The women's-specific Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes have swiftly become my dream shoes, delivering high-level performance and comfort.
The very definition of form and function. Comfy as a slipper, as strong as silicon carbide with head turning looks. There is not one aspect of the Liv Macha Pro Carbon road shoes that came up short, which is why they've made it on to Editor’s Choice 2019.
As with most things cycling related, there's generally a direct line between the top-notch products for the pros and the things us mere cycling mortals end up purchasing.
That's not to say the products lower down the pecking order aren't great buys, and ownership of any new cycling-related clobber is always a privilege, but getting my grubby little mitts on the Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes was a 'do a little dance at the desk' day, as not only do they look awesome in the flesh, but they are exactly what the CCC-Liv squad will be riding all season and who doesn't want to ride shoes that the pros do?
As expected from any high-end product, the construction of the Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes is tech-packed.
The women's-specific Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes have been built specifically off a female last, making them fit with a reduced forefoot and heel cup volume. It won't suit every female rider, but Liv has done its research and discovered that most women do fall into this fit categorisation.
The carbon element of the name comes from the sole of the shoe, with what Liv calls its ExoBeam Plate, along with its 100% Motion Efficiency System carbon-fibre outsole. Liv says these two systems not only keep the forefoot stiff for efficient power transfer of every pedal stroke, but they enable just enough torsional flex of the shoe around the rear and mid foot to allow natural foot, ankle and knee movement to help prevent injury. This is music to my ears, as it's an area I suffered with in the much revered Specialized S-Works 6 which, frustratingly for me, were just fundamentally too stiff for me.
Up on top, the Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes use a manmade upper, mostly because this keeps the weight of the shoes down to 480g for a size EU40 pair. This puts them firmly in the lightweight category, although still weighing about 100g more than the aforementioned Specialized S-Works 6, but still 80g or so less than many other brands such as the Sidi Wire Air in a like-for-like size comparison.
The overal shoe weight is also kept low thanks to the inclusion of the double Boa closure. It's a tried and tested system that, despite other options coming onto the market, brands keep going back to time and again as it's just so lightweight, effective, comfortable and practical.
As well as significant ventilation being built into the Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes, they also feature an inbuilt TransTexturaPlus sock liner. Liv says this not only lets heat escape, keeps feet feeling fresh, but also provides adjustable arch support, allowing you to dial the ride right for you.
Arriving on my desk early autumn has meant ride opportunities for the Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes have been somewhat few and far between. In fact it's taken a few months to get enough miles in the shoes under my belt to consider it a review.
This is because, quite frankly, they're too pretty to get mucky. I'm promised by Liv that the pearlescent white upper makes them super durable, but I just couldn't bring myself to ride them on wet rides when road spray has been known to write off some previous white beauties.
They're also incredibly ventilated: it was actually succumbing to indoor training that I've been riding them again and reminding myself why I wanted to keep them so pristine – because these have become my firm favourite new disco slippers.
To start with they're so incredibly comfortable. They balance the stiffness v comfort threshold so well. I can happily jump out the saddle for a sprint, work hard on a climb and not once do I find the Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes wanting.
I can suffer with both numbness in the ball of my foot as well as heel soreness when on long rides, but these weren't an issue either. The 100g weight increase over the Specialized S-Works 6 has been well put to use in giving the heel cup a good deal of padding, which I'm told is also down to a microfibre collar lining that resists slipping.
The fit is snug, think foot cradling not squeezing, and adjusting the fitting on the move is, as expected, a breeze thanks to the Boa system.
They've got the looks and the fit – what's not to love?
As expected, high end does mean high price. However, compared to its dream shoe peers, the Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes are actually one of the cheaper pairs.
If you're happy to wear in all weather they'll quickly become your go-to pair, and if you do keep them for high days and holidays then they'll just last you for longer. Either way, when you break down cost per wear, for this level of performance and comfort they're great value.
Dorothy had her ruby red slippers for going home, Jamiroquai had canned heat in his, and I just want the Liv Macha Pro Carbon Road Shoes for cycling from now on.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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