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First look: Northwave Extreme RR shoes

10 Jan 2017

A super light shoe with a clever fastening mechanism, but they come at a price

When Northwave released the Extreme Tech Plus shoe in 2014 it set a new highest-ever price for a pair of road shoes from the Italian brand.

Two years on that shoe has been usurped by the all-new Extreme RRs, dropping 46g per shoe and an entire fiver off the price in the process, but gaining a key new feature. 

We’ve worn the original top-level Extremes for the best part of two and a half years, commute in, sportive out, and bar normal wear and tear they have stood the test of time incredibly well, even surviving a fairly major crash.

The construction and finish of the Extreme RRs would suggest similar levels of longevity. The upper is one seamless piece with an integrated tongue that wraps over itself as if your foot is being swaddled.

It’s a snug feeling and aesthetically pleasing, but most interesting is the closure system this set-up enables.

Northwave calls it ‘X-Frame’, which denotes a criss-cross web of anchor points embedded down the sides of the shoe.

The ends of these anchors poke out of the upper in loops, through which is threaded a single Dyneema cord brought together by Northwave’s take on the Boa, the ‘Speed Lace Winch’. Thus the Extreme’s fit can be adjusted incrementally by a single dial.

It’s a clever design and, along with a stiff composite sole, helps the Extreme RRs get down to a weight of just 271g a shoe (size 44.5). Most importantly, the X-Frame provides an even spread of pressure across the foot, making for a secure yet comfortable fit. 



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