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Bont Vaypor S review

Bont Vaypor S first look
24 Jul 2015

Super stiff but super comfortable. The Bont Vaypor S is everything you could want from a pair of cycling shoes.

Cyclist Rating: 
Very stiff custom fit shoes
Toe box a little more squashed than previous version

Whenever I go to buy shoes there’s a confession I have to make. It’s a secret that burdens me on an almost daily basis. I walk around the shop, pick up the shoe I fancy and ask to try it on. They ask what size and then it comes out: ‘I have slightly wide feet.’ Until fairly recently, I’ve always felt like cycling shoe manufacturers have had little interest in the wide footed amongst us but there is one manufacturer that does care, and that’s Bont. So when a pair of Bont Vaypor S came in to test, I grabbed them with both hands.

Bont does things a little differently to other manufacturers when it comes to the Vapor S. Bont say that the lasts (the block around which shoes are made) that other manufacturers use are too thin, and are more suited to a regular shoe rather than for sports. It means that Bont’s shoes are much wider at the front than other manufacturers shoes and the side effect is a rather distinctive look. Bont actually also offers a wide fit on top of its already wider fit but in my case it wasn’t required. The full size chart is on its website, although with shoes of this price (and the fact they come in half sizes) we’d recommend going and trying a few pairs on.

The Vaypor S follows the same principle as Bont’s previous models of Vaypor but with a few subtle changes. Bont shoes provide a stiff and stable pedaling platform that is achieved by having a full carbon monocoque chassis­. The soft upper is then bonded to the outsole. The sole remains thin with just a 3.6mm stack height and the outsole is still DIY custom mouldable due to the thermoresin used in the sole.

The Vaypor S use Boa’s latest IP1 dial to ensure the fit can dialed in just right.  The upper dial is attached to a flap, rather than directly on the upper, to spread the tension slightly better. The Vaypor S actually uses a different last to previous models and, while the custom fit is still a feature, Bont claim that 95% of customers will not need to make changes to the shoe unless they have bunions or other similar problems.

The fit

When I first tried the Vaypor S, they fit my feet reasonably well, so I rode them around for a few days without moulding them. The moulding process is pretty easy: turn the oven up to 80 degrees, pop them in there for 20 minutes, pull them out and put them on. I’ve had heat moulded shoes before, and never really seen much of a difference so I am always astounded by just how much Bonts change when they are soft.

Once I’d given them time to cool, I tried them on again on a turbo trainer. The difference was noticeable but not as much as my previous Vaypors. My old Vaypors really opened up around the heel but the new Vaypor S already had a similar shape prior to fitting. Either way it felt incredibly secure. Your foot feels like it is held in the shoe, rather than squashed into it.

Out on the road and the shoes are the stiffest I’ve ever worn. There is just no give in the sole at all but they’re not uncomfortable. The only downside to that lovely carbon sole is that it’s easily damaged but the new rubber bumpers on the S are way better than they used to be. After quite a lot of use the soles are still in good shape although the pedals have marked them. Despite a few really grim rides the shoes are still in good nick externally, which is an added bonus with white shoes. 

The Boa dials are faultless offering quick and easy adjustment while riding and make Velcro straps and ratchets feel quite archaic. There are a lot of people I know who have tried Bont and never looked back. I can safely say I’m now one of them.


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