KT 2012 Gear Review: fi’zi:k Shoes

KT 2012 Gear Review: fi’zi:k Shoes

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It was Marko’s love letter about fi’zi:k’s points-of-contact that started this off. It led to a conversation that resulted in us heading off to Belgium with some fi’zi:k point-of-contact items to test. Most stimulating was the notion of testing Italian cycling shoes. Both Marko and Gianni have publicly admitted their cycling shoe issues. Marko has shoes for each bike, that is a shoe issue.  Gianni is just a picky, picky bastard: they have to fit very well, feet can’t ever slide around, and they have to look decent. Frank lucked into a pair of R1 shoes, the best fi'zi:k makes, but Merckx punished him with narrow flippery feet, too narrow for the fi'zi:k last. This made @Rigid one lucky S-O-B. And Brett, he has issues, enough to get him deported back to Oz but shoes seem to be low on the list.

VLVV -The Keepers

Gianni’s take:

When fi’zi:k jumped into the cycling shoe market a few years back I was surprised and a little skeptical. Shoes are not easy and cycling shoes are definitely not easy, they have nothing in common with saddles except being a contact point on a bike. And how can one not be a stickler about cycling shoes, I sure am. I’m a real pain in my own ass when it comes to finding great shoes. I’ve waxed rhapsodic about my old Maressi lace up shoes, I loved my Carnacs, I sold my White Ladies to Frank because they didn’t fit my foot correctly. How do you make a cycling specific bit of apparel where form has to follow function and somehow accommodate as many different shaped feet as possible?

Let me digress to the subject of form. My white R3s are so good looking I easily overlook some of their foibles simply because as I ride, I look down and see these killer white shoes and much is forgiven. A cycling friend has the red R3s and watching him ride away from me is now easier. Having fondled the white R1s, I believe they are the sweetest looking shoes out there, pure unadulterated white goodness. I take every chance to show anyone that will look the underside of the shoe’s tongue, it’s the Italian red, green and white, a beautiful touch. These shoes are made in Italy and I hope to be riding them five years from now which is more than I can say for my Chinese made Specialized S-Works shoes. Those weren’t going to last five years but now, as they are resting on a shelf as I road test the fi’zi:ks, they might.

Pros

  • Great heel cup.
  • Fit medium to wide feet.
  • Nice arch support.
  • The carbon sole is not too stiff, not too soft, just right.
  • They look fantastic.
  • Very well made in Italy.

Cons

  • Straps not as good as boa lace system for perfect fit.
  • Website needs more size information.

My remark about straps is a generic one. I like the way the boa wire evens up the tension making for a more secure fit. If fi’zi:k ever goes to that for the lower two straps then they will really have a perfect shoe. The ball of my right foot moved around even with all straps tight and for me, that was  a problem. Like Brett, I slipped in an old pair of Specialized footbeds and the extra thickness fixed the problem. Never be afraid to fool around with different insoles. Regarding sizing, I believe they might run a half size large compared to Specialized and Carnac. It would be helpful for the website to have as much sizing information as possible as many US customers are going to have to buy these online.

Brett’s take:

I love these shoes. From the moment I saw the box, with its fold out twin compartments and story of the road printed on it, I knew this was going to be more than just a new pair of kicks; it was an experience, wrapped up in leather and embossed on my soul as well as my feet. And when I slipped them on, all my notions of Italian grandeur were confirmed.

I’ve owned a few different brands of cycling shoes over the years, and most have been fairly satisfactory in doing the job they were designed to do; wrap your feet and transfer the forces from the guns to the pedal. Some were a bit underwhelmed in the stiffness of the sole, some did better in that area but lacked in the comfort stakes, and some did both well but not amazingly. My Sidis were probably the best of the bunch, but the gaudy Italophile colour scheme became dated long before the leather showed signs of wear. The carbon soles of my Specializeds were admirably stiff, but the heel box never quite felt supple, and became annoying on rides over a couple of hours. They looked pretty good in the white though, but as I cleared out my S-branded gear they had to move on, more for the discomfort factor though. A pair of black Loius Garneau HRS Carbons were next, and despite the ability to heat-mold the uppers in the kitchen oven, still had a bit of a plasticky feel to them (not doubt due to the amount of shiny, plasticky material used).

