Altura Firestorm overshoes
A cool colour and large reflective area make the Altura Firestorm overshoes stand out from the competition.
They’re made from a softshell fabric that resists road spray well, but they don’t offer the long-lasting waterproofing of some of the competition, making them less well suited to longer rides in inclement weather.
The Firestorm overshoes come in a smart silver grey colour option, tested here, as well as standard black. Unlike the Altura Thunderstorm gloves, the main fabric is not reflective.
Instead, there’s a mottled abstract pattern of reflective dots over the outward facing side of the overshoes. These are quite extensive, stretching from toe to heel, so provide plenty of low light visibility.
That’s useful in an overshoe because the motion of the feet as they pedal makes them more noticeable to other road users than a static reflective point would.
The Firestorm’s softshell fabric is designed to be water repellent and windproof. It’s not as stretchy as many overshoe fabrics though, so the fit isn’t as close against the foot.
For some reason, Altura doesn’t link to its size guide from the page for the Firestorm overshoes. I went for a size large, which turned out to be a bit too big for my UK size 8.5 feet (Euro 42).
The Alturas sizing caught me out here, hence the baggy fit. The relative lack of stretch means sizing is critical. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
This explains why the Firestorm overshoes were a bit loose on me. The fabric doesn’t have a lot of stretch in it, so it rucked up and rubbed against the crank. It’s more important to make sure that you’ve got the correct size with the Firestorms than with stretchier designs.
As with most makes, Altura tapes the inside of the single central seam in the upper. This helps with waterproofing, although I found that the upper fabric soon wetted out in persistent spray. However, there’s still enough water resistance to keep your feet dry on medium length outings over damp winter roads.
The base of the Altura Firestorm overshoes is stretchier than the upper and the fabric used has proved robust in testing.
There are large cleat and heel holes, meaning that the base is less likely to suffer wear, but there’s more likely to be water ingress over time than with a closer-fitting design. There’s extra reinforcement in the toe for durability when putting a foot down or pushing off from a stop too.
The cut-outs are fairly large on the Thunderstorms. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
Altura provides a Velcro strap to adjust fit at the ankle. The cuff here is not as stretchy as some, so water can find its way down your leg more easily. The rear zipper is not waterproof either and its inner covering flap is small, so this is another point of entry for rain.
The Firestorm overshoes are another piece from Altura that would suit a commuter on medium runs, but are not the best if you’re going to be out training in all weathers.