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Northwave Veloce Extreme



Extreme by name, performance and comfort – and some would say price
Sole shape cups your foot
Very stiff
Upper wraps around your foot
X-Dials are fiddly to undo

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Northwave Veloce Extreme is the Italian outfit's latest high-end race shoes – and while it has to be said they're pretty extreme in terms of price – thankfully that also extends to their comfort, stiffness and foot retention. These are a stunning pair of shoes and while the cost will put them out of reach for most of us, if you can afford them, you should buy them.

> Buy now: Northwave Veloce Extreme for £359.99 from Northwave

Our best road cycling shoes buyer's guide is the place to head if you're looking for new shoes, ranging in price from under £50 to over £300.

The thing about the Veloce Extremes that differentiates them the most from other shoes is the shape of the sole, especially at the rear. Northwave calls this Powershape HT – HT as in High Tail.

Look at them from the rear and you'll see that the heel cup is asymmetrical. On the outside of the foot things look pretty traditional, but look inside and you'll see that the full unidirectional carbon fibre sole comes halfway up the heel. It drops from there but rises again under the arch.

It creates a kind of tub for that side of your foot and with it loads of support for when riding hard or getting out of the saddle. I found it to be very comfortable indeed, and, well – supportive.

Northwave rates this ruthlessly stiff sole as 15 out of 15 on its own stiffness index. That bears no relation to any other stiffness rating, with all shoe brands having their own (of course they do) – but basically this is Northwave's stiffest sole, and its stiffness feels like it's up there with those offered by other brands.

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - side.jpg

Putting all of my power through them when sprinting or hitting a short, sharp climb I could feel absolutely nothing in terms of flex. That has a slight impact on comfort, especially if you are on a firm race bike travelling over vibration-inducing broken road surfaces, but crucially this wasn't to the point that I suffered from any hot spots or numbness.

The curvature of the sole along its length suited me well, with the shoes' overall comfort boosted by Northwave's insoles. Northwave includes two different insole options, along with a very cool shoe bag, when you buy the Veloce shoes, and I found the regular fit my go-to choice, with slim fit the other alternative.

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - toe.jpg

The arch support section isn't high at all, so unless you have completely flat arches, you'll find plenty of support there without discomfort.

You get some venting too, with a couple of slots at the front and a couple more running under the midfoot – entry and exit ports if you like.

The shoes have fittings for all three-bolt cleat systems and you also get dedicated mounting points for Speedplay, without the need for the usual four-bolt to three-bolt adaptor.

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - sole detail.jpg

Replaceable rubber toe and heel pads help when you're walking on slippery surfaces.

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - sole vent.jpg

The upper feels more substantial than is the case on many lightweight race shoes. They only feature minimal fabric sections that I found easy to keep clean by just wiping them over, and the uppers feel durable too. You don't need to be too precious about them, and I ride them over winter without any extra protection from overshoes.

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - instep.jpg

They're available in matt black with a gloss black logo or the white version with a large black 'NW' logo that we tested.

There is no tongue as such, just a switch to a lighter-weight material that creates a tongue effect from the inside of the foot. It wraps snuggly over the top of your foot before passing under the outer and once you've tightened the dials the whole upper wraps nicely over your foot. And while it is something of a cliché when writing about cycling shoes, these really do deliver a cosseted feel

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - top.jpg

The SLW 3 dials are made by X Dial and while their micro-adjustability is brilliant on the fly when both tightening or loosening them, undoing them fully to remove the shoes is a lot more faff than with something like Boa's offerings.

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - rachet.jpg

Here you have to use the silver lever on top – a quick flick offers small adjustments while you have to pull up and hold it to fully slacken things off to get your feet out. It's not a quick solution and while it's definitely a First World problem, it's not the solution I'd have chosen.

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - side 2.jpg

The twin dials and cords do at least spread an even pressure over the top of your foot, which increases comfort.

I have found that some of Northwave's shoes can be a bit on the generous side when it comes to sizing. I wear a UK size 10 for non-cycling shoes, but with most cycling shoes specified only in EUR sizes, I find I take either a 44 or 45, depending on the brand.

2023 Northwave Veloce Extreme road shoes - instep detail.jpg

Northwave sent me a pair of EUR 44.5, which the label describes as UK 10.75 – and (cliché alert!) I found that they fitted me like a glove.

For reassurance before you buy, Northwave does offer a comprehensive guide on its website, which will direct you to the correct size depending on various foot measurements.


But, the big question is, does this all add up to a near-four-hundred-pound shoe?

Well, I suppose it does against the opposition. Scott's Road RC Ultimate shoes will cost you a cool £439.99! But Ben found them stiff and comfortable and liked the twin dials, though he blanched at the price.

I found the Northwave's soles more supportive and that they provided a more 'inclusive' ride feel than my current daily shoes, the £369.99 Suplest Edge+ 2.0 Road Pros that I'm a big fan of.

If you can't quite stretch to the Veloce Extremes, then Ben was also very impressed with Northwave's Extreme Pro 3s. They're still not cheap, but at £296.99 they are at least a little more affordable.


If we take the price out of consideration for a second, then these Veloce Extreme shoes are some of the most supportive and race-orientated shoes I have ever worn, and if you spend a lot of your time putting a lot of power out, I think you could well notice the benefits of the sole design.

And while they're definitely a lot money, they're not stupidly priced when you look at the competition. That price is also backed up by the use of expensive materials and Northwave has finished them to a very high quality. If you've got the budget and you want performance and comfort, then the Northwaves won't disappoint.


Extreme by name, performance and comfort – and some would say price test report

Make and model: Northwave Veloce Extreme

Size tested: 44 1/2

Tell us what the product is for

Northwave says: "Veloce is a project that was born and has been fully developed, from the first drafts all the way to the production line, in Italy with the support of the Olympic champion and the Hour Record holder Filippo Ganna.

Made from 100% unidirectional carbon with a stiffness index of 15 the sole has been developed to optimize the power transfer to the pedals thanks to the exclusive high tail structure and the patented Powershape system."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Greater vents maximize the air flow in and out.

The upper features the underlap construction to enhance the wrapping fit with a uniform closure.

Laser cuts have been designed to optimize ventilation and thermoregulation of the feet.

The new and lighter Anatomic Reticular Support (ARS 2.0) technology provides extra support ensuring a correct position of the rider's foot.

The heel grip with its oriented fibers prevents the foot from slipping out the shoe for a firm fit.

The double SLW3 developed by X-Dial is totally unique offering a dual zone and highly accurate closure with micrometric adjustment of the fit.

Two double density footbeds are provided to make the fit even more customized. 5mm (slim fit) and a 3mm (regular fit).

High tail adaptability to the external heel, and support to the inner heel

Powershape: anatomical arch support.

Heel pad replaceable heel pad.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:

The sizing is possibly a little bit out, but use Northwave's guide and you should achieve a good fit.

Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
Rate the product for value:

Definitely expensive – but not out of kilter compared with the top-line offerings from the likes of Scott and Suplest that are mentioned in the review.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

The upper material cleans well with just a wipe over.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

A stiff and comfortable shoe that delivers when you are riding hard.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Sole shape gives great support.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Fiddly dials for removing shoes.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

They are at the top end price wise, but they aren't alone. Scott's offering is even higher in price with a similar kind of design spec.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A big old price tag will limit appeal and those dials are a minor niggle. Away from that though, they are extremely well made form quality components and I can't complain about the comfort or performance.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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Freddy56 | 2 months ago

Im a fan, bit thiner at the toew box than shimano but feels like a better arch support.

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