Northwave Razer mountain bike shoes£180.00

Pro-level cross-country race shoes

BikeRadar score2.5/5

These are the replacement shoes for the highly successful and popular Aerlite SBS models. Much of the technology carries over, including Airmesh and Aerator vents, and the full-plastic Omega heel cup.

The full-length carbon midsoles feel a fraction stiffer than the already adequately stiff Aerlites’, to the point where the stiffness of the forefoot area is almost too inflexible. During run-ups, this can cause the shoe to slip off your heel, a fact not helped by a spacious heel cup.

We find that this is the case even with the twin forefoot Velcro straps and SBS buckles ratcheted down tight. This is odd, because the cheaper Northwave models we’ve tested have a near-perfect heel fit. To prove it’s not just our feet, we asked two other owners of these shoes and they identified the same issue.

As pure power transmitters, the Razers benefit from the stiffness and are comfortably up there with the best of the rest. One feature we particularly like is Northwave’s addition of a soft rubber pad behind the cleat pocket. This stops you slipping off the pedals if you mess up getting your feet back in – an idea that’s come from the Merida team pros who use Northwaves.

The rubber used on the outsoles is particularly soft, which means Razers stick to rocks and roots better than any other race shoes. The downside is that the rubber squirms a bit and can feel odd underfoot.

The Razers are a good choice for performance-orientated racers, although we’d like to see a slightly less board-like feel to the toe area and a closer-fitting heel cup. This wouldn’t detract from the race pedigree but make shoes that work as well as the Sidi Dragons – the current leaders on all fronts.

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