At a slightly more accessible price than other models, the Northwave Evolution Plus shoes make an attractive option. The understated looks will appeal to more reserved riders and the performance is excellent. Compared to other options they are on the portly side and the slight fit issue I had makes it important to try before you buy.
Easy dial adjustment
Tongue might be too tall for some riders
Taking their design cues from the top of the line Extreme Tech Plus shoes (as worn by Lampre-Merida riders in this year’s WorldTour races) the Northwave Evolution Plus shoes have innovative tech incorporated to make them worth considering as your next pair of shoes.
>>> Buyer's guide to cycling shoes
The Northwave Evolution Plus shoes utilise what the Italian company calls its BioMap upper construction. This is an ultralight PU material put together in such a way as to create a seamless inner surface, in order to increase comfort and prevent unwanted pressure spots that can be associated with seams.
To even out tension across the foot Northwave employs its ingenious SLW2 dial system. This has a unique design that allows either full release or a more practical incremental adjustment for better, on-the-fly comfort. The lace material is very thin and compliant and in practice it creates a very secure and even level of foot retention. I was a little worried that quick twists might tangle the lace and jam the dial but despite my best efforts it functioned smoothly throughout testing.
For an Italian company Northwave produces shoes with a much more practical and comfortable last for our wider British feet and the fit of the Northwave Evolution Plus shoes was in general, very good. Sizing is quite accurate but as with any shoe it is important to try a pair on first. The only critical area for me was an area of the upper dug into my ankle near the front, pinching the skin and causing some irritation – most riders probably won’t have any such issues.
The carbon and fibreglass Carbon Light sole unit is given a 10 on Northwave’s stiffness index and it is plenty stiff enough for demanding riding and racing. Though not as thin as on the more expensive models the well ventilated soles of the Northwave Evolution Plus shoes benefit from compatibility with their own Speedplay adapter to reduce stack height when using Speedplay pedals to a minimal 0.5mm.
For more detail visit the iRide website (opens in new tab).
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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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