In 1975, Australian speed skaters Inza and Sarah Bont wanted stiffer skates. So, using glass ﬁbre, they designed the forefather sole to many different performance sports shoes, including A-One cycle wear.
After 34 years of reﬁnement, Bont’s cycling soles have become a work of one-piece, hand-laid carbon art. Each is epoxy bonded by hand to the A-One’s non-stretch micro ﬁbre uppers and any period of scrutiny reveals why most of the British track cycling team use the shoes – they’re rigid beyond belief.
We’re not just talking end-to-end rigidity, though, but a near-total elimination of lateral ﬂex. That’s great because it tackles the pronation/supination stability problems most cyclists experience, which often result in lost power.
Customisability is the other reason these shoes command top-dollar pricing. Supplied with three-hole Look/SPD drillings as standard, Bont will re-drill or supply the shoes as blanks to accommodate all pedals.
A-Ones also feature heat-mouldable uppers and an EVA footbed, which can be shaped and reshaped as many times as you require. Just ﬁre up your oven to 85ºC, leave the shoes to heat for 20 minutes and you can hand mould them for maximum comfort and performance. After ﬁtting the shoes properly, we found using a few gears higher than normal wasn’t uncommon on our test rides.
At £245, they’re certainly not for those on a strict budget. But given the level of attention to detail, the wonderful ﬁtting system and the grin-inducing extra ride performance, it’s not hard to ﬁnd reasons to justify the outlay for these foot gloves.