Fizik R3 Road Shoes

As a relative newbie to clip-in pedals and shoes on the road bike, I wasn’t looking to buy a very expensive pair of shoes.

I knew there are a huge range of types, brands and prices and didn’t want to fall into the trap of buying the wrong pair and having to reinvest at a later date. Here are a few tips I picked up along the way:


  • Entry level shoes tend to feature velcro closures – these are cheaper and functional. The higher level shoes start to feature more sophisticated systems such as ratchets and dials. These all add to achieving a more secure fit.


  • On cheaper shoes the soles tend to be plastic – as a beginner, these are often totally fine, but the longer you ride, the more you might find you benefit from a stiffer sole, most commonly made from carbon fibre. These are more efficient as they transfer more of the power you put into the pedal. Again there is a huge range of prices for carbon soled shoes – this starts to come down to things like weight and whether the seams are sewn, glued or – at the top of the market – heat moulded.

Cleat Types

  • If you already have cleats make sure they fit your new shoes. It is important to know that some road shoes can accommodate both SPD and SPD-SL/Look cleats, while others only fit one type. I will try and put an article up on cleat types soon.


  • As I am sure you can imagine, the more you spend, the more you get. There are exceptions – the best advice I can give here is to go and try shoes on (sizes tend to vary by brand), work out what is comfy and read up how they are reviewed online.

Now back to the hunt for shoes

After trying on a few, I went for the Fizik R3 Road Shoes (carbon soles) as not only did they fit well, they also were very much reduced from Planet X. I love a good bargain!

Aside from being a great quality shoe with nice stiff shoes I particularly like the fastening on these. They have two velcro straps at the bottom and an aluminium ratchet closure at the top. These are ideal for me as I have particularly narrow feet and struggle to get a close fit with good arch support. At first, I thought the ratchet wouldn’t go tight enough however I soon found you can make the strap shorter (the strap doubles back on itself, so it’s quick and easy to shorten it by threading more back through the loop). This has turned out to be a handy feature for when I want to wear an extra pair of socks on a cold day (and naturally have fatter feet)!

Concerning style, they are pretty eye-catching with one side matte black, one side black patent and a white strip down the centre. I have to admit are not necessarily my cup of tea – I would prefer something a little less flashy. But for the price I got them, the quality and features of the shoe I really can’t complain. All in all a very good buy.
Wiggle: Fizik R3 Road Shoe

* Update I am not sure these shoes are still available - the R1 shoes look similar but are significantly more expensive  
Road biking
Carbon fibre soles
Good secure fastenings
Well suited to narrow feet
Pricey if not in sale