Then the R3s arrived, and it was love at first sight, and pure sex when I slipped inside them. I fitted them with my much-loved Specialized footbeds, which had made all my previous shoes just that bit more comfortable and functional, but the fi’zi:k footbeds proved to be even more comfy and efficient. The carbon sole was a step up in stiffness too, and my pre-Keepers Tour rides revealed that I’d have no fit or comfort issues for the cobbles. I went in confident, and came out even more so.

Getting the size right was an exercise in research, and ultimately a lot of guesswork. As Gianni stated, there needs to be more guidance on this from the fi’zi:k website. Gianni found a shop site with a pretty good guide, which turned out to be quite accurate in getting the sizing right. I have always been a 44 in Sidi, with a bit of room in the toe box to facilitate the narrower profile. Specialized required a 43 for a good fit, whereas the LGs were 44 and a pair of Pearl Izumis saw me go to a 45! I did all the calculations and tentatively opted for a 43.5 in the fi’zi:ks. Turned out I got it spot on, and the slipper-like fit confirmed my choice.

The little details of the R3s all add up to a killer shoe, the titanium strap rings, alloy ratchet levers, carbon top strap and sail-cloth lower straps are all functional and super styley. I prefer the look of the black accents on the toe box and heel cup of the R3s to the all-white R1s, and they are actually lighter than the R1s too. And if they’re good enough for Millar, they’re good enough for me.

Frank’s take:

It was like love at first site, between me and the fi’zi:k R1’s that came my way. All white? Full carbon sole? Made from dead baby kangaroos? Yes, please. I don’t know why leather from a dead Kangaroo might be better than from a dead cow, but leave it up the Italians to do the leg work on that one and come up with the answer. I anticipated them like crazy, and Marko, who had received the shipment and sent them out to the Keepers, wasn’t helping as he kept sending me photos of the shoes to keep me nice and hungry. A shoe on a dashboard here, a shoe on a desk there. It was torture.

When they arrived, I experienced the shoes just like @brett described; the double box was a pleasure to open and read. The shoes are hands down the sexiest cycling shoes I’ve ever laid hands on; the seams all beautifully finished and the uppers bonded immaculately to the carbon sole. To slip your feet into them begs the question as to whether they are actually even cycling shoes and not just slippers with drill holes; the dead kangaroo question sorted, those hoppy little bastids are supple as hell. Must be all the bouncing around they do.

I slept with them at the bedside for a few days while I awaited dry enough weather to merit giving them their first ride. Sadly, my doubts about their volume proved correct as my freakish low-volume feet wouldn’t marry up to the roomy fit of the shoe. My feet aren’t particularly narrow, but they are very thin and as such I had to synch the shoes down as far as they would go and even then, I found my feet slipping around. A few emails back and forth with fi’zi:k who confirmed my fears: fi’zi:k’s design tends not to work for people with low-volume feet. Proving that my love for aesthetics does ultimately take a back seat to function, I was forced to return to my usual shoes.

Such beautiful shoes needed a good home, and I ultimately decided to donate them to Rigid during Keepers Tour as it was clear he needed a fresh set of kicks. He loved them to bits and they certainly didn’t seem to slow him down any.

Marko’s take:

Here we are, four grown men claiming to be hard, riding the most hard core of roads one can on a bike and we’re talking about how lovely our several-hundred-dollar a pair Italian shoes are. I’m reminded of that TV show that took place in New York City. You remember, the one with the four hottie fashionistas who drank a lot of cosmopolitans and made us all envious of how much time they spent in bed. If the Keepers are those chicks, I’m clearly the one with the shoe fetish and the fi’zi:k R1’s are my Manolo Blahniks.

Admittedly, I actually own a pair of R1’s and R3’s. Hello, my name is Marko and I’m a shoe whore. The R1’s were provided to me by the good folks at fi’zi:k. I snatched the R3’s off the clearance rack at Barney’s for a steal of a deal. Since Gianni and Brett already did the R3’s justice, I’ll just add that mine have become my dedicated gravel shoes. One might think that a CX or MTB shoe might be better for gravelling and that’s what I rode for years. However, my embarrassment of shoe riches forced me to move the R3’s over to the gravel rig. After all, gravelling is essentially road riding and road pedals work much better. The R3’s perform great in that application for all the reasons already mentioned plus they clean up superbly. I am to understand that the uppers are essentially constructed from the same material as the microtex bar tape. We all know how durable and easy to clean that stuff is. After 100 miles of grimy, sweaty gravel on the Almanzo the R3’s cleaned right up and were ready for the next cocktail party.

