Review: Bont Cycling Riot MTB+ Shoes
August 23rd, 2017
August 23rd, 2017
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
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So, we have a micro-fibre upper for a strong yet breathable foot covering, a fibreglass base with carbon reinforcements to make the soles stiff and powerful on the pedals, and the well-loved BOA retention system with for fine-tuning the closure of the shoe. So, at £169.99 a pair, what’s so special about these Riot MTB shoes?
Well, ignoring the fact that Bont are pretty much the top of their game when it comes to carbon manufacturing for shoes, they’ve stuck to their guns with their fitting theories. “Anatomical shaping allows the foot to function in its most efficient and anatomically correct position,” says Bont, “The foot is supported in its endeavour to relax through the metatarsal joints allowing the pedalling force to be spread across the greatest possible surface area.”. Basically, if you let the foot lay naturally, you’ll get less discomfort, and problems like hot-spots and pins and needles.
Bont continue the comfort and ‘fit over form’ by adding a longitudinal arch in the soles of the shoes to keep the legs inline. “Over pronation is one of the main contributors to incorrect tracking of knees during a cyclists’ pedalling. This can result in knee injuries,” says Bont, “In addition, the rotation of tibia and femur can cause the pelvis to tilt resulting in lower back strain.”.
Let’s not forget Bont’s almost trade mark foot support; with the fibreglass sole cupping the back of the heel to stabilise the foot in both the up and down stroke, as well as the ‘lateral support’ (where the sole extends upwards either side of the foot) to prevent the foot spreading and moving around inside the shoe or generally getting no support whatsoever from the often soft sidewalls of a shoe.
There’s no mistaking a Bont shoe fitting. It’s a feeling you could identify within seconds of a blind test. The shoes feel spacious and yet fitted. The parts of the feet that are usually squished and restricted, like the toes shoved into an aerodynamic point, are left to sit naturally, yet the rest of the foot is well supported, with the heel hugged into place and the sidewalls channelling the edges of the foot. Being able to heat treat them and mould them specifically to your feet is an added bonus for anyone with unusual tootsies, however; I must stress that you really don’t have to do this.
The Bont Riot MTB+ shoes are not the lightest on the market at 700g a pair, but they are on par with similar shoes in the same price range. What they do offer, however; is a well thought out shoe that’ll go the distance without causing discomfort. I ran these for a 6hour cross-country race and barely noticed them, but they were also punchy enough to put the power down on the cyclocross bike too. They will surely change your mind about shoe shaping after you’ve tried them. Oh, and they come in other snazzy colours too!
Consider these if you want a comfy pair of pumps that look unique and still put the power down.