If you're looking for a sensibly priced pair of shoes for general road riding, these Scott Road Comp Lace models are definitely worth a look – especially if comfort is higher up your list of priorities than stiffness.
- Pros: Great fit, comfortable upper, price
- Cons: Slightly flexible sole, lace colour is a bit love it or hate it
Scott uses what it calls a 'Wrap Fit' design for the upper of these shoes, a structural layer designed to literally wrap around the foot as the shoe is tightened and conform to the foot like a second skin.
Marketing names aside, it does make for a very comfortable pair of shoes. The polyurethane upper is soft and mouldable, so as you tighten the laces they really hug the foot closely without feeling tight or restrictive.
Even as you ride and your feet expand, they never become uncomfortable.
Laces are often dismissed on cycling shoes but they suit the Scotts perfectly. These shoes aren't intended for all-out racing and top-end efforts. Even if you tighten the laces up as tight as you can, they won't hold your foot as securely as a ratchet or Boa system, but for the majority of riding I did – club run style, steady paced long and short rides, for instance – they were absolutely fine.
The soles are an injected mix of nylon and fiberglass and are given a stiffness index of 6/10 by Scott. That basically means they are a little on the flexible side, though not as much as my preconceptions would have me believe, and they felt much stiffer than those of the Northwave Flash TH Winter shoes I tested recently.
The Scotts have plenty of material under the cleat area plus a couple of webs towards the heel to resist twisting under load; 'Torsionfork' as Scott calls it.
A few of the test rides I did were pretty spirited without being a smashfest and the soles coped admirably. Climbing out of the saddle was fine as was hard acceleration away from a standing start. I felt some flex but it wasn't offputting and the only time I suffered with hot spots on my feet was when I wore the Scotts for an interval session on the turbo.
The fit is what Scott calls performance; it's a little roomier than its full-on race shoes although if you have wide feet you might need to go up a size. For me they were spot on and just how I expect a pair of 45s to fit all round.
The tongue is a decent shape too, without any bunching or tightness, plus it has elasticated loops to poke the loops of the laces through to stop them getting caught around the crank.
You also get shaped insoles, called Ergologic, which help support the arch of your foot. They are easily removable if you want to insert your own.
For ventilation the upper is covered in little holes pretty much all the way round, plus you get a mesh vent under your toes. Riding them in winter conditions with the temperature around 8 or 9°C, I didn't find them exceptionally cold so they might be a little warm in the summer, but I'll have to report back on that.
One good thing about the minimal venting is that they do a pretty good job of keeping the water out.
Priced at £85.99, the Comp Laces offer decent value for money against a lot of the shoes we've looked at recently. Those Northwaves I mentioned earlier are very similar technology-wise and cost £139.99. The Bontrager Circuit Road Shoes are closer at £99.99, also with a non-carbon fibre sole. If it's laces you want, you could check out dhb's Doricas at £70. They're 150g lighter than the Scotts at 620g, and you have the option of fitting either two- or three-bolt cleats.
For me, though, the Scotts take it on looks, especially after I changed the laces for a colour that matched my bike/kit, and their slightly more racy intentions.
Very comfortable, well-made shoes at a reasonable price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Scott Road Comp Race Shoes
Size tested: 45
Tell us what the product is for
Scott says, "Proving that great fit and high performance don't always come at a high price, the SCOTT Road Comp Lace is perfect for discerning enthusiasts on a budget. The adaptive fit upper pattern features a lace closure system that articulates to best fit the shape of the rider's foot. The ErgoLogic insole features an arch support and metatarsal button. Stiff enough to satisfy the performance instinct but comfortable enough for all-day rides, the injection nylon and glass fiber sole has an increased range of cleat adjustment with a stiffness index of 6."
Not the stiffest for all-out power efforts but very comfortable for general riding.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
OUTSOLE: Nylon Fiberglass co-injected, Two Component PU / Stiffness Index 6
UPPER: Synthetic Polyurethane, 3D Nylon Airmesh
CLOSURE Closure system with laces
FEATURES Footbed: ErgoLogic removable insole
Absolutely spot on for what I consider a 45.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The glossy surface is easy to keep clean with just a wash from a cloth.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For the majority of riding styles the Scotts are a very comfortable, entry-level race shoe.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The soft upper.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The standard laces might clash with your bike or kit...
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 overall score
For less than £100 the Scott Road Comp shoes are very good indeed, and as long as you aren't planning on doing power intervals they have a decent balance of stiffness and comfort.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.