It’s impossible to describe the Vaypor S as a ‘normal’ race shoe. The construction is just so different to the standard upper bonded to a sole that pretty much all of the competition uses.
Highs: Incredibly stiff, secure fit
Lows: Easy to mark carbon sole, expensive
Bont takes high-grade Toray carbon fibre and moulds it into a bathtub shape that encompasses both the sole and plenty of the upper, from an inch deep at the mid-foot to almost the full height of the heel cup. A Durolite ‘leather’ skin is bonded onto this, over a proprietary base material. It’s then padded with closed-cell memory foam, with a soft brushed covering and heat-formable EVA insole finishing things off.
The carbon ‘chassis’ (it’s more than a sole) is heat-mouldable to provide the best fit. You just place the shoes into a pre-heated oven at 70°C/160°F for 20 minutes, let them cool a little then place your feet in and tighten the dials. Allow the shoes to cool and they’ll set in the shape of your foot. If you have any lumps or bunions use the round end of a screwdriver handle or similar to press out any rub points. If you don’t get it right, you can re-mould as many times as you like.
Pushing your foot into the bathtub shape means you get an incredibly secure fit, with your foot in a fixed position and no slop or play. They feel so secure you’d almost believe you could do away with the IP1 Boa adjusters. We love the placement of the Boas. The highest is angled to pull the upper in evenly, with the lower pulling horizontally.
When riding, they’re totally free of flex, which is highly impressive in itself, and this is complemented by a very low stack height – the distance between your foot and the cleat – of just 3.6mm. A downside is that the shapely carbon chassis is easily marked even with the larger toe bumper and replaceable heel bumper.
Some finish details show the Vaypor’s handmade nature, with the occasional glue spot and imperfectly finished edge to the upper material. These are all minor points and easily forgiven because you won’t find a stiffer and more secure, lightweight (502g a pair, size 45) race shoe anywhere. They’re available in standard, narrow or wide fits, and, if money really is no object, fully custom fit too.