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review

Fizik R4 Tempo Overcurve Wide shoes

8
£209.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Great all-rounder road shoes for the wide-footed rider
Well made
Comfortable
Look great
Not racing stiff
Reasonably expensive
Weight: 
614g

At road.cc 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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Fizik's R4 Tempo Overcurve shoe is a good quality, well-fitted option for everything up to racing, and the shiny iridescent colour scheme is a winner on dry, sunny days. They're now available in this wide fitting, which is great for people who don't always get on with the standard lasts.

Now you might be looking at these shoes and thinking, 'hang on! I'm sure I've seen these on road.cc before!' And you'd be right, up to a point: Steve Williams reviewed them in 2019, but they're now available in this wider fitting. 'The Overcurve R4 Wide provides a higher volume fit with more room at the forefoot around the ball of the foot and metatarsals,' says Fizik. So, they're a bit wider and a bit taller for any given shoe size.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Overcurve refers to the asymmetric shape of the closure, which is designed to trace the alignment of the bony bits of your ankle. The upper is a PU laminate and mesh mix, with an exposed section of mesh where your shoe might rub against your crank, which is a nice touch.

2020 Fizik R4 Tempo Overcurve shoes - detail.jpg

You get a single dial Boa IP1-B closure to keep everything snug, and the heel cup has silicone grippers to stop your heel escaping when you're working hard. The upper is perforated to help your feet to breathe, and there are decent vents in the sole too.

2020 Fizik R4 Tempo Overcurve shoes - sole toe.jpg

The sole is a 15% carbon-reinforced nylon affair, that Fizik rates as a 7 out of 10 on its stiffness rating scale. The three-bolt cleat mount has numbered scales to help you get your position consistent, and front and rear rubber bumpers help with walking off the bike. 

2020 Fizik R4 Tempo Overcurve shoes - sole heel.jpg

There are a number of colour options available; this iridescent finish will cost you an extra £15 over the flat colours, but they certainly do look spangly on a nice sunny day, and the finish seems to be as hardwearing as a standard shoe. Whether it's worth the money will depend on how much you value spangliness, I suppose.

These are comfy shoes, but it's worth noting that they size up big. I'm generally a 47 and after reading Steve's review opted for a 46.5, which is spot on. The insole has pretty minimal padding but I found that the R4s held my foot very comfortably, with no noticeable pressure points. I've used them for long outdoor rides and also for some fairly long indoor sessions where I find foot pain to be more of an issue, and I've got on really well with them.

2020 Fizik R4 Tempo Overcurve shoes - toe.jpg

They're quite a different shape in terms of the footbed to the Shimano shoes I normally wear, so swapping between one and the other sometimes felt a bit odd, but once I was riding I had no issues at all. Fizik says the cleat is 'positioned slightly further towards the heel compared to traditional placement to optimize pedalling efficiency and reduce knee compression, especially suited to aggressively forward aero riding positions'. I can't say I really noticed, and it's not obvious from looking at the shoe that Fizik's done it, so it must be a pretty small change.

> How to get your shoe cleats set up right 

Fizik says that the R4 Overcurve is an 'all-round road cycling shoe designed to be equally at home on weekend group rides, in daily training, and stretching out on a granfondo'. Certainly in terms of performance and comfort there's plenty to like. These aren't the stiffest shoes I've tried, and Fizik doesn't claim that they are, but I've used them for indoor racing (there isn't any outdoor racing) and never felt like I was losing out in the sprints due to my shoes, it was always my legs that were the limiting factor. The Boa dial gives a good range of adjustment, and you can do them up pretty tight. If you're racing at a level above me (3rd cat / Zwift B) then you might want something a bit stiffer if you're depending on a big sprint.

2020 Fizik R4 Tempo Overcurve shoes - side.jpg

I haven't worn these back to back with the standard R4 but they are pretty roomy around the widest part of the foot, more so than my standard-width Shimano shoes that are nominally a size bigger. It's not a big difference, but there is a difference. A bit of extra material means they're a bit heavier, and the R4 isn't an especially light shoe anyway, it's more middle of the pack for a performance-orientated shoe. Our pair of 46.5s weighed in at 614g, Fizik claims a weight of 464g for a set of 42s.

> Buyer’s Guide: 24 of the best performance road cycling shoes

The Fiziks are nicely made and finished, but for over £200 you wouldn't say they were ahead of the field in terms of value. You can get elite-level full-carbon soles on shoes like the FLR F-XX.II or Shimano's excellent RC7 for a fair bit less than this. Your options are more limited if you're specifically looking for a wide shoe, though, which makes them well worth considering if that's what you need most of all from a cycling shoe.

Verdict

Great all-rounder road shoes for the wide-footed rider

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Fizik R4 Tempo Overcurve Wide shoes

Size tested: 46.5

Tell us what the product is for

Fizik says, 'All-round road cycling shoe is designed to be equally at home on weekend group rides, in daily training, and stretching out on a granfondo.

'Intended use: Road cycling - designed and engineered to perform on paved roads, from the smoothest tarmac to the most demanding pavé'

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

From Fizik:

The Overcurve R4's classic aesthetic belies an advanced construction technique: a resilient polyurethane laminated material is combined over a comfortable mesh, reducing energy loss and providing long-lasting foot support where it's most needed. Designed with a performance fit for riders with wider feet, the Overcurve R4 Wide provides a higher volume fit with more room at the forefoot around the ball of the foot and metatarsals.

Shoe closure is fast, reliable and secure, powered by a micro-adjustable BOA® IP1 dial in an Overcurve pattern. The Overcurve shoe construction features a staggered collar that wraps around the ankle, tracing the natural alignment of the ankle's two bony protrusions: the lateral and medial malleoli. The result is an asymmetrical shape, with the throat of the shoe curving over the foot from its outside to its inner side.

The moderately stiff R4 outsole strikes a balance between comfort and pedalling efficiency to make it a true all-rounder, featuring a lower profile structurally optimized with a 15% infused carbon fiber composition. The R4 outsole further provides efficient ventilation with internal channelling for effective temperature regulation. The cleat is positioned slightly further towards the heel compared to traditional placement to optimize pedalling efficiency and reduce knee compression, especially suited to aggressively forward aero riding positions.

PU laminate over mesh upper

BOA® IP1-B dial closure

R4 outsole – carbon injected nylon, stiffness index 7

Weight: 232 g (size 42 - half pair)

Sizes: 37-48 (37-47 also in half sizes)

Tempo: versatility road series designed for the most enjoyable riding experience

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
6/10

They size up about half a size bigger compared to most others I've tried.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

Outer is wipe-clean and fairly hardy.

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

Very well: nice shoes that are a bit wider.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfortable, well made, stiff enough for most riding.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Reasonably expensive for a nylon sole shoe.

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

You can get full carbon sole shoes for less. You're paying £15 for the fancy colour here, though.

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

Very good overall, with value taken less into account than maybe it normally would be, since your options for specific wide-fit shoes are still pretty limited.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 189cm  Weight: 94kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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