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.
And it's the weight (or lack of it) of the Typhoons which makes the big first impression, at 720g for a pair of size 46s. We're all told to reduce rotating weight as much as possible with lighter tyres and rims, but many forget that having to accelerate extra mass around the pedal stroke is also costly. Coming from a more portly carbon soled shoe, the Typhoons immediately felt so much easier to spin up.
Where they fare less well, is in the stiffness of the sole itself. A quick hand test reveals a noticeable amount of flex in the sole and, on the bike, their performance confirms this. You just don't feel as if you can stomp on them willy nilly – they require a more refined touch. This is fine for long climbs at tempo, but for sharp race winning accelerations, I found them wanting.
In typical Italian style, the microfibre uppers are extremely supple and conform nicely to your foot. You might say that the fit was slipper-like. Where they diverge from the Italian stereotype is their comparatively wide last and roomy toe box. Those who just can't get on with Sidis and the like might find these Typhoons a little comfier. The heel cup is on the roomy side as well, though I never experience any heel slip. They are available in 39-48 euro sizing with half sizes between 39.5 and 45.5. This combined with the wide fit mean they should suit the vast majority of people out there.
If you struggle with typically narrow Italian shoes, these Northwaves could be just the ticket.
Cranking the straps down, the Typhoon's never felt tight or uncomfortable, as the supple uppers and strap positioning worked to minimise any hotspots. What really lets these shoes down though, is a cheap insole which offers little to no arch support. It's disappointing that in this day and age, shoes are still being supplied with such poor quality insoles. A pair of proper cycling insoles will be something that needs to be factored into the budget if considering these shoes.
One last (minor) gripe is the location of the cleat mounting bolts on the sole (the Typhoons are only available to suit 3 bolt cleats) which I found to be too far forward for my liking. Granted, everyone likes their cleats set up a little differently, but I found that slamming the cleats all the back only just positioned the cleats behind the ball of my foot. Those with shorter toes, or who prefer their cleats further forward, will not have any issue with this.
On the positive side, ventilation is good with a large frontal vent providing plenty of airflow on hot days. Areas of mesh in the upper and 2 ports in the sole also help here. Combined with a good summer sock, the extra few degrees of chill for your toes is noticeable.
A light weight and very comfortable shoe more suited to lighter riders or those who pedal with more finesse.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Northwave Typhoon Evo shoes
Size tested: White/Black, Size 46
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?
The Northwave Typhoon Evos are a performance oriented road shoe, which Northwave categorise as "pro". Sitting just below the top of the range Extreme and Evolution shoes, the Typhoons offer full carbon soles at a more competitive price point.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
SOLE: Carbon composite sole
UPPER CONSTRUCTION : Airflow System
CLOSING SYSTEM: 3 Straps
FOOTBED: Performance Pro
SIZE: 39 - 48 - Half size: 39,5 - 45,5
COLOUR: black-white / white-black
Neat stitching on the microfiber uppers and a clean glue line where bonded to the carbon sole.
While light and well ventilated, the Typhoon's are just too flexy for aggressive efforts.
All stitching has held up well. The white colour is also easy to wipe clean and looking like new.
Light pair of shoes aided by the use of 3 straps for retention. At this price point, these are some of the lightest around.
Very supple uppers and a wide last shape that should suit many, but a poor quality insole really lets them down.
At this very competitive price point, the Typhoons relatively flexy sole really puts them behind other competitors.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Simple retention system and slipper-like feel
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The flexy carbon sole.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Depending on their riding style I might.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,