The Schlecks and Cancellara go to Italy for their footwear

Italy’s Northwave has agreed a three-year sponsorship commitment to supply the shoes for Leopard Trek, the new Luxembourg-based team that includes Andy and Frank Schleck and time trial/Classics ace Fabian Cancellara.

“For the 2011 season the team will wear our Evolution SBS shoes with a special Wood Lasting Insole, an innovative solution created by our R&D department to reduce the vibrations transmitted by the pedals and which will become an outstanding support during races like Paris-Roubaix and Tour de Flandres,” said Northwave founder Gianni Piva.

We guess you’re wondering about the wood thing, right? Here is Northwave’s explanation:

“Northwave’s R&D department has perfected a special thermoformed wooden arch support for assembly. The layers of wood are worked, thermoformed at high temperatures and treated with special bonding agents to protect the insole from external agents like water or perspiration.

“The structure is broken down into two sections: a more flexible part that adapts to the shape of the foot, and a stiffer core to make power transmission more effective. Wood Lasting Insole helps dampen the vibrations transmitted by the pedal and isolates the foot from any possible overheating of the sole.”

So there you go: wooden insoles. We’ve never used this design, so can’t comment on the performance.

The Evolution SBS comes with a microfibre upper, Northwave’s SBS ratchet buckle closure, and a three-layer carbon outsole.

If you want to but a pair for yourself, they’ll set you back £204.25. Check them out at www.i-ride.co.uk.


Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.