Even the stiffest shoe on the market will fail to make the most of your power output if it doesn’t properly support your foot. That’s why, more so than any other piece of kit, getting shoes that fit well is essential. But there’s more than one way for a shoe to support a foot, and they’re not all made the same.
Many shoes treat supporting the foot as somewhat of an afterthought, usually by including different sizes of arch inserts to plug and play with until you find something that gets close. But that solution doesn’t quite cut it for most. The Italian shoe maestros at fi’zi:k, who time and time again couple classic styling with innovative tech, have taken a unique approach to foot-support by making it an integral part of the Vento Stabilita Carbon shoe.
This shoe features Dynamic Arch Support 2.0, a system that makes use of every part of the shoe to stabilize the foot. In this integrated system, a dedicated piece of the upper wraps around the plantar arch. This pliable part of the upper is attached to a BOA dial and conforms to the arch as the dial is tightened. No matter your foot shape, this system provides a snug hold for your foot without any hot spots.
For comfort in the rest of the shoe, the upper is made of a durable polyurethane-laminated mesh, which is fairly pliable and adaptable to most feet, though not to the level of some knit shoes out there. The shoes also feature padding toward the rear of the shoe for heel comfort. And dual BOA dials allow for individual adjustment of the forefoot and instep.
The benefit of the Dynamic Arch Support 2.0 system is far greater than just comfort. A properly supported arch and stabilized foot more efficiently transfer power, meaning this high-end cycling shoe can do what it’s supposed to do best: convert watts into speed.
Flip the shoe over and you’ll notice that carbon fiber doesn’t run for the entire length of the sole—it cuts out where the Dynamic Arch Support 2.0 system supports the plantar arch. Despite this, it’s still the stiffest outsole in the fi’zi:k range, and it saves weight, too. Plus, there’s more to the outsole than just being stiff. It provides active cooling via a vent in the front of the sole that faces forward, intaking air and channeling it under the foot for super-effective cooling. The vent is so low profile that it can be hard to even notice, yet it does an excellent job.
And while we’re not usually the biggest fans of high-visibility gear, the selective incorporation of it here for the Dynamic Arch Support 2.0 system ends up looking cool in person, letting you ride faster in style as well as with more comfort. $400; 261g/shoe (size 42.5); fizik.com