76 Fizik In­finito R1

› New knit­ted up­per race shoes

Cycling Plus - - CONTENTS -

THE R1 HAS BEEN FIZIK’S top race shoe for a few sea­sons now, and for 2018 it has been joined by this in­trigu­ing Knit ver­sion. Un­like most knit fab­ric run­ning shoes, or Giro’s new knit Em­pires, the R1 uses the high-stretch, highly breath­able fab­ric far more sparsely.

The idea be­hind the R1 is to cre­ate a shoe that has a stiff ex­oskele­ton bonded onto a stiff and light car­bon sole. Laid into this are ar­eas of knit­ted fab­ric to al­low for a more com­fort­able fit. The ex­oskele­ton, which the up­per is forged around, of­fers great con­trol over the fit, with the off­set tongue po­si­tion and widely-an­chored dual Boa wires com­bin­ing to cre­ate a clo­sure that wraps around your foot with­out fold­ing, creas­ing or pinch­ing. It’s sim­i­lar to the way in which North­wave’s im­pres­sively com­fort­able Ex­treme RR en­cap­su­lates your foot, and we love the way in which it holds feet in place.

The R1s re­ally per­form at their best when you’re work­ing hard and the tem­per­a­ture is ris­ing. The dou­ble­layer knit fab­ric al­lows for great breatha­bil­ity and when your feet swell a lit­tle – as they are prone to do when conditions get hot – the fab­ric has plenty of stretch. As a re­sult, that great com­fort you feel when you first put them on is main­tained through­out your ride.

The water re­pel­lant treat­ment on the shoe’s up­per does its job, as a short Ital­ian Riviera shower dur­ing test­ing showed us. We wouldn’t rec­om­mend the R1s if you’re plan­ning to ride in heavy rain, sug­gest­ing that these are more three-sea­son op­tions, but cer­tainly not sum­mer-only like Giro’s equally-priced fly­weight Pro­light Tech­lace (re­viewed in is­sue 340 of Cy­cling Plus).

Our size 45 test pair weighed 636g, which means these aren’t the light­est shoes avail­able, but they are cer­tainly not heavy­weights. The all-day com­fort com­bined with the race shoe sta­bil­ity they pro­vide is among the very best around, and for long hot rides we don’t think you’ll find much bet­ter.

The down­side is the price, at a penny shy of £350 you are cer­tainly pay­ing for the tech­nol­ogy and com­fort. If your bud­get can stretch, we’re sure that you’ll be as im­pressed as us.

WE SAY Sup­port­ive and com­fort­able shoes for three-sea­son use

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