Keep your feet breathing.
If you're looking for a road shoe that isn't prohibitively expensive but still looks good, we'd recommend Louis Garneau's Cristal Shoes. We were impressed with the aesthetics of this shoe right away. It doesn't scream "budget option," and with its list of specs, it clearly isn't. Whether you're new to road riding or are just realizing your old shoes have seen too many miles, the Cristal shoes offer an impressive mix of features and affordability.
Garneau mixes a sturdy synthetic leather upper with mesh panels for venting, ensuring the Cristals hold their shape while remaining breathable during your rides. The Canadian manufacturer also eliminated seaming throughout the material for a contoured fit that reduces hot spots and pressure points. The hook-and-loop straps along the forefoot are offset to help you achieve more of a wrap-like, customizable fit, and a ratcheting buckle strap allows you to fine tune the tightness of the shoes across the top of your foot.
On the inside of the shoes, Louis Garneau includes its Cool Stuff insoles, which have improved arch support and better ventilation than in previous versions. They work with reinforced heel cups to keep the shoes securely on your feet during hard climbs. Garneau's Ergo Air II nylon outsole is plenty stiff for recreational cycling, and it's vented for added breathability to help you stay comfortable on hot days and long rides. As a final touch, reflective accents on each heel help make sure you stay seen on days when your rides take you along shady, tree-lined roads or keep you out after the sun has gone down.
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