If you like your feet to stand out while twiddling those pedals, you could do a lot worse than the Rodda Road shoes from Spiuk's 2016 line-up. Whether you go for these stunning red ones, the bright white or the fluoro yellow versions, you're definitely going to attract attention. The beauty isn't only skin deep either, the Roddas are so comfortable it's like sticking cleats on your favourite slippers.
The first thing you notice before you even put them on is how soft the manmade upper is. It's very pliable, and once you slip your foot inside you really get the feeling of both comfort and a very good fit. They kind of encase your foot, touching all round without feeling restrictive in movement. A six-hour ride showed no change in this whatsoever.
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The three Velcro straps are simple yet effective in keeping the shoes in position, and are easy to tweak on the fly. They're well positioned too, as you don't get any hot spots, and the unpadded tongue spreads the load well over the bridge of your foot.
Venting is crucial in the summer months as warm feet tend to swell, and Spiuk has gone for a couple of options. You get a couple of large mesh vents above the toes and one on the inner side, accompanied by lots of small holes all over the upper. In early spring temperatures they actually felt quite chilly but with an even spread, so hot summer use should see them work well. You also get venting through the sole, which works well as your speed increases.
The sole is made from glass fibre and polyamide, with fixing holes for both two-bolt SPD and all the three-bolt cleat systems, SPD-SL, Look and so on. The sole is quite flexible, especially under a lot of power, but Spiuk markets this shoe as one for moderate intensity, aimed more at the comfort end of the spectrum, so I won't be marking them down for that.
Really stomping on the pedals when climbing or accelerating hard, you can feel them waste a bit of power and I did suffer from hot-spots along the soles of my feet, so if stiffness is your main prerogative look elsewhere. That, as I said, isn't the market the Rodda is being aimed at.
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Durability shouldn't be an issue, with toe and heel bumpers keeping the sole off the ground when walking. Spiuk has also added reinforcing to the toe and heel of the upper, with a dimpled material to resist skuffs and knocks.
When it comes to weight, the Spiuks continue to impress, with our 45.5 tipping the scales at 640g, 10g less than Spiuk quotes for a pair of 43s. That's around 100g less than the similarly built but more expensive Shimano RP5 SPD-SLs, and that's revolving weight too.
Five pence shy of 70 quid is what the Roddas will set you back, and when you take the build quality, comfort and fit into account, they seem pretty hard to beat. The only thing that'll put some off will be the flex in the soles, but if you're more than happy to sacrifice a bit of stiffness for comfort then the Spiuks could well be for you.
One of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I've worn, but the soles will be too flexible for some
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Make and model: Spiuk Rodda Road Shoes
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Spiuk says: "The Spiuk Rodda Road shoes are designed to give you the very best performance, efficiency and comfort at a great price point."
Which they certainly do, though the soles lacking stiffness makes them a great choice for the less competitive rider.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Dynamic ergonomic design
Extremely light, resistant upper. It is easy to clean and dries quickly
Direct breathability through mesh fabric and perforated areas
Rigid, lightweight glass fibre and polyamide sole
Three Velcro adjustment straps
Textured reinforced toes and heels where abrasion is likely to occur.
Use for: Ideal for sportive and training use.
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Very nicely made and finished shoes.
Rate the product for performance:
They fulfill their design brief completely.
Rate the product for durability:
Reinforced toe and heel material helps keep scuffs at bay.
Rate the product for fit:
No pressure points or slop.
Rate the product for sizing:
They came in exactly where I'd expect for the size.
Rate the product for weight:
Pretty good for the budget and type of shoe.
Rate the product for comfort:
Beautifully soft upper, but the sole can cause hot spots if you really push hard, due to flex.
Rate the product for value:
Very good attention to detail for the price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A simple wipe over kept them clean.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliantly, a very comfortable shoe for medium intensity riding – exactly as quoted by Spiuk.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Soles are a little too flexible for me if the effort increased.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, purely because I prefer stiffer carbon soles.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A really, really nice pair of shoes that offer great looks, comfort and fit. If you like to push the pace a little on climbs and the like, the soles may be a little flexible for you though.
Age: 37 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Mason Definition
I've been riding for: 10-20 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
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