Bont Helix

Bont is no doubt a high end performance shoe and the Helix offers all that but it seems to be a love hate thing with Bont shoes

Score

8/10

Pros

  • Comfortable for me
  • Weight

Cons

  • One Boa dial
  • Stiff sole won't be for everyone

Price as reviewed:

£349.99

I’m willing to bet that the Bont Helix cycling shoes are probably the only shoes that can boast internal cable routing. In fact, the new shoes are full of design quirks that make them easily identifiable as Bont shoes.

Compared with any shoe I’ve tested on the market Bont shoes have always felt the most robust and ultimately the most stiff. Almost surrounding your entire foot with performance, even the upper feel rigid, not allowing any wastage at any point of the pedal stroke.

Bont Helix

A curious colour

Before the off, I must concede that many cyclists will love Bont shoes with equal amounts saying the shoes don’t suit their feet. For example tech tester found these Bont Helix shoes to be very wide in his usual 44 size. However, I find my 42 to be spot on in terms of width and length.

To offer help with buying the correct size, Bont offer a simple way to measure your feet and will suggest a size for you. Which includes standard or wide options. Bont’s website explains at length the importance of its anatomical forefoot shape.

I used to use Bonts for when I was serious about racing, happy in the fact that I was getting all the performance I needed from my shoes, but for me that wasn’t at the detriment of comfort.

Even with the Bont Helix I don’t feel hot spots, rubbing, or any annoying pinches. This is a good thing as your feet will feel totally secure with minimal room for movement due to lack of give in the upper especially. You really need to make sure the size is right.

Despite their stiffness and robust feel these shoes are featherweight, with the Bont Helix being some of the lightest I’ve tried at 230g per shoe without cleats in a size 42.

Bont Helix

The design grows on you

The Bont Helix’s retention system is probably the most unusual that I’ve encountered. The wires cross the tongue of the shoe, entering an internal cable routing port before wrapping around the base and exiting the upper on the other side. If you flip the shoes over you can see the outlines of the cable housing where the sole has been moulded around it.

This works extremely well for a single Boa setup, however, it does mean that the tongue at the top of the foot folds slightly looking a little out of place and I have sometimes felt this pinch. A slight rework and it can be relieved no problem.

Only thing is, I think it would be better with two Boa dials and would ultimately mean a better overall fit that you could tailor a little to your needs. Only a small addition hear.

 


Watch: April’s tech of the month


A seriously stiff monocoque carbon sole gives these Bonts a performance edge. There’s absolutely no flex through it, and I couldn’t feel any give when working hard in a Zwift session. That same stiffness is present in the uppers, too, creating what feels like a shell around your foot. On the base is a target based system for getting your cleats dialled.

If you can get the right size and get the fit right, you’ll be onto a winner with the Bont Helix shoes. Although with a few guys in the office testing these shoes I really do see a little love hate relationship going on with Bont shoes. As they are almost the ultimate performance shoe you really do need to get the size right, otherwise they’ll be a pain.

For me though, I think they are amazing!

Verdict

The Bont Helix road shoes are in no doubt a performance shoe. I'm a Bont fan and find the shoes fit me very well, although I understand that many do suffer with them. However, the Helix is trying to solve that and Bont has stepped in the right direction to offer something for everyone.

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