Louis Garneau Carbon Pro Team Shoes >> $330
The Lowdown: High quality materials and functionality throughout the year.
Pros: Versatility to keep you comfortable and attractive color ways.
Cons: High weight and heavy price tag.
Louis Garneau brought their flagship Carbon Pro Team shoes to the market this past winter. The Carbon Pro Team, like most shoes with “Pro” in the name, sports a high modulus carbon sole and a ratcheting buckle. You can find the Carbon Pro Teams being worn by Europcar, though after some investigation we found that Thomas Voekler opts for LG’s lightest weight Carbon X-Lites that lack a ratcheting buckle in favor of a third Velcro strap.
Out of the box, the LG Carbon Pro Teams (their name is a bit of a jumble) appear straightforward. The black and white patent-leather-looking color way that we have are subtle enough to match everything though still maintain some personality. The other color option, “ginger,” is bright red and is the loud and proud option.
Features Inside and Out
The Carbon Pro Teams have a two strap, one buckle, design. The ratchet has two micro-adjustment tabs. While being useful on the bike these tabs let out one click of the buckle at a time, the micro adjusters double as the full release and are easy to use.
The shoes come with two pairs of insoles, the blue soles are clearly labeled “Cool Stuff” and the red sole’s “Hot Stuff.” The blue ones have a well-perforated construction designed to channel air onto the rider’s foot. The red insole, for cooler temperatures, has a solid construction to keep warmth in.
The shoe itself has a channel beneath the footbed that channels air from the port at the front of the shoe, and out the port in the middle. This airflow should be noticeable when the blue footbed is installed as there are noticeable holes drilled from the footbed into this air channel.
What Intrigues Us
For us, the blue “Cool Stuff” insole is what separates this shoe from the pack. While the insole has over 100 tiny perorations its still just as stiff as the solid winter insole. Additionally the air channel beneath the footbed should make air flow quite well through this shoe. At 591 grams the Carbon Pro Team’s are no lightweight and with their price tag of $330 they will need to make up for their burley weight in performance on the road. With that price the Carbon Pro Teams are in the same arena as Specialized’s S-Work shoes which retail for $360, though the S-Works are more expensive they are also 100 grams lighter. Our hope is that the air channel makes this a go-to shoe for summer riding. We will be testing them in the heat of the summer and we hope to find what benefits this airflow technology presents.