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Comfort just got lighter.
What happens when you forgo kangaroo leather and Microtex for mesh and Microtex? Around a 26 gram weight reduction, actually. This is one of the defining features that separate the Fi'zi:k R3 Donna and the R5 Donna Shoes, and in our opinion, this makes the R5 almost more desirable.
The R5 Donna features two hook-and-loop straps along with an aluminum, ratcheting buckle. This system allows you to fully tune the fit and volume of the shoes both pre-ride and on-the-fly. The bottom two straps control the snugness of the fit at the metatarsal and instep areas. These straps are best adjusted before you hit the road and left alone thereafter.
The ratcheting strap is what dictates the entry and exit adjustments. The loading lever is made from aluminum that's been mated to a stainless steel base. It has a double-click adjustment capability with a full-release mechanism at the base of the lever. Together, the three strap system eliminates any internal foot slippage that depreciates your efficiency. To evenly distribute pressure across the top of the foot, Fi'zi:k made the strap dimensions wide. The strap design allows you to easily lengthen or shorten the strap in order to precisely dial-in the volume of the shoe. Also, each strap has been crafted from fully-adjustable length sail cloth in order to bolster durability while maintaining a low overall weight. For an extreme control over volume, or simply to efficiently clean the inside of the shoe, Fi'zi:k designed the tongue pad to be fully-removable.
To further control slippage, Fi'zi:k has shaped the heel cup at the aft position of the shoe. This feature keeps the foot in the perfect position on hard up-strokes and while climbing out of the saddle. As a result, you're powering the pedals comfortably and efficiently. This has been further heightened by a variable stiffness sole construction. This is where the R3 and R5 start to part ways. Where the R3 features a multi-layered carbon fiber sole with Tepex and a Mobius rail, the R5 makes use of a carbon-reinforced nylon outsole. And while this keeps costs down, it doesn't inhibit either comfort or power transfer. In fact, the R5 retains a low stack height and a high level of rigidity. But, like the R3, Fi'zi:k engineered-in trace flexibility. So, the outsole creates a direct power to the pedals, while allowing enough movement to guarantee comfort after 80 kilometers.
And on the topic of comfort, Fi'zi:k went above and beyond to make the R5 extremely breathable. In lieu of the R3's kangaroo leather, the R5 features Fi'zi:k's Microtex for the support structure of the uppers and nylon mesh for the ventilation windows. Together, these materials keep your feet breathing and comfortable on long summer days in the saddle. And for the insole, Fi'zi:k included its own Superlight Insole. And while its not custom moldable like with the R1, it does incorporate a thoughtful design that assures comfort by absorbing road vibration and supporting your arch system.
The Fi'zi:k R5 Donna Shoes are available in odd and even sizes from 37.0 to 43.0 and in the colors Black and White/metallic orange.
Share your thoughts
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
So far, I've had a really good experience with this shoe. They are incredibly easy to get on and off. They have a boxy toe box so there's plenty of room. They are a minimal shoe and feel close and true to the foot, which I love. I've got high arches and they work well for me where other shoes don't. I did have to purchase a pair of defeet insoles for them b/c the ones that come standard are not the greatest.