Shimano's new R320 shoe had their first public outing in the Olympic road race last summer and I've been testing this pair since September, when I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pre-production sample so I could get the miles in. And getting the miles in I have. In the nearly five months I've been using them, they've proved to be incredibly stiff while still being comfortable for mile after mile. No surprise that they're my new favourite shoes.
Shimano have designed the MW81s with a nod to those road warriors who like running SPDs (and being able to walk around) especially through the wetter and colder months. Commuter-friendly touches include a fully reflective upper strap and other well-positioned details on the sides and back providing 360 degree visibility.
The Bont Zeros are lightweight, mouldable top-level shoes that are as stiff and efficient as we've ever used.
The Zeros are the shoes that Bradley Wiggins wore for his wins in this year's Tour de France and Olympic time trial – not that they'll necessarily deliver you the same success, but it proves that they can cut it at the very highest level.
The Quoc Pham Tourer shoe is a chunky, comfortable touring shoe, for the more narrow-footed among you.
There just aren't enough nice looking, traditional leather cycling shoes on the market in my opinion. Quoc Pham stuck their big toe into the shoe arena a few years ago with their pretty 'fixed' shoe, a very slim shoe designed for toe clips.
Fizik's new R3 is a light, supple and very comfortable race shoe.
Fizik – fi'zi:k, if you want to get all precise about it – have completely revamped their shoe lineup for 2013. Read our news story from Eurobike for the full SP on the entire range.
If you were watching closely, you may have spotted a pair of natty yellow Bont's gracing the feet of a certain B. Wiggins in July this year. Wiggins no doubt likes their customisability and stiffness, and these less expensive Bont A-Three road shoes perform just as well, albeit for a few grams more.
Known for their bathtub style soles and alternative design philosophy, Bont have brought the A-Three to market promising to bring the performance that have made their top end shoes a favourite among many top pros, down to a more affordable price point.
The Extreme Tech is Northwave's top-end road shoe. While its price might be hard to swallow, it delivers on the high-tech promise in its name, combining low weight, stiffness, comfort and some clever touches. Or as a clubmate said when I turned up for a local time trial: 'They're what you call dancing slippers!'
The Northwave Typhoon Evos are among a growing number of top tier shoes to eschew the traditional 2 straps + ratchet configuration, and go with 3 straps only. Whilst at first this may seem like a step backwards, the benefits in terms of weight and simplicity are worth considering.
The Bontrager RXXXL Limited Edition Road Shoes are an extremely lightweight race day option with a decent amount of comfort.
Bontrager call this a 'ZeroXS' design and you can see why. They've pruned everything right down to the minimum. It's all about those incremental gains (we might have to retire that phrase soon on the basis that it's getting old and knackered).
The Louis Garneau CFS-300 shoes provide decent comfort and performance and their novel vents help cool your feet in hot weather.
Heat mouldable shoes are becoming more common and the CFS-300's here are Louis Garneau's take on the custom fit option. For once though its not the sole that you mould but the upper.
Open up the box and you'll find more than just a pair of shoes, there are aero toe covers, a choice of inner soles depending on temperature and a shoe bag printed with all the instructions for the moulding process.