The R1’s are everything the R3’s are but go up to 11. Yes, that’s one higher. Rather than using microtex, the uppers are fully made from baby Kangaroo leather. The sensuousness of this leather is sublime. It is tough, supple, cleanable, and very pretty. Baby Kangaroo leather might just be Australia’s best export. And while the carbone sole is the same as the R3’s, the R1’s come with a heat moldable insole. As Gianni said, don’t be afraid to try various insoles for that Cinderella fit (I ride a Specialized insole in the R3’s). The heat moldable insole of the R1’s gave me a Cinderella fit right out of the box. I haven’t baked them for two reasons. The first, is that they fit well straight-away. The second is that there is no information on the fi'zi:k website about how to mold them even if I needed to. As a former ski-boot fitter I know a lot of people do this in the shop and that fi'zi:k has good shop support for their products. But it would behoove them to paste an insole molding tutrorial on their site for the do-it-yourselfer.

We received our support from fi'zi:k very shortly before the Keepers Tour and I didn’t have the opportunity to ride my R1’s before leaving. Based on the fit of the R3’s and comfort out of the sweet box that Bretto mentioned, I was confident the R1’s would serve me well on the KT. As you may imagine though, there was a certain level of trepidation that the untested shoes wouldn’t be quite right over the cobbles on a trip of a lifetime. Those concerns were quickly allayed on the first ride of the KT, a 120K sufferfest over the pave of Roubaix straight into the velodrome. The Onyx Blahniks (yes, added to the Lexi) were not thought about until the end of the ride as any good performing, comfortable shoe should be forgotten about on rides. Having zero issues with the contact point to my pedals meant that I could focus all my attention on the pain in my hands and the fact that I had to ride a child’s bike when my shitty FSA seatpost snapped on the Orchies sector.

I’ve gone back to riding the Yellow Princesses on my rain bike after riding fi'zi:k shoes on numbers 1 and 2. And although surely not applicable to all shoes, the biggest fit difference for me between the YP’s and the Onyx Blahniks (as well as the Aristocrats) is the sole. The fi'zi:k soles, not only the insole but the carbon soles themselves, feel much more contoured to the foot whereas the YP’s feel noticeably flat. Now I’m no cobbler, but doesn’t it seem logical that your feet would be more comfortable and perform better on a surface that matches their shape? Riding the YP’s is a pleasant experience but the tingly feeling on the bottom of the foot creeps in on long rides. This simply is not the case with the fi'zi:k shoes. I have yet to have any pain or discomfort in these shoes whether it be on pave, tarmac, or gravel or on rides from 20 to 170k.

Slideshow:
Fullscreen:

// Keepers Tour // Product Review

  1. @mouse

    @tessar
    Zxelliums for $150? You’re killing me.
    Thought I was doing well getting the Chasms for $155

    @Flying Crowbar

    @mouse
    Then I won’t mention I got mine for $110.

    And I have to agree that they are tremendous.

    I never thought I’d find a shoe I liked more than my Carnacs, but these are better.

    I really like my YP’s as well. They were better for me than any shoe I’d ridden to that point. The difference I notice between the Mavic Zxelliums and fi'zi:k shoes is the contour of the sole. The Mavics feel flat, almost boardlike, in comparison to the shaped feel of the fizik. It’s even a visible difference. I’ve used the same aftermarket insoles in each so it’s not that simple. The Zxelliums are lighter and cooler on hot days but begin to hurt after three or so hours on the bike. I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences in the fi'zi:k shoes. That said, I’ve got a pair of Mavic Zxelliums in a 46 in really good condish. If anyone’s interested email me.

  2. I’ve loved mine since the first day.

  3. Damn, Pedale! You even take nice photos of your own feet!

    I’d like to second what Gianni noted. Don’t be afraid to try out different shoe/insole combinations. I had some Sidi Ergo 2s that took a long time, a few different insoles, and wearing them once in the shower, then wearing them, to finally get them right. Now they’re great. I have some Super Feet insoles in one pair of my shoes. I know some have had good luck with the Specialized insoles.

