Testing the Spatz Roadman 3 and Legalz Pro overshoes
Spatz, old and current brand developed by professional Yorkshire cyclists, has been protecting our feet from freezing during cold and wet test rides for several years. The latest two additions and evolutions to the lineup are the best yet, and total dreary weather game changes for general driving or racing that will soon justify their initial investment cost. We tested them this winter, so read on to find out why we rank them so highly among the best cycling overshoes on the market.
Roadman Spatz 3
Roadman 3 is the latest all-rounder full-length model which, in the case of Spatz, means just below the knee, protecting from splashing wheels and keeping your blood warm right down to your toes. The top of the ‘boot’ also uses a thicker ‘Aero Armor’ shaped neoprene collar for a perfect seal against water flowing from above. It’s still more flexible and stretchy than the original Spatz materials, so my M / L samples weren’t so tight that they threatened to cause circulation problems or cramps, even with my rider’s bigger calves. .
The front section of the boot features corrugated fleece backing to trap air and increase warmth where you will be hit the most by wind and water. It also helps disperse the inevitable build-up of sweat that comes from the non-breathable neoprene.
The back is a triangular clip which gives a tight, but never constricting fit on your calves and Achilles. The inside of the ankle and the inside of the rear fit use super durable friction protection panels when in contact with the crank, but they are still super stretchy. A silicone band on the inside of the bottom rim prevents it from sliding down 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 toe section of the foot uses premium heavy-duty 4.5mm neoprene for maximum insulation without compressing circulation and there is a large Kevlar reinforced toe box to keep your investment solid season after season. The entire boot is generously covered in reflective and neon yellow stripes and a herringbone print to ensure your legs light up for maximum traffic visibility.
In terms of performance, the most obvious thing is the flexibility of the seamless and heat-sealed construction. This makes it possible to pull the boots on bare legs, the equally excellent new merino socks or tights from Spatz, and getting the feet back on your shoes is no longer a five minute fight either. It’s just a few seconds of putting on, pulling and then lowering that are slightly 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 pedaling or circulation. It’s a noticeable contrast to my original pair, which was still a bit tight and took a bit of driving to settle in. Spatz also added an L / XL option for size 46-49 feet, but even with 45 I didn’t feel any need to increase the size for M / Ls.
While you can’t tell you’re wearing them from a fit perspective, the complete lack of impact of any amount of water or wind chill hitting the boot is very evident. While they don’t have full insulation like the Spatz Pro 2 shoe covers, I’ve never suffered from cold calves either, although the direct contact of the neoprene makes them softer when you take the boots off. I should point out that they don’t keep your feet dry on long trips either, because even if there’s no water running through the seam-sealed neoprene, you’ll end up simmering in your own juice. Like a wetsuit, it doesn’t really affect the insulation value of the boots, and my feet stayed warm in Spatz for days on end in the dirtiest snow and slush conditions. You’ll need to bring cool, dry socks for changing if you use them for commuting, and while your shoes will stay clean under a bit of an anti-bin / anti-odor spray regimen is probably wise.
Spatz Legalz Pro
The Legalz Pro overshoes are the direct result of Spatz’s work with Mathieu van der Poel and other riders from the Alpecin-Fenix team. Compared to the original Legalz and Legalz 2, they have a slightly redesigned and slimmer fit for even better aerodynamics. You get excellent mobility thanks to a subtly reshaped ankle with the stretch rub resistant material inside. The Kevlar reinforced toe cap is also slightly larger. The fabric of the legs is super soft and stretchy for no pedaling interference whether you’re fighting to hold the back of a club run or coming in hot for the last mile of a classic run. This means they aren’t as warm as the longer, insulated boots, but they’re still a step ahead of most cheaper boots in terms of ‘invisible’ fit and bad weather comfort.
While the boots are supplied at the maximum legal UCI length (that’s an aerodynamic thing), they are also marked with rings for a precise fit if you need to shorten them to meet shin ratio rules. This means they use four vertical strips of liquid-seal silicone to hold them in place no matter how long you cut them. The other graphics – including a Flemish lion – are more subtle for a stealthy pro look until the light hits them and they explode into reflective life. If you want the same performance with increased visibility as the Roadman 3, there is also a Legalz Glo version for the same price.
Until you’ve tried them, it’s hard to describe the difference in feel, fit, performance and warmth Spatz compared to other neoprene overshoes. The advanced designs of the Roadman 3 and Legalz Pro get things done with even more precise placement of premium materials for a ‘barely there’ ride feel, easier fitting and removal, but also increased strength. where it matters. This means fantastic heat “whatever the weather” whether you are racing UCI status events or want increased visibility for training, commuting or just general driving.
Considering the materials, the constant evolution and really – I don’t care if this is a massively overused cliché – game-changing performance, the price is an investment you won’t regret making as soon as you go. in the rain and the cold and your feet can not tell.
Technical specifications: Spatz Roadman 3 and Legalz Pro overshoes
- Price: £ 89.99 (Roadman 3), £ 64.99 (Legalz Pro)
- Colors: Black with many reflective and neon details (Roadman 3), black or black with many reflective and neon details (Legalz Pro)
- Sizes: S, M / L, L / XL