If I had to single out one particular accessory or piece of gear that I fancy the most, hands-down it would be cycling shoes. I love everything about them, from their striking silhouettes and bold styling queues, to the unique closure systems that define each one. I can never have enough pairs.
So, when the opportunity came around to review Suplest’s latest ROAD PRO 30.8 road shoe, I grabbed a pair with shameless alacrity. My collection of cycling kicks now rivals anything Imelda Marcos ever dreamed of having.
The ROAD PRO 30.8 is Suplest’s second-tier model, which features a light, breathable woven upper that the Swiss brand refers to as MATRYX, a Kevlar material that utilizes a thin grid construction to provide optimal stability, comfort and breathability, while the anatomical ERGO 360° 3D-tongue is designed to further envelop the foot to ensure a snug feeling during all pedaling conditions.
Elsewhere, the ROAD PRO 30.8 is punctuated by a BOA Bi-directional Li2 Fit System for precise adjustment, Suplest’s 3D-heel counter that minimizes foot slippage and ERGO 360° carbon sole.
The ERGO 360° carbon sole is further highlighted by an asymmetrical rubber treatment that’s designed to protect the upper, while integrated ventilation holes provide drainage when things get wet. Suplest also added its SUPtraction rubber studs on the forefoot and heel for added grip.
All combined, the ROAD PRO 30.8 achieves a stiffness index of 10 out of 10.
Additionally, fit is further enhanced by a minimalist foam footbed that follows the anatomical profile of the sole’s sculpted arches, offering the requisite amount of support. But, for those needing more correction, Suplest offers its SOLESTAR insoles.
So, technical features aside, how does the ROAD PRO 30.8 perform?
While I like the simplicity of a single BOA design, other shoes that I’ve reviewed in the past that were fitted with just one dial left me wanting for more adjustability, resulting in pressure points along the top of the forefoot, while leaving other areas feeling loose.
Interestingly, this was not the case with the PRO ROAD 30.8, which left my feet feeling snug and secure at all times. I attribute this to Suplest’s ERGO 360° 3D-tongue and the specific placement of the dial and laces, which resulted in far-better uniformity and fine-tuning of fit than other one-dial systems.
As mentioned, having reviewed an extensive number of high end cycling shoes over the years, I’m by no means someone who’s easily won-over. And, instead of a short jaunt along the promenade, or a fast loop along one of my favorite routes, every review has involved a few hundred miles of riding in order to fully vet each shoe, scrutinizing them every turn of the pedal along the way.
Having said that, after traversing the terrain of western Massachusetts during all sorts of weather conditions over the last few weeks, I’m pleased to report that everything that makes a road shoe great exists in the ROAD PRO 30.8.
Excellent comfort and optimal ventilation (especially on hot days), while conceding nothing in terms of structural support and power transfer, foremost describes the ROAD PRO 30.8. Throw-in a retention system that’s simple and effective like BOA’s Bi-directional Li2, and you now have a shoe that sits at the very top of the leaderboard.
At $549.00, the ROAD PRO 30.8 doesn’t come cheap. But, try convincing your feet otherwise when they’re feeling this strong and comfortable.
Many thanks to Blacksmith Cycle and Suplest for providing the shoes for review.
Features and Details
Weight – 239 grams per shoe (size 42) including SOLESTAR Light insole
BOA Fit System
ERGO 360° 3D-Tongue
ERGO 360° CARBON SOLE
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