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Why consider waterproof cycling boots?

The chances of getting caught in a rainshower when commuting by bike are actually quite low, even in wetter climes like the UK. Nevertheless, having the right clothing to ensure you are as comfortable as possible when it does rain (or when there is a lot of surface water on the roads) can ensure that bad weather doesn’t put a dampener on your urban riding. Waterproof cycling shoes or boots are a great way to keep feet dry and warm when riding in inclement weather, and in this blog we talk you through our two favourite options for urban riders - the Storm Pro Work Boot from Chrome and the H2O Shoe from DZR.

Arriving at work with wet feet and no change of shoes has got to be one of the worst starts to the day, right up there with realising you’ve forgotten your lunch. Waterproof overshoes are one way to prevent you getting wet feet en-route to work, but for a real fuss-free solution (particularly if you ride in the clothes you’re going to be wearing throughout the day), waterproof cycling shoes are hard to beat.

Our top choices

Chrome and DZR both have a waterproof cycling boot within their ranges of SPD cycling shoes for urban riders. These models are ideal for use during the months of the year where the weather is consistently poorer, although many riders choose to wear them all year round. Both options combine a real leather upper with an internal seam sealed waterproof membrane for the ultimate in wet weather protection. The proofed leather is in itself highly water resistant and, when combined with the membrane (which is breathable as well as waterproof), will keep feet dry and comfortable whatever the weather.

Chrome lifestyle image - Storm Pro waterproof cycling boots
Chrome Storm Pro 415 Work Boot waterproof cycling boots in black leather - image showing SPD compatible soleDZR H2O high top waterproof cycling boots in black leather, showing SPD compatible sole

One of the other key features both pairs of boots share is their SPD compatible sole design. This means you can fix cleats to the soles for clipped-in riding if you wish, and most two-bolt cleats (including those from Shimano, Crank Bros, Look and Time) will fit. If you don't want to fit cleats you can just leave the sole as it is, otherwise you can remove a section of the sole providing a recessed cleat fixing point. This means that the cleats do not get in the way when you're walking round off the bike.

The shoes are specifically designed for cycling and have a stiff section for transferring power through to the pedals, but are also designed with walkability in mind. The sole is also comfortable and grippy when you're walking around off the bike. Both models have some subtle reflectivity on the rear of the boots to enhance your nighttime visibility. On the H2Os this is at the base of the heel, on the Storm Pros it is on the heel tab.

Chrome lifestyle image showing bike riders at sunset

Which one to pick

So if this has convinced you that you need a pair of waterproof leather cycling boots for urban cycling in your life, which model should you pick? A lot will come down to personal style preference and fit. The H2Os are more of a high-top trainer style, whereas the Storm Pros are a classic work-boot style. In terms of fit, DZR shoes are generally a little narrower than Chrome, so if your feet are towards the wider end of the spectrum the Storm Pros might suit you better.

In terms of sizing, ordering your regular shoe size should be fine, although with Chrome it is worth double checking the size chart before ordering to ensure the EU size matches up with the UK shoe size you would expect it to. Both the H2Os and the Storm Pros are a unisex style and are suitable for both male and female riders. The DZRs are available in sizes EU 37-47 whereas the Chrome boots are available from an EU 40 (UK men’s 6) to an EU 46 (UK men’s 10.5), so might not come down small enough for some female riders.

Aftercare

Because both the H2O and the Storm Pro Boot are made from leather, they require a little bit of TLC to keep them in tip top condition. Because leather is more durable than some other materials any extra time investment in taking good care of them should pay off though. Both should be cleaned and conditioned or reproofed regularly to keep the leather in good condition and prevent cracking (the H2Os come with a little tub of proofing for this purpose). When the boots do get wet they should be allowed to dry out slowly and naturally to prevent the leather misshaping.

Customer reviews of the boots

Both boots are popular options among Always Riding customers, here are some of the comments on these gorgeous waterproof cycling boots from the Always Riding community:

These are fine shoes. I've added SPD cleats and use them with clip-less pedals - works great and still totally comfortable to walk in. They're waterproof, really soft leather and look super cool.

Hello UPSO! Upcycled Brompton Bike Bags
ReadHello UPSO! Upcycled Brompton Bike Bags
Gavin, on the H2Os

These shoes do what it says on the tin. They keep the water out and they look ace. Nice and stiff for riding and comfortable enough to walk around town in when you get off your bike.

Christopher, on the Storm Pros

This is my second pair of H20s. The first pair were much loved, much worn and held up well during two-years of indulgent London riding. What can I say? They are simply fantastic. They’re solid, their rigid soles are great for power riding but not too rigid to deter walking and they are, well, waterproof. Plus they look good and smell good. Get yourself a pair. You won’t be sorry.

Jason, on the H2Os

The quality of the leather used to manufacture these boots is exceptional- so much so, that they feel rather tight when first trying on. Don't be put off: persevere and they will break in to become a super-fitting pair of stylish, but eminently practical cycling boots that will take you from home to workplace without the need to faff around with a change of footwear.

William, on the Storm Pros

Still undecided? Feel free to get in touch with any questions you might have.

SHOP WATERPROOF URBAN CYCLING BOOTS

 

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About the Rider: Anne
Domestique-in-training, Anne’s unique selling points are her super-strong thumbs (a hangover from her days as a beefy bike mechanic) and her enthusiasm for cake (both baking and eating). When she isn’t sorting out returns or writing for the website she can be found working to make the transport system better for cycling (in her non-Always Riding role as a transport planner), fixing up friends’ bikes or enjoying the ride.
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