Shimano S3100R NPU+ overshoes
These heavyweight Shimano S3100R NPU+ overshoes will keep your feet warm and fend off water in cold, damp conditions, while the bright yellow coating and reflective details should get you noticed as you ride.
Designed for cold, wet conditions, with a quoted temperature range down to -5°C, Shimano’s neoprene overshoes will repel pretty much anything that winter riding might throw at them.
That’s achieved using a 3mm thick neoprene shell, with a water repellent outer coating. It’s very effective even against deep puddles and kept my feet dry on the sodden roads which have been a feature of this winter in the UK.
The cut is high on the calf, with a close cuff, a snug, stretchy fit to the leg, and a Velcro closure, helping to keep water from finding its way in by running down your leg.
There’s a reversed zip at the back and this stretches down to the bottom of the heel, making it easy to get the Shimano S3100Rs on and off.
The Shimanos are cut well to provide a close fit. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
With their extra bulk, neoprene overshoes can look a bit awkward, but Shimano has cut the S3100R model well so that the fit is close, avoiding any surplus material. There’s a bit of creasing at the ankle as you pedal, but enough stretch for this not to feel uncomfortable.
As well as the bright yellow option tested, Shimano sells an all-black option, if you don’t want to be quite as hi-vis. Both include thin reflective strips by the zipper and down the front midline of the ankle, to help with road presence.
On the bottom, Shimano has left large holes for the heel and the cleat, so the overshoes are easy to walk in and don’t interfere with clipping in and out of your pedals. This does leave more space for water to find its way in from below though.
The toe is made from robust fabric that should cope well with abrasion from walking, although the mid-sole may wear more quickly because it’s formed by the two neoprene sides of the overshoe being simply sewn together.
The neoprene fabric joins at the mid-sole. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
I have a couple of problems with neoprene as a material for overshoes though. Firstly, it’s quite bulky and I find that I tend to rub the inside edge of the heel against the cranks, particularly when climbing out of the saddle, leading to quite rapid wear.
Also, not being breathable, if it’s not freezing cold, my feet tend to end up sweaty. Riding in temperatures closer to 10°C than to zero, I could feel the damp in my shoes generated from within rather than from outside.
But, if you’re comfortable with neoprene as a material and you’re using them in lower temperatures, the Shimano S3100R overshoes are among the best neoprene overshoes out there for water repellence on cold, wet roads.