The Gripgrab RaceThermo shoe covers are made from neoprene. They have several unique features. Firstly, there are no zips. Secondly, they have a rubber surround called Intelliseal that seals around the base of the shoe over the seams. There’s also a loop at the heel to clip a light on to.
I’m size 44 and I’ve got the XL shoe covers. They fit over several different road shoes with various fastenings. The RaceThermo shoe covers are available in black, or Hi-Vis like the ones I’ve been testing. The standard RaceThermo will fit over most shoes. If your soles are quite chunky then try the RaceThermo-X. The RaceThermo-X variant has a slightly wider cut-out at the front, with an extra strap under the toe box to keep them snug.
You pull the shoe covers up over your shoeless feet, so there’s nothing to catch them on unless you’ve been neglecting your toenails. Once you put your shoes on, the Gripgrab RaceThermo shoe covers just need a slight stretch over the heel and then a slight stretch over the toes of your shoes (in fact you don’t even need to do it in this order, I managed perfectly fine whichever way I did it). There’s a video below to show you how easy it is to put them on.
The 4mm thick neoprene of the RaceThermo is thick enough that you aren’t going to rip the material, but elastic enough to stretch even when I had an injured knuckle. You then do the Velcro up under the arch of the shoe and you’re good to go.
With no zip you don’t need to worry about the zip breaking because it’s stretched too tight, or the zip compressing the ankle zip of your winter tights. There’s no zip to get stuck or zip tab to snap off when you to step on it. We’ve all got at least one pair of shoe covers with a paper clip to pull the zip up haven’t we? The only weak point on the shoe cover is the Velcro, and whilst that may get weaker after a few years of ripping on and off, it wouldn’t take much effort to replace if it does eventually wear out.
The ankle cuff of the Gripgrab RaceThermo shoe covers is unusually high. This is because the narrow ankle part doesn’t need to accommodate being stretched over a shoe. I expect the design is also partly so that the RaceThermo works well with the CylinGaiters. The nice high ankle cuff provides a perfect marriage between the RaceThermo and the CylinGaiter. The high ankle also means that even without the CyclinGaiter, your ankle is more protected from road spray than with most overshoes.
The Intelliseal rubber edging strip seals the cover to the base of your shoe, and stops any dirt or rain creeping up inside the cover. This seems to have got more effective as it’s worn in and got slightly softer. It’s easy to tweak this so it’s in the right place as you put it on.
There’s a Kevlar reinforced toe panel to take the brunt of any scrapes. When I recently crashed in the RaceThermo overshoes, the only issue was a tiny hole where the cover had caught between the buckle of my shoe and the tarmac. They protected my shoe buckle, but I’ll have to get a new pair of shoe covers if I want my shoes to continue to stay dry.
I own, as I’m sure most serious cyclists do, several pairs of shoe covers and different oversocks. My previous go-to overshoes for wet weather were Gripgrab’s RaceAqua overshoes. The RaceThermo have replaced them for sheer ease of use. The RaceThermo can get a bit damp on the inside if I’m riding hard, just like every other shoe covering I’ve used. It’s always a bit of a compromise with wet weather gear, but I’d rather a bit of sweat in exchange for knowing I won’t get a shoe full of water.
A final observation and top tip. When I came home from a very wet ride, I folded the RaceThermo shoe covers up. My shoes, feet and floor stayed dry because the drips running down my legs were held by the upturned shoe covers.
I can recommend the RaceThermo shoe covers quite highly. I’m currently deciding which colour to buy to replace the crash damaged ones with. At just under £50 if you shop around, the RaceThermo shoe covers are cheaper than buying Winter boots. With the addition of some decent Winter socks like the Dexshell Thermlite, I’ve been wearing my Summer shoes down to -3 with no problems. If you combine the RaceThermo with the Gripgrab CyclinGaiters you’ll be set for the cold and heavy rain.
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