Cool Gear: Vittoria Arrow Shoes
It’s not every day I am sent a new pair of cycling shoes and this is the first pair of carbon soled shoes I have tried. Now what a beautiful piece of Italian work-man ship the Vittoria Arrows are.
My memory of Vittoria shoes is of Stephen Roche winning the Giro, the Tour and the World Champs in the same year, but there has been many other famous riders in Vittoria: Cipo, Pantani, Garzelli, Fondriest, Argentin, Frigo and the other famous Irishman Sean Kelly – so you can feel good about the company you keep.
Technical Stuff First
The sole is what these shoes are all about, the pair I was sent has the Vittoria full carbon-scorpion lightech sole, these have a thickness of 3.5 mm which keeps the distance from foot to pedal to a minimum and so light I thought the post man had nicked them out of the box. One thing did strike me, it is a shame that no one will see the sole and more importantly I couldn’t look at them when I was riding!
They also come with an option of the C.N.S carbon heart sole, which is a carbon insert to stiffen up the middle.
I did catch myself looking at the upper a bit too often, my pair are a bright silver and light blue colour in Lorica high density nylon mesh and Prebax. The fastenings are two Velcro straps and one ratchet strap.
They strap on with what Vittoria calls the C.R.S. – Combined Regulation System, that perfectly adapts the shoe to the athlete’s foot. They say this is a new fastening solution, but I must say it is very similar to the other systems on the market, so it works well.
OK to the first ride in the shoes, setting up the look plates was easy, with other shoes I’ve had problems, too close to the crank or I rub the chain stay of the frame with the inside of my heel, but with these it was just a slight adjustment to each of them.The CRS worked great and I was away.
I thought I had better not climb too much or go too far from home in new shoes, so with a friend (Allan) we headed off to a short circuit of undulating roads. I admit I hadn’t been doing so much on the bike since I fell off my scooter at Christmas due to a bit much beer, sustaining broken ribs and foot. But today with a new pair of shoes I was feeling frisky, but worst luck so was Allan, well as much as two over-weight ex-team mechanics can.
All the power that I pushed down with seemed to go into a forward motion, no flex and no give, all raw power! I whooped his ass! Until un-fitness kicked in, not the shoes’ fault, all mine.
Call Me Carbon-ized!
To sum things up: a very classy pair of shoes, carbon soles are a must for the racing man, no loss of power and they do give you a feeling of strength.
Two comments: I did get a burning sensation on the sole of my foot just above the shoe plate, this could be the rigidity of the sole, but on the next outing I wore my PEZ socks by DeFeet and didn’t have the problem, but it was a cooler day, so I will wait till it’s over 30єC in the summer to see how they perform.
The hot spots over the cleat are often caused by the sole flexing over the cleat and the bulge created (allowed by flex) is where the hot spot starts. Vittoria make nice shoes and are known for light weight. This slight flex might be the trade off.
The other comment is the amount of “V’s” on the shoes, one or two would be OK, but they have not left any anonymity and everyone who has seen me with them on has commented “new shoes then?” Definitely not for the wallflowers out there.
All that said they are a very very good pair of cycling shoes, much better than my old ones, that’s for sure!
Where To Buy ‘Em
Check out the Vittoria Shoes website for the fulline of road and mtb shoes at:
Then ask Torelli Imports Torelli.com – the US distributor – for a dealer near you.