Replacing Road Shoes – Want Your Opinions


I bought the Fizik Aria R3 and R4B to try to decide between them. I spent all day wandering around the house in them but in the end i couldn’t justify the extra cost for the R3, although they were undeniably lovely shoes.

Why do you say that your shoes only last a year? I’ll use mine forever until they die in a crash or one day fall apart (which hasn’t happened yet).

Also, what is the story with insoles? Do they help, are they necessary or is this just another thing I could spend money on?


Just bought the Giro Factor Techlace. Really love how stiff they feel, and they look absolutely class in black (if Darth Vader wore cycling shoes).
I’m usually 45 across the board and these feel slightly tight but they’re getting looser with every ride (I hope…)


I’m another in the Giro Empire crowd. I love the laces. Lack of micro adjustment was a concern when moving to them a few years ago but that has been a non-issue. My feet tend to swell a little so when I lace them up I scrunch my toes, tie them and then release my toes. I have found that gives me the perfect amount of “room”, they don’t feel loose and don’t get too tight either.


I’m another one to jump on the Giro Empire SLX bandwagon.

I’ve had a pair for around 4 moths now and really like them.


No one locally had the Fizik’s in for me to try on. I did try on Lake CX402 and Bont Vaypor S, went with the Vaypor S. I use a Superfeet insole with them which helps a lot however they do raise my heel quite a bit to the point that the top dial cable can get caught on the opening easily. The tongue can get hung up a little too. As long as I watch for those two things when I put them on the fit is awesome. I wouldn’t want to go up a size as the width, length, and toe box are just what I want. The heat molding part makes the shoes very comfortable and it’s repeatable if needed. The shoe soles are stiff, upper is soft yet they don’t allow my feet to move much vertically like some others I’ve tried, and the BOA dials have fine adjustments (both loosening and tightening).

I’ve never tried the Surefoot insole so I should. If there’s other insoles that don’t add heel height I’ll give them a shot too.


I used to adjust my shoes before laces at least once during a ride.

With the Empires I do the same as you. Raise my “toe knuckles” (not a doctor :joy:) while tying and get the perfect tension. Very rarely do I need to re-tie, and if I do, I know immediately.

The width fits me perfectly. Tie box is wide but not too wide. Arch support is adjustable though I use Superfeet in most of my shoes.

Ive been on the Empires since they first came out. I won’t wear anything else. I’ve owned a number of pairs. I’m in a pair of knits now but have yet to wear them outside.

I’m even wearing Republics for committing, grocery runs, and even gravel.

Tl;dr: I like laces. Shoes fit perfect.


Gaerne Carbon G.Stilo+

I’m on my second pair of these after wearing Sidi Genius 5 Pros. Comfortable for my feet, they feel super light, well ventilated, and feel like your feet become part of the bike.

They actually ship from Las Vegas in the US and on sale here (with other colors too):


Another vote for the Giro Empire. I can remember if I have the ACC or SLX but pretty much the same thing. Also more aero than the tech lace or any boa.


Depends on how you use it. If you are in mud a lot or trails, they can get nasty quickly. Also as a triathlete we tend to pee while riding which goes down into the shoes. If you forget to wash that quickly, it is a chore to get the stink out.
Typically my shoes last 3-4 years. At that point they are still functional but I get tired of them. I’ve heard some having their shoes at least a decade.


Pee in your shoes AND no socks? Hard pass on tri for me! :joy:

Thanks for the response. I only ride road at the moment, but have MTB pedals and shoes, which I bought when I got into cycling since I wasn’t sure I was ready for road pedals. Might make the jump to road shoes/pedals in the spring!


I got Giro Empire SLX for Christmas. All rides with them have been indoors so far and I’m loving them. Laces might be a touch to long, debating if I should replace them but they do tuck away nicely and you quickly forget about them. I probably went a half size larger than needed because Iike a roomy toebox. I’m usually 10.5 running shoes, 45 Shimano and went with 45 Empires.


