What exactly are gravel-specific shoe covers and do you need them? Specializing in keeping riders outfitted for foul weather riding, Danish cycling accessories & clothing company GripGrab has just added a new pair of Explorer Waterproof Shoe Covers specifically adapted for keeping gravel riders’ feet dry and mud-free. But why gravel-specific…
GripGrab Explorer gravel-ready shoe cover
The thing is their sock-like, membrane Flandrien Waterproof Road shoe covers – inspired by classic Belgian Booties – were already quite popular with dropbar riders. But without reinforcement to handle hike-a-bikes and rough & tumble off-road riding in MTB shoes, gravel riders were just tearing them up.
So GripGrab, adapted them with extra reinforcement to create an off-road-ready Explorer version to handle anything you can throw at them. They say, “wind, rain and cold shouldn’t be a barrier to riding. Forget off-seasons, cyclists can ride all year“!
The gravel shoe covers use a stretchy oversock design that is close-fitting and simple, made from a 3-layer waterproof membrane fabric with a durable knitted outer layer and an insulating inner knitted layer.
What makes them gravel-specific are the new rubber-like TPU plastic reinforced toe-cap gripper/bumper and a midsole protector for when you ride unclipped or are walking off-road. And of course, the forefoot & heel openings have been tweaked to fit closely around mountain bike-style tread lugs, while still fitting close to the body of the shoe.
How to wear them?
GripGrab recommends the Explorer Waterproof shoe covers for wet but not especially deep cold riding, although that’s often a personal preference issue. For muddy but drier rides wear them over your tights to keep clean. Or for the wettest, rainiest weather, overlap your tights or leg warmers overtop the tall shoe covers to keep water from running down your leg into the cuff.
GripGrab Explorer – Pricing & Availability
For the time being, the only way to get a pair of the 90€ GripGrab Explorer Waterproof Gravel Shoe Covers is direct from Grip Grab, although, they’ll likely end up in the retailers soon too. The Explorer shoe covers come only in black, and in four sizes (S-XL) to fit over shoes from EU 36-47.
Unfortunately, GripGrab has not made the new Explorer shoe covers available on their Amazon storefront just yet. But you can find plenty of other cold & wet weather gear there. And hopefully, the new gravel shoe covers will pop up there soon, as well.
But if you stay on the asphalt in the wet months you can pick up the 74€ road-only Flandrien covers in black, navy, pink, or hi-viz yellow for a bit more visibility.