Over recent seasons road shoes have become much more diverse, ranging from ultra-technical shoes such as Mavic’s astronomically priced Cometes (£900!), aero-optimised shoes from Specialized, flyweight offerings from Giro, Bont’s reimagined Zero (a comfort-focused shoe using all natural materials), right up to the Legend from Vittoria.
Vittoria’s shoes are manufactured by hand at its Piedmont base in northern Italy. The use of super-supple kangaroo leather for the upper, raises these above being out-and-out race slippers.
The pliable natural material creases and conforms to your foot, with the closeness of the fit refined by good old-fashioned laces, which sit within ring-reinforced holes. The shoes come with two lace options: an understated thinner, round black lace and a more overt fluoro yellow, flat option.
The outsole is very much a race-optimised unit at a shallow 3.5mm thick. With a multitude of mesh-lined vents, it’s rigid while still offering plenty of breathability. I like the well-marked out print on the sole, which makes setting up your cleats correctly a doddle. The encapsulated cleat threads are neatly integrated, with plenty of side-to-side adjustment, and are rattle free.
My pair of size 45s weigh 612g, which is light enough not to notice and impressively light for real leather. The uppers are very generous and are better suited to bigger feet, but the shaping is good and the insole is a clever two-piece unit that allows you to take out the central section, which includes the arch support. Warm that section in the oven, refit the insole and shape them to fit by wearing.
Out on the road the Legends are extremely comfortable, especially on longer rides, even with the upper having no venting beyond holes pierced on the flanks. The sole venting means they never get overly sweaty, even on hot rides.
The lacing threads under an elasticated loop on the tongue to stop it shifting. The lining is half-leather, half-nylon, with a clever cat-tongue material bar that sits just above your heel to keep the shoe in place.
When riding hard or sprinting, you do get some movement in the upper because of the softness of the leather, so I wouldn’t recommend the Legends for aspiring racers or aggressive sprinters, especially with the volume of the shoe being bigger than most. But if you’re looking for a classic-looking shoe that’s as comfortable as your favourite pair of trainers, even after hours of riding, then the Legends are well worth a look.