While pro-level cycling shoes have almost exclusively gone to synthetic uppers, Catlike is bringing back real leather at the top-tier. There’s no shortage of performance in the Graphene carbon soled shoes either. Plus, there will even be vegan versions for both road & mountain bike riding.
Catlike next generation leather road bike shoes
Premium locally sourced Spanish leather nubuck fits well with Catlike’s made-in-Spain ethos, and pairs together with a big step up over their current top Whisper shoes. Working with a number of different plastic & synthetic materials in the construction of the current shoe range (as well as helmets & sunglasses), Catlike was looking for a more natural feel for their latest shoe.
The new lightweight, two-piece leather upper (check out the red+black shoe to see how the two panels break down) has an incredibly soft feel in hand, both inside and out, with the bulk of the toe box & forefoot unlined. The 3M Scotchgard protected leather gets open laser ventilation perforations along the toe & sides, while the larger openings in the tongue are backed with a slightly padded mesh.
Around the ankle and heel a synthetic fabric with a texture like a cat’s tongue lets your foot slide smoothly in, but prevents heel lift without having to dial the shoe in too tight. A single long wire loop with a Boa closure was selected to provide a consistent fit, with small incremental tightening steps over the asymmetric tongue.
The carbon sole is again infused with Graphene nanotech, and is as stiff in the hand as just about any other shoe we’ve tried to flex. The vented carbon sole gets textured 3-bolt cleat mounting, plus a replaceable heel tread block, looking for the most part unchanged from the current Whisper Road.
A mountain bike sole will also be offered with the same leather upper, and a stiff Graphene-reinforced carbon sole. The mountain bike shoe is said to use a Vibram lugged tread design that completely protects the carbon from ground contact with standing on the pedals or on a hike-a-bike.
The new shoes will come in several different dyed leather options, with these red, red+black, brown, and black making up the core. Catlike told us that the shoes were so new that they didn’t have a name yet, being finished less than four days before we got a look at them. But in reality the lack of a name confirms that a new top-tier road helmet is coming too, since Catlike tends to share names across product categories.
Catlike more or less confirmed that they have multiple new high-end helmets in the works, teasing that we will get to see them in a few weeks at Eurobike. Also interesting is an updated Catlike logo on the uppers that suggests a bigger company rebranding. It’s still a cat’s head silhouette, but makes it easy to spot what hasn’t yet been updated (like that carbon sole that still has the old logo on the heel.)
No word on pricing, but we should get the full details in four weeks at Eurobike, and expect availability late in the summer or early fall.