FWE BEACON COMP
£84.99 › Evans sent shoes
EVANS CYCLES HAS BEEN PRODUCING some great value, high performing products under its FWE – the initials of the company’s founder – label for a number of years. For 2018 it’s added two road shoes to the mix. The Comp, tested here, and £65 Sport both sit under the Beacon moniker which, according to Evans, is because they’re inspired by the South Downs climb of Ditchling Beacon not far from its West Sussex HQ.
While the Beacon has been the downfall of many a London to Brighton rider it’s no Alpine giant, and the shoes don’t make any obvious concessions to climbers - at 320g for a size 44 they’re not lightweights. That said the Comp has plenty of features to make it a competitive choice at this price.
While some people love a clean, plain black shoe, others think they look like football boots. Whichever aesthetic camp your foot is in, the Comp’s lined microfibre upper provides a comfortable fit. It does feel thicker than other performance shoes and only has small perforations for breathability. Testing coincided with scorching temperatures and our tester’s feet did get sweaty, even in thin socks. The Beacons never became uncomfortably hot and the flip side is that they’ll likely work well once the inevitable ‘coldest winter since records began’ sets in.
The fastening system is a combination of two Velcro straps and a ratchet on the top strap, the tried and tested system working just fine. If you’ve got wider feet, the Beacon could be worth a look as there’s plenty of volume. For those with narrow feet, the shoes need ratcheting right up but even then never felt completely secure and we experienced some heel slip. That said, if they fit well there’s plenty of padding around the heel cup.
The thermoplastic sole is pretty good, it’s not carbon stiff but good enough for most of us. Heel and toe bumpers add protection when walking but aren’t replaceable. The footbed is dual density, and while not especially thick it’s comfortable. There’s no extra arch support if you need this, though.
The Beacons have a nicely padded tongue, which doesn’t move around or create extra pressure. Ours was slightly crudely sewn onto the upper, with raised seams so bear this in mind if you’ve ever suffered from problems with rubbing over your toes. The Beacon Comps are robust and subtle riding shoes that you can put on and simple forget you’re wearing. They’re available in men’s and women’s sizing.
WE SAY Robust, unflashy shoes that you can put on and forget about