Low weight often requires compromise, either in a flimsy sole or upper, but that’s not so with the Extremes, which use Northwave’s robust SLW2 closure system — two dials and a Velcro strap — to provide an even, hot-spot free fit.
The carbon sole is quite stiff, as one would expect, and has a vent hole under the toe.
The heel cup is one of the best we’ve tried. Unidirectional fibers act a bit like soft sharkskin, preventing the heel from rising up while allowing it to slide into the shoe easily. The result is a firm, solid hold, even with the dials left quite loose.
Northwave has a trick up its sleeve for riders on Speedplay pedals. The two companies worked together to create a custom Speedplay adapter, which drops the stack height 2.5mm (from 3mm of a normal adapter to just .05mm).