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There's a good chance that you've seen the S.B.S. iteration of the Northwave Rebel R3 Shoes. If you haven't, it's the same as this Rebel R3, only with an S.B.S. ratcheting instep strap. And granted, there isn't too much of a price gap between the two, either. So, if you're torn between the two, it all comes down to your security preference. However, regardless of which you pick, you're guaranteed a stiff, lightweight, and comfortable pair of shoes for the trail.

Northwave's Rebel R3 features its Speedlight 3D Carbon outsole. This outsole has a construction that balances weight with rigidity. To achieve this Northwave begins with a nylon chassis and then fills it with a fiberglass and carbon composite. And after this, it's co-injected to a thermoplastic polyurethane shell. Overall, the combination of the materials guarantees rigidity, while allowing a dynamic flex in targeted areas. This way, your feet won't feel berated when you're forced to walk a trail section, or in the case of cyclocross usage, shouldering the bike. Additionally, the chassis creates a comfortable interface with the uppers, allowing a small amount of spill-over for when either your feet swell or you experience strong torsional forces on the ground.

You'll also find that the chassis works in harmony with the shoes' rubber studs. Basically, the studs have been minimally placed in order to reduce weight. However, this wouldn't be possible if dirt and mud were able to buildup on the outsole. So, Northwave engineered a center channel design that, with the assistance of the key positioning of the studs, sheds mud away for an ideal grip with the soil.

Moving up the shoe, Northwave made the uppers from a durable, yet breathable, polyurethane material. This creates a conforming upper that doesn't skimp on protection from trail hazards. And for extra ventilation, Northwave also included Airmesh inserts throughout the upper. The location of the inserts follows what Northwave call its Airflow System where the lower vents channel in air to exit at the rear, while the side vents supply a constant source of fresh air over the foot. For retention, the Rebel R3 uses two hook-and-loop straps to control the volume and instep security of the shoes. This way, you can incrementally and precisely control the tightness of the instep, either before the ride or on-the-fly.

At the heel, you'll find Northwaves Omega Heel design. This is part of the Airflow System concept, but its rigid construction also provides protection and an increased power transfer. In fact, the Omega heel has been molded as to shape your heel. So, on hard upstrokes out of the saddle, your heel won't slip, and accordingly, your pedal stroke's efficiency is maximized.

The Northwave Rebel R3 Shoes are available in whole and half sizes from 37.0 to 47.0 and in the colors Red/yellow and White/black.

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BMX /mountain bike shoe

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:Runs small

We purchased these shoes in August of 2013. My son wears them for BMX and mountain biking. The seams on the sides came undone and we have already replaced the ratchet straps. We read the Backcountry website as having a ONE YEAR warranty, but when we contacted them their reply was they will only help us within 90 days. Oh yes, and Northwave is located in Italy, so I will probably have little luck contacting them. We will have to purchase new shoes unless Backcountry will actually stand behind their warranty.

11 yo using for BMX

  • Familiarity:I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

Got these for my 11 yo bmx'er son; will use in spring; much lighter than the FLY shoes he was using before. He loves the flashy colors. He also likes the fit. Construction looks good but can't comment yet on durability but bmx'ing will shred them up if they are no good and I'll leave update.

Sizing Chart is Incorrect

  • Familiarity:I returned this product before using it

I was suspicious of the sizing chart so I called and asked. The gentleman told me that these shoes "run big" so I ordered 42.5 when I usually wear a 43.5. They are too small and have to return them. Otherwise they look well constructed even if they are a little bright.