With the first track cycling events of the 2016 Rio Olympics just 55 days away, we’ve got another glimpse of the secret tech that Team GB riders will be using as they go in search of Olympic glory. This time it’s their shoes, and as is the case with all the equipment used in professional racing, they’re available to buy for the general public
First spotted in the wild when Bradley Wiggins turned up at his local 10 mile time trial a couple of weeks ago, the new shoes are made entirely from carbon-fibre and certainly don’t look to have been designed with comfort or ventilation in mind.
The shoes are custom-moulded for each rider to prevent their feet from moving around inside the shoes, with the whole thing secured using the dial from a Sidi shoe that is located on the sole of the shoe, keeping it safely out of the wind.
Also on the sole is a small rubber grip on the heel to prevent any embarrassing slips when walking around in the track centre, while the shoes areavailable with either four-bolt or three-bolt soles depending on whether riders use Speedplay or other pedals.
The shoes are manufactured by Simmons Racing, a small American company that specialises in custom cycling shoes and speed skates. The shoes are created from custom moulds of each rider’s feet, and cost an astonishing $2,000 (approx. £1370) per pair. The good news is that if you’re willing to forgo the full custom option in favour of semi-custom shoes created from a tracing of your feet, then the cost drops to just $950 (£650). Bargain!
Team GB riders aren’t the first cyclists to go down the road of custom shoes. Another American brand Rocket7 has made custom-moulded shoes for WorldTour pros including Greg Van Avermaet and Tom Boonen, while Lotto-Soudal rider Adam Hansen wears custom shoes that he has designed for himself.