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Rain protection for your feet

In light rain, you might be OK if you decide to not bother with shoe covers, especially if the shoe materials repel water. However, even if your shoes are water resistant, your socks will sometimes get soaked. It helps to be wearing socks made of something other than cotton. Cotton will remain unpleasantly damp and cold for a long time.

If you are ever surprised by rain and don't have shoe covers, you can use many kinds of plastic bags. You would ideally secure the bags with string or rubber bands, so the bags conform to your shoes better.


Regular galoshes or other waterproof overboots might work just fine, but I've never tried them.

Burley shoe covers

Burley shoe covers are a great way to keep your feet completely dry. In the photo below, I'm holding up my pantleg so you can see the entire shoe cover; normally, the pantlegs have plenty of overlap over the covers and I will not get wet.

Burley shoe cover for biking in the rain

I like their material and color, for style reasons. Also, their zippers make them easy to put on and remove.

The cover shown in that photo is too large for my shoes. My shoe size corresponds to Burley's size L, not quite XL. I ordered XL because I was worried that my athletic shoes might take up too much extra room. Maybe I should have believed their website's sizing chart.

Burley does not sell directly to customers, so you cannot order from them. You have to find a bike shop, or maybe even a mail-order business, that deals Burley products (in the US, Performance Bike and REI are just two of the many Burley resellers). You probably will have to pay about US$30 up front, and the reseller will order the shoe covers for you.

Plastic safety boot covers

Tyvek boot covers are a cheap alternative.

Disposable cheap plastic boot covers for rain cycling

They are usually white. The sight of your two white feet moving up and down will make you extra visible to motorists. However, they do show the dirt which will quickly accumulate, so they don't look nice.

You can often buy a pair of these for about US$1 if you walk into an industrial safety supply store; this is the fastest way to get a pair. Also, many websites sell them. I ordered boot covers from US Plastics.

One nice thing about ordering from US Plastics is that the covers come in four different sizes. Here is the sole length for each size:

Boot covers sometimes have seams that are not waterproof. This is the case with the US Plastics covers. I guess that you can seal those seams with either duct tape or a seam-sealing compound; I haven't yet felt the need to do that.

These cheap covers are also good to give residents and guests of your house, to protect your carpeting and flooring from dirt. This could be a nice alternative to untying and retying laces.

Latex booties might be an excellent alternative, but I have not yet tried them. They are a little more expensive than the Tyvek ones, but they are certainly waterproof and often have a safety yellow color. They are sold at industrial safety supply stores.