Expensive but next-level design and materials deliver all-weather comfort and warmth for general riding, commuting, training or UCI-legal racing
- - Game-changing grim weather comfort
- - Invisible fit
- - Much easier on and off
- - Increased mobility
- - Increased toughness
- - Increased visibility
- - XL size options
- - UCI Race Legal
- - Initial investment cost
- - Your feet/legs will eventually get sweaty
Spatz has been saving our feet from freezing during cold, wet test rides for several years now and the two latest additions to the range are the best yet. The Spatz Roadman 3 and Legalz Pro overshoes are total grim weather game-changers for either general riding or racing that’ll soon justify their initial investment cost. We’ve been putting them to the test this winter, so keep reading to find out why we rate them so highly among the best cycling overshoes.
Spatz Roadman 3
Roadman 3 is the latest full length all-rounder which, in Spatz’s case, means right up to just under the knee, protecting from wheel spray and keeping your blood warm all the way down to your feet. The top of the ‘boot’ also uses a shaped collar of thicker ‘Aero Armour’ neoprene for a snug seal from water dribbling down from above. It still feels more supple and stretchy than the original Spatz materials though so my M/L samples weren’t so tight it threatened to cause circulation or cramping issues, even with my bigger mountain biker’s calves.
The front section of the boot features wavy fleece backing to trap air and boost warmth where you’ll get most wind and water hitting. It also helps disperse the inevitable sweat build up that comes from the non-breathable neoprene.
The back is a triangular dart that gives a snug, but never constrictive fit over your calves and Achilles. The inner ankle and inside rear fit use super durable rub protection panels in case of crank contact, but they’re still super stretchable. A silicone strip inside the lower edge stops it sliding up the heel of your shoe, but leaves the tread sections of MTB, road or gravel shoes clear for walking grip while Velcro straps behind the cleat keep the foot in place.
The front foot section uses top quality heavy duty 4.5mm neoprene for maximum insulation without squeezing circulation and there’s a big Kevlar-reinforced toe box to keep your investment going strong for season after season. The whole boot is liberally covered with reflective and neon yellow stripe and chevron print to make sure your legs light up for maximum traffic visibility.
In terms of performance the most obvious thing is how supple the seamless, heat-welded construction is now. That makes pulling the boots over bare legs, Spatz’s equally excellent new merino socks, or tights easy, and pulling the feet back down over your shoes isn’t a five minute fight anymore either. It’s just a few seconds of pull-on, pull-up and then pull-down exercise that’s fractionally slower than a short boot. Once they settle into their wrinkle-free fit they literally disappear too, with no tight spots or wrinkles around the ankles and no interference with pedalling or circulation. That’s a noticeable contrast with my original pair, which always felt on the tight side and took a bit of riding to settle in. Spatz has also added a L/XL option for 46-49 sized feet but even with 45s I didn’t feel any need to upsize from the M/Ls.
While you can’t tell you’re wearing them from a fit point of view, the complete lack of impact from any amount of water or wind chill hitting the boot is very obvious. While they don’t have full wrap insulation like the Spatz Pro 2 overshoes, I never suffered from chilly calves either, although the direct neoprene contact does make them soggier when you peel the boots off. I need to make clear that they don’t keep your feet dry on long rides either, as while there’s no water coming through the seam-sealed neoprene, you will eventually stew in your own juices. Like a wetsuit, that doesn’t actually affect the insulation value of the boots though, and my feet have stayed cosy in Spatz for full days of the filthiest snow and slush conditions. You will need to take some fresh, dry socks to change into if you’re using them for commuting though, and while your shoes will stay clean underneath a bit of an anti-bac/anti-odour spray regime is probably wise.
Spatz Legalz Pro
The Legalz Pro overshoes are the direct result of Spatz working with Mathieu van der Poel and other riders of the Alpecin-Fenix team. Compared to the original Legalz and Legalz 2, they have a slightly redesigned, slimmer fit for even better aerodynamics. You get excellent mobility through a subtly remodelled ankle with the rub proof stretch material on the inside. The Kevlar-reinforced toe cap is slightly bigger, too. The leg fabric is super supple and stretchy for zero pedalling interference whether you’re fighting to hold the back of a club run or coming in hot for the final km of a classic race. That does mean they’re not quite as warm as the longer, insulated boots but they’re still streets ahead of most cheaper boots in terms of ‘invisible’ fit and foul weather comfort.
While the boots are supplied at the maximum UCI-legal length (it’s an aero thing), they’re also ring marked for accurate cutting if you need to shorten them to comply with shin ratio rules. That means they use four vertical liquid seal silicon strips to keep them in place whatever length you cut them to. The other graphics - including a Flemish lion - are more subtle for a stealthy pro look until light hits them and they explode into reflective life. If you want the same performance with increased visibility like the Roadman 3 there’s a Legalz Glo version for the same price, too.
Until you’ve tried them it’s hard to describe the difference in feel, fit, performance and warmth of Spatz compared to other neoprene overshoes. The evolved Roadman 3 and Legalz Pro designs move things on again with even more accurate placing of ultra high quality materials for a ‘barely there’ riding feel, easier fitting and removal, but also increased toughness where it matters. That means fantastic ‘whatever the weather’ warmth whether you’re racing UCI status events or want increased visibility for training, commuting or just general riding.
Given the materials, constant evolution and genuinely - I don’t care if it’s a massively overused cliche - game-changing performance the price is an investment you won’t regret making as soon as you head out into the rain and cold and your feet can’t tell.
Tech Specs: Spatz Roadman 3 and Legalz Pro overshoes
- Price: £89.99 (Roadman 3), £64.99 (Legalz Pro)
- Colors: Black with extensive reflective and neon details (Roadman 3), black or black with extensive reflective and neon details (Legalz Pro)
- Sizes: S, M/L, L/XL
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.