6 Shoes for Cyclocross
6 Cyclocross shoes for the beginner to the Pro.
With only a month until the start of the cyclocross season in the US. We are already getting our gear ready. Shoes are very important in cycling and more so in cyclocross. Not only do they connect you to the bike but terrafirma when your running up a greasy slick muddy wall with everyone yelling. But they also protect your feet from the elements when it gets nasty. So we thought we would look at the offerings of shoes that are available and would be good options for your cyclocross campaign. We know there are a lot of shoe options out there and if you were to sit down and start a spreadsheet it would take up a lot of valuable training time. We made up 3 categories that most people will fall into. The 3 categories are The Beginner: this person is just getting into off road but mostly races road. They have never tried cyclocross but has a mtb or just got an entry level cross bike. The Local/Regional Racer: This person is a seasoned roadie and uses cyclocross for fitness and fun and is semi serious about it. He/She gets into it, but their season is based around road or mountain biking. Finally we have the CX Jedi/Specialist. This person's entire year revolves around cyclocross. He/She does road or MTB racing to prepare for the cyclocross season. This person prays at the church of bad weather. We came up with 6 shoes that would be our choice for any one from Beginner to a seasoned Cyclocross Pro. So here we go.
Sidi Trace $199.99 The Trace is the entry level mountain bike shoe. The great thing about this shoe is that it has a great sole that you can run in and is reasonably stiff. It’s not super stiff like you would expect in the upper end shoes but its stiff enough. Other features is that there is no mesh on these shoes so they are ready for all of the bad weather. You get Sidi ratchet If your not sure about cyclocross and don’t want to worry about trashing your shoes this is an excellent choice. Now for this this price point here are a few of the features that you get with this shoe. Features the new RS17 Sole. Tecno 3 Precision ratchet closure for even easier adjustment and a more secure fit with an adjustable instep closure Dual Velcro® straps for easy forefoot adjustment External, reinforced heel cup for superior fit and power transfer; won’t break down over time. Great traditional Sidi quality and construction 3 color options Replaceable toe insert and toe spike compatible.
For the Local/ Regional Seasoned Racer
Bontrager Cambion $225 vs. Fizik Vento Overcurve X3 $250 We got 2 shoes here that are high performers but won’t set you back a second mortgage. Both of these shoes are packed with features. Both shoes soles have a carbon nylon injected soles that are pretty darn stiff. They are not as stiff as a pure carbon sole but they are more than enough for the job. The Bontrger shoe has great protection on the toe and a generous (Almost High Volume) toe box. The Blue is super stylin and the tread is medium softness so its really grippy. Trek has a winner. However Fizik hits home with more style better tread and a not quite the large toe box, so just right. The Fizik has a tread specifically for mud and so this is really awesome as most tread patterns on MTB shoes are not that well thought out. This was and it shows. If you are almost high volume or need that large toe box go with the Bontrager. However if you don’t need that the Fizik nuges out for the win on the shoe of choice for us in this dual
For the Cyclocross Jedi Is your cycling season planed around cyclocross? Is all other racing just training for cyclocross? If you consider yourself a cyclocross specialist then you fall into this category, Cyclcross Jedi. These next shoes are the top of the line no holds bar price is irrelevant only performance matters. So with that being said here are out top three pics for the ObiWans of the mud bogs of Endor.
Sidi Dragon 5 $399.99 You really can’t talk about cyclocross shoes without mentioning Sidi and in this case the Sidi Dragon 5. So why not the Sidi Tiger or Drako? The truth is the Dragon has all the features of these shoes without the super slick sole and mesh venting and its over $150.00 cheaper. Now I know I said that price is no object but the Tiger and Drako soles are much stiffer than the Dragons SRS carbon sole they are difficult to run in. So bottomline you can still run in the Dragon 5. The shoe sports a new heel cup that is better and lighter than previous versions. The Dragon 5 also has the new Tecno 3 Push adjusters to get just the right fit. The ability to unhook the filament and open the flaps to put the shoe on is another really nice feature especially with thick socks.
Gaerne Sinco $499.00 If you know moto cross then you also know that you cant talk Sidi with our talking about Gaerne. These guys are actually friends and their factories are less than 1Km away from each other. Two years ago we traveled to the Gaerne factory and met the owner and his daughter. We got a tour, saw how they make shoes and even got a pair and rode in them at the Ridley Experience. Great shoe hand made in Italy. Been there seen that. The company makes custom shoes for some of the best world tour riders. The fit is very, very good for these shoes and the sole is stiff but you can run in them. Double boa closures and special michelin tread. Throw in guards on the toe and sides of the shoe and you have a winner.
Lake MX 332 $429.99 However our favorite shoe of them all is the Lake MX332 Supercross shoe. This shoe is an American company made with some really great materials. 40 years ago, I had my first pair of Kangaroo hide cycling shoes and I loved them. So any time I get a chance to put on a pair of shoes made from that magical leather I will. That leather is tough as nails and soft as a baby’s skin. The soe is semi moldable to give it wearer an awesome fit. The tread is specific for cyclocross with 2 types of toe spikes, 2 boa closures, stiff carbon sole that you can run in. Now the shoe only comes in 2 colors stock and is available in wide sizing. Yep! That means you can order these custom through the Lake website. The custom design template allows you to choose 21 different kangaroo color options in 9 different shoe panels. I'm good with math but thats alot of options. All of these things add up is what makes this shoe our choice in this category.