Replacing Road Shoes – Want Your Opinions

I’m replacing my road shoes this week and will be moving away form the S-Works lineup. I like them, but I want to try something different.

Has anybody here tried the Fizik Inifinito R1, Fizik Aria R3, or Giro Factor Techlace? Anything else you’d recommend trying?

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I picked up a pair of Sidi Shots over Black Friday at a nice discount. Spent the last two weeks riding Maui in them and they are solid - typically Sidi. I do like a little more arch support so I use Giro insoles that allow you to adjust the arch support.

Did you see the new prototype S-Works at the Tour Down Under that look to be built to be super light? Look interesting…

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I rarely consider Sidi for embarrassing reasons (not a fan of the aesthetics), but I used to ride for them in my moto days and their boots were very, very good.

The new S-Works look interesting for sure. I go through at least one pair of their current shoes in a year, so I can only imagine I’d go through those even faster.

For insoles, I’ll be moving over my SureFoot insoles (expensive, but VERY worth it IMO), so unless the last has some sort of built in arch support, the insole is more or less a non-factor.

I’m on the Sworks 6 road (42.5 wide) and the Giro Empire (43) on Mtb.

I haven’t tried out the Giro Techlace but it’s on the list, since I get some big toe pressure on the Sworks and from what I’ve looked at, the Techlace has a similar form factor to the Empires. The texture on the Giros have worked well and if I could transfer the heal cup from the Spesh ones I would, since I find the Giro to be a bit low.

I’ve tried most of the Fizik models but at least for my foot, the dial and lace positions haven’t worked right enough for me to ever mount cleats on them.

I’ve also heard really good things about the top end Shimano S-Phyre. Several friends have them and love them.

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Giro Empire ACC. Love me some boa, but these Giros with the laces. Straight butter.


Bonts. Best shaped toebox I’ve tried. I use them with G8 insoles. Plus you can mold them at home.

Everything else squeezes my toes too much and I would of had to order a size or two bigger. Instead I just end up returning them and going back to the Bonts.


Any specific reason you are moving away from S-works? Fit issues or just vanity?

Feet are like saddles, if you find one that fits you are hard pressed to stray from it.

S-phyre is good, but its a different feel than the s-works that i just can’t get my feet to work with.

Very happy with my garneau course air light. I have a narrow foot and they fit great, no hot spots and seem to be holding up well


I have Bont Vaypor S. They are a great fit for my wider foot and their online measurement guidelines were spot-on for my feet.

They are nice and stiff, but still comfortable.

I’ve previously ridden some S-works, then Sidi Ergo 4’s prior to the Bonts. I found that the Bont’s held my heel better than the previous shoes and also had a much stiffer sole. So much so that I hit new peak power PR’s for the first week or so after getting them!


What about the dial and lace positions didn’t work with your foot?

The S-Phyre is another one I’m considering. Good call!

My fear with laces is I’ll lose the ability to micro-adjust. Is that an issue for you?

I have to adjust my shoes with every single ride. Not a ton, but my feet invariably “shrink” after about 15 minutes of riding, and having a boa dial to snug things up a bit is really helpful.

What is different about the feel?

My reasoning for moving away from them is simply to try something new. Love the look and fit, but there are plenty of options out there.

If you have custom insoles, I think shoes are nowhere near as specific as saddles.

I was very worried about this same thing. I like to double check my snugness at the line and just make sure everything is dialed - no pun intended! With the BOA that was pretty easy. With the laces and the way I wrap them around my sole, I can quickly adjust if need be. But so far, no need to. I had some LG middle of the pack shoes and I would still be using those if the sole didn’t start to deteriorate. EDIT: The quick ability to adjust while on the fly and adjust on the bike while pedaling isn’t possible here @Jonathan but I really tighten these down and they haven’t gotten loose. Then again, my feet do not really shrink. They are narrow though and I have small/slim ankles so finding a shoe that works has been tough.

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The EDIT specialized are narrower all the way through not just toe box. While I agree insoles help, they unfortunately don’t address things like width.

That said any high end bike store which I’m sure you know your way around should have both you can try on back to back.

Edit: autocorrect changed specialized to “spec”

They might work well for me then…

I mostly agree, but I always assumed I needed a shoe with a wide toe box due to pressure on the outside of my 5th toe and 5th metatarsal. Once I got custom insoles made, I realized I can comfortably fit in narrow, low volume shoes. If the foot isn’t properly supported throughout it’s entire length, it tends to widen out. I’d venture a guess that there are plenty of people out there in a similar situation that think they need wide shoes, but they actually just need a custom insole.

FWIW, I’m not talking about Giro’s shim system or Specialized’s insoles. I tried every one of them and while the +++ from Specialized got close, it still wasn’t sufficient.

I now find that I have excess room in the forefoot of Specialized shoes once they wear in. I can get around that with more tightening, but the continued wear of the upper only makes that a temporary solution.

Autocorrect changed my prior post.
Specialized is narrower than shimano. Shimano also makes a wide version, but the specialized is narrower than even regular model.

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Sidi Tech 8s for moto (a few years ago) sidi Genius Mega for road shoes, love the fit. For some reason I tried to support a lbs and try Giro mtb shoes but they feel like garbage on my feet. Actually the 75$ giro shoes felt better than the 250$ version. Finally switched to Sidi Dragons mega mtb shoes and again love the fit.
I need wide because I have bunions and narrow heals so these are the best fit for me. Admittedly never have tried shimano or sworks shoes.

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I’m a massive fan of the Giro Empire SLX. They are super light, really stiff and the most comfortable shoe I’ve worn. I’ve found that with the laces you can get a much better fit than any other closure system I’ve used. I’ve never once in 4 seasons of using them had the laces come loose. I highly recommend them.


Any opinions on Giro Empire knitted version?
It is time to replace my old Gaerne shoes which are holding up really well.

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Following this, but I have a minor digression…how often “should” one replace shoes? I’ve been on the same pair for several years now and they are cosmetically fine, but does the sole wear out/lose stiffness? The uppers do feel noticeably looser than when I first bought them so I’ve been thinking it’s time to upgrade. Thoughts?