Race shoes need to be light, stiff and comfortable. Gaerne’s new G-Stilo shoes certainly start off well, thanks to the Italian company’s latest carbon sole, the not-so-snappily named ‘EPS Light Weight’. This is very thin – less than 3mm at the footplate – yet completely rigid.
Dual reinforcing ridges in the sole, which stretch from toe to heel, are instrumental in keeping the bulk down and the stiffness up. Meanwhile, the injection-moulded carbon heelcups, with their shaped backs, eliminate any roll and prevent your heels from popping out when you’re lifting through the pedal stroke.
But it’s not all about efficiency. The G-Stilos are also extremely comfortable. The all-new, highly shaped non-slip insole and padded tongue make slipping these on a real pleasure. As comfortable as a pair of slippers? Pretty much, yes.
And thanks to a pair of Boa IP-1 dials you can fine-tune the fit too. These have true two-way micro adjustment, but like the original Boa, they’re still quick to undo. The dials are left- and right-shoe specific, while their hexagonal shape and rubberised finish make them easy to grip even with fingered gloves. A further Velcro strap offset across the toes offers even more adjustability, enabling you to achieve the perfect fit.
The venting is minimal, with small laser-cut pin-holes throughout the microfibre upper, and a tongue with breathable mesh panelling at its base. These combine with three small toe ports and three small mid-foot ports to create footwear that is more three-season than high summer.
The G-Stilos are also available with a Speedplay-specific – and Speedplay-approved – sole. Our size 45s weighed a very reasonable 560g, and we can’t fault anything about how comfortable these are, how stiff they feel, or even how well put together they are. Our only quibble is that while they have replaceable heel bumpers, you can’t replace the front bumper. Well, that and the bank account-bothering price…