Easy to put on, minimal bulk, secure fit and good protection for bad weather
Easy to fit
Secure once fitted
Reinforced toe box
Not the best insulation for very low temperatures
Might have to size up
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The Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier WxB shoe covers are Pearl Izumi’s mid-range and mid-weight overshoes, designed primarily for keeping your feet dry, utilising the company’s own waterproof and windproof fabric. They are fleece-lined for insulation and do provide warmth for all but the very coldest rides.
A highlight is the two-stage velcro closure that ensures they are quick and easy to both put on and take off again, as well as helping to provide a secure seal around the back of the foot and ankle. They even come in 'screaming yellow' as well as the black pair here, in case the reflective details aren’t enough to stand out.
We've been putting them to the test during a particularly wet British January to see how they compare to the best cycling overshoes.
Design and aesthetics
Manufacturers employ many different ways to secure an overshoe in place, most commonly a single vertical zipper. The Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier WxB is a little different in featuring two separate velcro panels, overlapping in the middle. It makes getting into and out of the overshoes a quick operation and works well to keep the overshoe in place and sealed against the elements. It needs careful use to avoid the overshoe bunching around the back of the foot though. All seams are taped externally, the toe area is reinforced with a durable rubber material and a large reflective graphic adorns the rear section.
The Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier WxB Shoe Covers are made from the company’s own waterproof and windproof Barrier WxB fabric which is also fleece-lined for insulation. There are fully taped external seams, a two-stage hook-and-loop velcro closure system that makes fitting and removing very quick and easy. They have a durable rubber toe area and designed for road cleat shoes and feature generous reflective details.
The Pearl Izumi’s are easy and quick to put on and this positive first impression continues out on the road. The fleece-lined waterproof material provides reasonable insulation for all but the lowest temperatures and it was only close to zero on longer rides that the chill set in.
The material is adequately breathable for warmer temperatures making this a good option for mild weather. But it's on damp roads and in the rain that the overshoes live up to their name. They really do provide a sufficient barrier to road spray and keep on providing protection in torrential downpours, with my socks remaining dry after a couple of hours in constant rain.
I appreciated the ease and speed with removing the overshoes after a long ride, shortening the time to the shower over the various overshoes that require a wrestling match. However, I did have to size up, finding the XL a better fit than an L over my size 45 Specialized S-Works shoes for reference.
The Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier WxB Shoe Covers provide more than adequate protection against inclement weather and are incredibly easy to fit and remove with nice details like reinforced panels and reflective details.
They are a good mid-weight overshoe for damp and mild rides, doing well to keep your feet dry for extended periods of rainfall, but the insulation isn’t really suitable for extremely cold rides. They're less 'deep winter' overshoes and more late autumn or early spring. The fit is also more streamlined than many overly bulky overshoes, and there’s no zipper to fail or flail with when your fingers are frozen, and while quirky, the dual velcro closure is a breeze to operate.
They aren’t cheap but they are cheaper than many rival overshoes in this category and they come with a two-year warranty.
Tech Specs: Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier WxB
- Price: £49.99
- Colours: Screaming Yellow or Black
- Material: P.R.O. Barrier WxB fleece-lined waterproof fabric
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By Will Jones