Somewhat conversely for a company with a name derived from the world supple, or flexible, the Edge+ Pro shoes are the home to a carbon sole stiffer than the attendees of a global accountancy conference.
As such they’ve been a trusty ally in what was an unexpected spring season of indoor Zwift racing for this tester, a world where such an unyielding shoe comes in handy when stir-crazy, house-bound opponents are wont to charging out of the gate at frightful wattages.
Efficient power transfer also makes them a good fit for Swiss firm Suplest’s star-sponsored, athlete-compatriot Fabian Cancellara, who made a career of powerhouse time-trial performances and winning solo breaks in the Spring Classics.
‘Spartacus’ more than anyone, however, would reckon that you can have a shoe as stiff as you like, but if it’s not comfortable over six hours at the likes of Paris-Roubaix, then it’s going to – and please excuse the metaphor – stick the boot in.
I’m happy to tell you, then, that the Edge+ Pros are positively luxuriant. Increasingly so, as the thin microfibre upper becomes more supple (there we go…) with every passing ride.
Comfort and stiffness are also evident in the Solestar insole, a soft top layer combined with a hard supportive underside where needed, and its pronounced, curved shape supports the foot arches and cuts out unnecessary movement.
At 65g each (size 11 UK) they’re a chunky insert indeed, and a big factor in the 646g (a pair) shoe weight. For reference, a Specialized S-Works 7 shoe (£340) in a size 45 EU (approx 10.5 UK) weighs 268g, and 323g makes the Edge+ Pro pound for pound one of the heaviest top-end shoes around. For me, at least, the extra weight is imperceptible and not a worry.
The shoes’ relative heft can also be seen in the chunky rubber toe and heel protectors, which bear the brunt of impacts, though they can’t be removed and replaced, as is the case in other shoes.
At the toe is a mesh vent that allows air to travel through perforations in the insole, though a similar vent in the midsole doesn’t allow for as much. If you’re spending this amount on shoes you want them to be useful all year round and they work just as well on hot summer days as they do on cold spring mornings.
Fastening it all in place are two Boa IP1 dials, which allow micro-adjustments in either direction on the bike and swift removal off it when you lift the dial up.
There’s not so much a tongue to the shoe as a flap that begins at the toes, which adds to the feeling of security when you’re ready to roll. Covering this flap is a thin layer of carbon, which Suplest says “spreads the pressure of the laces”. Whether it does or not is almost moot when it looks this damn good.
Suplest Edge+ Pro shoes details
- Road outsole: The Ergo 360° Carbon sole, while stiff, is lighter due to a middle layer of foam. SUPtraction studs add durability and also make it easier to walk
- Carbonshield: This thin, soft and bendy layer of carbon sits under the Boa dials and is designed to add comfort by spreading the pressure of the wires
- Boa dials: Boa IP1 dials allow you to fine-tune the fit of the shoes in either direction down to the millimetre, and have a quick-removal mechanism.