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Fi’zi:k Bike Shoes

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Among the more drool-worthy new entries we saw at the Interbike Expo last month, Italy’s fi’zi:k brand previewed a line of road biking shoes to be launched for 2011. The company, known for its sleek and high-performance bike saddles, cites bike shoes as being a natural product line extension that focuses on its theme of “the connection between rider and machine.”

fi’zi:k R3 UOMO shoe

The shoes, available in December, will be handmade in Italy. We fondled the fi’zi:k line at Interbike, and the quality was impressive. Slick design and the incorporation of some unique materials, including kangaroo leather and sail cloth, will help the shoes stand out.

The top-of-the-line R1 UOMO weighs about 270 grams in a size 43 shoe. Its buckle is made with a molded carbon-fiber lever and a stainless steel base. It will cost $400.

For all the fi’zi:k shoes, kangaroo leather is used for its thin and light weight nature as well as its durability and breathability, the company said. Sail cloth is employed on the closure straps to add strength and weather resistance.

Tongue with pocket construction for varying thickness and padding

The soles have a carbon-fiber base with heel stiffeners for support. A carbon/fiberglass panel is added into the heel cup for fit. A moldable insole includes a plate made to absorb and dampen vibration from the road.

Available in shops this December in the United States and Europe, the top-end R1 UOMO shoe will cost $400; other models in the line cost $300.

—Stephen Regenold

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