Fizik R4B Uomo shoes - review - Road Cycling UK

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Fizik R4B Uomo shoes – review

Super comfortable, lightweight and stiff-soled shoes from Fizik

Fizik are best known for their saddles but they make some of the most desirable footwear in the cycling industry, from the race-pure R1B, worn by Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, to the ‘entry-level’ (yet still desirable) R5s.

Considering the hype around the whole range of Fizik cycling shoes, we were keen to find out where the R4s fit into the mix – and, in truth, it’s right in the middle.

The R4s, which will see you back £159.99, don’t have a full carbon sole, instead featuring a carbon-injected sole – a sort of halfway house between your carbon R1 and R3s, and the predominantly nylon R5s. However, that middle ground strikes a great balance between stiffness and comfort for most riders. On the underside of the shoes you’ll also find heel and toe bumpers to provide some protection when walking off the bike, but these aren’t replaceable.

The R4B Uomo is Fizik’s mid-range shoe, coming in at £159.99

In fact, on rides of 100km and over, we never felt any discomfort at all – no harshness – while the upper of the shoe is impressive too for that very reason. It’s made of a perforated microtex fabric, much like the cheaper R5s (£119.99), but here it’s much thinner, almost moulding around your foot. They feel much more like a focused and fast cycling shoe, as opposed to the R5, which can feel a little bulky, and so the £40 price different is certainly justified.

Another improvement over the R5 is inside, with the actual contact points of the feet. It features the same insole as the rest of the range, yet the curvature of the base of the shoe means the arch is supported too. While we don’t have pressure pods to test how this affects power output – if at all – we can testify this means the foot sits very naturally within the hold of the shoe, boosting the already excellent comfort. Over the course of a long day pounding on the pedals, this pays off.

Closure comes via a Boa dial and two velcro straps
  • Specification

  • Price: £159.99
  • Weight: 254g (size EU 42.5)
  • Sizes: 40-48
  • Size tested: 45
  • Colours: black/red; black/fluoro yellow
  • Website: Fizik
  • UK distributor: Extra

The shoes, like the R3 and R5s, are fastened using a single BOA dial, matched up with two Velcro straps lower down the foot over the toes. Unlike the R5 setup which is very central across the shoe, the R4s spread slightly wider, and pull the asymmetrical fitment across the whole of the top of the foot. In practise, this spreads any pressure over the top of the foot, rather than pushing down on top of the highest point. The result? A second skin feel. This is boosted by the heel, which is fitted without being constricting.

There’s a lot to like besides the comfort and fit. Power transfer is very good indeed, most evident when accelerating or climbing out of the saddle, and they look downright cool as well. Only available in a matte black, with either red or flouro yellow highlights, they’re svelte and subtle, but with just enough about them to stand out among the crowd – which the many positive comments from fellow riders are testament to. Those who like a white shoe better look elsewhere, however.

While Fizik’s top-end shoes, the R1 and R3s have a carbon sole, the R4 gets a carbon/nylon mix

At £159.99 for the pair, these aren’t especially cheap, but they’re well-matched against other mid-range options and you do get a great deal of performance and comfort for your money.

Conclusion

These Fizik R4B Uomo are an ideal performance road shoe for everyone; stiff and lightweight enough to race in, yet sturdy and comfortable enough for all day riding. And, they look great.

Pros

  • Superb comfort
  • Secure fit
  • Impressive stiffness

Cons

  • Limited colour options
  • Heel and toe bumpers aren’t replaceable

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