Supremely comfortable (as long as they fit you) and ruthless efficiency wrapped up in a pretty gorgeous package. Suplest's EDGE+ Road Pro shoe is a real contender for the best race shoe I have ever tested.
Supportive insole and comfort
Non-replaceable sole parts
By James Bracey
The Suplest EDGE+ Road Pro 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.
Suplest has long sat on the periphery of the performance shoe market. To be honest it's a mystery why it hasn't quite garnered the levels of popularity other brands enjoy when its shoes, such as the Suplest EDGE+ Road Pro on test, are of such high quality.
The EDGE+ Road Pro oozes class from the overall aesthetic to the quality of the construction. It uses a thin microfibre material sourced from Japan for the upper construction. To keep comfort to the maximum Suplest forego traditional seams in favour of a bonding construction technique to fix the panels together. This not only increases long-term durability but also keeps the bulk to a minimum. The upper also incorporates a wrap-over tongue design to keep everything where it should be when wearing the shoes, a relatively thin amount of padding is also added to keep the bony upper part of your foot protected when the shoe is tightened.
Suplest has, like many other shoe brands, opted for BOA dials to keep the EDGE+ Road Pro in place, in this case utilising twin IP1 dials. These are BOA's most multi-function dials and not only have micro-adjust tightening but also micro and macro adjustable loosening as well, enabling rapid minute tweaks of the tension when out on the bike if you feel the need. They can, of course, be simply replaced in the case of a malfunction so do make real sense on a top-end shoe.
Suplest has also gone one further when considering foot comfort when using the thin laces associated with BOA systems. Across the main section the laces cover Suplest has added a super thin, flexible layer of carbon fibre to spread the load across a larger area. This not only really works but makes the shoes look ultra trick.
The finish of the upper is also another plus point for the EDGE+ Road Pro. The stippled print that wraps around the shoe not only looks good but also cleverly hides the perforations found around the toe box. I also really like the fact that the inside panel is plain black to guard against those annoying crank rubs that can ruin a shoe pretty quickly. If the white finish isn't for you Suplest also does a couple of classy black versions including a distinctive black and gold Fabian Cancellara edition for no extra cost.
Suplest has also included one of the best standard insoles I have used from any manufacturer in the form of its Solestar insole. It's not light and does add to the high overall weight of the EDGE+ Road Pro but boy is it supportive.
Made up of two parts, a soft upper and stiff, supportive layer it really holds your foot in place and even with my relatively high arches I felt there was more support than most standard insoles. It even has a metatarsal button to spread the pressure through the foot evenly. Certainly my knee tracking was better in these than in most other shoes without having to resort to customised orthotics and I never felt any hotspots or foot pain when pedalling hard or for long periods of time.
The fit of the shoe is also pretty good. I have a medium width foot and the Suplest certainly felt comfortable even on hard seventy plus milers. However on the turbo I did notice that the outside of my right foot did get a little cramped - it wasn't painful and the shoe material is very accommodating for lumps and bumps - but if you have wide feet you might want to test these out first before committing the rather large sum of money for them. Going up a half size might have helped but in all other aspects the fit was spot on with absolutely zero heel lift - something the added gripper material at the heel certainly helped with.
The final piece that adds to the performance packed EDGE+ Road Pro is the super stiff ERGO 360 carbon sole. This is made using UD carbon fibres and to make it as light as possible has a foam filled core. This is also really thin so helps you feel properly connected to the pedals. Riding in the shoes and you get a real sense that all of your effort is being pushed through the shoe and translated into forward momentum.
I really liked the precision cleat alignment markings that are a cut above what you normally find on most shoes. One thing to note is that even though the heel and toe bumpers are pretty substantial they are not replaceable.
All of this quality does add up though and the Suplest EDGE+ Road Pro does come out quite a bit heavier than other equivalent priced shoes such as Specialized's S-Works 7 and Giro's Imperial and a large part of that is down to the Solestar insole. However the overall comfort is so good that it's a fault I'm totally willing to overlook.
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