The Suplest Edge+ Road Pros are among the stiffest-soled race shoes I have ever worn, and they are beautifully made out of some brilliant materials. They are a fair chunk of money, but if ultimate performance is your goal then give these a go.
I'll deal with the sizing first. I'm currently testing three pairs of shoes: these from Suplest, Fizik's Vento Powerstrap R2 Aeroweaves, and Spiuk's Aldama Carbon Road Shoes, and they all vary in size quite considerably when on.
The Fiziks are a EUR45/UK10.5, the Spiuks are a EUR45/UK11 and the Suplests EUR44.5/UK10.5 – which really shoes why you need to try before you buy if you are giving a new brand a go.
I'm a size UK10 and the Suplest fitted me perfectly. Unlike a trainer or normal shoe, you don't need room to allow your feet to move in a cycling shoe, and with my big toe just a matter of millimetres from the front of the shoe and my heel snuggly gripped at the back, I can't imagine getting a much better fit for performance riding, so I'd say you want to go about half a UK size up if buying online.
The upper is made from a thin microfiber which is soft and supple and gets better the more you wear the shoes. After a few hundred miles these have started to develop little creases as they've moulded to my feet and have become much more comfortable.
They don't have a tongue as such, instead the upper kind of wraps itself around your foot, with the Boa cable system pulling one half over the top of the other.
The piece that sits underneath has a foam section added to it where it rests against the top of your foot to stop any irritation, like a tongue would.
To protect the upper from the Boa wires there is a carbon fibre section, which also adds stiffness that helps to keep your foot in place as you lift on the second half of the pedal rotation.
The heel section also has a grippy fabric inside to stop your foot lifting there.
All of this means that, once tightened, the Road Pro shoes fit like the proverbial glove.
The Boa system also gives you loads of adjustment and it's easy to tweak on the fly. The only little niggle is that when you initially tighten the upper Boa wire it often gets caught on the edge of the upper, so you have to flick it up with your finger to stop it catching. It really is a 'first world problem' though.
The sole is full carbon fibre, as you'd expect at this price point. Unlike many brands Suplest doesn't give a stiffness index rating; if it did I imagine it would be something like 200 out of 10 as these are unbelievably firm. Power transfer is phenomenal, and if you enjoy riding on the rivet, you're never going to feel any flex no matter how much power you are putting out.
The only downside is that on rough roads, where a broken surface can give a fair bit of vibration, you can feel it through the soles of your feet.
The outsole isn't as contoured as some, leaving the shape defining to the Solestar insole. It has quite a high curve to support the arch of your foot and there is a thicker section at the rear of the foot to stop it squashing when you really put the power down.
The overall quality is top notch, with the finish flawless throughout. Being white they do pick up marks quite quickly, although the majority of them wipe off. If white isn't your thing then they are also available in black with different colour detailing.
Priced at £320, they are up against some tough opposition.
They have a lot in common with the Northwave Extreme Pros when it comes to stiffness and comfort; those will set you back £339.99.
For the same price as the Suplests, Shimano offers the S-Phyre RC901s: truly top notch cycling shoes that deliver loads of stiffness and plenty of comfort, putting them in the same ballpark as the Road Pro.
The Suplests are a very pricey pair of shoes but wow, do they ever deliver on performance and comfort. Their build quality is excellent too.
Awesome looks, comfort and performance... for a price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Suplest EDGE+ Road Pro shoes
Size tested: 44.5
Tell us what the product is for
Suplest says, "The EDGE+ Road Pro is designed for high velocity and meets the demands of the world's best racers. The thin microfiber upper from Japan with the two Boa® IP1 closures ensure perfect fit. The stiff carbon sole in combination with the SOLESTAR insole allow an efficient boost power to the pedal during the whole ride. Our premium road shoe combines efficiency with comfort."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Segments ROAD SERIES
Upper Material Micro Fiber
Closure BOA IP-1
System Compatibility Look, SPD-R, Speedplay, Time
Sizes 39 to 47
As long as you get the right size you can't fault the actual fit when the upper wraps around your foot.
I'd say they are about half a UK size out – these UK10.5 size up like a UK10.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The majority of the marks like mud and road spray wipe off, but others, like rubber marks from touching your tyre are much more stubborn to remove. The shoes are also available in black too which will help.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A full-on performance race shoe.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent stiffness and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Some marks won't rub off.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price tag is high but they are no way in a league of their own, with many brands' flagship shoes similarly priced.
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
When it comes to performance and the comfort of the upper these really can't be faulted, but the price is quite an investment.
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!