This article also appears on BikeRadar.
Chris Froome, Dan Martin and John Degenkolb have all been spotted this week in new footwear at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Degenkolb, along with some of his Giant-Alpecin teammates, have been spotted in unbranded and unseen white and black race shoes from, we suspect, Shimano. The shoes worn by Dan Martin and Chris Froome are more obviously branded new products from Mavic and Sidi respectively.
Shimano have refused to reveal any details on the shoes, or even confirm whether they made them. However, we suspect a grand reveal in the coming weeks or months from Shimano.
The shoes, seen in both black and white, have a synthetic leather upper with perforated dimples, some of which provide breathability whilst the remaining contribute to the shoes aerodynamic qualities. The upper wraps around the centre and underneath the shoe, which combined with a high gloss heel, contrasts to make a great looking shoe. On the downside, clear scuffs were already on the new shoes, which from a consumer perspective could prove to be an issue.
Two Boa dials provide the tensioning system for the shoe, the first time we have seen this ever-reliable ratchet system on a pair of Shimano shoes. The upper dial is attached to a thick, padded section of the upper material, which will provide both the stiffness required as well as the comfort. The easy twist to tighten, pop out to release mechanism can be seen on a variety of other different brands’ shoes and ensures reliability and simple adjustment whilst pedalling.
With just one section of breathable mesh over the toes and the few perforated holes, there isn’t as much ventilation as we would expect to provide the necessary cooling during the warmer months of the year. However, we will see how the final products are unveiled in the coming months.
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