Overshoes are great but they can have drawbacks, particularly if you have shoes with all-terrain soles.
Our preferred solution is winter boots. For mountain biking, commuting when walking is expected, or rides that involve mixed surfaces (when a grippy sole is necessary), a specific off-road option such as Fizik’s Artica X5 is ideal and this is one of the best winter cycling shoes we’ve tested. (We’ve also tested the road-focused Fizik Artica R5).
The Artica X5s are built on a carbon-reinforced nylon sole that’s covered by a soft rubber outer tread. Rather than disparate tread blocks, the rubber looks more like a thick layer that’s been divided by deep cuts in its generous heel and forefoot, creating aggressive grip on slimy terrain and great security on smooth, wet surfaces too.
Its central area wraps around the sides to provide grip if you miss your pedal, and there’s a small toe guard too.
The uppers have a seamless, supple outer shell with a rubbery coating, where the lower part is protected by a welded, impact-proof textured rubber layer. A long, central waterproof zip is secured by a large Velcro tab that opens to reveal the X5’s internal Speed Lacing system.
This drawstring arrangement secures what is essentially an inner shoe with robust, breathable sides and a neoprene top, which extends into a full-height internal tongue.
The inner and outer parts are fixed together around the heel, creating a firm, supportive heel cup, while the inner shoe conforms to your foot.
Their perforated internal padding provides comfort and warmth, and the foil-backed footbed maintains heat. The extended tongue makes them easy to put on, and the laces are easy to adjust.
When zipped, the neoprene ankle cuff banishes draughts, has a low profile that doesn’t foul your cranks, and has a large reflective patch.
My size 45s weighed 1,160g, which sounds heavier than they felt and is a small price to pay for the protection you get here.
If you find Fizik’s road shoes narrow, the X5 is much more generous, with almost equivalent foot security, no slippage and soles efficient enough for all riding, short of competition.
Throughout filthy rides, nothing penetrated the Fiziks and the snug ankle cuffs kept water at bay for longer than most. I found the X5s gripped superbly in mud, but if you need even more traction, there’s room for toe studs too.
|Price||EUR €200.00GBP £190.00USD $229.00|
|Features||Upper: Waterproof and Breathable Membrane, Microtex Reinforced Shell
Insole: Fizik Cycling Insole
Sizes: 36, 37-47 and 48
|Sole||Rubber Outsole / Carbon Reinforced Midsole|