A common complaint among winter cyclists is cold feet. Most cycling shoes are designed for fair weather, with copious amounts of venting for maximum ventilation to dissipate all that extra heat. Unfortunately, these qualities are not what you need in a winter shoe. Thankfully, many companies have come out with various forms of overshoes, sometimes called shoe covers or booties.
Endura, a company based out of Livingston, Scotland, has become the largest brand of cycle clothing in the UK, and are known for their rugged and functional products. These are definitely two words I’d use to describe Endura’s MT500 Overshoes. These overshoes nearly convert your summer cycling shoes into a winter boot.
Here are the specs from the website:
- Tough Nylon faced Neoprene upper
- Rear zip with snap-down puller and Velcro heel tab to ensure snug fit
- Molded rubber toe cap with ridged/grooved underside to help when climbing steep and/or muddy slopes
- Neoprene meets behind the zip to improve water tightness
- Welded center seam for smooth finish and improved water protection
- Hard wearing Kevlar faced base and Kevlar stitching
- Reflective logo and zip panels at rear
- Available In Sizes: S, M, L, XL
- Country of Origin: China
- Price: About $50 MSRP
- Product website: www.endura.co.uk/
I’ve been using the MT500’s since the end of December, and they’ve been a big improvement over my previous overshoes, the All Terrain Booties from Gator Sports. While my old ATB’s are constructed from a respectable slab of neoprene, the front would constantly slip off the toe of the shoe. I’d often look down to see my shoes exposed and covered in snow, and realize why my toes were getting so cold. Winter riding in all terrain conditions requires you to frequently put your foot down, and even walk your bike on occasion. Overshoes that slip off easily defeat the purpose.
The Endura MT500 Overshoes almost completely cover your shoe, and they do not slip off. Additionally, the overshoe has a rubber toe cap and grooved underside like the sole of a rubber boot. This additional material on the bottom not only keeps the overshoe in place, but also creates a decent walking surface, and further blocks cold air, rain, and snow from entering the shoe. I really notice the wind chill reduction on high speed descents. The rest of the underside is made of a stretchy Kevlar mesh that you can stretch around to expose your clipless pedal cleat and shoe heal.
Another nice feature of the MT500 Overshoes is the Velcro closure strap that ensures a snug fit around your ankle. Whether your cycling pants go over the shoe covers or under them, you’ll be able to keep the cold air out.
After about a month of use through some harsh conditions, some of the stitching around the bottom cleat and heal holes has worn away. Not a lot, but it’s going to have to be restitched soon to prevent further degradation. Even though there is a rubber toe area, most of the wear is directed to the mesh area on the ball of the foot. The stretch Kevlar fabric has held up remarkably well though, considering it has been walked on considerably.
The Endura MT500 Overshoes are the best shoe covers that I have tried or seen. The overbuilt rubber boot front end and mesh underside are what really set these apart from similar products on the market. The overshoes stay put, even after lengthy treks in the snow. This additional protection on the bottom of the over shoe keeps your feet warmer by creating a barrier from the winter wind, snow, and muck. I’ve ridden into places that ended up being a couple mile hike out, and the MT500’s stayed put and made walking easy.
Even though the MT500 Overshoes are shoe-like, they are not a shoe replacement due to durability issues. They are not designed for extended walking, and a little snow still finds its way up under the shoe cover. I still prefer my flat pedals and winter hiking boots for the coldest days and outings that may including a lot of walking, but for the cold days when you want the efficiency and stability of a clipless pedal, and will most likely have to trudge through the occasional patch of snow and mud, the Endura MT500 Overshoes will keep your feet dry and warm. A top-notch product.