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The GripGrab Flandrien Waterproof Knitted Road Shoe Covers are overshoes inspired by the classic Belgian-style 'bootie', and are designed to provide an extra layer of warmth for your feet in cooler months. I found that while they were a handy option in dry conditions, they didn't provide as much protection as I'd have liked on wetter days or when I hit bigger puddles.
As our best cycling overshoes buyer's guide shows, these days we have numerous options for protecting our feet during the colder months, from full-on overshoes in various high- and low-tech materials to more minimalist toe covers.
GripGrab has designed its Flandrien knitted overshoes for road use only – the soft fabric is prone to ripping if you were to use them with non-road shoes, which would void the warranty (note: we photographed them with non-road shoes so you can see how they look underneath).
The overshoes are designed to keep your feet warm as temperatures drop – but not quite into the low, single-digit temperatures that we frequently experience in a British winter. When the temperature is around 8-9°C and the weather is dry, these overshoes are very good at keeping your feet warm.
But I found when I was riding on wetter days or on damp roads, the material absorbed moisture, which led to my feet getting cold. As these are marketed as having 'modern waterproof technology', I found this somewhat disappointing.
I did like their fit around my lower leg, as the material never felt too tight, but it was not so loose that they slipped down. And I found the material nice and soft too, not itching through bib tights, which is the case with my Spatz Roadman 3 overshoes.
Underneath the overshoe, GripGrab has glued a rubber block to the toe area in front of the cleat. This definitely helps when you're walking through a café – but it hasn't been put on perfectly straight and there is a fair bit of excess glue around the material.
To further strengthen the underside, the cleat and heel holes are reinforced at the hems to avoid them ripping on the occasions that you have to walk in them. The cleat hole is generously sized, which I found useful because I run Speedplay pedals.
I made sure I followed GripGrab's washing instructions by using cool water and non-bio washing powder to clean them, which successfully got rid of both mud stains and smells from any dirt trapped in the material.
At £66 these are far from the cheapest overshoes you can buy, though look around and you can buy them for less.
I'd consider the Spatz Roadman 3 Super-Thermo Hi-Viz Reflective Overshoes with Kevlar the gold standard for overshoes, and George certainly rated them. Their unconventional wellington boot-like neoprene design is amazingly warm, and while not waterproof, the neoprene stays warm and keeps an insulated layer close to your feet. They do, however, come with a quite hefty £89.99 price tag.
If you prefer knitted overshoes, Rebecca particularly liked the Q36.5 WP Overshoes for their weatherproofing during light showers, but they retail at £81, which is a lot of money for what are essentially some fairly lightweight overshoes.
At a lower budget, the DeFeet Slipstream Strada Overshoes that Steve reviewed are £29.99, though they are presently heavily discounted. But these are pretty much a basic pair of oversocks for drier conditions.
The GripGrab Flandrien overshoes don't exactly live up to their expectations, with the limitations of the waterproofing limiting their appeal in UK winters. If your winters are drier, then you might find them useful as the double-layer material provides effective windproofing.
Comfortable knitted overshoes – but they don't provide enough protection during wet conditions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GripGrab Flandrien Waterproof Knitted Road Shoe Covers
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
GripGrab says: "The GripGrab Flandrien Waterproof Knitted Road Shoe Covers were inspired by the classic 'Belgian Bootie' – used by Flandrien riders for decades.
These shoe covers are only suitable for road cycling shoes. Although they may fit over your gravel or MTB shoes, the tread pattern and enhanced studs on the soles of non-road shoes will likely and quickly cause fabric damage, regardless of whether you walk around in them or not, and void the product's warranty.
When taking to the road in autumn and winter, the GripGrab Flandrien Waterproof Knitted Road Shoe Covers are your best choice.
This modern take on the knitted cover sock keeps all the attributes of its historic predecessor: the soft fabric, stretch and close-fitting cut – but propels it into the modern age through water-resistant membrane technology."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
55% Acrylic, 43% Polyamide, 2% Rubber
79% Polyester, 17% Elastane, 4% Rubber
* Breathable & Insulating: for warm and dry feet
* Waterproof & Windproof: protect yourself against the elements
* Form-Fitting: elasticated material ensures a close, comfortable fit
* Slip-On Cuff: soft cuff closure around your legs
* Wear Reinforcements: reinforced fabric on high abrasion areas
* Suitable for road cycling shoes only
There is a rubber block glued underneath the toe to help with walking. However, the blocks aren't exactly glued on as neatly as they might be, and I reckon could be vulnerable to being ripped off if you caught them on something.
GripGrab says they are waterproof and windproof, yet I found that when I was riding on damp roads my feet were still getting wet and cold. They were good in the dry, though.
No problems yet, but the rubber block underneath seems the most likely area of weakness. The uppers' knitted material could potentially rip in the unfortunate event of a winter crash.
The knitted material is a lot nicer to wear than neoprene overshoes.
More expensive than some; cheaper than others.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
* Hand wash cold
* Do not bleach
* Do not iron
* Do not wring
* Do not tumble dry
* Do not leave to soak
* Do not use softeners
* Wash dark colours separately
I followed the washing instructions and they came up clean and free of any unpleasant whiffs.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
My feet stayed warm when used during dry winter days when there wasn't much moisture on the road – but in damp and wet conditions with road spray, my feet would get cold quite quickly and then stay cold.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They are extremely comfortable to wear – especially when compared with tight-fitting neoprene overshoes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They're not that waterproof and I found they could only handle very mild road spray.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
More expensive than many overshoes on the market such as the DeFeet Slipstream Strada knitted overshoes, which are only about £30. Though they are cheaper than the Q36.5 WP Knitted Cycling Overshoes that are £81.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Perhaps – depending on the conditions they ride in.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I found these were at their best in dry conditions when it wasn't too cold. However, as has been the case this winter, the UK is very often wet, and I didn't find these overshoes were as waterproof as GripGrab reckoned they were. Their fit is good, though, they size up nicely and the knitted material is very comfortable.
About the tester
I usually ride: Dolan Rebus My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, Always love some off-road with some mates.