New design includes three strap closure, lateral heel support, aggressive sole / Contact: Hotlines 0131 319 1444, www.hotlines-uk.com
This entry-level shoe from Answer has changed since last year’s model, thanks to an extra strap, which affords not just security but a more custom fit. This centre strap is reversed, ie it closes in the opposite direction to the toe and ankle straps. The shoe features a narrow tongue that is attached to one side only, so don’t expect dry feet on any wet weather excursions. However, the upside of this is that the shoe is particularly breathable and well vented, so your plates never suffer from overheating. At first sight, we thought the 42 sample-size looked on the small side, and sure enough, on the larger foot (isn’t one of yours bigger than the other, then?) it did feel a little snug. But, after two or so hours of the first ride, the upper had stretched enough for us not to notice. And they are comfortable too. The heel incorporates a lateral support, which, theoretically, is supposed to clamp the shoe to the foot whilst you are on a hike-a-bike sortie. It works up to a point, though no shoe I have ridden has zero slippage.
The sole is aggressive, and both grips rock and sheds dirt when you find yourself off the bike. The toe has a reinforced bumper to reduce unscheduled rock collision dings, and the cleat box found the pedals with un-erring accuracy. At 35 quid you get a good-looking shoe that would probably last a season or two max of hard riding. But that’s not bad value these days, is it?