For years, anyone who saw my feet always had the same reaction, “those are funky looking feet”. That may be somewhat true since fitting into shoes has always been a bit of an issue. Years of stuffing my feet into soccer boots that were a bit too small did not help. Also, wearing flip flops all summer may have caused more deformity.
Garneau has always had great shoes, their style, colors, materials, on point. However, like most companies, the available width selection is non-existant. It is also hard to try on the shoe you want without ordering online. Our feet are constantly changing as well; what fit one year may not fit the next. In short, footwear is just tough.
I remember reading about the X-Comfort System after it won an award at Eurobike. It just makes sense. Most of us are riding when it’s hot and our feet are expanding or swelling. Garneau’s X-Comfort Zone allows the show to stretch out up to 5mm. This may not sound like much but when it comes to shoe forgiveness, this is welcoming.
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a pair of these X-Comfort shoes. I’ve owned several pairs of Garneau shoes through the years, so I’m able to compare apples to apples. Here it goes; my review, my opinion of the X-Comfort.
New shoe smell? Check! Undented box? Check! Shoes full of recycling? Check! Thankfully this summer has been hot. Super duper, sweat pouring from places we shouldn’t talk about hot! Perfect for testing bicycle shoes. I normally wear from a size 9 to 10 US depending on type of shoe; dress shoes being that size 9 and running shoes size 10. Garneau puts a 43 at a 9.5 but I would say this fits closer to a 10. I probably could have gone with a 42.5, but I chose a 43. Sliding my foot into this cycling shoe I immedately notice the last feels wider but I don’t worry much. The best part of this shoe next to the X-Comfort is the Boa System. Boa Lacing is amazing. I personally do not understand why anyone would want normal shoe lacing on any type of athletic shoe. If I could put Boa on my soccer boots, it would be done. Boa allows for you to micro adjust while riding creating a better riding experience. Do normal tie laces do that?
Back to the shoe. Garneau shoes have plenty of ventilation and comes with two sets of insoles. All in all, Garneau is providing a riders foot all the opportunity to stay cool on the hottest of days.
Cleats installed, shoes tightened, time to ride. A quick 20 mile loop should give me a good idea of how this shoe will feel. Considering the high humity and pushing a ‘real feel’ of 90 it seemed like the perfect day. So I headed out for my ride, cruising comfortably. I would like to say that I didn’t notice a difference but I did. Especially one I hit that one hour mark. After pushing and pulling the pedal it was obvious that the flex in the upper of the shoe was starting to show its benefit. When I really started to ride and push you could see that X-Comfort zone actually flex when my foot would expand.
Hopefully this is interegrated into every single Garneau shoe. Every level of shoe need to have the X-Comfort. I already know I’m changing my mountain bike shoes because of this.