Having feet that are flatter than spit on a plate, finding the right cycling shoe that provides excellent support, comfort and performance has been no easy task over the years.
As a result, my basement has become a purgatory of discarded cycling shoes, that for one reason or another, failed to provide the aforementioned requirements.
In fact, I’ve amassed so many different brands and styles of cycling shoes over time, even Imelda Marcos would be impressed.
The latest in my ongoing quest to find the perfect cycling shoe, is Garneau’s Course Air Lite road shoe.
Like all Garneau products, the fit and finish and attention to detail of the Course is first rate.
The exterior of the Course features a shiny, washable synthetic cover with mesh ventilation holes, along with a plush microfiber upper that’s ventilated as well.
The sole of the Course, features Garneau’s HM X-Lite carbon outsole with titanium inserts, which provides an ultra-stiff platform, along with an extremely low weight of just over 220g per shoe. In addition, the outsole has also been treated to the brand’s HRS-400 technology, which utilizes a nylon-injected reinforced heel cup to prevent slippage. Moreover, the HM X-Lite’s thin 4.3mm stack height is not only ideal for improved power transfer, but when it comes to calculating precise saddle height, there’s no need to compensate for extreme changes in sole/cleat height.
Additionally, the HM X-Lite soles also feature Garneau’s patented air channel system which intakes air at the front and channels it through to where it exits at the back, creating airflow inside the shoe that keeps the rider’s feet cool. The Course also comes with two different types of footbeds, which vary in terms of ventilation – one for hot weather riding and one for cool.
Lastly, fit is handled via a Boa IP1 closure system, which offers infinite levels of micro-adjustment, especially on the fly.
Right out of the box, my feet made friends with Course Air Lite, which is a feat I’ve seldom experienced with any cycling shoe. And from there, the addition of my own orthotics only improved their fit and comfort.
Next came the assessment of the Course’s performance.
After turning the pedals in them for hundreds of miles, I would sum the Course up in one phrase – a iron foot in a velvet cycling shoe.
Not only did the Course provide excellent, consistent comfort that endured even during the longest rides, the power transfer they provided was rock solid.
If you can image a cycling shoe that registered both a sense of connection to the pedals and the road below, but gave up nothing in the way of rigidity and pure power transfer – that’s how the Course performed.
So, how does the Course Air Lite rate amongst the myriad of cycling shoes which I’ve ridden in over the years that didn’t get relegated to cycling shoe purgatory?
Right now, they’re at the top of the leader board in terms of comfort and performance. And, the red devils sit right aside on my bike – far from the basement.
Garneau Course Air Lite
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