Spuik's 3rd-level-down-from-the-top 15R shoes are aimed at "demanding cyclists in search of safe, strong, light, comfortable shoes capable of [getting] through tough, intensive training sessions with minimum suffering". During the last month I certainly went through some intensive sessions and found them to be excellent. Just watch the sizing.
Intensive session: exhibit A was the Tour of Flanders cycle. 235km of cobbles, bergs and general pain. During that eight-hour day I didn't think about my feet once. I was comfortable and had no noticeable hotspots or rubbing to speak of. That's pretty much the ideal situation for shoes if you ask me. However, just leaving it at "I could forget about them" isn't much if a review, so let's have a look at the shoes in a bit more detail.
The 15Rs hold your feet solidly with a combination of BOA style dial and standard ratchet strap. I was a big fan of this combo, as my previous Lakes just had a single BOA dial and I occasionally found this to be slightly fiddly to tighten evenly, due to friction building up in the runs for the cables. This ratchet/dial configuration seems to be a perfect way of fine tuning tension, as well as looking very smart.
Only once did I have a problem with one of the dials when it was a little stiff to release and required a bit of two handed elbow grease. Other than that the retention systems performed flawlessly. The ratchet strap sticks out a little from the ratchet mechanism but it wasn't enough to bother me at all.
The heat moulded uppers of the 15Rs have a series of holes punched in the surface to increase airflow. It's debatable as to whether this actually did work as I can't say I noticed a particular breeze blowing over my feet at any point. At the same time, my feet were never hot either. The surface of the uppers has a shiny finish, which was a cinch to keep clean compared to other shoes I've used in the past.
Looking at the soles, the polyamide and fibreglass footbed was certainly stiff. However I would say that it wasn't quite on the same level of rock solid as the carbon-soled Specializeds and Lakes I've had in the past. It's not as if I found myself thinking 'blimey these shoes are a bit floppy' while climbing or sprinting, though: far from it. For a rider like me who looks for big distances over big speeds, the slight extra compliance was very welcome. The heel protectors seem plenty strong and durable for walking around in; after a month and a bit of use there's minimal wear on them.
Sizing was a bit interesting on the 15Rs. Every cycling shoe I have ever ridden has been a 42, but for the Spuiks 43 was the magic number. If you are considering a pair of these shoes, you might need to go up a size. Or even better, try them on in a shop if you get the chance.
The 15Rs are very competitively priced, in an area of cycling where it seems the sky is the limit. I would be happy paying just under £110 for this pair of shoes.
Overall the Spuik R15s have been trusty, comfortable vessels for my feet over the last month or so. Provided you get the size right, they are some of the most capable mid-level road shoes available at the moment. If you are all about pure wattage you might be happier looking for a carbon-soled shoe but for comfort I found the R15s hard to beat.
Excellent, mid-level road shoes that will appeal to the comfort seekers rather than the out and out sprinters
road.cc test report
Make and model: Spiuk ZS15R road shoes
Size tested: 43
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Designed for demanding cyclists in search of safe, strong, light, comfortable shoes capable of bringing their feet through tough, intensive training sessions with minimum suffering. The adjustable toothed top strip is padded with EVA for additional comfort and safety.
1.- Attractive, contemporary design.
2.- Extra-light, heat-moulded uppers with perforations for added. breathability.
3.- Precise closure system consisting of ratchet strap, Kevlar cable and wheel. Two strips of different lengths are included to suit all
4.- Top strip with EVA padding.
5.- Stiff polyamide and fibreglass sole.
6.- Reinforced toes and heels.
The sole is not quite as rigid as some carbon jobbies - see Bont/Specialized - but I would say that actually adds to the comfort.
The retention system was fantastic, one of the best I used.
Very well put together shoes.
Completely forgot about the fact that I had shoes on while blasting over cobbles in Flanders. Top drawer.They just lose a point for stiffness of the sole.
The stiff dial issue means I had to dock the Spuiks a couple of points.
Not the lightest pair of shoes in the world, but comparable to other shoes at this pricepoint.
What I expected for 110 quid's worth of shoes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort and being able to fine tune the retention system.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The one time one of the dials was a bit stiff. Hardly a big complaint.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
I usually ride: On-One Carbon Whippet Single Speed MTB/Kinesis Pro6 My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,