• Gender Men
  • MSRP $400.00

The foot and ankle contain 26 bones. There are 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The foot’s complexity makes this piece of the cycling wardrobe particularly challenging to review. We found a pair with arguably the most svelte aesthetics of any, in a light and stiff package. Sounds perfect, but what about the fit?

Let’s start with my foot: fairly narrow, low-volume, with pretty long toes and high arches. If that sounds like you, then you might have a similar experience with the R1B shoes. But as is the case with any shoe, you’re better off trying it on first.

That said, the fit wasn’t ideal for my foot. This is worth mentioning because Fizik touts its Volume Control Technology — the front dial and lace are positioned in such a way that the shoe should cinch down to accommodate feet of any volume. But I struggled to find a balance between too loose and too tight. I wanted to dial in the double Boa closures so that my heel didn’t lift, but when I did, it would result in a lack of circulation and tingly toes.

Out on the road, micro-adjustment is easy via Boa’s IP1 closure system comprising a steel lace and a click-turn dial. The right one tightens clockwise and the left one tightens counterclockwise, which you should get used to quickly. Turn the dial a notch or two to tighten them up, or turn it the opposite way to let a bit of lace back through. (This can even be done while wearing overshoes.) Pop the dial out and the lace unspools all at once for easy removal of the shoe. The forefoot Boa is one notable feature of Fizik’s design: It offers 1mm per click of adjustment, rather than 2mm, due to the fact that the cable is not looped back to the dial.

It makes for easy adjustment while riding, so you can loosen it while you’re cruising and ratchet it down when you’re about to unleash a sprint. But the need to adjust at all for the appropriate fit under different conditions is not something I have to do with other shoes. This isn’t necessarily a shortcoming of the shoe; it’s more the disharmony of the shoe’s shape with my foot.

The fit did improve with time, but it never felt perfect. A longer break-in period may be required for this shoe than you’re used to. Or, hopefully, it fits you perfectly out of the box.

The styling of Fizik’s R1B shoe is one of the most elegant on the market, from the delicately perforated Microtex upper that wraps asymmetrically over the crest of the foot to the unidirectional carbon, vented outsole. We did wish that the sole had a rubber toe bumper to make walking a bit more comfortable — be sure to tread lightly in these togs.

Ultimately, this could be the perfect shoe for you: streamlined aesthetics, super stiff sole, Boa closures. Just make sure you know your foot, and what shape of shoe works best for you. Sizing ran large. While I wear a size 45 in most other brands, in the Fizik I wore a 44. The R1 is available in white or black. The heel pads are replaceable.