Udog is a newcomer to the market, but its Cima shoes are every bit as capable as offerings from mainstream brands. The sole is stiff and offers excellent power transfer, and the knit upper allows for freedom of movement with the laces enabling you to get the fit just right. Our shoes did come in heavier than the claim however.
Competitive on weight vs price
More comfortable than traditional uppers
Stiff sole competes with the best
Moulding over the toes isn't aesthetically pleasing
A fair bit heavier than the claim
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Udog's Cima cycling shoes are the latest offering from the Italian direct to consumer brand. These are performance orientated shoes, made from a one-piece seamless knit material on the upper with a carbon fibre sole.
Cima translates to ‘summit’ or ‘mountain-top’, and with a claimed weight at 240g in a size 42 (ours came in at 283g for a size 44), these are targeted at those seeking low weight. Coming in at £220/$300 they align themselves directly alongside some big names like, Bont, Sidi, Fizik and Rapha’s Pro Team shoes.
Udog Cima cycling shoes: construction and fit
Udog has rated the stiffness of its soles as "11". However, there is no standardised stiffness rating for cycling shoes - so one brand's rating isn't comparable to that of another. Regardless, these felt extremely stiff out of the box - there's no flex in the sole.
The sole is finished with an integrated (non-removeable) rubber heel and toe caps. Also housed in the sole is a directional ventilation channel, filtering air from above the cleat, into the sole of the shoe and back out behind the cleat.
The upper of the shoe, made from the Knit material is supportive, breathable, lightweight and also waterproof, great if you’re caught out in a shower - but I wouldn’t solely rely on that come downpour, Spatz or overshoes would be your better friend here.
The decision to opt for lace-ups over a Boa retention system has been made based on fit and comfort, the laces offer 16 points of contact with the top of the foot over the Boa system which has two tightening points offering four points of contact. As a handy by-product, laces are also lighter.
Personally, I prefer lace-ups, I think they look better than Boa dials and I also find them more comfortable on longer days in the saddle.
The Pocket Tongue System (PTS) - which lets you tuck the laces in - has been built in to ensure no loose strands come into contact with spinning cranks. The tongue then slips into an elasticated band across the laces to make the shoes just that little bit more ‘aero’.
The heel cup is generous and comfortable and the toe box is wide, giving the space to stretch out your toes on longer rides, if needed. Top end shoes often have narrow toe boxes, and this deviation from the norm was welcome.
When it comes to weight, Udog claims 240g for a size 42, at £220/$300. Comparatively, Specialized boasts 236g for a size 42 in its new S-Works 7 Lace shoes, these retail at £300/$325 - so Udog's shoes come close, with quite a hefty saving. However, our pair weighed in at 283g for a size 44; it's normal to find some variation between the claim and actual weight, but an additional 40g is quite a boost, even considering the slightly larger size.
Udog markets these shoes as "gender neutral", asked what it meant by this, the brand said "they can be used by men and women, call it unisex." However, most cycling shoes can be worn by men and women, women's specific cycling shoes are generally built around a female-specific last with a narrower heel cup. With the Udog's starting at a size 38 - where many women's specific cycling shoes start at 36 - it seems more likely that the target audience is male.
Udog Cima cycling shoes: the ride
The stiff soles on some premium cycling shoes can cause your feet to ache, after a while, a problem which can be exacerbated if the shoes don't properly support your feet - requiring an additional insole purchase. The Udog Cima shoes suffered from neither affliction: they were both comfortable and supportive.
The insole is soft and pliable, feet are pretty individual but it worked well for me. The super comfy knit material on the outside allows a little bit of wriggle room, I enjoyed the extra freedom of movement on offer compared with more restrictive shoes made from traditional materials.
As you would expect from a quality carbon fibre sole, there's no discernable flex as you pedal; it feels as if everything you’re putting into the pedal is being transferred from the cleat on your shoe to the transmission.
The knit was surprisingly insulating, I didn't use overshoes, even in the winter.
In terms of durability, the integrated rubber on the soles is resilient and I would wager that you'd need to walk a marathon before wearing it down. However, it's not replaceable - something which competitor brands do offer.
Udog offers the Cima in black or white. Aesthetically, the brand has created a clean look - though the moulded rubber at the toe box spoils the overall effect for me.
At €250/£220/$300, Udog has pitched itself against the heavy hitters of the industry. However, these shoes are every bit as capable as the mainstream competition, so whilst expensive, the price feels justifed.
- 240g (size 42)
- Sizes 38 to 46
- RRP: €250 – £220 - $300
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