I’ve always been a bit reluctant to wear white cycling shoes (see photo above as to why), but I finally gave in and said “why not?!” for a pair of reflective road slippers from Swiss outfit Suplest. I figured road riding was my most reasonable shot at keeping white looking good, and even though I’ve ended up giving these my worst through rain, mud & sand, they still shine once I wipe them down, even if they are showing some wear.
We first saw the revamped Edge3 shoes in person at Eurobike last year and got a chance to dive into the details of how they had been updated. After having ridden off-road in the stiff uppers of the previous generation of mountain bike shoes, I was looking forward to spending time in these more supple road kicks. See how they stood up to my rather abusive road riding below the fold…
Weights & Specs
This version of Edge3 Pro Road shoe sets the top end of the Suplest lineup, and with that comes a premium pricetag at 350€ (with all the same tech also available with a lugged MTB sole for the same price). At the top-level that includes a thin full carbon sole, two premium BOA IP-1 dials, and some extra high-arch Solestar supportive insoles.
Unfortunately the premium Solestar insoles had too pronounced of an arch for me personally. Suplest recommended riding a bit in them anyway to see if my foot would adapt, but it was just not comfortable for me. Instead I pulled them out and replaced them with the same heat-molded Shimano Custom-Fit insoles that I use in most of my other shoes.
Sitting on top of their road line makes the Edge3 Pro the lightest shoe in the Suplest range. Including the stock insoles, our test pair tipped the scale at 590g, with each individual shoe within 4g of the other.
From a tech perspective the big update in the model 2016 range of Edge3 shoes is the move to a wrap-around construction – dubbed the Ergo 360° last. By getting rid of a separate tongue, all of the shoes in the Edge3 road and mountain bike range use the same basic construction where the outer side of the upper wraps under the inner side to eliminate any chance for a bunched up tongue, with the shoe flexing around a mesh section in the toe. The various versions use different dial and strap configurations, with these Pro models sticking with wires to cinch everything in place.
Underneath the shoe, a carbon sole provides for stiff power transfer. It gets a series of channels under the forefoot with under toe and mid foot vents covered by a tight mesh to get air through. The toe features a small but functional rubber block for walking grip, and on the heel is a reasonably sized and replaceable soft rubber tread block. The shoes get standard 3-bolt drilling with a few mm of side-to-side adjustment and printed on cleat alignment marks. But no Speedplay-specific model is available, so I went for the standard stacked installation for my cleats.
Beneath the BOA wires, a thin flexible carbon fiber shield more evenly spreads pressure across the top of the foot for a hotspot-free fit. In the Pro model, two identical IP-1 dials pull the shoe tight and offer enough cable range to open the shoe quite wide. Since the lower dial across the mid foot pulls through two loops of wire, it offers twice the adjustment sensitivity to easily twist in and out for a perfect, snug fit.
The synthetic microfiber uppers are much more soft and flexible than the last pair of mountain shoes I rode from Suplest, but they still retain their shape and are quite structured at the toe and heel. On the outside of the upper there is a grid of round perforations, a large mesh section in the toe, and four cut-in mesh vents on the inside which together delivered enough ventilation to keep my feet comfortable in warm weather, but not too breezy when it got colder.
And of course there are the reflective elements. The matte looking gray is highly reflective on the inside of the toe, around the outside at the ankle, and vertically on the heel. The shiny silver on the outside is just that, shiny but not nearly as reflective.
My first thought riding in the new shoe is that the anatomic wrap of the one piece upper does offer a more comfortable and more finely adjustable fit than the previous generation (and many other traditionally built shoes I’ve worn on or off-road). And retention of my foot in the shoe from heel to toe is as secure and stable as I could ever wish.
But with that, the shoe has one very minor issue in that you have to completely loosen it to take the shoe off. Especially with the carbon reinforced area over the entire top of the forefoot, when you pop the Boa dials open the little tension that remains still holds your foot firmly in place. That’s actually good news for fit, as you really don’t have to cinch the shoe down extra tight to keep in on your foot. And on this shoe it isn’t a problem at all to remove either. You just pull both dials out to disengage them and then pull the top side of the ‘tongue’ away to loosen the wires all the way out. Then you can easily slide your foot out and back in with no obstruction.
The issue is actually more of a concern if you opt for the more affordable Performance or Sport models which use a rather stiff velcro strap in place of a lower dial across the toe. On those shoes you have to completely open that lower strap and fold it back out of the way, as even it alone is enough to keep the wrap from opening wide enough to allow your foot out easily. In any case, it is something you’ll get used to rather quickly.
Now I have clearly put these shoes through the wringer, and ridden them through a lot more sand, dirt, and heavy mud than any road shoe can have imagined it would see (not to mention my poor Speedplay cleats. I really need to get a set of Zero Pavé pedals in to test!) But the shoes have held their own. Sure the BOA dials are a bit more sticky than they were 6 months ago (and how is it that the wire guides are alway picking up grasses & grains? Could it have something to do with my personal definition of a “road??) But I can probably pull the dials apart and clean them if I need to, and since BOA is warrantying them for the life of the shoes, I’m not too worried.
If you look hard through these photos you can see that I have earned some scuffed toes, a couple of uncleanable chainring stains on the inside of the driveside shoe, scrapes on the carbon soles, and one sizable mark on the outside of the right shoe from sliding through a wet intersection. I’ve also scratched the reflective stripes on the heels (and a bit more on the front of the toes) from cautiously walking down slick terrazzo stairs with the notoriously sketchy Speedplay cleats (before I updated to their walkable version). The matte reflective sections are certainly the most fragile finish on the shoe, but like the rest of any scrapes I have acquired they have no impact on the continued performance of the shoes. Essentially it’s nothing more than I would have expected with how I ride, and the scuffs don’t stand out enough to bother me, even on these shiny white shoes.
All-in-all I am very pleased with the performance, fit, and durability of the Edge3 Pro shoes. While I have a few other pairs of road shoes in the closet that still have many miles left in them, these are the ones I keep pulling out to ride. They are stiff but always comfortable, and even when I need to pull on a set of overshoes or shoecovers the easy to operate BOA IP-1 dials make it simple to tune the fit on the go.