    Oh, anyone seen the Specialized “retro” shoes? Pretty cool, I think.
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftr/shoes/roadshoes/74road

    Oli, they sure did! It was a great show. I could have listened to them play for another few hours. I think Hamish now lives in New York. Jeez, I wouldn’t trade NZ for NY and I really like NY. Silly me – I was actually sitting next to Bob before the show at a bar down the block from the music hall. I thought, “Who is the guy in the Calexico shirt?” I like Calexico a lot but don’t see many fans. Ha. Talked to Bob after the show and he said Calexico opened a show for them in NZ and had given him the shirt.

  4. I can shed some light on how to heat mould fi'zi:k insoles, as I’ve just bought a pair as an upgrade for my Sidis. Like so many things, it pays to buy from a dealer rather than through the online route (notwithstanding freebies from the manufacturer themselves – you lucky b******s!) as they have all the kit.

    Typically, fi'zi:k have made this 10x more complicated than it needs to be and a whole lot more satisfying in the process.

    Firstly, take one “flash oven” – a fancy box with two outdoor floodlight bulbs, a pair of microswitches to make sure you’ve put both soles in the right place, and a lid to make sure your bike shop employee doesn’t get blinded.

    Second: Install insoles in oven, close lid. Once soles have been cooked / illuminated / enchanted or whatever it does for 30 seconds, open and close the lid to do it again.

    Third: Place toasty insoles onto fancy anotomic foot moulds and place your feet on them to allow them to mould to shape. Repeat steps 2 & 3 to make sure they match your lumpy feet.

    Step 4: Install in shoes, ride in blissful comfort.

    Yesterday’s 135km confirmed that they are a world apart from my old Sidi insoles which I had beaten wafer-thin. Plus they’re a stepping stone to the R1s I so desperately covet…

  5. @itburns

    I have found shoe nirvana for my narrow, extremely arched feet with the Lake CX331. Kanga leather, full cable lace, and Specialized extreme arch inserts.

    My feet are similar, and I have the CX130s. Maybe insoles are in order, as my feet get a little numb, but come back if I just release the reel and retighten it.

  6. @Marko

    @mouse

    @tessar
    Zxelliums for $150? You’re killing me.
    Thought I was doing well getting the Chasms for $155

    @Flying Crowbar

    @mouse
    Then I won’t mention I got mine for $110.

    And I have to agree that they are tremendous.

    I never thought I’d find a shoe I liked more than my Carnacs, but these are better.

    I really like my YP’s as well. They were better for me than any shoe I’d ridden to that point. The difference I notice between the Mavic Zxelliums and fi’zi:k shoes is the contour of the sole. The Mavics feel flat, almost boardlike, in comparison to the shaped feel of the fi’zi:k. It’s even a visible difference. I’ve used the same aftermarket insoles in each so it’s not that simple. The Zxelliums are lighter and cooler on hot days but begin to hurt after three or so hours on the bike. I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences in the fi’zi:k shoes. That said, I’ve got a pair of Mavic Zxelliums in a 46 in really good condish. If anyone’s interested email me.

    It’s precisely that flatness which I like. Over the past months I’ve learned that the best way to deal with my irregular pronation (left foot severely overpronates, right leg is neutral) is to let it be – completely flat running, cycling and work-shoes, and I’ve been injury- and pain-free ever since.

  7. I’m thninking of these ones:

    Combined with Brooks saddle and bar tape it should be nice, wouldn’t?
    Or is it too much Eroica and do I need to grow a moustache?

  8. @Papageno
    Nah, not too much.
    They’re gorgeous. Just like my first pair of Dettos (colour aside).

  9. From the discussion I’m glad I didn’t order a pair of R3s as I have very narrow flippers, a le Frank it would seem. Just need the “right” insoles for my Ergo 2s now. As soon as the Giro 2013 stuff becomes available I will be putting in an order for these…

  10. @Papageno
    I’ve always fancied a pair of Dromarti’s since they were introduced, but feel that you’d better damn well be riding a bike with downtube shifters and wearing wool kit to pull them off.

  11. @DerHoggz

    @itburns

    I have found shoe nirvana for my narrow, extremely arched feet with the Lake CX331. Kanga leather, full cable lace, and Specialized extreme arch inserts.

    My feet are similar, and I have the CX130s. Maybe insoles are in order, as my feet get a little numb, but come back if I just release the reel and retighten it.

