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Bont Vaypor+ cycling shoes review

22 Sep 2017

The Bont Vaypor+ is an uncompromising performance cycling shoe. For a cost, you aren’t left wanting

Lightweight, well made and their performance is beyond reproach
Price puts the Vaypor+’s out of reach for many cyclists

Despite having made performance footwear since the 1970s, Bont continues to carve a unique path in research, development and production and the results speak for themselves.

For example, the company used data from 20,000 laser foot scans to develop its cycling shoe last (a physical model around which each shoe is built). I’d recommend taking a look at it on Bont’s website; it is markedly different and far more anatomically accurate than the industry standard.

The original Vaypors were a thoroughbred race shoe but the range has since subdivided and the Bont Vaypor S cycling shoes have gained favour as the competitive shoe of choice.

It leaves the Bont Vaypor+ cycling shoes to occupy more of an ‘all day comfort’ guise, which is intriguing because they are as accomplished in a racing environment as any of their competitors.

Their performance stems from the design of their carbon ‘sole’ - where many shoes have an upper bonded to a flat plate of carbon, the Vaypor+ shoes' unidirectional carbon sole extends up and around the foot.

It is unique in the extremity of its shape - other brands like Shimano and Specialized are now moving towards sculpting their soles but nowhere near to this degree.

It allows the foot to sit ‘in’ the sole rather than ‘on’ it, and a snug fit is ensured with the option to heat-mold the sole - officially Bont suggests a temperature of 70℃ for 20 minutes, however I found a little hotter for a little longer really provided a slipper-like fit as the shoe became that bit more pliable.

The upper has a multi-layered construction, with anti-stretch strips of polyester sandwiched between cow leather next to your foot and kangaroo leather on the outside of the shoe.

It makes for a supple, comfortable upper that has retained its shape over the months I have been testing them.

All Bont’s top-end shoes continue to be handmade so oddly look a little more roughshod than the brand’s cheaper models, however any inaccuracies are a result of natural variance - they tend to be minute and purely cosmetic in any case.

Given Bont’s aforementioned tendency to offer a wider and more anatomical fit, the Bont Vaypor+ cycling shoes suited my wide feet very well: I could tighten the Boa IP1 dials securely without any pinching or hotspots, and the shaped sole provided ample support for my high arches despite the insole being flat.

It meant little to no energy was lost through unwanted movement regardless of whether I was heaving up a climb or attempting to sprint, but it also meant they could stay tight for long periods of time, becoming a fit-and-forget shoe that would perform whenever without the faff of retightening the upper.

The quality of materials and hand-manufacture of these shoes inevitably mean they are very expensive, but if you have pockets deep enough you are unlikely to be disappointed by the Bont’s Vaypor+ cycling shoes.

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