The Domestique Critique: Pink is the New Pink

A shock of color in a comfortable shoe.

A color does not have a gender, so I’m ambivalent about people’s feelings toward pink. You can vilify it, embrace it, flash it, hide it, wear it as a badge of honor, or reject it completely. I will simply admit that it looks badass as a cycling shoe.

This is my first Louis Garneau shoe, and they called to me from high on the shelf.  If you can’t find them locally, they retail online for US $149.99. I wear a 6 1/2 shoe and fit a size 38.

Trying them on in the shop, the shoe felt comfortable and soft right away and I liked the hug of the heel. I could see them matching or popping against so much kit, I just had to have them.

The upper part of this shoe is made from a synthetic leather with two mesh inserts at the toe box from breathability. The sole is an Ergo Air® II reinforced nylon and features a patented ventilation system that is visible in the photo below. The shoes tighten with a BOA adjustment system and hook and loop fastener foot closure – with the single-rail dial delivering a quick attachment. The shoes weigh in a 272g, making them the lightest pair I currently own.

The Good

  • It’s a perfect pink color, and the rich hue remains even across the changes in material.
  • It’s a wider shoe so you avoid hotspots on the sides of your feet. It gives plenty of room for a slightly swollen foot after long rides or a natural widening of the foot when climbing.
  • I forgot to change out to my custom insoles and still had a pain-free ride in these shoes. They do offer a touch more arch support out of the box than most.
  • The Boa closure system allows your foot to feel secure in the shoe, even if you loosen it a bit for heat. It’s easy on, easy off.
  • I was pleasantly surprised by the stiff sole, even though outsole is nylon/fiberglass (without the pricetag of carbon).
  • I appreciate the reflective striping on the back heel of the shoe. More visibility is always better, day or night.

The Bad

  • Even with more mesh panels than a Giro Empire, you will still find that this shoe runs hot.
  • At first I liked the hug of the heel, but then I found it to be a little too high, and it pinched my achilles, especially when walking in the shoes. I may have to add a heel lift to make this better.
  • Honestly, the velcro strap has really no use because the shoe is quite structured and stiff (thick materials). It could just be removed for a sleeker, more aero design.
  • You may find extra length in the toe box bothersome, but when I found the size that was most comfortable it turns out it was longer than my other shoes that were also a 37/38.

 

 

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