At speed you can feel the wind just slightly chilling your instep – it's only faint, but over long descents or fast flat bits it's enough to create cooling. Once your feet get damp, it only gets worse.

2020 DeFeet Slipstream Strada 2.jpg

For one ride I wore these with summer socks and some fairly light, breezy Shimano RC5s in 10 degree air. Without them my (spectacularly bloodless) feet would have been numb in 25 minutes, max, but the Slipstream Stradas lasted an hour before letting them get even noticeably chilled.

While they kept my shoes looking great, the DeFeets looked increasingly grubby throughout the test. The usual 30 degree wash isn't enough to remove stains – though there's nothing to say you can't go hotter – and the white version is presumably even trickier than this high-vis yellow. They also come in low-vis black.

> How to keep your feet warm while cycling in winter

There are more overshoes on the market than stars in the sky, but two things are noticeable from our reviews: a) most of them are considerably more expensive and b) almost all of them offer some protection from wind and rain.

At £29.99 and being well made, the Slipstream Strada's price is okay. Our three previous review overshoes, for instance, are £56, £45 and £70.

But you can spend less: for £23.77 the Galibier Barrier Overshoe offers great warmth and waterproofing that can cope with up to an hour of heavy rain, though they're slightly heavier than the DeFeets at 130g. And for £19.99, Northwave has the Extreme Graphic overshoes which are even less protective – really they're just for aero and cleanliness – but they're thinner and lighter at 52g.

> Buyer’s Guide: 16 of the best cycling overshoes

You can also get Lusso's excellent Windtex Over Boots in the regular visible version or Stealth black for £30, and they're very good at resisting wind and rain as well as keeping your shoes clean. They weigh practically the same as these.

The Slipstream Strada Oversocks are warm, comfortable and useful on dry, chilly rides for three seasons of the year, and they feel tough enough to last some serious use. But their non-windproof, non-waterproof and non-winter design really is quite niche, and limits how often they're really in their element – especially in the UK.

Verdict

Well made and fairly warm, but inability to block wind and rain limits usefulness

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road.cc test report

Make and model: DeFeet Slipstream Strada overshoes

Size tested: M/L

Tell us what the product is for

DeFeet says: "The Slipstream Strada, engineered with pre-opened cleat zones and heel tabs, designed to be worn over road cycling shoes."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

DeFeet says:

DeFeet logo infused with glass beads for nighttime reflectivity.

Content: 92% Nylon, 8% Lycra

Weight: 4 oz/.25 lb

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Thick and feel tough, though the seams are under a lot of strain – some are stretching, but none have failed so far.

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

Tight to get on, but just the right length.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

Sizing is good, though you can get caught out by the US sizes (half a size smaller than UK).

Rate the product for weight:
 
5/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

Not as expensive as some, but also less useful – and you can buy cheaper.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

The usual 30 degree wash isn't enough to remove stains. You can go hotter, though.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They add useful warmth and keep your shoes clean, and this yellow adds useful winter visibility. They're not waterproof or completely windproof, though.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good fit around the cleats, bright, sleek.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Can become sodden, not windproof.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At the cheaper end, but you can get more protection and usefulness for the same money, and less. 

Did you enjoy using the product? Mostly

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – for a very narrow use.

Use this box to explain your overall score

These fit well, feel thick and tough, and add useful warmth and filth protection to your shoes. If they were water-resistant and completely windproof they would be far more versatile – as they are, they're good for cold, dirty but mostly dry roads, and a six.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

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