REVIEW: Northwave Extreme Tech Plus Shoes Recommended

by Nick Gregory

IT Flag
Price £299.00
Size UK 9.5/ Euro 43
Colour White/ black
Like all successful trailblazers, Northwave have taken risks in coming up with something unique, but it's paid off, in a big way.

REVIEW: Northwave Extreme Tech Plus Shoes

Northwave, the Italian snowboard and cycling equipment manufacturer, was founded by the Piva family in Montebelluna - the famous shoe making district just outside Venice; and although today the company covers the full range of cycling clothing and accessories (men's and women's, road and MTB) it is perhaps still shoes that they are most synonymous with. 

The 'Extreme Tech Plus' model is Northwave's top of the range offering, as worn by some of the biggest names in pro cycling including Bjorn Leukemans and his Team Wanty-Gobert colleagues, recent French sprinting sensation Bryan Coquard, the Columbian Darwin Atapuma, Pieter Weening of Orica-Green Edge and recent MTN Qhebeka signing, Matthew Goss. 

Smart, stylish and classy

Northwave is famed for ending the 'black reign' in the cycling shoe market when they introduced their first MTB shoes - one red, one yellow to replicate the company's logo - in 1993. Northwave's palmares is an impressive one: they clad Cadel Evans in his MTB days, the notorious Mario Cippolini, and Tom Boonen in his annus mirabilis - 2005 - as he claimed Paris-Roubaix, two stages of the Tour and the World Championships. 

Bright colours still have pride of place in many of Northwave's ranges today, and a quick look at the website will confirm that the Extreme Tech Plus model is no exception. If the understated but classy white or matt black options aren't your thing, fear not, as the Extreme Tech Plus are available in a positively radioactive green or orange-fluo livery. In fact, with their 'be visible, be safe' lines, the company is at the forefront of the hi-vis road safety campaign. 

The hi-vis alternatives on display at the Etape du Tour

In the era of 'marginal gains' Northwave have, it seems, figured out just about every way possible to save energy, and the seamless one-piece upper is yet another example of that. Designed with BioMap Technology, Northwave claim the uppers are anatomically compatible with every cyclist's feet - and certainly they were with mine - something that's key to the efficient transfer of power from shoe to pedal. As mentioned, there's no stitching, even in the mesh vents, which not only reduces weight but also improves comfort. 

At just 60g the Ultralight Carbon Sole offers immense rigidity and comfort on an incredibly thin and light base. The seven vents that punctuate the underside of the shoe (including three at the front and two at the back) form the shoe's Airflow System, which does an efficient job of circulating air and cooling your feet. Speaking from my own experience of using the shoes during the monsoons of this year's Etape du Tour, they must also serve some kind of drainage function too, as the shoes dried quicker than any I've used in the past.  

The seamless one-piece upper, designed with BioMap Technology

Extreme Air Footbeds

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