Fizik shoes, from the priciest to the most inexpensive, are handmade in Italy. They want you to know that, because to them, Italy stands for high quality and craftsmanship, and, as Adam Bookwalter, the North America Area Manager, tells me right away, “That’s really important to us.”
Fizik, like companies including Sidi and Gaerne, has taken advantage of Italy’s long history of shoe craftsmanship to bring high performance cycling shoes to the US.
On the M1 Uomo, the newest high level offering from Fizik, a few things were worth noting. For starters, the material choices for the model. “A couple materials that we’re using on the shoe are really unique,” Bookwalter says. “The heel and toe box are constructed with anti scratch cowhide leather, just a really super solid material designed to last for a long time. The inside panel is made up of kangaroo leather, and then the outside panel is made of up a material called Panatex, which is just a really high grade nylon. It’s the same material you’d find on Prada shoes.”
Additionally, the shoe features titanium D-rings and sail cloth for the strap, and a micrometric buckle allows for careful tightening.
“Another thing that’s really interesting about this is that the outsole is made up of 3K carbon weave, so it’s super stiff.” But more interesting than a stiff sole is the ability to repair and refurbish the M1 shoes even as they wear out. “It’s also a fully serviceable outsole, and what I mean by that is you have screws that you can remove and replace the entire thing if it wears out. You can also replace the heel pad.”
For cyclocross racers, stiffness in a shoe is important, but so is the ability to run. “One thing that we did that’s unique about this is the toe piece. We actually made that out of nylon so it would be super flexible, instead of the whole thing being made of carbon fiber. You will get more flexibility out of the toe.”
There’s also a heat moldable insole that molds to your arch to “cradle all 45 bones that make up your foot. It’s not a medical grade product but it is a comfort product.”
When asked how the shoes will hold up in colder conditions, I was told that the mesh on the outside panel provides breathability but overall, the shoe has less mesh than solid leather, so some of the chilly wind is kept out without boiling your feet come summer.
That’s the high end of the spectrum. On the entrance level, Fizik offers the M5. “The style is similar, but without the kangaroo leather, the replaceable outsole, or micometric buckle.”
Available: Starting this week
MSRP: M1 retails for $375, M5 retails for $200
Sizes: 40-47 (Euro sizing)
More info: Fizik