I use clipless pedals for bike commuting, and I'm looking for suggestions on waterproof "booties" that can go over a pair of cycling cleats.

I can find some products on-line, but can't ever see the bottom of the "bootie" whether it covers up the cleat or not! What's the name of the thing I'm looking for, so I can search for them?

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    Shoe covers or rain covers exist for (almost) any type of cleats, for road shoes or MTB shoes those with slightly tougher underside. – Carel Mar 15 '18 at 21:22
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    Shoe Cover or Overshoe would be the two words to search for. All the common online suppliers return some results to those phrases. – Criggie Mar 15 '18 at 23:33
  • World you like to cover the cleats while cycling or or off the bigger, eg for walking? Since you specifically ask to cover the cleats, which prevents them from clogging in, it is not quite clear what you intend to do. – gschenk Mar 16 '18 at 16:23
  • @gschenk I didn't want to cover the cleat, just the upper part of shoe. thanks! – aarosil Mar 17 '18 at 2:03
  • I edited out the product recommendation request, since we don't do that, here. (They tend to be opinion-based and go out of date.) – David Richerby Mar 17 '18 at 17:38

Shoe covers/booties will help keep your feet dry, but there's really no such thing as "waterproof" shoe covers/booties. The best of them merely delay your shoes filling with water for maybe 20 or 30 minutes in any decently heavy rain.

Even if the material itself is waterproof, there are too many ways for water to get in. First, water is going to run down your legs into your shoes. Shoe covers won't help that much if at all. You can help keep water out of the tops of your shoes by wearing tights or some other clothing that fits over your shoe tops and directs water outside the shoes. But even that won't keep all the water out. ("Hey, I'll just wear waterproof pants!" isn't an answer - after a few minutes that can be like cycling in a sauna because waterproof works both ways...)

Water is also going to get in through the soles via the cleat holes, unless you have specially-designed shoes such as "winter cycling boots" that are designed not to have this problem. Or don't have cleats at all...

And even then, if you don't have fenders with a good mud/spray flap on the front, the spray from the front wheel will rapidly soak your lower extremities anyway. Spray enough water onto your shins and your shoes will be filled no matter what they're made of and no matter what you do to keep water out of the shoe tops.

So, if you want to keep your feet truly dry, you need to start with fenders with a good mud/spray flap to keep most of the water off your feet and legs in the first place, and leg coverings/tights/pants that direct most of what does get on you away from getting inside your shoe tops. Then, you need to prevent water from coming up through the sole - and that requires special shoes, or not riding with cleats at all.

Shoe covers/booties are in the "keep your feet from getting totally soaked for just a few more minutes" category. If that's all you need, that's fine. But they won't keep your feet dry. To do that, you need a lot more help.

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    A good elasticated top makes a massive difference, either on bare skin or over tights. A little water gets in but so slowly it doesn't make your feet cold. And summer shoes can be winterised by taping up the cleat/drain holes on the inside under the footbed. – Chris H Mar 16 '18 at 15:18
  • IMO it doesn't matter getting wet: what matters is staying warm. Cycling shoes are usually designed to let the wind blow through, and booties help to keep the wind out so your toes stay warmer. – ChrisW Mar 18 '18 at 16:04

Cycling shoe covers always have holes for cleats. The clipless mechanism depends on exact fit between cleat and pedal and doesn't work if there is anything between.

If you do not need foot retention, there is no need to play with shoe covers. Just use waterproof shoes (with gaiters to prevent water running down your legs from getting into shoes, the waterproofness works both ways), waterproof socks (great if your shoes holes where the water can drain out), wellingtons or whatever fits the weather and your needs.

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    Concur - on a really wet day I wear big yellow overtrousers and shin-high gumboots with the cuffs on the outside of the boot. Works fine on flat pedals. – Criggie Mar 15 '18 at 23:31
  • Thanks! As mentioned in question, I'm using clipless pedals and cleats. Just want something to cover that to add water proof. – aarosil Mar 16 '18 at 1:36
  • I've actually found waterproof shoes to be the worst of both worlds. I used to wear them for commuting and could literally pour the water out on arrival some days. Free-draining shoes are preferable. If cycling in hiking boots in the rain I wear gaiters over the top. They're not as good as my shoe covers but a massive help – Chris H Mar 16 '18 at 15:20
  • True about water pooling in waterproof shoes without gaiters. Waterproof socks work also great if you are OK with thoroughly wet shoes. I'm adding it to the answer. – ojs Mar 16 '18 at 18:21

We don't do product rec here, but basically most bicycle clothing companies and companies that does something related to shoes sell shoe covers. These generally have a little hole for your cleats -- even if you mistakenly bought one that did not have a hole somehow, you could fix this relatively quickly with a pair of scissors and possibly a sewing kit/some tape.

Depending on where you are, using sandals (warm and wet; you can get clipless ones; dry quickly) or hiking boots/waterproof shoes/galoshes (cold or warm and wet; use plain old platform pedals with good grip with regular shoes, or buy waterproof/weatherproof cycling shoes for clipless; right shoe will be temperature dependent to some extent) may be better; the main issue with covers is that you have to carry around one more thing, and they can wear down relatively quickly from putting your foot down.

For commuting, waterproof shoes/boots/galoshes are probably a good way to go, particularly if you have to walk somewhere during a rainy day, anyway.

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  • Sorry, the 1st sentence of question: "I use clipless pedals..." – aarosil Mar 16 '18 at 1:35
  • Yeah. its something you might want to reasonably switch for rain commuting. And there are markings for clipless options in the answer. – Batman Mar 17 '18 at 13:24

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