There’s a new cycling shoemaker in town with Italian startup Udog and their first Tensione road bike shoes. Built with laces, lightweight materials, and a carbon-reinforced sole, the mid-priced Udog Tensione road shoes promise a unique foot-hugging full-wrap fit for comfort and pedaling efficiency.
Udog Tensione lightweight, lace-up road bike shoes
UDOG is an all-new cycling startup based in Veneto, Italy with shoe manufacturing in China, a project of Alberto Fonte, who’s spent the last 13 years at Fizik, Pinarello & Kask. Naming the company after being an underdog, they’re starting small with a mid-priced, carbon-reinforced road shoe, featuring a unique lace-up design claiming to be the “first-ever cycling shoe that wraps the rider’s foot from bottom to top” for balanced comfort and support.
What makes them unique?
The trick to the Tensione delivering its unparalleled fit is the simplicity & adjustability of traditional laces, combined with a special set of TPU straps that encircle your foot at the metatarsal bone in your midfoot. These mid-placed straps pull more from the bottom of the shoe, to allow for a more customized ‘wrapped’ feeling than simply relying on the shoe’s upper to stretch and conform to the shape of your foot.
Udog is calling their patented Tension Wrap System (TWS) completely unique, but it’s similar in concept to the wire loop wrapping all the way around inside Bont’s Helix, the velcro strap of Fizik’s Vento Stabilita, maybe the multi-layered construction of the S-Works Ares, or even the rigid carbon cage of the LoreOne – almost all of which focus more on wrapping the arch/instep.
At the same, you can’t overlook that the much simpler Udog Tensione is also less than half the cost of any of those shoes. So maybe, that’s another solid reason to just stick with laces.
At a claimed 245g per shoe (size 42), they are also quite a bit lighter than most comparably priced shoes – whether with dial retention or laces – yet not quite ultralight.
The composite 3-bolt road sole is vented at the toe & midfoot, and molds in (non-replaceable) rubber heel & toe caps. Udog calls the carbon-reinforced nylon sole “one of the stiffest” compared to other reinforced composite performance road shoes, giving it a 7/10 rating.
The last of synthetic Tensione is said to offer a “generous toe box and a deep heel cup” while allowing the hybrid TWS & laces to fine-tune fit, even spec’ing an especially flat set of laces that promise not to loosen as you ride. No little plastic or metal bits to fail or cause hotspots, the shoes feature a woven mesh upper for breathability, then flexible welded TPU reinforcement throughout for durability.
Udog Tensione road shoes – Pricing, sizing & availability
Udog offers the Tensione road shoes even sizes from 38-46, calling it a gender-neutral fit. The shoes are on sale starting today for $200 / 150€ in either all Pure Black or Arctic White with black TWS strap & grey reinforcements – including free global shipping for orders placed before the end of January. Udog says this first shoe is available in limited quantities now, with the first pairs to start shipping from March 15, 2022.