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I was curious about the Bontragers so I stopped at a BS and put them in my feet to "feel" them.
I'd say these shoes are at the opposite in terms of fit and comfort.
The Bontragers being the comfortable ones.
Bont's are special shoes. Don't buy them expecting a "usual" fit. Prefferably put them on, try them first.
I would not buy them unless you have tried them on (okay true for any shoe). Obviously you can tune the fit somewhat as far as hot spots and such but for me they just weren't great. Also they are not a shoe you can really ride some days and put on your more comfortable shoe for longer days because the stack height is so low you really do need to adjust saddle position.
AFA shoes: completely different critters. Stack heights are going to be off, etc.
Regarding the size, if you measure your foot out as explained on their website and pick the correct corresponding size you shouldn't have a problem. From what I've seen online people complain about the sizes being off when they used the same size as their old shoes, and that's just silly.
They are very stiff, as already mentioned and it took some trial and error before the fit was perfect.
They became a pleasure to ride because of the immediate power transfer. It feels as though the effort is rewarded very quickly.
The negatives, which they have started to address are the longevity of the uppers. Mine delaminated/ unglued rather quickly.
The shoes also have begun to wear through the heels at a much more advanced rate than any other shoe that I owned (many)
Despite the negatives, they are light, and the low stack height draw me to try another pair.
I recently bought some Bont Vaypors (2012) and they are much different than the Lake, Sidi, and Diadora shoes I own/owned. Super stiff carbon sole, wider toebox, super lightweight. Mine have the Speedplay drilling instead of the standard 3-hole Look drilling and that alone made a noticeable difference to me anyway. I'd say look at your bare foot, heck even trace an outline of your feet on a sheet of paper like what Bont recommends and compare it to other shoe toe boxes and heel cups. I can tell you from experience, a properly fitting pair of shoes is WELL WORTH the cost no matter what the brand so make sure whatever shoe you pick fits your feet like a glove. I read good things about Specialized shoes also, but you aren't the first to have broken one of those soles either. I bought my Bonts b/c I like that style and the toe box and heel cups fit soooo well AND they are a infinitely moldable shoe. Being lightweight was an added bonus. I still could probably try remolding mine 1 more time to achieve fit nirvana, but right now they aren't bad at all and the quality looks to be really good as well. Good luck in your decision.
I use the 2012 Vaypors and am now on my third pair.
1st pair the carbon broke up on the sole ... my own fault
2nd pair hit by a car and the Ambulance Officers cut them off
The other posts suggest the molding problems, which I too experienced with my first two sets ... I took my time and where I had a lump on toe or whatever I wrapped tape around it first put a slightly thicker sock on and molded each shoe at a time... then twice to ensure that I hadn't missed anything that may dig in or rub .... I also run ESOLES and they are the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn. I have had nothing but good dealings with Steve N.
Saving madly now for a pair of the new Boa models
I had Bontrager RXL , Specialized Road Pro , Nike Carbon previously
2012 RIDLEY HELIUM being built up ....
I also know a kid that used to be on the Bontrager Livestrong team and one that is now. They all universally hate the shoes and many of them train in something else.
I wouldn't buy either.
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