The search for new shoes

The search for new shoes

Since returning to cycling 6 years ago, I've had the same pair of Shimano R077 shoes. They were supposed to be a temporary solution while I got back into the swing of things, at which point i'd look for something a little higher spec. Before the R077's I'd had a pair of Nike Poggio's (in all their chrome silver glory!) and before that a pair of hand me down Sidi's. 

What I learned over the years is I really like the simplicity of velcro straps, no gimmicks or chunky buckles to deal with, just clean straps that allow me to rock my much loved over socks...think Iban Mayo circa 2003. I'm sure the Boa lovers will disagree here but I find straps easy to adjust and achieve an acceptable tightness with a fair degree of granularity. Now having never tried a pair with Boa fittings I can't speak on how they perform, but the fact is i'm not sure I like the look of the Boa, and you know cycling is all about the aesthetics! 

So a couple years ago I decided to go on the hunt to finally replace the Shimano's and the first place I landed was Rapha. I'm a big fan of Rapha's design philosophy and so I was immediately drawn to the Climber's shoes, which at the time were about to be discontinued and so they only had a limited number of sizes left. I normally wear a size 42/43 and all Rapha had close was a 41.5...needless to say they were way too small and after much searching online I couldn't find a larger size anywhere. 

Another year goes by and one afternoon I find myself browsing the shoe sections again. My picky requirements however soon narrowed down the options to not a lot...except the Giro Emipre's. Ok so not velcro but laces looked just as sleek so I ordered a pair of the ACC's. Now i'm not here to debate the merits of any shoe tightening system, but for me laces just didn't work. I've spoke to many who swear by them, but I couldn't get onboard with the added hassle of pulling through each lace to achieve the correct fit. I'd say I'm semi particular about how I have my shoes so perhaps that added to the distain. 

Either way I was left shoeless once again. 

Then I stumbled across an Instagram post from an unknown account that had leaked Fizik's new Tempo powerstraps, I was in love once again! Luckily only a day later Fizik would actually announce them officially and list them on their site. I got a size 42.5 which fit me perfectly, the straps (at least on first impressions) offer good support and adjustability and they look incredible. 

It's early days so I don't have a comprehensive review but their composite soles are a big improvement of the Shimano's, they're a much closer cut and fit too which I think is a sign of the added quality you get from a doubling in price. Either way I'm just glad the search is over. 

Happy riding

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