Tour de France professionals might have more power in one perfectly shaved leg than most of us can muster with two, but you can’t buy that strength. What you can buy are the shoes that connect that power to the drivetrain.
BikeRadar camped out at the rider sign-in of the Tour de France, getting odd looks from pros and other media alike as we focused low to bring you a selection of the peloton’s footwear.
Check out the full gallery above and a few trends we spotted below.
Dials, ratchet straps and laces
Tour favourite alberto contador has also swapped dials to match his tinkoff kit:
Contador has two colour-matched dials on his S-Works 6 shoes
Boa wire lacing systems give fast but minute adjustment, allowing riders to lock their feet securely without pinching discomfort. It’s no surprise then that the vast majority of Tour professionals are picking this type of closure, with most designs in this style having a pair of dials on the upper.
Riders sponsored by shimano have to use ratchet straps:
Ratchet straps are still the only way to go with Shimano
A few riders – namely those sponsored by Shimano – are still using the ratchet straps that come on the Japanese brand’s top-end R321 shoes. If the rest of the peloton is anything to go by, Shimano’s going to have to up its game in the shoe closure department if it wants to keep up.
Laces and Velcro
Giro’s empire lace-ups were seen on a handful of riders:
Some riders were sporting the retro look with Giro’s Empire shoes
A few of the riders at the start of stage two were wearing Giro’s Empire lace-ups. In fact there were more laces on show than Velcro-only closures. We only spotted two pairs of shoes that just used Velcro – these included the Nike shoes made specifically for Mark Cavendish.
This is his clog-like design for the tour:
Adam Hansen makes all his own racing shoes
Some riders use stock shoes, others have their names worked onto the upper. You’ll also see the occasional flash of colour to denote a national champion, while others simply customise with a differently coloured dial. There’s no-one in the peloton with more unique slippers than Team Lotto-Belisol’s Adam Hansen though, who makes all his shoes himself.
Check out the gallery above for all the details.