Shoes -- Your Top Picks

I’m looking to get a new pair of road shoes and need some suggestions.

My last pair for 10 years were Sidi (still using for commuting) and still fit amazing (size 44).
Current pair Specialized Torch 3…hideous. Cheaply made/plastic-y feel w/ noticeable hot spots.

Wants: 4-hour comfort, upper end power transfer (fit narrowish/Italian style).

Considering Fizik R1 but have read their forward cleat position might cause issues.
Looking at Lake CX332…worth the $$$$?!


I have the giro empire shoes.
Great power transfer, great fit and great looks!

ps. You can buy the specialized aero shoe covers for the marginal gains…:wink:

If you get on well with Sidi shoes I would say stick with them. As you say they last forever. My XC and CX shoes are Sidi Drako’s which are still in great condition after 3 years’ abuse.

I have a pair of Shimano S-Phyre road shoes which are very nice but I’m not sure they’ll last like Sidi shoes do.


1 Like

Bonts for me. I use their road and mtb shoes for cx. They have the most comfortable toebox that I have found.

Lake supposedly has a big toebox but I tried their CX shoes and had to return them as soon as I got them. Also I got a lot of heel slip with the Lakes and almost none with my Bonts.

Had sidi’s for 10years, great shoes. Now i have bontrager ones, they feel great but after 6 months they look like I already have them 10years so quality wise a disapontment.

Next time sidi again!!

I am liking my Dhb Aeron shoes except for that I would prefer BOA dials over the Atop that the shoes come with .
They are for sure on the wider side and generally come in a little bigger size wise.

Had a pair of Fizik R1’s for about a year & a half until the material coating the outside of the shoe came away. To be fair Fizik replaced them under warranty :+1:

Decided to switch at that point to the Shimano S-Phyre, can’t say there is much between them in terms of performance but the S-Phyre are definitely aging better.

Bonts for me - comfortable and long lasting

Both the Specialized Sworks Road and Giro Empire have been my favorites.

Specialized S-Works 7 or 6. The fit a touch narrow and the 7’s updated BOA’s are super nice but, they added a touch more material in support of the BOA and they don’t work with my bone spur’d left foot.

DMT R1 is one of my main shoes. The newer D1 is an improvement as they have done away with the plastic tongue insert thing which just didn’t work. I took the insert out of mine and the shoe has been excellent for comfort and power. Able to position as far aft as anything. Wider toe box imo.

Vittoria 1976 Kangaroo leather version is my other road shoe. Most comfortable upper to date. Very soft and plush. A cool shoe so it will be good on hot day here. The sole is flat and a bit thin which I feel makes it less stiff however. One of the lighter shoes out there. Lastly, the cleat holes were just a touch forward so we had to re-drill them a bit aft to match the DMT.

Scott road RC SL, Lake 402 and Fizik infinito R1 are on my short list when/if…I tried a pair of Scott’s on before they made the RC SL and they were really really nice. Probably one of the most under rated shoes out there IMO.

Shimano S-Phyre didn’t work for me and unless they have changed the sole try them on. They used to build up the arch support in the sole and it was way too far forward. In less than a mile my feet were done.

1 Like

I have these too. The laces make them so comfortable for long rides. They’re really very excellent. Something to know though is that the fit is very small. I’m an 45 in almost all shoes. A 45 in the Fizik R1B is perfect. In the Empires I’m a 46.5.

Start with what fits you well, and not anyone else. When I last went road shoe shopping (~3 years ago), I think I tried on close to 10 different models (and sometimes multiple sizes per model) before going with the Bont Vapor S.

For me, the two critical selection criteria ended up being:

  • Toe box width - too many brands have very narrow width toe boxes, so either my toes were smashed together, or I had to go up several sizes
  • Foot bed curvature - some shoes the foot bed just didn’t work for me. I don’t know how to describe it, but some shoes just didn’t feel like they were supporting my entire foot

Good luck, try on lots of shoes, and pick which one you like

1 Like

S-works were a great shoe for me, but I had to go up a half size. I tripped across a pair of Bonts with the moldable carbon soles. I had to add two wedges to the left shoe and re-mold the shoe to get me knee to track properly, but I have loved them since. Not the lightest or most aero, but comfy.

I really like my Lake MX1s. The roomy toe box works for my wide feet. I also like the traditional look of an all leather upper and laces. They seem very durable too - I’ve used them daily for the past year and they’re still in great shape.

Had a pair of SIDI shoes for years. They wear like iron and you can replace most parts. Switched to Bontrager XXX shoes. I’ve had these shoes for two years. Pricey but extremely comfortable and light.

Ive upgraded from some old sworks 4 (I think) to the sworks 6. These have much bigger toe box than the old ones which was always the problem I had previously on long hot days. The 6 were lot cheaper than the new 7 (60% of price).

Some people dont like the 6 as they have higher cut around the ankle and this can be uncomfotable walking it them a lot, but I like them, so no issues for me. I like the independent dual boa’s.

I’ve used the Giro Empires (the reflective ones) and loved them, but they are definitely a narrow fit. That is not exactly a problem for me, however I got a little tired of laces now that Boa dials are on basically every high end shoe. Since those shoes I have been using the Pearl Izumi Pro Leader v4 and they are AMAZING. The shoe fits beautifully and has an adjustable insole, for arch support and forefoot. I have not been a fan of previous versions of these shoes but this iteration has been amazing.

Specialized S-Works 6 or 7.

How much do I like these on my feet?

I’ve had the first edition of the S-Works shoes and every edition since!

I skipped the 6’s and went for the 7’s.

Single greatest upgrade in foot comfort for me. Went from feeling boxed in on the older models, here… oh here… slippers!

Liked them so much, I went and bought a set of 6’s… only to discover… these are actually better on me!

Moral of the story… if they fit your feet, get the 6’s or 7’s!

1 Like

I think I’m off Spec. I did try the 6/7s on in-store but don’t remember thinking ‘Wow!’. Super light for sure. Points for having different footbeds available for arch support.

I’m leaning toward the new model Sidi – Wire 2 but they seem sold out everywhere! Only drawback is their in-house “boa” system seems rather complicated to operate (vs actual boa) as well as being a clunky shoe vs some of the sleek modern models (fizik, spec etc) which might not work so well with shoe covers. I still think they are good looking shoe and they fit me like a glove (foot glove?).

Would like to try the Izumi Pro Leaders too.

Guess I gotta keep Christmas shopping! :smile:

+1 totally agree. I tried the Fizik R3 and Aria R3, Giro Empire, and S-phyre shoes before finding the LG Course Air Lite which fits me like a glove. I have narrowish feet that are also low volume (not very meaty). While all the above shoes were great width wise, only the LG was low volume enough where I didn’t have to completely cinch down the shoes, which created hot spots in all the others. I also recommend trying a bunch and see what fits your foot the best.