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Verdict: 
Well-executed shoes that offer heat-mouldable custom fitting for a very good price
Weight: 
633g
Bont Riot Road+ cycling shoes
8 10

Bont's Riot Road+ shoes bring custom fitting down to a (reasonably) sensible price point, offering a comfortable fit with not many compromises when you compare them to its top end Vaypor S shoes.

The Riot Road+ is described as an 'entry level' shoe by Bont, which may seem a little disconcerting given that they're £150 a pair – so it's a good job that they're also described as the most 'technically advanced' entry level shoe money can buy. So, what are you getting for your cash?

> Find your nearest dealer here

As with all Bont's higher end shoes, the Riot Road+ are heat-mouldable, which means you literally warm them up in the oven to customise them for your own foot arch and shape. To do this you heat them at 70°C for about 20 minutes, then slip them on and tighten the straps.

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - logo.jpg

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - logo.jpg

You can reheat them as many times as you need to. In my experience they can feel a little off when heading out for your first ride, when the shoes are exposed to forces beyond simply slipping your foot in, so while it's patience-testing, it's worth repeating the process to get the best possible fit. I was fairly happy after two rounds in the oven.

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - heels.jpg

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - heels.jpg

Be aware, though, the fit is quite wide from the outset and it's impossible to really slim them down even with the heat moulding, so they aren't really for those with narrow feet.

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - toe.jpg

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - toe.jpg

The sole has carbon sandwiched in between layers of fibreglass to add strength, and while this does feel a little harsher than a full-carbon sole underfoot, I found it perfectly manageable. You can, of course, customise with insoles if you're putting in monster days in the saddle.

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - sole.jpg

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - sole.jpg

Personally, I prefer a Boa dial to straps, and the Riot Road+ offer an in-between solution, with one dial and a Velcro strap combined. The dial has quite a lengthy bit of wire exposed when the shoe is opened up and it takes a fair bit of adjustment to get it fully closed, but once it's there the shoes cradle your feet well.

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - boa.jpg

Bont Cycling Riot Road cycling shoes - boa.jpg

Price-wise, as Bont says – and I have to agree – these are probably the best value shoes you can get that offer some degree of custom fitting; I've certainly not found anything comparable. Shimano's highly-rated RC7s are £20 more, but aren't heat-mouldable, instead they offer regular or wide-fit sizing and come in half sizes. Personally, I find Shimano's regular shoes are a better fit for me – the Riot Road+ are a bit boxy – but if you have wide feet then the Bonts are well worth a look.

> Buyer's Guide: 15 of the best performance cycling shoes

In summary, I'd definitely recommend the Riot Road+ shoes for anyone who struggles getting a perfect fit in off-the-shelf shoes. The actual shape of the carbon/fibreglass outsole is on the wide side and they are quite boxy, so if your feet are on the wider side too these may well be just what you're looking for, and at a decent price.

They're also available in five different colours, ranging from all-black to a very loud 'mega crimson', so you're bound to find something to match your bike if you like to be colour-coordinated.

Verdict

Well-executed shoes that offer heat-mouldable custom fitting for a very good price

road.cc test report

Make and model: Bont Cycling Riot Road+ cycling shoes

Size tested: 45

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?

Bont says: "Introducing the Bont Riot , the worlds first carbon composite heat moldable entry level cycling shoe.

"The Riot combines Bont's pro series technical features including our power transfer platform and anatomical shaping with competition grade materials to create the most technically advanced entry level road cycling shoe."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Carbon fibreglass composite sole

Boa dial with 'z-form' hook-and-loop strap

Heat mouldable for custom fit

Perforated upper for ventilation

Structural medial longitudinal arch support

Microgrid on the sole for precision cleat mounting

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

A bit of a boxy shape, but otherwise well crafted and hard-wearing.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Comfortable on long rides and good power transfer.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Tough sole and upper. The wire that secures the dial feels a bit flimsy but no problems so far.

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

The heat moulding makes things far better, but I found the shape of the sole a bit boxy and wide.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
6/10

They size up slightly small, which was fine for me but it's worth noting for in-betweenies.

Rate the product for weight:
 
6/10

A bit on the heavy side, but not bad.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Custom fit allows for great comfort.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Custom fitting and carbon fibre sole at sub-£150 is, comparatively, very good value.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

They're easy to clean as they're synthetic so the muck wipes straight off.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Not quite as stiff as a top-end shoe, but the power transfer is reasonable and they're very comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The heat-mouldable tech that increases comfort.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The lengthy wire in the Boa dial takes longer to tension than most shoes I've used.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

They're the best value heat-mouldable shoes you can buy, and there's plenty of trickle-down from Bont's top end shoes. They're a bit on the wide side for me, but if they suit your feet they're a very good option.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 179cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac)  My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, triathlon races

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

8 comments

Avatar
IanEdward [169 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Sort of torn between these and the cheap Lakes in Merlin at the moment.

