The Time Osmos 12 road shoes, the middle of the new three-shoe range from the major French brand, offer comfort and performance in bundles, with an ergonomic design straight from Italy.
The Osmos 15 was heavily praised here at road.cc just a few months ago, and I was eager to test its more affordable cousin.
As Simon noted in his review of the Osmos 15, the French brand was bought by Rossignol in 2016, which used its own R&D facility at Montebelluna in Italy, regarded as the global capital of sports footwear, to design the new three-model range of Time shoes. The Osmos 12 sits between the Osmos 10 and the 'ultimate' 15.
Over 3,000 3D foot scans were used to design a shoe that would perform for the majority of athletes, and I have to say I found these very comfortable. Bedding in took around two weeks: initially the shoes felt great – and then they became even more supple. My feet are on the wider side of average, and during my two months of testing I didn't get any discomfort or hot spots.
The insoles feature Time's Sensor 2 system designed to improve comfort around the metatarsals as well as offering some arch support.
The upper part of the shoe consists of the same seamless design as the Osmos 15, with a high level of padding while still being extremely breathable.
The tongue is also fairly well padded, which means there isn't the clamping feeling you can get from the wire of a Boa closure system. However, I did find that the tongue was a little too wide and the top quite long, and required a fair amount of adjustment when putting the shoes on to stop it digging into the top of the foot when pedalling.
Much like Simon found with the Osmos 15, the heel cup of the Osmos 12 extends quite high up around the ankle. With the extra silicone grip pattern this meant there was no heel lift out of the shoe, though there was some side to side movement while sprinting.
Closure is performed by a single interwoven Boa dial and a Velcro strap. This design allows for unified pressure over the entire foot, to reduce the chances of developing fatigue, but I did find that to clamp down my foot in preparation for a sprint I had to apply considerable force through the dial to lock down my foot.
This seems an inherent problem when employing just one Boa dial, and I would prefer a two-dial system for that added security.
Along with the heavily vented exterior, Time has incorporated three vents within the sole. In the winter this has proved rather too effective outdoors, which bodes well for warmer times and climes, but while training indoors they did improve the overall experience on the turbo.
Sole stiffness is pretty good, too. The sole consists of 20% carbon fibre and 80% composite material, coupled with a 100% carbon insert underneath the cleat for added stiffness. It's more than adequate for the majority of the time, but I did notice a little more flex when putting out higher end power – though this does contribute to their overall comfort.
The cleat markings are very useful during initial setup, and the shoes also feature a replaceable rubber heel support.
Like Simon, I found the white design of the shoes to be easy to clean, except for the vents which have begun to discolour a little.
With an rrp of £225, the Osmos 12 shoes certainly aren't cheap, though they are more affordable than their £329 Osmos 15 siblings while housing many of the key features.
However, while the Osmos 12s are stiff and comfortable, Shimano's RC7s are both lighter and feature two Boa dials for £169.99, Northwave's Revolution 2s are £174.99, also with two Boa dials, and Giro's Trans Boas, with their single Boa and Velcro strap, are £179.99.
There are good deals to be found online, though.
Overall, I think the quality and design of these shoes is very high, contributing to their exceptional comfort over the testing period. There's some flex in the sole when you're really pushing it, but for longer rides and general training on the road, they're great.
Good performance, with plenty of comfort and support, though they're not the cheapest
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Time Osmos 12 shoes
Size tested: 10.5
Tell us what the product is for
Time says: "The OSMOS 12 has a unique sole is built with a blend of 20% carbon fiber and 80% composite plus a 100% carbon insert in the forefoot area. Its fit system consists of a Boa® Fit System and a Velcro strap for a precise adjustment. OSMOS 12 has the same level of breathability as the OSMOS15. Combined with Time pedals and cleats, the bioposition is about 22,5mm which allows maximum efficiency from this combination of products."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Construction lower Sensor 2 Mono material
Lacing system 1 Boa IP1 and 1 Velcro
Construction upper cuff Microfiber, PU and Textile
Sole Carbon composite + Carbon insert
Closing system Boa® Fit System IP1 dials and one Velcro
High standard of construction.
Perform well, with plenty of comfort.
Seem durable enough, though there is a little discolouring of the white vents.
Extremely comfortable ergonomic fit. However, if you have particularly wide or narrow feet you may want to look elsewhere.
Size up as advertised.
There are lighter shoes out there.
After a short break-in period, super-comfortable.
A lot cheaper than their Osmos 15 siblings while sharing some of the same key features, but you can spend quite a bit less for similar and lighter designs.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Some baby wipes and all the muck was gone, though the vents are trickier to clean.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Comfortable performance-orientated shoes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I love the amount of comfort they offer.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
An additional Boa dial would improve the clamping mechanism onto the foot.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They house a lot of the same features as found in the Time Osmos 15 but at a much more affordable price. That said, you can find similar weight/design shoes for around the £170 mark – some with my preferred two Boa dials.
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
Time has done a really good job in its new line of performance shoes. For the price, these shoes pack a punch. However, there are still a few things that could be improved.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR My best bike is: Giant Trinty
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, time trialling, club rides, The occasional bit of track