It's a personal thing, but i don't really enjoy the look of Ratchet system shoes. The Giro Empire or Vittoria's retro-modern shoes seem to fit the bill, lace-ups and all.
I used to only ride vintage, but have "moved up" to a semi-modern ride as of late, and so my only experience with cycling shoes are stiff-soled leather ones by Quoc Pham (love them btw) for use with clips and straps.
Anyone has any thoughts on the practicalities of a ratchet vs lace-up system for clipless, or better still, a review on the Giro Empire in specific?
(disclaimer: i have a higher tolerance for self-inflicted pain and much less for equipment-inflicted pain)
I think the 2012 S-works system is pretty close to perfection. I haven't used 2013, but it is not changed much.
I must be one of the 'old-timers' you are talking about. When I was a Cadet, the shoes were either made of leather, or leather with a wooden sole, instead of leather with a steel shank. There were only laces, as there were no other fasteners yet invented. My first pair were a beautiful pair of Sabatini perforated leather shoes, complete with our team logos. Cool. You hipster kids would love them.
When Adidas came out with the 'Eddy Merckx' shoe, it had a nylon sole and a ballistic nylon upper. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! A shoe that didn't stretch and bleed al over your socks in the snow and rain (our socks were only white, too)! The shoes still had laces.
I won my first pair of Look pedals and shoes ina race in Ontario when they were first released. The shoes were fastened with velcro straps. I couldn't believe that we could now adjust the shoes on-the-fly. I could have comfort during the stage and then tighten the straps for the sprint! What would they think of next!
Turns out, it's laces, again...
lol, I guess, but I don't think they'll make too much of a comeback.
I have the same s-works as above poster and agree that it's pretty much the perfect system. So perfect in fact that when I got a pair of Lowa hiking boots last week, I was confused why I couldn't get them to fit my feet like my bike shoes. I was tugging on this lace and that, and after I got it tight enough it would slip here just a little and once tied, it wasn't perfect. I say BOA for everything.
I truly wouldn't be surprised if it starts to spread to hiking, then running, then everybody will be wearing it.
Laces are ok for dress shoes.
Geoff wrote:Turns out, it's laces, again...
Ha, definitely not the Next Big Thing. Why does everything have to be? Diversity and choice are great things. I pick up my pair of Empires tomorrow, and I am very optimistic based on some friends' feedback. The will not be replacing my S-Works... they will be augmenting them.
With today's modern clipless pedals the upper of the shoe is called upon to do much more.....so keep in mind that what you thought was adequate tension when you pumped up your tires and rolled out might not be so great once you're in the pack headed down the road. If you had toe straps you might make up for it a bit but with clipless you're stuck (if using laces). Also you may need to adjust tension in the shoe during a long hot day ride where the feet can swell or to tighten things up prior to a sprint - for those reasons and more the ratchet system is supreme.
Laces "look" retro and that's exactly what they are - for a time gone by
Boa and other similar systems are what exactly?
Aren't these system essentially on the fly adjustable laces?
90% of the time three Velcro straps do just fine for most of us I'd reckon....
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I do have to say as someone that has all of the different systems and has the chance to use them and other prototype systems, there is still nothing wrong with simplicity.
Our Vittoria Classic line is a wonderfully simple shoe. Lorica upper, UniDirectional Carbon Sole and laces. For those who want a cable closure, velcro straps, buckles, those are great. But remember, there are many people who can not use those systems. Pressure on their forefoot, instep, arch, whereever. There are many people who use our Unique three velcro race shoes($350, 200 grams) because they can not handle the pressure of a cable closure like on our Hora or Hora EVO.
While some people feel laces are a by-gone style or design, we sell many many pair of our Classic models to Track Racers. The fit and how tight you can get the shoes in all areas of the foot are a real advantage. If there was no advantage to a lace up shoe, they wouldn't be making them for every sport out there, including the new shoes by that "G" company.
Just my opinion being in the biz for over 25 years.
My complaint is that when I put on the shoes, everything is fine. But when I pedal, as I pull up in the stroke, the BOA system allows my heel to pull out of the shoe as the lacing tightens around my toes. It just allows for too much movement.
I suspect that shoes with multiple BOA ratchets do not have this problem.
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