The Spiuk Aldama Carbon Road Shoes strike a good balance between sole stiffness and comfort, making them ideally suited for fast road riding and day-long rides. You'll need to check the sizing, though, as they come up a little small.
The Aldamas offer a comfortable fit pretty much everywhere. The synthetic upper is supple which means when you twist the Boa dial to tighten the cable, the shoe wraps itself around your foot for a close fit without any pressure points.
The open section that sits above the tongue is offset from the centre, which also reduces any pressure on the top of the foot when pulling on the pedals.
For use in hot weather there are plenty of holes in the upper, which allows some ventilation, and even in the mid-20s Celsius I've been riding in for the last few weeks my feet never felt overly warm.
I got on well with the shape of the carbon fibre sole too. There is just enough of a curve to support your arch, and no matter how hard I was riding I never suffered from any hotspots or numbness.
Like many brands, Spiuk uses a stiffness index (SI) for ordering its soles in order of rigidity – it's not like an industry standard or anything, though, so the numbers are largely irrelevant when comparing brands. The Aldamas have Spiuk's RLX3 sole with an SI of 10.2. When powering up climbs or sprinting hard I could detect a bit of flex around the cleat area, but not so much that I felt like it was really wasting power.
The sole offers venting via mesh gaps, allowing air to flow through from front to back. I couldn't really feel any cooling effect from them, though, to be honest.
As you'd expect, the sole is drilled for any road cleat that uses a three-bolt layout and you'll also find markings for cleat alignment.
When it comes to sizing, the Aldamas are a little off. The ones here are a size 45 or UK11 (US 10 1/2) but I'd definitely say they are more like a UK10. That's what size I am, and I wouldn't want to go any smaller. The fit I had here was close both front and back, which is what you want, so that there is no movement when pedalling.
With a price of around £160 (their rrp is €179.90), the Spiuks are on the money for what you're getting, with a carbon sole and a Boa retention system. The quality is also very good with a neat finish between the sole and the upper, and all of the stitching is clean and precise throughout. The upper material resists scuffs and marks well, too.
The similarly specced FLR F-XX Strawweight shoes have slightly stiffer soles and are priced at £179.99, while the Bontrager Ballistas I mentioned earlier are also pretty much the same, although the Boa dial is placed on the heel of the shoes. Performance throughout is similar, but they'll set you back £200.
However, the Van Rysel RR 900 Carbon shoes are one of the cheapest pairs with this sort of build, at just £119.99.
Overall, the Aldamas are a very nice pair of shoes. Get the size right and the fit is good, and while the sole isn't the stiffest on the market it'll meet the racing aspirations of all but the most powerful riders.
Comfortable and reasonably stiff race shoes that are very well made – just check the sizing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Spiuk Aldama Carbon Road Shoe
Size tested: 45
Tell us what the product is for
Spiuk says, "You'll find it hard to come across another model that so successfully combines performance, comfort and design. Its carbon fibre sole helps you to enjoy each watt you generate. Climbing, cruising or pressing a descent. Adjust the wheel of its Boa® fit system and you'll be ready for new challenges. Unstoppable. Comfortable with the renewed energy it provides. The Aldama Carbono shoe is cycling in its purest form. Beautiful."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Spiuk lists these features:
Very lightweight cycling shoes with Boa® Fit System
Designed for top-level road racing
RLX3® carbon fibre sole, with air vents for direct ventilation
Boa® Fit System millimetric adjustment wheel
Asymmetrical opening for a better distributed fit
Sizes: 38 to 47
Colours: White, black, green, yellow
I'd say they come out about one UK size too small. Go bigger though and you will be impressed with the fit and comfort.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The upper resists scuffs and marks better than many other shoes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Not the stiffest out there but strike a good balance between comfort and performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Suppleness of the upper gives a great fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sizing is a little off.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For what you are getting the Aldamas are in the right ball park when compared to the likes of the FLRs mentioned in the review. There are cheaper options, though, like Van Rysel's.
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
Apart from them coming up a little small in size, the Spiuks perform very well. They are of a very good quality and I'm most impressed with the shape and suppleness of the upper.
About the tester
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!