We continue our guide to 2015's best road bike shoes...
Bontrager XXX LE
Price: £229 from www.bontrager.com
We suspect the XXX LE’s looks are likely to be rather polarising, but we think the design’s superb and the super-reflective outer is a fantastic touch (the black half ‘glows’ strikingly when lit up). The closure system of three Velcro straps is simple but effective, and the soles are super-stiff – to the point where, if you’re coming from something lower-end, you might find them uncomfortable while you get used to them.
Another impressive feature is the ventilation. With the upper containing a lot of mesh, your feet stay cool effortlessly. The heel grip does a sterling job ensuring your feet don’t slip, and the replaceable heel bumper means you might force a bit more life out of your shoes after they’ve started to wear.
Verdict: May be too stiff for some, yet are light and highly reflective, 83%
Dhb R1.0 Road
Price: £32 from www.wiggle.co.uk
Dhb is Wiggle’s in-house brand and has a reputation for decent-quality kit at superb prices. The R1.0 road shoes follow that trend, combining a nylon polymer sole, very comfortable inner and three-strap closure system to deliver a package that, for under £33, you really can’t argue with.
Yes, you make a few sacrifices in the weight stakes, but that’s made up for with more padding on the inners, which also helps to insulate when it’s cold. The flip-side is that they’re warmer than average when it’s hot. The nylon soles aren’t the stiffest, but they’re more than adequate for everyday riding, and they can accept either three-bolt or two-bolt cleats. Dhb also does a tri-specific version (T1.0) for the same price.
Verdict: No frills, but very capable shoes for an amazing price, 81%
Gaerne Carbon G.Stilo
Price: £279 from www.hotlines-uk.com
Gaerne have been making footwear for over 50 years; the Italians having firmly established themselves at the upper-end of the cycling footwear market. The G.Stilos are new for 2015 and sit proudly at the top of the range in four colourways: white, black, orange and the green we’ve tested.
The closure system is two diagonally-placed Boas and a support strap. They’re placed in that way to avoid creating pressure-points and it works well as we suffered no discomfort during long rides, even when we tightened the shoes. The sole is Gaerne’s lightweight carbon and has a couple of very effective vents, as well as a replaceable heel bumper that’ll likely need a change once you’ve used these for a while.
Verdict: A top-quality package, combining style and substance, 88%
Continue reading our guide to this year's best bike shoes (3/3)