Boardman Carbon Cycle Shoes
Boardman has delivered an absolute belter of a spec list for the sub-£100 price tag on their latest Carbon Cycle Shoes. They offer decent stiffness, are well vented and the upper gives a supple feel for comfort too – plus the adjustment of the ratchet dials allows you to tweak them on the fly.
It's quite rare to see a full carbon fibre sole on an £85 shoe, most coming with some kind of nylon offering, or a carbon-reinforced nylon at the very best.
The full carbon job found here isn't the stiffest, showing a little bit of flex when climbing hard out of the saddle or mashing the pedals in a sprint. For 95% of the time the sole is absolutely fine though, coping with the majority of scenarios it's likely to find itself in.
Performance is also helped by the retention system, provided by Atop. It's a dial system that tightens a cable evenly across the top of your foot, similar to Boa.
The dials pull the soft and supple synthetic upper smoothly around your foot with a uniform pressure. On long or short rides, Stu never felt any hot spots and, should your feet swell or shrink due to the weather conditions, a quick tweak on the dials while in the saddle is easy.
For venting you get plenty of holes all around the upper, and a mesh section above the toe box. There are also vents on the sole positioned for airflow under the foot – cold air in at the front, warm air out the back.
The heel bumper is quite pronounced which aids walking, and it's replaceable thanks to being screwed into position rather than riveted.
Overall, these are well made, very well-specced and comfortable road shoes at a very good price