Choosing road cycling shoes is by no means simple. The market offers models of road cycling shoes that differ in price, color, material quality and technical features. In this article you will find some insights from the Northwave Team to choose the right shoe for you.


First of all, you need to keep in mind that for a ride on your road bike, fitting shoes that are comfortable and allow you to achieve the desired performance is a key aspect and should be carefully considered.

Buying road cycling shoes that are not suitable for your needs means risking shelving them only after a few rides.

The right size

The first aspect to consider when buying a pair of cycling shoes is to choose the correct size. Inside each product on you will find the size chart that allows you, after measuring the length of your foot and metatarsal circumference, to choose the perfect size for your foot. Remember that there are not exclusively full sizes; you may need a "half size" as well.

Choosing the correct size for your foot means guaranteeing yourself a comfortable shoe, something to consider especially for those outings that last several hours. The fit of the shoe should be neither too tight nor too loose, otherwise there is a risk of living with discomfort and pain both during and after pedaling.

At Northwave, we have also thought about those who need a wide-fitting cycling shoe, making the Core Plus 2 Wide so that anyone can enjoy a ride on their road bike.

The locking system

Another aspect to consider is related to the closure system of your Northwave cycling shoe. The new SLW3 developed by X-Dial is totally new and offers an ultra-fast micrometric closure. The mechanism is compact, very light and intuitive, with a simple rotation of the dial allowing fast and accurate closure. The side button allows the closure to be adjusted even while pedaling. This system avoids the creation of pressure points on the foot. Shoes such as the Extreme Pro 2 and Revolution 3 possess two rotors, while other Northwave shoes such as, for example, the Storm Carbon 2 and Core Plus 2 possess a single rotor.

Another closure system, used for models in the mid-to-low price range is the strap closure, which is equally convenient particularly for those who want to enjoy a ride on their road bike to the fullest. Northwave shoes with this closure system are the Core 2 and Jet 3.

After the size and the closure system, the third aspect to consider when buying a cycling shoe is related to the sole. Northwave's road bike shoes have a stiffness index ranging from 15.0 to 6.0.

Stiff or soft?

An extremely stiff sole with an index of 15.0 or 12.0 allows you to optimally transfer all the power generated toward the pedal without wasting energy. Soles with a stiffness index of 8.0 or 6.0 are a mix of increased comfort and all-around performance. The soles of your stiffer road cycling shoes are made entirely of carbon, while the others are made with a mix of nylon and fiberglass.

Cleats can be fitted in all Northwave cycling shoes, and some models such as, for example, the Extreme GT 3 and the Mistral Plus are compatible with the NW Speedplay adapter for a shorter foot-pedal distance, so you get the best possible performance.

The tomaia

The upper of a racing bike shoe's main task is to effectively wrap around your foot, allowing good breathability and ensuring the shoe's weight is not high. Low-end shoes may be attractively priced, but the biggest risk is that after a few rides they will begin to wear out and no longer provide you with optimal performance.

Northwave racing bike shoes are made in different colors. Mainly the cycling shoes are white, black and gray in color. Variations have been made for some models by adding other colors in some areas of the upper, for example, yellow and red.

There are also models available for women's cycling shoes, which feature shades ranging from pink to purple.

The last aspect to consider is related to winter cycling shoes. These are models made by Northwave especially for the cold season, and thanks to the Gore-Tex membrane and additional insulation, they ensure warm and dry feet all year round. Among Northwave winter shoes you can find the Extreme R GTX and the Celsius R GTX.