The new Suplest S8+ road bike shoes were featured in this week's Friday Five-a-side, and now it's time for a closer look.The shoes use the Swiss company’s Ergo 360 design, with carbon outsole, ergonomic insole, seamless upper and even cycling socks working in unity towards pedal-pumping nirvana.
The upper is made from a light, tough material dubbed ‘Organic Grid Micro Fiber’. It’s thicker around the heel for support, while having more flexibility in the forefoot for comfort. The upper also uses the company’s reflect material for excellent low light visibility.
Two heat-welded air vents on the upper collude with mesh sections in the fairly stiff tongue and two smaller vent / drainage holes on the outsole in a bid to keep feet comfortably cool and dry.
Grippy silicone dots are designed to avoid heel slip
The inside of the heel cup uses a grippy, metallic weave along with silicone dots to help avoid slipping. The interior also features Suplest’s ergonomically designed EVA foam insole, which offers a bit of extra arch support as well as being perforated to allow heat to escape through the outsole.
Two ‘A-top’ dials and a single Velcro toe strap act as the closure system. The dials have a simple anti-clockwise to tighten, clockwise to loosen mechanism – rather than a pull-out-to-release design.
The outsole itself is made from ultra-stiff carbon, which only had the slightest torsional give as we wrestled it in our hands. There’s a standard three-bolt cleat set-up for Shimano, Look, Time and Speedplay compatibility, and it also has a bit of lateral adjustment built in. Suplest boasts that the sole’s biggest test has been to complete the Giro, Tour and Vuelta in one season unscathed.
There's a substantial replaceable heel grip
There’s also a chunky, replaceable heel grip and a toe protector at the front of the shoe for added protection.
At 310g per shoe (EU45), they’re not the lightest in the world – especially for the price – but we’re looking forward to taking this striking design out onto the road.