GripGrab Aquashield High Cut Road Shoe Covers
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man should wear GripGrab Aquashield Shoe Covers!
Last year in the run-up to winter I wrote an article all about GripGrab’s large range of shoe-covers. Over the winter I have been trying some of them out in the wet and cold, just for you dear reader. Most recently I covered their Deep Winter shoe covers, but now the temperature has risen, it’s time for the GripGrab Aquashield review.
The full name for these shoe-covers is as long as they are tall, deep breath now: the GripGrab AquaShield High Cut Road Shoe Cover. Taking them out of their packaging and the first thing you notice is that these are long! On me they reached just above the calf, clear of the knee, but not touching the tendons at the back. There is a reason to this length though. GripGrab have taken them up so high to try and mitigate against the spray that comes off your front wheel. If you aren’t running mudguards in the winter – why not? – then you’ll be spraying your legs with water off of the road. This runs down your tight/leggings, under your shoe-covers, soaking your socks and chilling your feet. Not great for long rides in the wet.
GripGrab’s solution is to extend the shoe-cover high up your leg and to run them under your tights. This way the water has to get past your outer-layer and the tight fit between shoe-cover and skin. Add a pair of water-resistant leggings (like GripGrab’s Aquarepel) and that makes it a whole lot harder for the water to penetrate. And I can confirm that this double layer protection really helps keep the wet at bay.
But before I regale you with my tales of soggy rides, let’s look a little closer at the GripGrab Aquashield shoe covers. They are made from an 85% Polyester, 10% Elastane and 5% Polyurethane mix. This creates a lightweight, water-resistant and elastic item. The joins are taped to prevent water getting in and the inside has a lightly brushed fleece. This fleece finish stops just before the top cuff to help create a tight seal. The fleece would absorb water which would then drain down your leg, something you’re trying to avoid. It also feels nice against your skin and helps keep you warm.
These shoe-covers have to be stretchy for two reasons, first to form a tight seal and second to get them on. The GripGrab Aquashield is a zipperless design, so getting them on requires a little more prep than a normal shoe-cover. You’ll want to get them on before your leggings, then once they’re on, put your shoes on. You then pull the shoe-cover over your shoe. There are cut-outs underneath for your heel and cleat and the covers seal around these.
GripGrab say these are for road shoes only. And you can see why, off-road shoes would rip the bottom out of the shoe-cover. Plus the thick tread wouldn’t allow for a good seal and would allow water in. The cut-outs and the bottom of the shoe-cover have a silicone finish to them, again to help to stop water getting in.
What are they like on?
So once they’re on what are they like? I was fortunate enough to have a mixture of wet days to ride in. Most were your general light rain, wet roads, with an occasional heavy burst. And on these days the GripGrab Aquashield performed perfectly. Combined with a pair of Aquarepel leggings I got home with warm, dry feet. In fact on a couple of warmer days I got home with warm, sweaty feet! The fleece, fine though it is, does keep you warm. And I wonder with that warm cover extending further up your leg, if it actually helps with slow down heat loss more than a standard shoe-cover?
The only day that it didn’t work was a day of biblical proportion rain! The roads were swamped and I was getting soaked by passing cars going through deeps puddles. A couple were so bad the bow wave went over my head! But I think it was actually the country lanes that finally did for me. Riding through a number of long – hundred metre or more – stretches of flooded lane, my feet were under water. And it was here I actually felt the cold spike of water hit my, until now, warm soles. But it wasn’t the fault of the GripGrab Aquashield, no! It was the ventilation holes in the soles of my shoes. These weren’t covered by the shoe-covers and allowed the water in. So, still a win for the Aquashield then.
Are they every day shoe-covers?
I haven’t worn them as often as my normal shoe-covers – I usually use a pair of Flandrien shoe covers – preferring to keep these for wet days. So I can’t say how robust they will be. If you were to be using them all winter I wonder how the fabric would fair, as it is not as thick as a normal shoe-cover. But for those days when you know it’s going to rain and you want to keep that water out, I can recommend the GripGrab Aquashield Shoe Covers.
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