Bontrager XXX Road Shoes Tested

Black cycling shoes are what most riders buy by default but I am a white cycling shoe snob. There is cycling etiquette to match helmet and shoe colors and some people wear white cycling shoes only on race days but I sport mine generally all year round since I find they look better as they age. I recently purchased the Bontrager XXX white (with black accent) shoes when needing a new pair. I used to be partial to Shimano shoes after riding their RS241 for several years, but I retired them from my big training rides and now use them only for rainy days.

To start, the Bontrager XXX white shoes are one of the best looking road shoes I’ve ridden with. Out of the box, I was attracted to the style of the shoe overall. I am a fan of black and white shoes and they reminded me of my old Shimano’s. At first glance the black shield-like material on the heal struck me the wrong way, but after awhile I found the black accents to blend in well. The black accent is an external heel cup that prevents slippage from your foot and works quite well.

Outside of the XXX’s stylish look, Bontrager packs an infoam Pro last that feels good on your feet. They fit like a glove that can easily adjust with the two BOA dials for your desired fit. BOA dials make it very fast to adjust fit while riding.

As for overall comfort on long rides, I found them to be on the narrow side in the toe box as they didn’t provide enough height for my toes nor width from left to right. I generally don’t buy high volume shoes but if offered, it wouldn’t be a bad option for the XXX’s because they do feel a bit small. Perhaps that’s the reasoning behind me riding the Shimano’s for so long, they are made wider in the toe box unlike the XXX’s. I even had to return a few sizes (Size 46 and 48) to see which shoe fit the best after settling on a size 47 (US13).

The outsole has perforated holes all around for breathability so my feet kept generally cool and also delivered with the OCLV carbon. The sole is strong and stiff and you can feel the power transfer right away especially while climbing. The insoles I was less impressed with and gave me hot spots in a few locations, but they can always be upgraded with aftermarket options that can give you different arch height selections if needed.

The Sum Up

The XXX’s are super stylish and outfitted with the latest cycling tech, however they are not well suited for riders who need more volume in a shoe. For me, road shoes have to feel comfortable the moment I slip them on and can stand the test of long rides. Feet shape and size can influence on what shoe is the best for you. I did want to like these shoes, but unfortunately, I will have to go with another brand as the XXX’s gave me hot spots and were just too narrow for me. 

Pros
  • Stylish
  • Stiff carbon outsole
  • inFoam pro last natural glove-like fit
  • Double BOA dials
Cons
  • Narrow toe box
  • Weak insole - hot spots

Note: This product was purchased, rider tested and reviewed based on personal experience.

Parts List Breakdown

Links below to purchase all gear.

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Ridden & Written by

Dwayne Burgess (Manual Pedal)

Dwayne_Self-Portrait

*This review is based on my personal opinion and experience. All parts were purchased on my own and links provided are affiliate partnerships with Amazon.

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