Northwave Striker SBS

Be thankful we shot these shoes after three days of dust at the Wines2Whales. Out of the box, the trendy day-glo is arc-eye material, and certainly makes a statement along with the football-boot styling. The fit of the striker was surprising, for an Italian last; roomy and comfortable for broad South African feet, yet without compromising in performance at all. We never once felt the need to tighten the blood out of our feet to stop them floating around, even though the initial feeling was slipper, not geisha.

If you have particularly low arches, though, make sure you will be able to ratchet the ankle strap up enough, the Striker does favour high arches. One nice feature was that you could choose to release the ratchet all in one go, or click-by-click, so finding the perfect fit for the day, or the next hour, is simple on the fly.

The heel cup is snug enough to keep you walking, even up miserable wagon-trail portages, without feeling like you are slipping out of the shoe. And the non-carbon sole is plenty stiff enough to pedal hard, yet plush when unclipped. Ventilation is exceptional, to the degree that you might want to have a second pair of shoes for winter riding.

On the subject of walking, the dual-density sole offers surprising traction on rocks and wet things, providing you stick to the outer most rubbery bits. Miss them, and the harder plastic is politician-slippery. Locating the pedal is easy, as the sole guides the cleat in nicely, but don't even think about coasting unclipped; the sole will send the pedal sliding up your shin in milliseconds.

tableline9 tableline9
31-35, M
Oct 5, 2013