    Give the “most extreme” Specialized arch support inserts a try.  They are strange at first – they aren’t like the current trend of molding an insole to your foot.  They feel like a golf ball right behind the center of the ball of your foot.  Very weird when walking but it was the last piece in the puzzle for a great fit while riding.  The feeling is so weird initially that I wouldn’t have given them a try on a ride except that they were a strong recommendation after my bike fit.  The aspect I like about the cable lace is that your foot is more secure and stable in the shoe while feeling “looser” since the tension is uniform.

  12. papageno, Or is it too much Eroica and do I need to grow a moustache?

    That is funny. And the answer is yes, a massive ‘stash. Regarding the shoes, I bet those would be great. Laces are still pretty excellent system for a good fit. And comfortable looking shoe too.

  13. @Skinny_Mike

    @Frank – What shoes do you normally ride?

    My long narrow thin feet have been a damn curse as far as finding a good fitting pair of shoes… I’m on Bont’s now but the darn things are way too wide and have way too much volume.

    I’m on a pair of Sidi Ergo 2’s – they are very good and I love them to pieces. And the white patent leather which crisp white socks, who could not love that? Not me.

  14. @Gianni

     Those pictures of David’s red R3’s are just too much. Those shoes ROCK ROCK ROCK. 

  15. FWIW, The Clymb (yet another of by invite only short time deal sites) has fi’zi:k R1s and R3s on sale. http://www.theclymb.com/invite-from/charles

  16. I took the white R1’s on their maiden voyage Saturday.  257km, no crashes, no abuse outside of walking on gravel here and there at rest stops.  The front of my right shoe is peeling up already.  The section almost appears to be too dry and stretched so thin, that it readily separated from the toebox.  Sure these things happen, but man they are some fickle ass slippers.  Comfy as they are, and beautiful, they sure don’t instill a sense of long life.

  17. @roger

    I took the white R1″²s on their maiden voyage Saturday.  257km, no crashes, no abuse outside of walking on gravel here and there at rest stops.  The front of my right shoe is peeling up already.  The section almost appears to be too dry and stretched so thin, that it readily separated from the toebox.  Sure these things happen, but man they are some fickle ass slippers.  Comfy as they are, and beautiful, they sure don’t instill a sense of long life.

    Sounds like a defect moreso than any kind of indication of longevity. Marko’s had his R3’s for at least a season or two and they are perfect, and I’m not aware of any other issue with the other Keepers and their shoes R1’s. They flawlessly survived the cobbles for Merckx’s sake!

    Have you checked through the warranty process? Or, email me at the address over on the Keepers page and I’ll put you in touch Marko and we’ll see what fi'zi:k has to say about it.

  18. @CanuckChuck

    I was just getting ready to post this.  Thanks!  Looks like they have most all of the size options too.

  19. Max & Frank – Also have Ergo 2s. They’ve never felt as good for me as my Genius 6.6s. Also have skinny feet & high arches. Did you guys try a new insole in the Ergo 2s? I have some Super Feet ones in my Geniuses and have tried them in the Ergos, but don’t work as well. Maybe some self-molding ones?

    On another note – can anyone comment on the fi'zi:k shoe sizing? I have a 43 in the Sidi Genius, had to drop that to a 42 in the Ergo 2s. Since someone posted the deal on the clymb site I’m eyeing the Fiziks and wondering about size as compared to Sidis.

    Saw those Dromarti shoes at the NAHBS in Richmond. They’re nice as! If I ever have an office job I’ll sure as heck commute in those on a nice steed! Also liking those black/pink Giros too. But lacing up shoes? Jeez…seems like such an effort when you’re used to slamming a buckle.

  20. Uh oh, the sale is ending soon. Anyone have any sizing advice to offer? fi'zi:k shoes similar in sizing to current Sidi sizing? Big, small?

  21. @Ron

    Uh oh, the sale is ending soon. Anyone have any sizing advice to offer? fi’zi:k shoes similar in sizing to current Sidi sizing? Big, small?

    We all labored over it. They seem bigger than Sidis. Maybe go down a size. Can’t really be sure – risks of the interwebs.

  22. @Ron

    As one of the skinny-feet, high-arch ilk, I would, as Frank says, caution you not to buy without an in-store fit.  Even with the moldable footbeds, the arch support is not what it could be (putting in my green specialized fb’s) and the toe-box volume is large.  They are great shoes and I’m trying to make them work, so proceed with care.

