One of the best road cycling shoes regardless of cost for the average rider. Comfort and stiffness are in almost perfect balance making the Velocis a near perfect environment to place your feet.
Long distance comfort
Stiff without discomfort
Perforated upper makes it a little chilly in cold conditions
The Bontrager Velocis Road shoes were selected for an Editor's Choice award in 2020. This year's list contains 78 items which scored a 9 or 10/10 with our tech team - this gear is the best of the best, and has received the Cycling Weekly stamp of approval.
To keep things simple Trek's component arm Bontrager uses an umbrella name to group products of a similar level and use into 'families'. Velocis is the name given to Bontrager's high quality, dedicated road kit that shares many of the same features of the flagship range; just at a more affordable price point.
This rung of the ladder is about providing gear designed to be the perfect aspirational kit for the everyday rider, and the Bontrager Velocis Road shoe is, as you rightly suspect, the shoe that tops off the range.
The Velocis is available in standard and women's specific versions, the only differences are the women's shoe goes down to a size 36 and has another colour option.
The first thing you notice about the Velocis is just how light it is compared to other, similar priced shoes. It uses a very light, perforated synthetic material for the upper that features a reinforced toe box as well as additional material to stabilise the heel.
A genuine BOA IP1 dial takes care of the majority of the retention but Bontrager has also added a velcro strap to adjust tension across the forefoot. Personally, I think the velcro strap could even be dropped to make the shoes even lighter, that's how good the BOA retention really is now. The tongue is almost luxuriously padded and this extends around the top of the shoe to cushion and hold the heel.
The carbon/fibreglass composite sole Bontrager uses for the Velocis is very thin at around 8mm in depth at its thickest. This puts the foot closer to the pedal axle for increased efficiency. It's labelled as a stiffness index of ten out of fourteen, but as this applies only to Bontrager shoes it is difficult to compare to other brands stiffness indexes.
In the real world it is incredibly stiff around the fore and mid-foot area which is where you need it but has a bit of tuned flex at the toe as well as some lateral/twisting flex. This is almost ideal for a shoe that the majority of us will never race in as it allows the foot to naturally move a little more thus increasing all-day comfort without compromising pedalling efficiency.
Fit and performance
The Velocis has to be one of the most comfortable shoes I have worn in a long time. The fit is almost perfect for my feet (medium volume, mid-width but with annoying bony bits) and the soft upper conformed to my foot shape almost as if they were custom moulded.
More often than not I need to have a couple of rides to get used to a shoe but the biggest compliment I could give the Velocis is I didn't even notice them on even the first ride. And that is a very good thing. Extra credit has to go to the tongue and its much appreciated padding.
Performance under load is excellent, this was especially noticeable during a hard seventy mile headwind ride when every pedal stroke mattered. The stiffness is almost perfect for a rider wanting to make sure efficiency is maintained without resorting to an incredibly stiff and invariably expensive race shoe.
The only issue I could really have with the Velocis is it might not be the best shoe for lower temperatures owing to the perforated nature of the upper and the vented carbon sole.
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James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.
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