N.E.O.S. Traveler Overshoes

By David Loveland

N.E.O.S. Traveler Overshoes

Remember those big, black, smelly, rubber galoshes your mom made you wear to school in the winter? They had those big bulky buckles you had to deal with and gave your pants that Pirates of the Caribbean look. She made you wear them because they kept your feet warm and dry, saved your good shoes from wear and tear, and when you got home, you could take off the galoshes and walk in the house without tracking in the mud and snow. Well, your mom had the right idea. Fast forward to the new millennium, and you still have the need for those galoshes, but without those pirate pants.

The Neos overshoes fit the bill exactly. They accompanied me on a couple of recent winter peak bagging outings to the Tusher and Uinta Mountains in Utah. They allowed me to wear my favorite summer hiking boots in the snow, and took the wear and tear these boots would have gotten snowshoeing to 12,000 plus feet.

I normally wear two pairs of socks when I snowshoe, but with the Neos, I was able to enjoy the room and comfort of just one pair, and only felt the cold trying to sneak in during rest stops. They eliminate the need for gators completely, and if you have ever had a ripped gator, or a lost strap, rendering them useless, you can appreciate these overshoes. They are light enough to carry in my pack without feeling them, and they fold into a small compact pile in the pack.

The ability to wear your favorite, broken in, comfortable summer hiking shoes is a very strong plus for these overshoes. On an outing to the High Uinta mountains, I had to switch back and forth between my snowshoes and cross country skis, depending on the terrain, and the Neos took everything I dished out to them, even when I purposefully waded into a small stream near camp.

The only negatives I could find were the fact that the Velcro® closure that runs up the length of the boot near the tongue was very narrow, and limited my ability to close the boot tight against my leg.

The other models that we didn't test, the Explorer, Adventurer, and Forerunner, have a beefier Velcro® attachment, and are more geared for long term outdoor adventure. The company is also coming out with a couple of models with Vibram® soles. The bungee cord draw string at the top of the boot looked a little wimpy, but it held its own during all testing.

If you can get used to not having Pirate Pants, at $49.95 these are a great investment.

David Loveland is a new contributor to GearReview.com specializing in winter backcountry adventure.

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