  23. im not skinny footed, but do have a high arch, i think. that said, im 41.5 in the fiziks. 42 in giro factors. 42 in sidi 6.6 mega. and 42.5 in the normal 6.6.  i’d say down half a size. or maybe a full size if you plan on using custom beds

  24. @Ron

    I was very tempted by this but despite the very nice price I decided if I get a pair to buy from the shop and get them sized and fitted properly, as the Clymb will only credit you for a return, not give you a refund.

  25. Just saw these on the fi'zi:k site and couldn’t see any mention of them on here. An option for the Velominatus Budgetatus amongst us. 

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

    it also looks like there are some fairly major changes to the R3s with a lot of mesh being introduced into the upper.

  26. OK…I need some help…or at least a little guidance from anyone else who has feet like flippers.  I am cursed…I have a narrow heel but wide front of foot…so far I have been through some Spesh shoes…fit at the front but slipped at the heel…then when they fell apart I finally grabbed myself a pair of Sidi Genius Pro 5s (46) and although I love them, they are tight at the front but perfect on the heel.  By front I mean the broadest part of the foot.  I even used the Sidi website measuring thing to try and get it right.  I could try the M fit Sidis but I can’t find anywhere that stocks them.  I’ve looked in to Lakes (they seem to be quite narrow), Mavics (not sure)…..Giro..never tried…

    Anyone know a make of road shoe that fits the bill…I guess we are talking brand rather than particular model, then I least I can find a bike shop that stocks them and move on from there…

    Sorry to hijack the post but any feedback on the Fiziks…are they a possibility?

  27. @Chris Not really liking their 2013 offerings.

  28. @Deakus

    OK…I need some help…or at least a little guidance from anyone else who has feet like flippers.  I am cursed…I have a narrow heel but wide front of foot…so far I have been through some Spesh shoes…fit at the front but slipped at the heel…then when they fell apart I finally grabbed myself a pair of Sidi Genius Pro 5s (46) and although I love them, they are tight at the front but perfect on the heel.  By front I mean the broadest part of the foot.  I even used the Sidi website measuring thing to try and get it right.  I could try the M fit Sidis but I can’t find anywhere that stocks them.  I’ve looked in to Lakes (they seem to be quite narrow), Mavics (not sure)…..Giro..never tried…

    Anyone know a make of road shoe that fits the bill…I guess we are talking brand rather than particular model, then I least I can find a bike shop that stocks them and move on from there…

    Sorry to hijack the post but any feedback on the fi’zi:ks…are they a possibility?

    I’ve had fab results thus far with my Bonts – fit’s very adjustable on width even on my entry level A-Threes. Frank’s got a pair too – should be on your “ones to try” list

  29. @RedRanger Agreed, I’m not really a fan of all that mesh, it looks like it’ll be a bugger to keep pristine which might not be the primary reason for buying a shoe but the all leather upper of the first generation shoes was certainly a draw. These also look pretty similar to everything else on the market.

    It’s a shame they don’t do a Test Shoe programme like they do with their saddles so that you can put some proper miles in to get a feel for them. What feels fine in the shop might not be feel fine at 80km and what feels fine at 80km might not feel fine at 225km but by the time you find out you’ve made an expensive mistake it’s a bit late.

  30. In Scotland mesh is only really useful for letting the water out.

  31. @the Engine

    In Scotland mesh is only really useful for letting the water out.

    Very true…this puts me in mind of Jungle Warfare Boots in the British Army which are deliberately made with holes in the sides to let the water out…the basis being, you are going to get drenched anyway…better to have a flow of water running through the boot rather than have stagnant water and bacteria trapped in there….although up in Scotland I thought the rain was mainly horizontal in which case does it not feel the same as a car with the top down going over 55mph = dry ;)

  32. @the Engine Having a look at the Bonts…there is a stockist in Newbury about 30 miles away from me, so I may give them a bell and go up for a fitting…online it seems the usual suspects Wiggle and Ribble only go to a size 45 and from the sizing guide I really think I want to try a 46..thanks for the tip..

  33. Yeah I’m glad I was able to get the “old” all-leather R3 before they switched to the mesh. The black ones look fine, but the white ones look too much like tri-shoes.

    I had the float on my new speedplay pedals off a bit, and since the R3’s are a little wider than my Sidi’s, the left one would occasionally brush the crank arm if I was pedaling sloppy. At the end of the ride of course these was black marks there, but since they are the all-leather version it just wiped right off –  I doubt the mesh would have cleaned up as well, but who knows.

