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Sealskinz Halo: the safest overshoe out there?

March 21, 2019
Sealskinz Halo: the safest overshoe out there?

With cold and wet winter weather coming over the horizon, it’s easy to find excuses not to go for a ride.

I might get cold.

I might get wet.

It might not be safe.

All of these reasons have a degree of legitimacy, and it takes a truly outstanding product to resolve all three. That’s where the Sealskinz Halo shoe covers come in.

Safety measures

The Halo’s ace in the hole is its numerous safety features. The most immediately noticeable difference between the Halo shoe covers and its competitors is the LED lights found on each heel. These provide 4 lumens each of output in either flashing or constant modes, allowing riders to be seen from up to 400m away. Each of the coin cell CR2032 batteries inside will provide up to 240 hours of running time before needing to be replaced, which should be more than enough to see most riders through a winter’s worth of use. The lights are activated by simply pressing down on them with a finger - or if you want to feel like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, by clicking your heels together! Aside from the lights in the heels, there are also reflective stripes either side of the zipper which face outwards to oncoming traffic, as well as a reflective Velcro closure tab for greater visibility.

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Why these features work

A study conducted by Professor Joanne Wood of the Queensland University of Technology in 2010 found that a sample of drivers were able to recognise cyclists with reflective strips on their legs more easily than those wearing either reflective vest, fluorescent clothing, or plain clothes. This is largely due to the ability of our eyes to recognise certain patterns of human motion (known as biomotion). When our eyes register a reflective vest on a person in the road ahead of us, our brains are not immediately certain whether that shape belongs to a pedestrian, a cyclist, or a motorcyclist. However, when our eyes register reflective strips on someone’s legs moving up and down, it becomes immediately obvious that the person ahead on the road is a cyclist. Given that the Halo shoe covers come with rear 4-lumen LED lights as well as reflective piping on the sides of the shoes and a fluorescent tab, there’s no excuse for drivers not seeing you!

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Doing the winter work

All of the impressive safety features in the world won’t help a winter overshoe if it doesn’t keep your feet warm and dry (let’s face it; no activity in human history has ever been improved by having wet socks). To that end, the Halo overshoes are constructed of a lightweight, water repellent single layer of fabric that combines with a silicone leg gripper and high-quality YKK zip to help keep winter moisture at bay. At the same time, the interior is made with a lightly brushed fabric that helps retain warmth on chilly winter mornings, while the toe box is reinforced with Kevlar to prevent premature wear.

Perhaps the most telling recommendation in terms of the protective abilities of the Halo overshoes comes from looking at the Sealskinz website. Every item of Sealskinz make has been designed to protect your extremities in foul weather, whether you’re cycling, running, or horse riding - you’ll see no summer jerseys or lightweight bibshorts here. It’s all designed to handle the very worst of British weather, so it’s unsurprising that the Halo overshoes can shrug off all the cold and wet of an Australian winter with ease.