Just in: Louis Garneau Glacier road shoes
Neoprene enrobed for winter warmth but with a rigid roadie's sole
Canadian clothing specialists Louis Garneau whose kit is sold in the UK though Evans' stores and website have worryingly sent some proper arctic winter road cycling boots. We hope it's not a clue of the weather coming but if it is we'll be prepared.
The new Glacier boots look like the real deal for road cyclists; unlike similar items for mountain bikers which tend to have chunky mud-plugging soles, these have a proper rigid fibreglass-reinforced sole for surface-mounted cleats in all the popular variants including Speedplay. A moulded pattern should help with aligning and synchronising cleat attachment. There's also a vestigial rubbery heel which should prevent the worst of embarrassing moments when crossing welcome winter coffee-and-cake-stop thresholds.
The shoe itself has layers of Thinsulate insulation and certainly none of the sort of ventilating mesh that usually features on a summer-weight road shoe. There's even an aluminium heat-reflective layer laminated into the sole. The big difference, though, is that a thin neoprene zipped, Velcroed and seam-sealed gaiter with a seemingly tough and smooth surface is attached to the upper which renders completely waterproof the gap between ankle and the top of the shoe which is first tied with lovely old-fashioned laces.
The whole snug effect is therefore no more bulky than a road shoe with the heaviest of neoprene overshoes over the top but hopefully a lot more durable on account of the exposed sole, tough rubber toe outer and side fender patches. We'll see because we'll be wearing them this weekend. Stand by for a review. Price is £114.99.