FWE BEA­CON COMP

£84.99 › Evans sent shoes

Cycling Plus - - NEW KIT -

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

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