    As for sizing, I went with one size down from my Sidi’s, and they feel pretty good. Though I need to get a thicker insole to take up a slight bit of extra room in the front.

  34. @Deakus

    Northwave’s used to fit this way: relatively narrow heel with a wide toe box, but they may have changed their last.  The newer models appear to have a more pointed toe than the Boonen-era Aerators (circa 2006) that I have.  If you can find some NOS they may be the fit you’re looking for.

  35. …and by speedplay pedals, I of course mean speedplay “cleats”. Yay monday morning.

  36. @Deakus

    @the Engine

    In Scotland mesh is only really useful for letting the water out.

    Very true…this puts me in mind of Jungle Warfare Boots in the British Army which are deliberately made with holes in the sides to let the water out…the basis being, you are going to get drenched anyway…better to have a flow of water running through the boot rather than have stagnant water and bacteria trapped in there….although up in Scotland I thought the rain was mainly horizontal in which case does it not feel the same as a car with the top down going over 55mph = dry ;)

    Same principle as brogues – original design was made to let the bog water flow out as you stumbled through tic and midge infested swamps of cold water wrapped in your plaid doing whatever it was that people did in bogs in those days.

    Me – I wear Goretex socks – the only time I ever use the stuff.

  37. @mcsqueak The new models don’t seem to be on the shelves yet (in the UK at least) and my birthday this month so I might be able to persuade the Procurement and Expenditure Directorate that a pair of R3s would be an ideal present.

    I’ve mentioned them before but never really understood why the response to a sentence containing the words “Italian design”, “kangaroo leather” and “shoes” has resulted in a response of “OMG, yes, you absolutely have to have them!”.

    Funny thing, the female mind.

  38. @Deakus

    @the Engine Having a look at the Bonts…there is a stockist in Newbury about 30 miles away from me, so I may give them a bell and go up for a fitting…online it seems the usual suspects Wiggle and Ribble only go to a size 45 and from the sizing guide I really think I want to try a 46..thanks for the tip..

    Yeah – I’m a 48 in Bonts and my experience was that they were half a metric size up from my Shimanos – there is a sizing chart on line but me and the LBS still got the size wrong. When you’ve laid down your dosh ask me about the really critical things to do before you put them in the fan oven.

  39. @the Engine

    @Deakus

    @the Engine Having a look at the Bonts…there is a stockist in Newbury about 30 miles away from me, so I may give them a bell and go up for a fitting…online it seems the usual suspects Wiggle and Ribble only go to a size 45 and from the sizing guide I really think I want to try a 46..thanks for the tip..

    Yeah – I’m a 48 in Bonts and my experience was that they were half a metric size up from my Shimanos – there is a sizing chart on line but me and the LBS still got the size wrong. When you’ve laid down your dosh ask me about the really critical things to do before you put them in the fan oven.

    I ended up buying a pair of Giro Trans HV in error instead of the non high volume shoe. I should have checked the box before fitting cleats and wearing them out twice. Anyway, the point is these shoes fit my skinny heels just fine but there is ample toe room inside the shoe. So much so the overshoes have gone when it’s wet and my sealskins goretex socks fit just fine in the shoe. Nice shoe in black. Bought the standard volume one too. Normally a 43/44 and giro 44 fits fine for size. Worth a try.

  40. So, guys whats the verdict after a year in the shoes? Did any of you that have the R1 size down a half size? I’ve been eyeing the 2012 R1 and it seems that they run a tick longer than the Shimano shoes I’m currently wearing.

    Thoughts? I need to make my decision soon, as the price I can get them for is bound to make supplies limited

  41. @Brian i sized down 1/2 size.  9s for the winter with thick wool socks. 8.5s for regular weather.

    the kangaroo looks better with some muck on it.

  42. Just picked up a pair of 2012 B+W R3’s at the LBS for the mere pittance of a solitary benjamin.  Pretty stoked to get out and ride in them.

  43. Ok, hopping past the last spam post in this thread….

    Stoked to have just gotten a pair of 2012 R1s in white for my birthday.  Thinking aboiut either trying to find someone nearby who would do the heat-molding on the insole (there is someone who carries fi'zi:k locally but since I didn’t buy from them I’m reluctant to take my shoes there), using the eSoles from my Bontragers, or running with the fi'zi:k insoles unmolded.  What think ye?

