Ah, shoes, perhaps nothing stirs the blood of a performance minded road cyclist more than their footwear, there’s even an Instagram account dedicated to bicycle based shoe fetishisation.
And 2018 looks to be a bumper year in the shoe world with some key brands releasing updated versions of their top spec models, so we spent some time staring at professional cyclists' feet at the Tour Down Under to see what’s hot and what’s not.
1. Specialized S-Works 7
The big S has updated the top spec S-Works shoe for 2018 and imaginatively called them the S-Works 7.
The S-Works 6 model was an all-time classic for both professionals and amateurs alike, and while information on these new shoes is currently scarce, we suspect it will be lighter, stiffer and just as expensive as before.
With Peter Sagan rocking a pair in 2018, there’s no doubt you’ll be seeing them doing plenty of wheelies throughout the season.
2. DMT D1
Spotted on the feet of new Quick Step recruit Elia Viviani, these simple but brightly coloured DMT D1s are sure to get you noticed down at the local cafe.
DMT is somewhat of a rarity among the pros, so information on this shoe is scarce, although DMT claims a weight of 260 grams for a size 41. That’s light but not earth shatteringly so.
Looking at the photos it seems the D1 has a generously sculpted carbon last much like a Sidi shot, and if you don’t fancy the full fluro model, DMT also does a more subdued black or white colourway.
If DMT shoes look familiar it’s because they’re rumoured to make the Nike shoes for riders such as Mark Cavendish and Adam Blyth.
3. Fizik infinito R1
Another all new shoe for 2018 is Fizik’s infinito R1.
Fizik is a firm favourite in the pro peloton, with the likes of Philippe Gilbert and Geraint Thomas sporting their subtle yet stylish wares. However, for 2018 Fizik has turned the endorsement dial up to 11 by supplying the whole Movistar team with its Infinito R1.
It's also provided the Spanish squad with a custom colourway, to help them stand out from the crowd.
Although, with Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa on Fizik's books we doubt you’ll have to look too hard to see the Infinito R1s at the front of races in 2018.
Team Sunweb have gone full Giant this year, with the global bike company providing the team with nearly every piece of equipment, including shoes.
At the time of writing, information on these new kicks is scarce, but they appear to be based on an evolution of the brand's Exobeam sole, which already features on the Surge V2 road shoes and Charge MES MTB shoes.
This utilises a substantial carbon plate under the heel and the cleat, tapering through the middle of the shoe in order to provide a touch of lateral flex — as Giant puts it: "maintain efficiency while reducing the negative effects of conventional stiff shoes."
Now that’s a whole load of marketing speak right there, but we’re still very interested to see how the Sunweb riders get on with these shoes in 2018.
5. Giro Prolight Techlace
In a sport where weight matters it’s easy to see why Giro’s Prolight Techlace is a firm favourite for some of Team BMC’s Grand Tour contenders.
The claimed weight is just 150g for a size 42.5 shoe, which is achieved by using a paper thin upper and a combination of both laces and Velcro to keep everything locked in place.