I'm still having issues with pain along the outside front of my foot, have tried lots of shimming and arch support with limited success, and the only thing which seems to help is loosening straps a bit.

How do heat mouldable shoes like Bonts play with insoles like Specialized's body geometry?

I run the insoles with maximum arch support, and shims underneath, makes me wonder how the shoes would actually mold to my feet, it's unlikely the insoles would deform that much surely?

Still, love that colour scheme up there and kind of sold on the broad toe box...

Avatar
Roberj4 [227 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
IanEdward wrote:

Sort of torn between these and the cheap Lakes in Merlin at the moment.

I'm still having issues with pain along the outside front of my foot, have tried lots of shimming and arch support with limited success, and the only thing which seems to help is loosening straps a bit.

How do heat mouldable shoes like Bonts play with insoles like Specialized's body geometry?

I run the insoles with maximum arch support, and shims underneath, makes me wonder how the shoes would actually mold to my feet, it's unlikely the insoles would deform that much surely?

Still, love that colour scheme up there and kind of sold on the broad toe box...

 

Due to flat foot issues, I had to (sadly) return a pair that where on offer from Wiggle last year. I was also using molded shoe inserts but was having pain in the arch area of my foot from their moulded carbon arch support. No amount of oven heating could alter the support.

They were very light on my feet, great exceleration once clipped in, like no other shoe I've every used but a full carbon sole and their own arch support made riding very uncomfortable. Bonts answer was to have a full mould made around each foot, which would be a big investment. 

Avatar
kompot [20 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
IanEdward wrote:

Sort of torn between these and the cheap Lakes in Merlin at the moment.

I'm still having issues with pain along the outside front of my foot, have tried lots of shimming and arch support with limited success, and the only thing which seems to help is loosening straps a bit.

How do heat mouldable shoes like Bonts play with insoles like Specialized's body geometry?

I run the insoles with maximum arch support, and shims underneath, makes me wonder how the shoes would actually mold to my feet, it's unlikely the insoles would deform that much surely?

Still, love that colour scheme up there and kind of sold on the broad toe box...

I am using old bont a-two, an had a problem with too much of arch support. After 4 re-baking these shoes became the most comfortable i could imagine. However,  i had to press with a stick to form it properly, it was not enough just to put feet in.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2241 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

FTA "Price-wise, as Bont says – and I have to agree – these are probably the best value shoes you can get that offer some degree of custom fitting; I've certainly not found anything comparable."

 

Apart, perhaps, from the Bont Riot ?

Avatar
check12 [198 posts] 6 months ago
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A shame bont have discontinued the £100 bont riot and replaced them with these that are 50% more expensive (Rrp vs rrp).

 

Avatar
reippuert [85 posts] 6 months ago
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The ‘wide’ thing is actually a feature, not a bug or a limitation. I dont have particular wide feet (rode non wide sidis for almost 20 years), But you have to dig in to the wide platform, bondt design acually wants to free you from the restricions a mimic you feet and toes natural movement.

 

I have a pair of A2’s which is the same platform as Vapour’s - in these shoes you can wiggle or spread your toes just like intended in human evolution - and it works, just like running in wide vibram fivefingers works.

Ax / Vapour platform even hasd a moldable upper, its like putting you feat into a bathtub with a shell above and it works very well once you get the mold right (requires you to think outside the box). Heal is moldable too and anyone can get a super tight fit where its needed. Bvbasicle you can ride them without ever tightening them. Shoe can lock yu heal in place witout, and the upper mold will keep your toes in place.

 

I have a pair of RiotMTB’s as well, but the dont work nearly as well beacuse the upper is not moldable and you cant get the correct fit 360 derees around your toes as with the A*/Vapour olatform - wont rate them above any other std shoes moladble or not....

Avatar
fustuarium [246 posts] 6 months ago
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reippuert wrote:

- in these shoes you can wiggle or spread your toes just like intended in human evolution -

After growing up wearing flipflops the advent of bare foot shoes are mana from heaven for me. Wide/high volume feet are different from needing wide toe box. Maybe there are options s after all other than waiting for Vivobarefoot to start making some in 50 years time.

Avatar
Bowks [45 posts] 6 months ago
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I had a pair of the Bont Vaypor S shoes and no amount of moulding could make them comfortable for my wide feet. 

At the time, Bont were moving between distributors, so I went directly to Bont for advice and they didn't reply to any of my emails.

In my experience, Shimano Wide Fit are a better fit for me. @IanEdward if you can find a pair of RP9s, grab them and have them professionally heat moulded. That cost me £30 and was money well spent. The RC7s fit really well too.