Top 5 special pro road shoes

From mirrored heels to Luxembourg comic heroes

Custom kicks are becoming more and more common in the pro peloton so we take a look at 5 of the best

If the shoe fits, wear it. And if the shoe really stands out, we’ll feature it here, in our top five special shoes from the pro peloton.

The use of BOA and BOA-like dials has exploded in the past two seasons, with most shoes employing some type of wire closure. And many brands are having fun customizing the dials as well as the uppers of the pros’ shoes.

While a number of companies are doing limited-edition or even custom creations for top riders, we have to give our number-one spot to a hand-created work.

5. Peter Sagan’s collection of Specialized S-Works 6s

Peter Sagan has a variety of Specialized S-Works 6 shoes
Peter Sagan has a variety of Specialized S-Works 6 shoes

Being world champion comes with a few privileges, including a seemingly unlimited supply of high-end footwear.

Peter Sagan has worn a few limited-edition styles of the Specialized S-Works 6 this season, but our favorite is this green number with a mirrored heel cup.

Specialized has been selling small batches of the limited edition S-Works 6 shoes — but only one man gets the reflection of the rainbow stripes bouncing off of his shiny shoes.

4. Greg Van Avermaet's Rocket 7s

This is the view of the shoe many of Van Avermaet's competitors get at critical moments in races
This is the view of the shoe many of Van Avermaet's competitors get at critical moments in races

On the other end of the flashy spectrum, Greg Van Avermaet’s black and white shoes are fairly plain from a distance. But GVA appears to be more interested in go than show. The outsoles of his Rocket 7 shoes are custom molded to his feet.

Judging from his wins at the Olympics and Paris-Roubaix, among other races, the shoe does indeed seem to fit.

3. Andrew Greipel’s Gorilla Gaernes

German-themed BOAs? Check. Gorilla icon? Double check
German-themed BOAs? Check. Gorilla icon? Double check

How many G words can we string together here? Andre ‘Gorilla’ Greipel’s great Giro-grabbing Gaernes go gangbusters.

Two BOA IP1 dials and a Velcro strap lock down the fit on the G Stilo’s upper, which is made from a single piece of micro fiber.

2. Bahrain’s white-and-gold Sidi Shots

Sidi is selling this Bahrain edition of the Shot
Sidi is selling this Bahrain edition of the Shot

Bahrain-Merida has not yet won royally in the WorldTour, but its gold, blue and red kit does look kingly.

Although Sidi has slipped from its near total dominance upon the pro peloton’s feet, it is still a very popular shoe in the WorldTour. And, hey, GOLD.

1. Jempy Drucker’s hand-drawn Giro Empires

Jempy Drucker has a bulldog named Elvis
Jempy Drucker has a bulldog named Elvis

Every other shoe on this list features graphics and designs that were handed to a rider. Jempy Drucker hand-drew his graphics with touches from home.

On his left foot, the BMC rider has Luxembourg’s skyline and SuperJhemp, a Luxembourg comic book character.

Jempy and his wife have an English bulldog named Elvis, who stars prominently on his right foot, along with a quote from the other Elvis: "Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine."

Speaking of V8 engines, Drucker has a ’65 Mustang at home.

Drucker has ambition on the bike — and a ’65 Mustang with a V8 at home
Drucker has ambition on the bike — and a ’65 Mustang with a V8 at home

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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