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These DexShell Heavy Duty Overshoes certainly live up to their name, dealing with pretty much everything the British weather can throw at them. Their design isn't exactly groundbreaking in any way, but you are getting solid performance and durability.
Over the last 20-odd years I've worn plenty of overshoes like this: a thick neoprene/nylon blend that stands up well to water both from below and above, a full zip closure, and plenty of reinforcing around the toe and heel. These Dexshells work really well – on very wet days rain might make its way in from the top, but it'll take a good couple of hours before it penetrates the fabric itself.
The beauty of neoprene, though, is that it is designed to keep you warm when you inevitably get wet, and on cold morning rides in the rain I never suffered from numb toes.
Their temperature range is good too, especially in the dry. I had no problems riding with a hard frost on the ground, and it'd be around 12°C before my feet would start feeling clammy.
DexShell's size guide is spot on, and the fit is great: they stretch easily around road shoes with chunky Boa-style enclosure systems.
A bit of give in the material means they fit snug as your foot rotates through the pedalling motion, as well as making them easy to get on and off – along with the full-length zip on the rear, obviously, plus the pull tab on the heel.
I'm not a massive fan of a zip on the rear, as many tights use a zip in the same place which can clash and cause irritation. If you haven't got that issue then the zip here works well, the tab making them easy to pull up or down with gloves on, and its design keeps the water out.
The zip is kept in place when done up by way of a Velcro strap which stops it working its way down as you pedal.
When I was commuting, I'd easily go through a pair of overshoes each winter purely because they'd wear out on the bottom from walking to and from the bike. These DexShells are heavily fortified against that happening, with a much more hardwearing fabric being used for high wear areas like the sole and front, where it extends up over the top of the toes to avoid damage from catching your mudguard. They are also stitched around the openings for the cleat and heel bumper.
Fitting them around any cleat wasn't an issue, even bulky Speedplays.
The overall quality is pretty good, a few stray threads here and there, but nothing to detract from the look and performance.
Price-wise, £37.99 is competitive.
Castelli's Diluvio UL shoecovers are of a similar build and performance for £50. dhb's Aeron Lab Neoshell overshoes are also 50 quid, though it does offer an Extreme Weather Neoprene overshoe with an rrp of £35.
These Dexshells are a hardwearing pair of overshoes that cope well with all of the crap weather we can expect in the winter months. They're very good, and well worth the money.
Good waterproofing, warmth and fit for not a huge amount of cash
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Dexshell Heavy Duty Overshoes
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
DexShell says, "Made from neoprene fabric with a water resistant reflective zipper. The elastic cuff band with silicone gripper ensures slip-free fit. A semi-open sole with abrasion-resistant fabric panels reinforces the entire toe area and the middle sole."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric: 90% Neoprene, 10% Nylon
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I just let the rain wash them.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Impressive water resistance, and keep your feet warm should they get wet.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The zip can clash with bib tights.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're cheaper than some – Castelli's Diluvio UL shoecovers and dhb's Aeron Lab Neoshell overshoes are both £50 a pair – and just a few quid more than dhb's £35 Extreme Weather Neoprene overshoes.
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
They're very good: decent quality and value, and perform well.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!