Evans Cycles has been producing some great-value, high-performing products under its FWE (the initials of the company’s founder) label for a number of years. In 2018 it added two road shoes to the mix. The Comp, tested here, and the Sport both sit under the Beacon moniker, the name inspired by the South Downs climb of Ditchling Beacon not far from its West Sussex HQ.
While the Beacon has been the downfall of many a London to Brighton rider it’s no Alpine giant, and the shoes don’t make any obvious concessions to climbers —at 320g for a size 44 they’re not lightweights. That said, the Comp has plenty of features that make it a competitive choice at this price.
While some people love a clean, plain black shoe, others think they look like football boots. Whichever aesthetic camp your foot is in, the Comp’s lined microfibre upper provides a comfortable fit.
It feels thicker than other performance shoes and only has small perforations for breathability. Testing coincided with warmer weather and my feet did get sweaty, even in thin socks. However, the Beacons never became uncomfortably hot and the flip side is they’ll likely work well even during the inevitable ‘coldest winter since records began’.
The fastening is a combination of two Velcro straps and a ratchet on the top strap — a tried-and-tested system working just fine. If you’ve got wider feet, the Beacon could be worth a look as there’s plenty of volume.
If you have narrow feet, the shoes need ratcheting right up, but, even then, they never felt completely secure and I experienced some heel slip. That said, if they fit well there’s plenty of padding around the heel cup.
The thermoplastic sole is pretty good, it’s not carbon stiff but it's good enough for most of us. Heel and toe bumpers add protection when walking but aren’t replaceable. The footbed is dual density, and while not especially thick it’s comfortable. There’s no extra arch support if you need this, though.
The Beacons have a nicely padded tongue, which doesn’t move around or create extra pressure. Mine was slightly crudely sewn onto the upper, with raised seams so bear this in mind if you’ve ever suffered from problems with rubbing over your toes.
The Beacon Comps are robust and subtle riding shoes that you can put on and simply forget you’re wearing. They’re available in men’s and women’s sizing.