BEST FOOT FORWARD.
Because the feet are the single point of power transfer from the rider to bike, cycling shoes are an important component for any serious sports cyclist. Cycling Malaysia delves into the whys and wherefores of cycling shoes.
Cycling is all about efficiency and transmission of power. A rider uses his feet on the pedals to turn the crank, and cycling shoes play an important role in pedalling efficiency that cannot be overstated. Proper cycling shoes allow the rider’s energy to go into the drive train, while at the same time providing proper comfort and support to prevent injury and soreness.
Cycling shoes typically have a stiff sole made from plastic, carbon fiber or a combination of the two. Some road shoes with a retro look use leather soles, but these are more a fashion statement than for serious cycling. The key purpose of the sole is to provide rigidity, for efficient power transfer. Most cycling shoes will use velcro straps for securing the foot, with higher end models using fastenings that allow for micro adjustments, giving the shoe a better fit. Uppers are made from diverse selection of materials, depending on the intended purpose. Materials used range from leather to canvas to a variety of synthetic fabrics.
There are two broad segments for cycling shoes, road and MTB. Road shoes have very stiff soles with a slight bend at the ball of the foot. They come with holes for installing cleats and give very little consideration to walking or moving around while off the bike. Road shoes can be lethal to walk in on slippery surfaces, and some cleat manufacturers provide cleat covers to protect the cleats and increase grip while walking. Road shoes are typically very light, and higher end models can be very expensive.
MTB shoes are designed with tread on the soles to aid running and walking while off road, and while carrying the bike over obstacles. The soles of MTB shoes are thicker, with a recess to allow fitting off a cleat for those who ride cleated pedals. The uppers of MTB shoes tend to be made of light but thick materials such as canvas, and are designed to be quick drying while providing good ventilation. MTB shoes tend to be twice the weight of road shoes, but this is the price paid for more protection to the feet and better traction.
Shoe sizes for cycling follow standard sizing, with widths typically being narrow in profile to cut down on wind resistance. Some makers such as Shimano and Bont offer shoes that can be ‘sized’ to suit a rider’s feet, using a thermoplastic material that is heated in an oven and then worn and allowed to cool.
Proper cycling shoes allow the rider’s energy to go into the drive train, while at the same time providing proper comfort and support to prevent injury and soreness.
Specialized S-Works Road – RM1,290.00
Designed for racers, the S-Works Road is light and stiff. The shoe uses Specialized’s Body Geometry to optimise hip, knee, and foot alignment to improve performance and comfort. Two independent Boa® S2-Snap dials allow for quick adjustments. Weight is 200 grams for size 42.
Specialized S-Works XC – RM1,290.00
Designed around Specialized’s Power- line carbon sole, the S-Works XC is used at World Cup level. The thermoplastic rubber thread gives traction on the trail and the thermobonded, Adaptive Fit upper provides ankle support but is flexible in the forefoot. Fits SPD cleats and toe studs are included.
Shimano SH-R321 – RM1,155.00
Get a perfect fit with the heat moldable synthetic leather upper and insole using Custom-fit Technology. The adjustable mechanical closure ensures proper fit and the reinforced ergonomic heel cup enhances performance and comfort.
Shimano SH-R171 – RM583.00
A balance of comfort and performance comes from the innovatie “Surround” upper pattern. The supple, stretch resistant synthetic leather and adjustable mechanical closure adjusts for various foot shapes. Sole is made from carbon fiber.
Northwave Matrix – RM370.00
Designed to look good on and off the bike, the Matrix uses a X-Crossbow sole, to provide superior foot support and increase shock absorption. The upper is PU and mesh to give lightness and protection.
Sidi Wire Carbon Vernice – RM1,399.00
Sidi shoes rule the pro peloton, and with good reason. The Wire’s upper is well formed from synthetic leather, with sole and tongue mesh vents to aid cooling. The carbon sole is stiff, while the Techno 3 wire fastening system allows for fine adjustment.
Crono Haway – M420 (nylon sole) RM 788 (carbon sole)
Targeted to triathletes, the Haway is designed to be easily taken on and off. A single reversed Velcro strap secures the foot, and the upper is mainly mesh, designed for quick drying. A heel strap aids getting the shoe on quickly.
Exustar E-SR4112-GR – RM359.00
Featuring a contoured, supple PU upper and nylon-fiberglass composite sole, this road shoe is a cost effective option for road riders. An M2 Microlock buckle closure and twin velcro straps provide a secure fit.
DMT Pegasus – RM550.00
Packing high end features without the price tag, the Pegasus uses the FG Concept glass fiber sole and the upper is made from microfiber and PU for ventilation and proper support. Two Velcro straps and a Boa fastener secure the foot.
Sidi Drako SRS – RM1,399.00
Replacing the respected Dragon 3, the Drako SRS combines an ultra stiff carbon sole with Techno 3 fastening and an internal nylon frame for stiffness and comfort. The HSS system keeps your heel in place and is adjustable for fit.