Northwave's top-of-the-range shoe, but is it top-of-the-range performance?
The Extreme RRs sit atop Northwave’s road shoe collection, having made their debut at Eurobike last year.
They come equipped with all the trimmings that you’d expect from a high-end shoe, including Northwave’s own-brand SLW2 dial and stiff carbon sole.
Based on a Boa dial, the SLW2 has a similar ratchet system, which incrementally clicks to tighten the shoe.
Less intuitive, though, is the quick-release system, which involves pulling the silver lever upwards to unravel the wire. It’s definitely not as slick as a Boa dial, or even KTM’s shoe system which involves back twisting the dial a little to release the wire.
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Sadly, the shoe in general is not as innovative as Northwave would like to suggest, and the single dial can’t quite get the fit as snug as a two dial system.
Frustratingly, tightening the system to improve the fit only increases the pressure points as well as the rubbing on the heel.
Northwave has tried to improve the situation through its ‘X-Frame construction’, which it claims provides the snuggest, most even fit.
However, I had persistent issues with the fit, struggling with rubbing on my heels and toes, even on the shortest rides.
Next time, I’d opt for 44 – a size up – despite the fact that I normally ride in a size 43 shoe without any discomfort.
I’d definitely recommend trying these before buying them as £294.99 is a lot of money to spend on ill-fitting shoes.
Happily, I had no problems with the stiffness of the sole and I never felt any pressure points from the pedals despite its skinny stature and that dazzling colour looks great to boot.
For such an expensive shoe, the Northwave Extreme RR doesn't quite live up to its billing, with persistent fit issues and rubbing. It's definitely worth trying before buying to make sure the fit is right for your feet.