    Also, for those w/the 2012 F1s:

    • Any issues with the clear plastic under the buckle yellowing?
    • How much stretch did you get from the white marsupial leather?  I’m, asking as mine are right on to just a hair large, and I’m nervous if the leather would stretch a lot as a wear them….
    • How much did you have to raise your seatpost to accomodate the sole thickness?

    Thanks!

  44. WOW!  First ride my my 2012 white R1s.  A-maz-ing shoes.  Incredible comfortable (even with the insole as stock vs moulded) and the comments above about feeling the whole sole pushing vs just the section under the pedal is spot on.  FYI, I went from Bontrager RXLs on Speedplays to the R1s on Shimano (105s to start with) and needed to make no saddle adjustments.

    I do have the cleats all the way back on the shoe to get to the same position over the spindle as I had with the Speedplay/Bontragers; glad I don’t need to go further back.

    I can hardly wait for ride #2 tomorrow!

  45. @teleguy57

    Yeah I’ve been wearing my white R3’s a lot recently as the weather has been really nice, and I quite like them. Not *quite* as comfy as my Sidi’s, but I think I’m still breaking them in. I probably have less than 500 miles in them right now.

  46. @teleguy57

    I also own Bontrager RXLs and am eyeing to the R1s. My Bonts fit just perfect and I love the room my toes have. Can I get them the same size or do I need to adjust?

  47. @MrDash

    @teleguy57

    I also own Bontrager RXLs and am eyeing to the R1s. My Bonts fit just perfect and I love the room my toes have. Can I get them the same size or do I need to adjust?

    Sorry, I meant the Bontragers fit perfect not Bonts…

  48. Just picked up a pair of 2012 White R1s and a pair of Red R3s for £120 & £60 delivered from Planet X Bikes in Sheffield.

    For those who want a bit of further sizing advice I think I can add to what has already been said by others.

    I own a pair of Sidi Laser Vernice Carbons (Size 46), which are nearly 3 years old and still as beautiful as ever. I use them all the time and though I have been careful with them I haven’t needed to do any repairs or indeed cleaning. They fit me very well and have done from day 1. Matched with Speedplay Zeros I have never had any foot problems whatsoever. I am a 45 shoe with a wide fitting and have a slightly high instep. I went for a size bigger in the Sidis so I could avoid hot spots and wear thicker winter socks without much fuss. The Sidi 46 last gives a bit wider fitting than Sidis 45s.

    I also have a pair of carbon soled Shimano R160s (Wide 45), which are ok but make my feet sore after about 2 – 3 hours. They are vented at the toe so my feet are cold for much of the year. I only use them on my ergometer now.

    The Fiziks are both 45s. I’ve only just got them so haven’t ridden them yet. They fit as well as my Sidis out of the box. I suspect I could have gone for 45.5s and they would have been a little more roomier for winter socks. There is plenty of room in the toe area so cold toes should be unlikely when the weather cools. The heels are very secure. The R1s may relax as the leather stretches but the R3s will probably will not stretch as they are the microtex fabric in the main body of the shoe. My Sidis are all synthetic Vernice fabric and have not changed shape at all so I expect the same with the R3s. When wearing both R1s & R3s I had to adjust the main strap to increase its length a little. This improved the fit over my instep though I could have removed the foam tongue pad and acheived the same thing.

    If you are considering buying them go for your normal shoe size and if you intend wearing them with thicker winter socks go half a size bigger.

    I checked out the 2013 editions and think the 2012s have some definite benefits. 2012 R1s have more leather & 2012 R3s will be warmer in winter than the mesh bodies of the 2013 editions. The 2013s look very nice but I can’t see the reason for reducing the leather on the R1s. I suspect there will be loads of people wearing 2012s now they are such a huge discount. I effectively bought $700 worth of handmade shoes for $270. An absolute steal in my book.

    I have no doubt they will be comfortable and hard wearing on the road just like their saddles.

  49. @teleguy57 Any more updates on the R1’s? Did you have down size from the bontrager? As I also have the bontrager RXL and tried on the 43 R1 and too big. Problem is its all online.

  50. Evening all… as i seem to be all out of Fiz:ik insole heating ovens for the Sidas; could anyone offer up some advice as to how one might DIY this process? My new R1’s have been sitting in the box for 2 days, and they so want to be ridden. nervous…

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