The choice of Fabian Cancellara and Philippe Gilbert, the Northwave Evolution S.B.S is the Italian company’s latest pro race level shoe and has some interesting surprises hidden under its sleek white exterior.
Sitting second from the top (the Aerlite’s get that title), the Evolution S.B.S. shoes cost just over £200 and use an interesting material choice in the pursuit of a comfortable yet stiff shoe. It’s in the footbed that Northwave has taken the unusual step to use a shaped wooden arch support between the 3-layer carbon fibre outer sole and the insole.
This, claims Northwave, lets the ‘wood dampen the vibrations transmitted by the pedal and isolate the foot from overheating.” They also claim a 50% reduction in vibration compared to other shoes, a not inconsiderable amount. Both claims, if true, are something that would be appreciated whether smashing across the cobbles of northern France or sweltering in the mountains of the Alps.
Elsewhere, it’s business as usual for a shoe of this price. A generous mesh upper with a comfortable padded tongue, made from the same meshed material. A pair of light Velcro straps secures the shoe to the foot and a micro ratchet makes possible precise adjustment, even during racing.
While Spartacus has been riding his Northwave shoes to impressive podiums in the Spring Classics, winning several time trials and clinching his national road race champion’s jersey, we’ll be hoping some of his class rubs off on us on the more modest road races around the South East.
First ride impressions once we’ve fitted some cleats and taken them for a spin.