Self-sponsored roadies looking for a shoe that's above mid-range but a step below pro-model cost need look no further than Louis Garneau's new Titanium Shoes. With trickle-down technology from the top-of-the-line Course Air Lite—including the same carbon soles—the Titanium is a strong option for cyclists who put serious miles on their bikes each week, as well-suited to racing as it is to regular training.
Garneau constructs the Titanium with a heat-molded synthetic upper, free of seaming or stitching that could cause pressure points. The Canadian firm also adds strategically placed vents to promote airflow and wick moisture away from your feet. To ensure that your feet and heels don't slip around wasting valuable watts, Garneau lines the Titanium with unidirectional, anti-slip spandex, which works with its HRS-100 heel retention technology to lock narrow heels firmly in place for the duration of your ride. The Titanium relies on three hook-and-loop straps across the top of the shoe for a consistently secure fit across your metatarsals, arch, and instep.
Within the shoe, the arch receives more customizable support than a typical floppy EVA insole with Garneau's Transfo 3D insole, which includes options for low, medium, and high arch profiles for you to choose from depending on your arch shape. The added support reduces biomechanical inefficiencies, adding comfort and lessening the likelihood of arch and foot injury. Once you've found the right fit, attach the Transfo 3D to either the Ergo Air Cool Stuff or Hot Stuff insoles, depending on what temperatures you're riding through.
Underneath your foot, Garneau's top-of-the-line Carbon HM X-Lite outsole provides unyielding rigidity throughout your pedal stroke, reducing watts lost to flex between your foot and the pedal. Its slim, 4.3mm profile keeps your feet closely connected to the pedals, and the mounting hardware allows for adjustable cleats to be moved up to 7mm in each direction.
- A lightweight climber's shoe for race day
- Carbon fiber sole puts the emphasis on power
- Sleek upper eliminates unnecessary baggage
- Customizable arch support lets you tailor fit
- Insoles for hot and cold weather
- Minimalist closure system sheds every gram possible
- Q & A
Roomy Toe Box
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Fit: Runs large
- Size Bought: 42.5
As the previous review mentions, these are a nice change from the less-accommodating lasts that I see so many of. My toes and forefoot did not feel cramped at all when trying on. In the interest of full disclosure, I returned these and did not ride in them, but I've tried on more than enough shoes to know the odds would have been heavily in favor of these working out. My reason for returning was that I decided I did not want that much velcro, but I've gotta say I've never seen a shoe that has done velcro as aesthetically pleasing as this shoe. I would say the size chart on the Backcountry website was pretty spot-on for me, I sized down from my Shimano size. 4 stars only because of minor construction issues, where the screens covering the vents on the sole did not seem to be firmly attached. Again, I did not ride in these so I can't comment on long-term durability, but I did not notice any major red flags.
All about the fit
I have a wide forefoot and a narrow ankle, so finding shoes that fit can be tough. These are perfect for me, heel stays nice and snug without cramping up my forefoot. Super stiff, light, and look gooooooood!