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Spiuk ZS15R Road Shoes £109.95

Excellent, mid-level road shoes that will appeal to the comfort seekers rather than the out and out sprinters

Spuik's 3rd-level-down-from-the-top 15R shoes are aimed at "demanding cyclists in search of safe, strong, light, comfortable shoes capable of [getting] through tough, intensive training sessions with minimum suffering". During the last month I certainly went through some intensive sessions and found them to be excellent. Just watch the sizing.

Intensive session: exhibit A was the Tour of Flanders cycle. 235km of cobbles, bergs and general pain. During that eight-hour day I didn't think about my feet once. I was comfortable and had no noticeable hotspots or rubbing to speak of. That's pretty much the ideal situation for shoes if you ask me. However, just leaving it at "I could forget about them" isn't much if a review, so let's have a look at the shoes in a bit more detail.

The 15Rs hold your feet solidly with a combination of BOA style dial and standard ratchet strap. I was a big fan of this combo, as my previous Lakes just had a single BOA dial and I occasionally found this to be slightly fiddly to tighten evenly, due to friction building up in the runs for the cables. This ratchet/dial configuration seems to be a perfect way of fine tuning tension, as well as looking very smart.

Only once did I have a problem with one of the dials when it was a little stiff to release and required a bit of two handed elbow grease. Other than that the retention systems performed flawlessly. The ratchet strap sticks out a little from the ratchet mechanism but it wasn't enough to bother me at all.

The heat moulded uppers of the 15Rs have a series of holes punched in the surface to increase airflow. It's debatable as to whether this actually did work as I can't say I noticed a particular breeze blowing over my feet at any point. At the same time, my feet were never hot either. The surface of the uppers has a shiny finish, which was a cinch to keep clean compared to other shoes I've used in the past.

Looking at the soles, the polyamide and fibreglass footbed was certainly stiff. However I would say that it wasn't quite on the same level of rock solid as the carbon-soled Specializeds and Lakes I've had in the past. It's not as if I found myself thinking 'blimey these shoes are a bit floppy' while climbing or sprinting, though: far from it. For a rider like me who looks for big distances over big speeds, the slight extra compliance was very welcome. The heel protectors seem plenty strong and durable for walking around in; after a month and a bit of use there's minimal wear on them.

Sizing was a bit interesting on the 15Rs. Every cycling shoe I have ever ridden has been a 42, but for the Spuiks 43 was the magic number. If you are considering a pair of these shoes, you might need to go up a size. Or even better, try them on in a shop if you get the chance.

The 15Rs are very competitively priced, in an area of cycling where it seems the sky is the limit. I would be happy paying just under £110 for this pair of shoes.

Overall the Spuik R15s have been trusty, comfortable vessels for my feet over the last month or so. Provided you get the size right, they are some of the most capable mid-level road shoes available at the moment. If you are all about pure wattage you might be happier looking for a carbon-soled shoe but for comfort I found the R15s hard to beat.

Verdict Excellent, mid-level road shoes that will appeal to the comfort seekers rather than the out and out sprinters

Overall Rating: 8/10

For more great reviews from Road CC click here. 

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Technical specifications are for guidance only and cannot be guaranteed accurate. All offers are subject to availability and while stocks last. Errors and omissions excepted. Silverfish UK Limited acts as a credit intermediary and only offers credit products for Close Brothers Retail Finance. Its registered office is: Close Brothers Group plc, 10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT. Credit is subject to application and status.

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