One of the most crucial interfaces to your gravel bike is the shoe and pedal connection. Like everything else related to bike and fit setup, these items are a personal choice – the pair of shoes and pedals your friend rides may not work for you. With that said, we covered some of the shoe options spotted at the 2016 Interbike show.
The Bont Riot is better known as the world’s first carbon composite, heat moldable entry level cycling shoe – as in heat moldable in your home oven – to truly customize the fit. But the Riot shoes aren’t that “entry-level”. Originally, the Riot was available only for road. Now, it is available for road and MTB / gravel. The BOA dials are likely to be replaced with a ratchet type buckle when these shoes see production.
The Riot’s sole is constructed from a composite material reinforced with several layers of carbon. Sole construction is cheaper than Bont’s higher end offerings but only a little weight is gained. Regardless, Bont claim the Riot MTB shoe weighs under 400 grams for the pair. Tread blocks on the Riot are replaceable.
The Riot is available in a variety of colors, widths and sizes include half. Heaps of options for everyone! Priced at $US 199.00.
The Vaypor G is the gravel / cyclocross version of Bont’s road-oriented Vaypor S shoe. Still in prototype, the Vaypor G takes much from Bont’s top-tier road shoe in that it is completely stripped down.
There is none of the ruggedized / reinforcing features typically found on a mountain bike shoe. We don’t have weight available on the shoe, but the show sample felt extremely light.
Notice the use of carbon fiber around the edge and rear of the shoe. In particular, the rear / heel cup of the shoe is slathered by carbon fiber. Bont claims this design feature improves stability of the rider’s foot.
BOA dials help to keep the Vaypor G very light. Remember, this is a prototype and will likely be labeled Vaypor G when production begins.
Full-carbon sole with replaceable tread blocks. Unfortunately, price is unknown at this time.
Giro – “The Empire VR90 is one of the lightest options available on dirt and sets the standard in high-performance off-road shoes.”
“Highlights include a lightweight laced one-piece upper for unrivaled comfort, an Easton® EC90™full carbon outsole and molded Vibram® rubber tread for relentless grip.”
“The upper is made of our breathable Evofiber™synthetic upper by Teijin® for superb fit and support that won’t stretch out with wear or weather.”
Giro have added several color options including this hot red and black finish.
Matte black and fluoro yello.
Giro doesn’t forget about the ladies with this Berry / Bright Pink finish.
The women’s version of the VR90 shoe includes the same high-end features offered in the men’s version.
The men’s and women’s VR90 shoe is available in a multitude of sizes including half – and, a 60 day fit guarantee.
If the fit isn’t comfortable in the first 60 days, Giro will work to make it right through their network of retailers. VR90’s are priced at $US 300.00.
Not a gravel shoe, we snapped a few photographs of this extremely light prototype road shoe – the Giro Prolight Techlace.
137 grams of lightweight insanity!
Will a gravel / MTB version of the Prolight Techlace follow later on? Time will tell…
All-new for 2017 is the top-tier Louis Garneau Copper T-Flex shoe. Garneau took the features offered in their Course Air Lite road shoe and incorporated them into this new release.
For those logging the big miles on the gravel, the top of one’s foot can suffer pain if shoe fit is less than stellar. A series of offset straps on the Copper T-Flex are designed to reduce pressure when the shoe is fastened.
Carbon T-Flex composite sole with dual-density lugs to help evacuate mud and alleviate heel pressure.
Louis Garneau’s “Power Zone” offers increased arch support and power transfer. HRS100 is a .6mm anti-slip membrane that Garneau claims reduces the loss of power during pedaling. The rear of the shoe also features reflective striping.
Two color options – The Bright yellow finish perfectly matches the Garneau Steeple XC bike we featured earlier – just a shame that is a team-only paint finish. Pricing is unavailable on the Garneau Copper T-Flex shoes at this time.
Sidi ups the ante with their lightest MTB shoe to date, dropping a claimed 100 grams per pair from their previous flagship MTB shoe, the Drako. Enter the MTB Tiger!
Sidi claim the newest and lightest Drako Carbon SRS sole on the Tiger suffers no drop in power transfer or durability from older models.
The medium-modulus carbon sole features replaceable tread blocks in the toe and heel and Sidi’s innovative removable / replaceable MTB plate, designed to prevent sole damage from pedal contact. Some pedal brands such as Crank Brothers recommend using a reinforcement plate between the cleat and the shoe in order to prevent cracking or denting the sole. The new sole is toe-spike compatible – good for icy conditions.
Available in two colors and plenty of sizes, the MTB Tiger is priced at $US 549.00.