Shoe covers come in all sorts of fabrics. Some are thick and bulky for cold weather and others are only thin wind barriers. The Castelli Tempesta Shoe Covers promise ultimate weather protection and sufficient warmth for near-freezing temperatures.

Castelli Tempesta Shoe Covers Features:

  • 4-way stretch water-repellent nylon outer shell
  • Absolutely waterproof OutDry® technology membrane
  • Ultralight waterproof zipper
  • Neoprene cuff for easy on/off and secure fit around the ankle
  • Open bottom to work with all types of cleats
  • Reflective print at the back and center front
  • Cordura® sole
  • MSRP: $99.95

Hincapie Arenberg Zero Bib Tights Review

Cover ’em or lose ’em

Come winter, there’s no way around it — shoe covers are a necessity. While some can brave the cold, my tootsies don’t do so well in the cold. It doesn’t take long for my toes to freeze and from there, I’m miserable. But, warmth only goes so far if your feet are also wet. So, Castelli is aiming to solve both problems with the Tempesta Shoe Covers, decked out with OutDry for the ultimate in protection. These are a great companion to the Tempesta Gloves, reviewed earlier.

If you’re not familiar with OutDry, you should be. There are a myriad of waterproof/breathable membranes on the market, but only OutDry boasts a seamless design that’s permanently attached to the outer layer. Since the membrane is seamless, there’s no need for bulky seam tape. While this is more important for gloves, like the Tempesta Gloves, it also comes into play for shoe covers so they can move more fluidly with every pedal stroke.

The Tempesta’s feature a burly nylon shell with Cordura soles for durability. I’m extremely impressed with the overall build quality and expect these to stand up for several years. The neoprene cuff makes for a comfortable, but snug transition to my bib tights or even bare legs when used with bib knickers (like the Castelli NanoFlex Bib Knickers). Not all shoe covers do well against bare skin, but these certainly do not cause any issues for me.

The XL's are a snug fit on my size 45 shoes. No cleat interference whatsoever.

The XL’s are a snug fit on my size 45 shoes. No cleat interference whatsoever.

When these first arrived, I looked at the size XL with wonder. The tag certainly said XL, but they don’t look anything like an XL shoe cover. I’m a size 45 shoe (Bontrager XXX Road Shoes) and these are downright snug. You definitely need to make use of the Velcro closure and pull these suckers on with a fair bit of effort. Sometimes I wondered if I’d cause the zipper to mis-track or something, but it has held up to repeated, self-inflicted abuse and just keeps on zipping.

Once in place, they don’t interfere with any normal pedaling movements and don’t feel bunchy or uncomfortable. I will say that the upper material is pretty thick and prevents me from using Boa ratchets — something I don’t usually have problems with using other shoe covers. I can dial them still, but it’s not done with as much ease and can’t be done on-the-fly.

The Good

  • Wicked-durable
  • OutDry is the real deal
  • Nice and warm — sometimes too toasty
  • Comfortable with bib tights or bare skin
  • Reflective material for visibility

The Bad

  • Run really small (my size 45’s were tight with XL’s)
  • Difficult to put on

The Bottom Line: Castelli Tempesta Shoe Covers

Shoe covers are a necessity if you want to keep riding in the winter or when the weather goes south. The Tempesta’s have a ton going for them — durable uppers, OutDry and comfortable fit. Just remember to upsize and be ready for a bit of a stretch to get them on.

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The Verdict

9.3 Waterproof & Durable

Castelli knows how to make foul weather gear and the Tempesta Shoe Covers deliver excellent protection in a durable package. Just remember to size up.

  • Durability 9
  • Protection 10
  • Comfort 9

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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