Vans Warner SPD shoes £85

Best avoided

BikeRadar score 2/5

We’ve been waiting for a new clipless-compatible shoe from Vans for ages, so we were super-excited when the Warner hit our desks.

That initial enthusiasm soon turned to disappointment. Firstly, the slots for the shoe plates are too far forward, at least 1cm further than all the shoes we compared them to.

The downhill riders these shoes are aimed at tend to place the shoe plate quite far back to emulate the foot position of flat pedals, which simply isn’t possible with these.

Our next issue was comfort. The uppers are perfectly comfortable and the good old-fashioned laces with Velcro closures are fine. The problem is the sole. It’s very flat and has a thin insole that provides no contoured support, particularly around the ball of the foot, where a lot of pressure is concentrated.

We actually got numbness in the soles of our feet while using them and mild bruising from longer, rougher rides. The shoe plate isn’t recessed enough either, so you walk on it, making hard, wet surfaces treacherous.

Vans have said that they are investing in new tooling to produce a more up-to-date and lighter outsole. But until they get around to putting a decent sole on this great looking upper, these shoes are best avoided.

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