Tech reviews

Review: Hydra Tech Pro Pioggia Winter Overshoes


Hydra Tech Pro’s Pioggia Winter Overshoes provide a comfortable, form-hugging fit and offer protection from the winter chills on all but the coldest days. They’re not completely waterproof – and aren’t claimed to be – but the thin and relatively lightweight construction does well at keeping out road spray and light rain for rides under a couple of hours.

These Pioggia Winter Overshoes are ideal those who crave kit in a race cut but want the warmth of a bulkier overshoe. Cold days are covered by the fleecy inner, and the outer protects your feet well on showery days, but when persistent rain is on the radar I wouldn’t pick these as the water will eventually soak its way through the fabric. That said, the silicone gripper and tighter cuff do a superb job at stopping the water creeping in from the top.

> Buy these online here

Size-wise, I tested a medium, which HTP’s size guide says is suitable for EU shoe sizes 42-44. With Fiziks that are 43s, this should put me right bang in the middle, and I couldn’t agree more – spot on sizing for a form-hugging fit. A little tug of the stretchy softshell was needed to hook round the heel, but the fabric snaps back into a comfy, snug fit.

With the thermal fleece lining on the inside – that is super-soft to touch – the close fit of these overshoes is really comfortable. I found the fabric is also flexible enough that I didn’t feel restricted when pedalling along. What’s also really useful is that, as the material is thin and stretchy, it was easy to make adjustments to the Boa dials on my shoes while pedalling, to really dial the fit.

Providing the windproof defence on the exterior is a Windtex fabric that does well at blocking out the wind completely. On frosty morning rides, with the temperature around 2°C, my feet were on the edge of starting to get cold. Any deeper into winter and I would lean to choosing a thicker set, but I’d say my toes are quite sensitive.

> How to keep your feet warm cycling through the winter

HTP says the outer surface of the Pioggias is water repellent and this is pretty accurate. Water from road spray beads off the exterior, but during heavier showers and prolonged rain the water made its way through the fabric.

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Hugging the shape of the shoe, the overshoes rise up 24cm from the shoe heel to sit fairly high up the calf. At the top is a tighter and even thinner 4.5cm cuff that is lined with a silicone gripper. This sits flush against the fabric of bib tights, so the transition between them is almost seamless. It looks tidy and I found it did prevent water from sneaking into your protected feet area from droplets rolling down the leg.

The only problem I have had with these overshoes is putting them on. They fasten up using a water-resistant zip at the rear, and I did find a bit of resistance when pulling this up. It feels as though the zip is wrestling against the close fit, with the result being a lot of stop/start motion. That said, the zip has so far showed no signs of giving up, but it is something I’d take care with.

In terms of the longevity of the rest of the overshoe, the dainty looking Kevlar heel and toe protection layer has turned out to be more robust than it looks when walking around. Elsewhere, seams across the overshoe are said to be glued as well as stitched, and these have proved to be durable so far.

Also worth a mention, reflective details are included on the side logos, the heel and on a thin strip which traces the zip line up to the top of the overshoe.

Slipping into the under 50 quid price bracket, at £44.99 these are more expensive than Lusso’s Windtex Terrain Overshoes (£30) that are even lighter and hold up to all but the heaviest rain, but cheaper than BioRacer’s One Tempest Protect Pixel Overshoes (£56) that offer a similar level of water-resistance. The HTPs have a much better fit too, judging by Liam’s comments.

> Buyer’s Guide: 16 of the best cycling overshoes

Overall, these perform really well as a low-bulk and close-fitting windproof overshoe that’s comfortable and resistant to road spray and drizzle. They don’t stand up to longer rides in the winter’s harsher elements, though, and the tight fit puts strain on the zip.

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Verdict

Fantastic close fit from a flexible fabric that isn’t fully waterproof but keeps out drizzle and spray

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Make and model: Hydra Tech Pro Pioggia Winter Overshoe

Tell us what the product is for

Hydra Tech Pro says: “Made with Windtex thermal fleece lined fabric which is waterproof & windproof this overboot has been designed for and is ideal for those wet, windy, winter rides.

‘The Pioggia overboot provides windchill defence with a thermal fleece lining to ensure insulation and combat the cold temperatures.

‘The overboot also features taped seams, waterproof zipper and high cuff with silicone grippers which helps keep the rain and cold at bay. Along with being water resistant and an aerodynamic fit, this boot offers all the protection you will need for the coldest days whilst still being stylish.”

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Hydra Tech Pro lists:

Windtex windproof thermal fleece lined fabric

Water Repellent

Windproof

Breathable

High winter cuff with silicone gripper

Waterproof zipper with garage cover

Kevlar heel and toe protection and durability

Close aerodynamic fit

Reflective side and heel logo & detail

Seams are glued and stitched for added protection

Road cleat cut out

Rate the product for quality of construction:

6/10

Feels well made, although the zip is a bit sticky.

Rate the product for performance:

8/10

Great, close fit that holds out water on showery days, though not fully waterproof.

Rate the product for durability:

6/10

With the tight cut, the zip is tricky to do up. So far it hasn’t given in, and it might prove me wrong, but I’d be rather concerned about this area. On the other hand, the Kevlar heel and toe protection are very robust and holding out well.

Rate the product for fit:

9/10

Rate the product for sizing:

9/10

Sized up just right. A little effort needed to hook around the shoe as expected with overshoes.

Rate the product for weight:

7/10

Not the lightest but definitely competitive.

Rate the product for comfort:

8/10

Fleece-lined fabric felt comfortable, even with the tight fit.

Rate the product for value:

4/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Requires being put on a hand wash setting only, hopefully your washing machine also has that option!

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well, the fit is fantastic and it does well at being “water repellent” which is what HTP has said it is designed for.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Its thin, low-bulk material and close fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The zip, and that it is not fully waterproof for the price.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

About middle of the road. You can get cheaper for a superior performance with Lusso’s Windtex Terrain Overshoes (£30). But cheaper than quite a lot of offerings such as BioRacer’s One Tempest Protect Pixel Overshoes (£56) that offers a similar level of water resistance.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if on a slight discount.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

These are really good as a well-fitting overshoe for the average winter ride. The price is quite high, especially as they’re limited to days when it’s not the coldest or the rainiest, but they do what they’re claimed to very well.

Age: 23  Height: 177cm  Weight: 63kg

I usually ride: Road bike  My best bike is:

I’ve been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track



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