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The price might make you wince, but these MAAP Deep Winter Neo Overshoes are great in the wet and dry, though a few reflectives would be nice.
When it comes to spending big on a pair of overshoes, these MAAP Deep Winter Neos are up there with the priciest at £80. That's the same as Assos' Assosoires Winter Booties but more than either of Castelli's Diluvio designs, the UL or Pro, both £60, and Rapha's Winter Overshoes at £55.
Are they worth it? Well, yes, I think so.
Created from Japanese neoprene (I don't know how much of a difference that makes) and with fully taped seams, they keep water at bay for a decent amount of time. I'd say an hour or so in heavy rain, but then it is always tricky to gauge where that water is coming from as most of it is running down your legs into the overshoes from the top.
That said, neoprene isn't designed to keep you bone dry – well, not without a coating at least, which is why MAAP doesn't describe these as waterproof.
What neoprene does do is keep you warm when wet, and these overshoes do that very well. On a wet ride of three hours on a chilly February morning I had no issues with cold feet, even when slogging into the northerly wind. My toes and everything else stayed properly toasty even with the temperature in low single figures, around 2°C.
The taped seams help in this respect too, stopping the cold breeze getting through.
My biggest concern with overshoes is how durable they are going to be. When I was commuting five days a week, I used to go through a pair of overshoes each winter. The zips would go, or the material would break down, plus there is the issue of walking in them.
The MAAPs have stood up very well in all kinds of conditions. I've worn them on some light gravel trails, which has seen them cutting through the undergrowth and catching twigs and brambles with no signs of damage.
They also have rubberised heel and toe sections. It won't last forever, especially if you use shoes with very low bumpers at the front and back, but seems quite robust.
The zip can't fail either, as there isn't one.
The MAAPs have a fully open sole area which is closed with a Velcro strip. It makes them a little bit of a faff to put on as you need to slide them up your leg before you put your shoes on and then lower them down, wrapping the Velcro strap around underneath the shoe.
It does mean they give a very good fit, with no interference from a zip. The cuff sits snuggly around your lower leg too.
On the whole, the Italian manufacturing is to a very high standard, and while they are a big outlay they certainlly seem to be lasting. The only real downside for me is the lack of reflectives. It's often said that your feet revolving is one of the quickest things to identify you as a cyclist from a driver's headlights behind, so a couple of strips here and there would add to safety.
Other than that, though, I find very little to fault here.
Far from cheap, but they do perform brilliantly and look like they should last well too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: MAAP Deep Winter Neo Overshoe
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
MAAP says, "Designed for cold conditions, our Deep Winter Neo Overshoe is constructed with Japanese Neoprene to provide protection from wind and rain where you need it the most. The rubberised heel and toe panels are abrasion-resistant for durability and feature fully taped seams to keep the rain at bay making them the perfect winter essential riding partner."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Durable heel and toe panels
Fully taped seams
Made in Italy
Sizing is absolutely fine, and there is enough stretch to get them over Boa systems etc.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues at all. I didn't wash them that often but MAAP recommends a cool wash, and following this they always came up clean.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They keep your feet warm and make a decent fist of keeping you dry too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent quality overall.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £80 these are very much at the premium end of the market. Castelli's Diluvio ULs are pricey but still much cheaper than the MAAPs, as are others from the likes of Rapha, though they are on a par with the Assos pair mentioned in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, if I could justify the cost.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They are pricey, but they do perform very well indeed and are very well made. If you are happy to spend the money then you won't be disappointed.
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!