2016 Interbike: Gravel / MTB Shoe Roundup!

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One of the most crucial interfaces to your gravel bike is the shoe and pedal connection. Like everything else related to bike and fit setup, these items are a personal choice – the pair of shoes and pedals your friend rides may not work for you. With that said, we covered some of the shoe options spotted at the 2016 Interbike show.

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The Bont Riot is better known as the world’s first carbon composite, heat moldable entry level cycling shoe – as in heat moldable in your home oven – to truly customize the fit. But the Riot shoes aren’t that “entry-level”. Originally, the Riot was available only for road. Now, it is available for road and MTB / gravel. The BOA dials are likely to be replaced with a ratchet type buckle when these shoes see production.

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The Riot’s sole is constructed from a composite material reinforced with several layers of carbon. Sole construction is cheaper than Bont’s higher end offerings but only a little weight is gained. Regardless, Bont claim the Riot MTB shoe weighs under 400 grams for the pair. Tread blocks on the Riot are replaceable.

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The Riot is available in a variety of colors, widths and sizes include half. Heaps of options for everyone! Priced at $US 199.00.

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The Vaypor G is the gravel / cyclocross version of Bont’s road-oriented Vaypor S shoe. Still in prototype, the Vaypor G takes much from Bont’s top-tier road shoe in that it is completely stripped down.

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There is none of the ruggedized / reinforcing features typically found on a mountain bike shoe. We don’t have weight available on the shoe, but the show sample felt extremely light.

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Notice the use of carbon fiber around the edge and rear of the shoe. In particular, the rear / heel cup of the shoe is slathered by carbon fiber. Bont claims this design feature improves stability of the rider’s foot.

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BOA dials help to keep the Vaypor G very light. Remember, this is a prototype and will likely be labeled Vaypor G when production begins.

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Full-carbon sole with replaceable tread blocks. Unfortunately, price is unknown at this time.

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Bont Cycling Shoes


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Giro – “The Empire VR90 is one of the lightest options available on dirt and sets the standard in high-performance off-road shoes.”

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“Highlights include a lightweight laced one-piece upper for unrivaled comfort, an Easton® EC90™full carbon outsole and molded Vibram® rubber tread for relentless grip.”

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“The upper is made of our breathable Evofiber™synthetic upper by Teijin® for superb fit and support that won’t stretch out with wear or weather.”

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Giro have added several color options including this hot red and black finish.

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Matte black and fluoro yello.

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Giro doesn’t forget about the ladies with this Berry / Bright Pink finish.

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The women’s version of the VR90 shoe includes the same high-end features offered in the men’s version.

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The men’s and women’s VR90 shoe is available in a multitude of sizes including half – and, a 60 day fit guarantee.

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If the fit isn’t comfortable in the first 60 days, Giro will work to make it right through their network of retailers. VR90’s are priced at $US 300.00.

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Not a gravel shoe, we snapped a few photographs of this extremely light prototype road shoe – the Giro Prolight Techlace.

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137 grams of lightweight insanity!

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Will a gravel / MTB version of the Prolight Techlace follow later on? Time will tell…

Giro Cycling


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All-new for 2017 is the top-tier Louis Garneau Copper T-Flex shoe. Garneau took the features offered in their Course Air Lite road shoe and incorporated them into this new release.

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For those logging the big miles on the gravel, the top of one’s foot can suffer pain if shoe fit is less than stellar. A series of offset straps on the Copper T-Flex are designed to reduce pressure when the shoe is fastened.

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Carbon T-Flex composite sole with dual-density lugs to help evacuate mud and alleviate heel pressure.

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Louis Garneau’s “Power Zone” offers increased arch support and power transfer. HRS100 is a .6mm anti-slip membrane that Garneau claims reduces the loss of power during pedaling. The rear of the shoe also features reflective striping.

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Two color options – The Bright yellow finish perfectly matches the Garneau Steeple XC bike we featured earlier – just a shame that is a team-only paint finish. Pricing is unavailable on the Garneau Copper T-Flex shoes at this time.

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Louis Garneau Shoes


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Sidi ups the ante with their lightest MTB shoe to date, dropping a claimed 100 grams per pair from their previous flagship MTB shoe, the Drako. Enter the MTB Tiger!

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Sidi claim the newest and lightest Drako Carbon SRS sole on the Tiger suffers no drop in power transfer or durability from older models.

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The medium-modulus carbon sole features replaceable tread blocks in the toe and heel and Sidi’s innovative removable / replaceable MTB plate, designed to prevent sole damage from pedal contact. Some pedal brands such as Crank Brothers recommend using a reinforcement plate between the cleat and the shoe in order to prevent cracking or denting the sole. The new sole is toe-spike compatible – good for icy conditions.

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“An adjustable heel retention device reinforces the top of the heel cup and improves the fit by closing the back of the shoe securely around the rider’s heel. The heel retention device tightens the top of the heel cup so that the heel doesn’t slide out during steep climbs or sprints. Each side of the heel can be adjusted independently for a perfect fit. For additional security while pedaling, the new adjustable heel device is provided with inserts for more visibility in dark conditions”.
Stock photo by Sidi Shoes.
Stock photo by Sidi Shoes.
Sidi’s ” Double Techno 3 Push System” speeds up putting on and taking off the Tiger shoes. Sidi claim the mechanism creates a perfect
tension balance between the shoe’s internal and external side.

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Available in two colors and plenty of sizes, the MTB Tiger is priced at $US 549.00.

Sidi Cycling Shoes

6 comments on “2016 Interbike: Gravel / MTB Shoe Roundup!

  1. Giro’s line of lace up shoes are a thing of the past, who cares how light they are. I have found BOA system shoes to have a far better fit than even ratcheting strap shoes as they even out the pressure point and they are fully adjustable on the fly. $550 for a flyweight shoe!? Come on Sidi, that’s ridiculous.

    1. I too love the BOA system – Gaerne user here. Some of these shoes are pricey indeed… Bont’s look to be one of the more appealing options without breaking the bank.

  2. why would some body want to wear white shoes when out in dirt/gravel roads? maybe Giro needs to sell them white belts to complete the look.

  3. I have been using the Specialized Mountain XC expert (boa closure) for a few months – exquisite fit and pretty light as well. Carbon midsole, about $199. They may not have been featured at the show – but I am loving them so far.

  4. I happen to own a pair of super light well fitting Bonts White Leather road shoes and the idea of wearing anything as fancy and delicate as they are off road is INSANE….The dam things get dirty some how just from road use. I keep them in the fancy bag they came in.
    Bad idea Unless your a Poser and not really taking the dirty path but staying on well paved roads.

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