If you live and bike anywhere where it gets fairly cold you may either need to use something really warm on your feet or get shoe covers. These are my first pair of any kind of shoe cover, and they work fairly good.
Firstly, I have to say that these look a little odd on your feet while biking. But pretty much any bike shoe cover is probably going to, it’s just the nature of putting something large over your existing shoes. Some covers do seem to look better than others but when you’re all bundled up in layers how it looks is probably the least of your concerns 😉
These shoe covers do have a bit of fleecy sort of material inside, very soft material and I imagine it does offer a bit of insulation. But there’s really not much. Don’t expect them to do a lot in extremely cold temperatures, but in more moderate cool temps or if you already have heavy socks and other foot protection on then they function well as a good wind breaker and as an extra layer of protection from the cold.
They stretch a bit to fit various shoes. The openings on the bottom will accommodate clipless shoes as well as work well for flat pedals, as the openings allow your shoe or sneaker treads access to grip your pedals just fine. The only obstructions on the bottom are a wide band at about the middle of the arch and up near the toe, so most of your sole is exposed on the bottom. If you have spiked flat pedals or anything with sharp edges I believe you’re going to be, in general, good with these as there is little to get ripped up on the bottom if that is the case – depending on what pedals you are using. With clipless it shouldn’t be an issue at all. Walking around while off the bike is just fine.
I’m not a big fan of the dots that are the pattern on the external of the covers, but as I said above – if you are out in that kind of cold why worry about how they look? On one side of each one is the small company logo and there is a stitched line up the front of the foot and around the sides. There is no right or left, BTW – both are identical as far as I can tell.
The covers go up around the ankle and fit tightly, which seems to be exactly right and can also help to keep long pants tucked in if you are not wearing biking tights. In my pic you can see I have a reflective band around them also, which helps hold in the pants too (I highly recommend these simple velcroed reflective bands also, they work nicely and give you a little extra safety, especially toward evening or in the morning).
There is a zipper in the back of each which makes getting them on and off and positioned correctly easy, it is plastic but seems of good quality with a nice metal tab, and the tab locks when flipped down. There is also a vertical strip of reflective material along the back, parallel to the zipper.
I stepped in something while getting off the bike and it washed off easily with a little hand washing, yet they do seem to be fairly water-resistant. Up to a point of course, they are not waterproof but will keep out a bit of splashed moisture here and there. I believe that they look machine washable but I can not say 100% for sure on this, there does not seem to be any reason they can’t be either hand washed or machine washed. Perhaps don’t ‘dry them in a dryer though.
When ordering be aware that you need to read the description for the proper equivalent sizes (mine were XL, which fit my size 11+ shoes).
For me around low to mid 30’s is the lower end of when I want to wear them. Of course how well they keep YOUR feet warm would depend on the temps of course, but also your own body, your circulation, what kind of shoes and socks you have underneath, how long and how fast you are riding, wind chill, whether you are stopping once in a while, etc.
All in all, a good item, and I’d recommend them if you don’t need/want anything overly insulated. Definitely worth the price so check out the Uriah Windproof Cycling Shoe Covers or Techway Thermal Shoe Covers or Docooler Shoe Cover (or one of the others that are exactly the same and sold by various companies).
On a side note – if you do need some more insulation or ability to keep your feet warm there are many insulated shoe covers of all sorts that would likely be warmer than the above shoe cover.
Be aware also, if you wear insulated socks or heavy socks or anything that makes your feet fit too tightly into your shoes you will restrict blood flow, which is going to make your feet even colder – not to mention is bad for you.
And, of course, you can always try the cheap hacks like slipping either your bare feet or your socked feet in plastic bags (experiment with both – but be aware your feet can be slippery inside your shoes) before putting on your bike shoes as well as as wrapping your feet in aluminum foil as shown in this GCN video [at about the 6:40 section].