Rapha Deep Winter Over Shoes Review

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The Rapha Deep Winter Overshoes were actually the first Rapha product I’ve ever purchased. I bought them last winter because I was looking for a Overshoe that would enable me to ride all winter long. Last years winter on the East Coast was biblical and the only thing that kept me sane was that I could continue to ride my bike. Snow, rain, wind and single digit temperatures. I rode through it all. The first things I noticed about the Rapha's Deep Winter Overshoes was how thick and protective they felt. A huge step up from what I had previously been using. The fit was extremely snug and my feet felt well protected within Rapha’s Three Ply Fabric. The Overshoes are pretty stealthy as well with just a small reflective logo on the side. A black on black option would be rad but it looks like for 2015 they made their logos more visible. Aesthetics aside I felt like Rapha did a good job at transforming my Giro Road shoes into a full on winter boot. So if thats all you care about you can go ahead and skip the rest of this article because there definitely worth the $80 on the look and feel alone.

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So how did it perform throughout the winter?

Light Rain : No problem. These Overshoes definitely excel in cold weather and light rain. Steady Rain : My feet started to get wet after the first 30 or so minutes while riding steady rain. I imagine a lot of this is contributed to Road Spray and water leaking up through the shoe. The upside is regardless of being wet your still well insulated. Heavy Rain : Same as above.

Don’t care about the rain? Here is my guide to how I felt in various temperatures.

40 - 30 degrees : Your feet are going to feel nice and toasty! 30 - 25 : Still toasty. I opt to throw in a toe warmer when the temps hit the middle to lower 20s. 25 - 20 : With good socks, a couple toe warmers I am comfortable even on longer rides. 20 - 15 : Same as above but anything after a couple hours my feet begun to get really really cold. 15 - 10 : Tolerable for hour long loops at the park. Anything past an hour my feet were extremely cold! 10 - 0 : Again surprisingly tolerable with the addition of another thing pair of Overshoes. Proof : https://www.strava.com/activities/104633669

Snow : Snow is no problem for these guys. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Go ride in the damn snow already!

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Ok. So enough kissing Rapha’s Chamois. Here is what I didn't like.

There really tight on the legs. I was never able to zip the Overshoes all the way up because of my calves. My calves are by no means freakishly large but it’s clear these were designed for cyclists with the anatomy of a pencil. This is pretty disappointing and for this reason I could just never purchase them again.

Another frustrating part of these Overshoes is how difficult it was to put them on before a ride. No one likes dressing up in their winter kit. It sucks. It takes forever. Your sweating because it’s hot inside and cold outside and you just can’t get the damn Overshoe over the damn shoe. THIS IS NOT A RAPHA PROBLEM JUST A WINTER CYCLING PROBLEM. I am only writing about it because I’ve since used equally as warm Overshoes that were much easier to put on. This leads me to the next portion of the rant.

Raphia’s Deep Winter Overshoes are built out of a Three Ply Fabric that makes them what they are. They feel like premium Overshoes and for the most part they are. Unfortunately in the process they are loosing a lot of the flexibility associated with other Overshoes and for what? Warmth? Comfort? Strength? Certainly not strength. My shoe buckles ate through them in no time leaving me with holes on both of my Overshoes.

Personally Deep Winter is a term that Rapha doesn’t live up to. I am expecting something bulletproof that can handle all that Mother Nature throws at me. A year later all I have left of my Rapha Deep Winter Overshoes is a tattered mess of something that didn’t live up to the hype.

Here is the funny thing. I'd still recommend these Overshoes to those whom have the anatomy mentioned above and the weekend warrior. But if your a cyclists really getting down in the trenches and putting in work through harsh winter conditions you may want to look else where.

Check out what Rapha has to say below :

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"Cycling overshoes for very cold and wet conditions The Rapha Deep Winter Overshoes have been specially created for very cold and wet riding conditions. The shoes are made from an extremely durable, three-ply fabric comprised of a woven face fabric, a waterproof breathable membrane and a fleece backing for warmth.

Unlike most overshoes which have an approximate ‘cut-out’ foot shape, the Deep Winter Overshoes have been designed with a ‘forward’ shape, similar to a ski boot, and which allows maximum range of movement. The sole of the overshoe is made from a durable stretch, kevlar-blend and the central seam is finished with a durable tape to prevent wear.

In addition to taped seams, the overshoes feature an AquaGuard® zip, which ensures excellent water resistance. The zip has a velcro closure and zipguard liner to prevent the zipper digging into the ankle. White reflective piping and a reflective Rapha logo ensure visibility.” - http://www.rapha.cc/no/en/shop/deep-winter-overshoes/product/DWO02

Key features:

Three-ply fabric Breathable membrane Kevlar-blend sole AquaGuard® zip Compatible with all road cleat systems Please note: Rapha Overshoes have been specifically designed to be worn with road shoe cleat systems. Wearing them with MTB shoes, including the Rapha Cross Shoes, is likely to damage the Overshoes beyond repair.