Full-on race shoes tend to be uncomfortable for long durations, but finding a performance shoe that’s comfy all day can be tricky.
The Bontrager RL is a mid-level shoe for longer rides. It has a carbon sole with aggressive tread and stud mounts, and is fairly good off the bike, although the compound of the sole doesn’t grip on hard, wet surfaces very well.
Using the eSole adjustable insole system, the sole is instantly more forgiving than other stiff soled shoes without sacrificing performance. The upper is made from synthetic leather and features large mesh vents, twin Velcro straps and a simple but effective buckle.
The toe box retains a good shape, but could do with being a bit tougher – if anything bigger or harder than a small stone flicks up your toes will suffer. Out back is a sculpted heel cup that feels good, although we couldn’t tighten the buckle up enough to stop our heels moving in the cup when off the bike.
This is a bit of a shame, because it’s a great looking shoe and really is very comfortable for riding in. On the bike, we’ve really enjoyed using it, but in any sections where we’ve had to walk, the slippery sole and fit have let it down.