I have been using the Bont Vaypor S for a few years now. With the heat moulding and a custom footbed my feet fit very snugly inside.

Super stiff carbon shell aswell, I knew as soon as my foot was in there. :wink:


It depends on the shoes. I tend to do most wear when walking in them, rather than riding. This is especially a factor if you mountain bike and do a lot of hike a bike sections. For normal XC riding I wear my Sidi Drako’s when I know I won’t be walking much, but I’ll switch to a shoe with more rubber on the bottom like the Giro Terraduro or Pearl Izumi X-Project Pro when there will be some hike-a-bike stretches.

On the road, I honestly don’t think I’ve worn out a quality shoe. I have a pair of 18 month old Sidi Wire’s that look brand new except for some scuffs on the soles and cleats. I wipe them down with a damp microfiber after each ride, lube the Speedplay cleats, and occasionally check the tightness of the screws holding the cleats. As I mentioned to @Jonathan, I recently picked up a pair of Sidi Shots. They have a slightly snugger feel across the forefoot compared to the Wires but otherwise fit pretty similarly. Sidi’s really allow you to lock the heal in tight with their adjustment system. Similar to @Jonathan I often tighten a small amount after about 45 - 60 min of riding, especially outdoors. Relatively easy on the Sidi’s.

The Wire’s I have have the traditional glossy finish, while the Shot’s are matte. The glossy finish is really easy to wipe down. I was worried the matte would be more difficult, but after riding some wet roads with a lot of red clay dust on it in Maui, it turned out not to be an issue and they cleaned up easily.


Alpinestars Tech 8 for life.


Here is a comparison of the S works 7 shoes to several others. The blog also has a prior review that included the S works 6. Your custom footbeds mix it up, but still might give you an idea how other shoes compare to what you already know you like.


I felt that the Fizik lace setup didn’t apply pressure evenly across the shoe and as a result felt the majority of the pressure where the laces were, with looser areas in between.

The Empires that I’m currently on have the most even pressure (but my feel tend to swell when riding rather than get smaller). The Shimano’s had really good even pressure when I tried them on in the store, and they are my leading candidate for replacing my Giro’s, as I’m long overdue for a race XC shoe upgrade. I tried on both the XC and the road shoes and they were similar in feel and fit.


Hi Jonathan , I had sidi for ages until I looked to get fitted for shoes and WOW What a difference . My advice is look for a shoe shop that exclusively sells bikeshoes and let them pick the right model for you ! I know there is one in New York Maybe too far for you but look for spinshoeguru on instagram


Suplest Road Pro - Edge/3

Hands down the best road shoe I’ve ever worn. Light years beyond Sidi, Fizik and S-Works shoes. The upper and tongue designs really make the shoe. Worth the trouble getting them.


@Jonathan Are you riding with the S-Works 6s or 7s?

A few years ago I tried the Giro high end lace version (forgot the name) and hated the fit so I settled on the Giro Trans (mid-level) which was (past tense) a great training shoe at the time (they’ve cheapened the Trans since). Note: I had used SIDIs for 15 years - too sloppy a toe box - better for wide feet which I presume that you don’t have if you have been riding with S-Works.

I wanted the BOA dial on both upper and lower so I was planning to try the Bontrager. However, several members of our cycling team (Alto Velo Racing Club) were using the S-Works and loved them and Bontrager hasn’t improved the design since they introduced their shoe in 2014. The 7s had just come out (last summer) so I read A LOT of reviews, including the improvements over the 6s.

From my very first use of the 7s back in August of last year, they are FANTASTIC!!! Literally no break in period an no issues such as complaints I have read about the 6s. They fit like a glove; power transfer is incredible. In speaking to Cognition Cyclery in MV where I bought them (a leading Specialized reseller in the Bay Area), the lady/cyclist told me that even her experience of moving from the 6s to the 7s was excellent (she has only been riding S-Works).

Bottom line recommendation: If you aren’t riding the 7s, you should give them a try.


Never even heard of these but I really dig this one.