The FLR F-15 shoes represent good value – you won’t find many cheaper shoes with tried-and-tested ratchet buckles for this money.
Ratchets give a secure and readily-adjustable hold, although on the F-15 the buckle has rather a short lever and isn’t as easy to use as some.
The uppers are made up of numerous small panels stitched together – this is an easy way of getting the shape right but adds bulk and weight. That said, 760g a pair isn’t bad. The stitched-on strap loops don’t give as positive a fit as shoes that integrate the loop mounts directly to the main side panel.
The sole is an injection-moulded polyamide unit with fibreglass reinforcement – no carbon fibre here. To boost stiffness, the sole is moulded as a hollow box section.The downside of this is that the sole unit is quite thick, which puts your foot further above the pedal axle than some. It can be used with three- or two-bolt cleats.
The F-15 focuses on comfort over ultimate performance, a sensible decision at the price. The uppers are soft, well-padded and accommodating with plenty of ventilation.
There’s quite prominent arch support inside, and the sole has decent stiffness – it can’t match a high-end race shoe, but you wouldn’t expect it to.
The overall feel is sturdy rather than flighty, with none of that ‘exposed’ feel you can get with ultra-light, thin shoes.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.