Descente Element Shoe Covers
Review: Descente Element Shoe CoversBy Scott Mares | Published May 2, 2010
At first glance you will think that the Descente Element Shoe Cover is just another neoprene winter shoe cover. However, the Element has several features that distinguish it from the average shoe cover. For example, most booties on the market have a small to medium-sized zipper that is challenging to grab while wearing gloves. The Element uses a larger industrial-sized zipper with big pull tab to seal up the back, making it easily adjustable while wearing gloves. found centered on the back of the shoe cover. With the pedaling motion that occurs in cycling, this can be a problem as the bootie material binds up along the achilles tendon or the zipper starts to unzip. Descente has addressed this problem by offsetting the shoe cover zipper towards the outside so that it runs along the ankle bone. The zipper is also covered with a reflective flap that is secured with velcro and a long velcro strip at the top. When shopping for a pair of winter booties, keep in mind that you need them to be tougher than the environment that you are going to be riding in. Descente has reinforced the bootie by adding nylon armor to the toes, heels and bottom of the Element shoe cover. This will protect the shoe covers if you are walking around in them making them last longer. Surprisingly, the nylon armor protects without adding any weight. The Element Shoe Covers also sport a rubber cuff at the top, which is perfect for rainy days. The cuff forms a seal which keeps in the warmth while blocking out all of the bad cold elements. No heat escapes nor water gets in. Reinforced cleat and heel pad holes provide that extra touch of durability. Nice!
We Didn't Like
The Kevlar toe and heel reinforcement is not as durable as one would think and started to show wear after just a couple of outings. The reflective flap also showed wear, with the black chevron starting to wear off. Be careful wearing the booties on wooden or linoleum floors as we quickly discovered that they are very slippery due to the Kevlar nylon material.
The Final Say
While there are a lot of companies that are making a winter shoe cover for cyclists, we are happy to see that Descente is back into the cycling scene. We would have given the Element Shoe Covers higher marks had the toe box area been more durable. The Element is a good neoprene shoe cover for winter road riding that will keep your feet warm and dry. It offers a great zipper and closure system with substantial reflective material. Just don't expect to walk around in them. As always, we contacted Descente and discussed our findings with them about the Element Shoe Cover. We are happy to report that prior to publishing our review, Descente was actively working with their factory to make the toe area more durable.
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- Element Shoe Covers
- Element Shoe Covers
3mm Neoprene, Kevlar
XS, S, M, L, XL
- Black with white logos.
Neoprene winter shoe cover with side zipper and velcro flap with reflective material. Kevlar-reinforced nylon on the toe box, heel and bottom of shoe cover.