The fit and feel of Le Col’s elite-level Pro Carbon Road Shoes more than justify the price tag. Their striking looks will get you noticed too, says Mark Bailey…

Le Col Pro Carbon Road Shoes

$360 / £275, lecol.cc 

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Pros:

  • Stiff, power-packed carbon sole
  • Elegant aesthetics
  • Comfortable fit

Cons:

  • Shiny PU leather may scuff over time
  • A premium product means a premium price

Comfort: 5
Durability: 4
Stability: 4.5
OVERALL: 4.5

British brand Le Col has rapidly earned a reputation for developing premium high-performance cycling kit constructed from high-end materials. Founded by former pro rider Yanto Barker, Le Col’s mission is to bring pro-level performance to a wider albeit highly discerning market. And the brand’s Pro Carbon Road Shoes are an emblem of its success. Check out the rest of the best cycling shoes for every kind of riding.

Le Col Pro Carbon Road Shoes features

Let’s start with those glistening black (or white) aesthetics. The Pro Carbon shoe is made from an elegant PU leather which evokes a pair of patent leather shoes. You feel as though you are slinking off to a black tie dinner, not a sweaty bike ride. No wonder online product reviews feature dozens of ‘gentleman riders’ gushing over the refined style. The leather is also contoured to map perfectly with the foot under tension, providing a supportive feel as you spin your feet.

Product shot of Le Col road shoe

Le Col’s Pro Carbon shoes boast premium black or white leather uppers

Surprisingly, the shiny PU leather didn’t crease up when I tightened the cable dials. That smooth monochrome upper is also easy to wipe clean. Longer term, I suspect scratches may dull its lustre, but this is a shoe most riders would save for fair-weather rides and races. Strategic vents down the sides of the shoe, sole plate and upper also prove these are designed for summer, not winter miles.

But as you’d expect from a shoe designed with pro rider input, this product is about performance as well as looks. The shoes are ultra-light at just 9.4oz / 267g each, and they feature a stiff uni-directional carbon sole: that means that all the carbon fibres run in one direction, so you channel your power efficiently through every pedal stroke, cranking up the performance of your sprints and climbs. Out on the roads, you feel – and look – like a pro.

There are some rubber heel and toe grips to aid walking. Again, that sole might get scuffed over time, but that’s the price you pay for a race-ready construction. And this really isn’t a shoe you want to do much walking in.

Le Col Pro Carbon Road Shoes performance

What sets these shoes apart, however, is their luxurious feel. Sliding your feet inside each time, you can’t help but smile. Elite-level shoes can sometimes feel too sparse, with manufacturers trimming out the padding to reduce weight. But these feel supremely soft, with a lush and padded fit. The double Atop dial and cable system ensures a bespoke fit, and the well-padded tongue and heel prevent tension points.

Le Col’s Pro Carbon shoes offer a winning blend of rigidity, weight, style and comfort. Obviously the price will be too high for many riders, but the shoe compares favourably with similarly priced products from well-known brands like Bont and Sidi – and they arguably ooze a much sharper aesthetic. Your bank balance may drop, but your joy out on the roads will soar.

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