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Gear

A Curious Case of Italian Shoe Fetish

Admit it. It's okay. Deal with it. You love cycling shoes. Here are a few!

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U-Dog CIMA

Cycling shoes can get expensive, that’s no secret. Upstart Italian direct-to-consumer brand U-Dog (short for “Underdog”) is looking to bring more value to this space with its new models. The second shoe in its lineup, the CIMA, introduces a one-piece, seamless knit upper in a lightweight package. Thanks to engineered knit material, U-Dog can control the pattern throughout for zonal differences—tight-knit in the arch for greater support and more open in the toe box for breathability and comfort. Like many other shoes these days, the CIMA utilizes a more retro technology, laces, rather than dials or other closure systems. But it’s not antiquated; there’s some innovation on this front, too. Proprietary flat laces stay locked in place throughout a ride, and the upper allows for multiple lacing patterns to adapt to different-sized feet. The upper then gets paired with a super-stiff carbon composite outsole that features built-in ventilation. U-Dog manages to fit all this into a 240-gram package that retails for $300, sent right to your door. The brand also has a $200 shoe in its lineup, which, likewise, promises far more performance than its price tag. $300; 240g/shoe (size 42); 2 colors; udog.cc

Sidi Shot 2

For Sidi, a brand that seems to have been making cycling shoes forever, the Shot 2 represents the culmination of everything it has learned packed into one model. The second iteration of the Shot gets a reworked outsole that offers greater power transfer through a more supportive metatarsal area. And there’s now an extra 5mm of adjustability available for the cleats, meaning an even more precise fit. To remove pressure from the instep, Sidi has rolled out a new Double Tecno-3 Push Flex closure system that can better adapt to different-sized feet. Plus, a new integrated heel cup is lighter while helping to better lock the foot in place. In a throwaway world where some high-end shoes are designed to last only a season or so, Sidi still makes replaceable components, coupled with exquisite craftsmanship, a cornerstone of its shoes. Whether it’s the heel/toe protectors on the soles or the heel-retention device and Tecno-3 system, if you can break it or wear it out, you can most likely fix it too. When you’re spending north of $500 on shoes, that’s important. $580; 4 colors; ciclista-america.com

DMT KR0

With the KR0, DMT improves upon the knit technology introduced in the KR1, creating a lighter, stiffer, more comfortable, and breathable shoe. DMT has more than a decade of experience with knit shoes so it’s safe to say the company knows what it’s doing. Taking full advantage of the possibilities of this style of upper, DMT crafts each zone throughout for different characteristics as needed, from support to breathability. And the flexible nature of this upper means a more comfortable fit for even more riders. This tech also keeps weight to the absolute minimum. All in, the KR0 weighs just 210 grams per shoe for a size 42. It’s not just a more comfortable shoe, though. The outsole has been reworked as well. An anatomic carbon SL outsole ensures even more of your power turns into speed than before. Don’t believe us? Just ask Italian sprinter Elia Viviani who helped develop the shoe. DMT doesn’t ignore the need for ventilation in the outsole either, including generously sized vents for a breezy ride. To secure the foot in place, DMT turns to BOA, including two of the latest generation Li2 dials. This flagship shoe, which comes in four colors, is priced accordingly. $490; 4 colors; alebikewear.com