REVIEW: Bontrager XXX Shoes

Bontrager, is after Keith Bontrager, as you may have read in my previous article, just flick back a page. Anyways, the name and the brand has come a long way since its inception in the early 80’s. Bontrager was mainly wheels and components back in the day, but in more recent years they have a swag of goods from wheels to lights and most of the in-between.

So, it’s not a surprise to see a Bontrager road shoe in the lineup.

The previous generation XXX shoe performed well and was seen worn by many pros in the WorldTour peloton. But they were due facelift and they got one for this season. Slipping them on for the first time, I went to do a workout on my trainer. I like to get acquainted with cycling kicks before loggin’ miles in em’. Using them on the trainer for the first few times help them get accustomed to my feet. After that I take em’ out on the road. Oddly, I’ll start from the rear, the heel retention seems much improved. I felt planted in the heel cups as I cranked up the watts on the trainer. Up-front my feet had a little more wiggle room than the previous generation. This was welcomed, as I’ve stated before, us Kiwis do tend to have larger plates than our European counterparts. Of course, the wider foot room would need to be tested when doing longer riders as my feet tend to swell up in the summer heat.



On the road these kicks perform well; they transfer my power (or lack of) straight to the pedals and felt comfortable, even after a few hours in the saddle. The Boa dials are positioned relatively well, and made for easy adjustment on the fly. Plus it makes life easier when you’re hustlin’ to make the group ride and some crazy hour in the morning. However, the rear Boa dial did feel kind of weird around my ankles (or, should it be kankles), as it snugs up a little too hard across the top of my foot. I’d back the Boa off a touch and then it was good – perhaps this was my foot getting used to the kicks? And, after all everyone has different foot widths.

These are a high-end road shoe and perform like they should. In terms of construction, aesthetics, stiffness, and snazzy features, the XXX shoe delivers. I found em’ comfortable, breathable and lightweight. The price tag is at the top-end of the realm, but, with their quality and performance it seems about right.


Visit Bontrager or contact your local dealer for details.


Words: Liam Friary

Image: Cameron Mackenzie