by Marc Basiliere
June 30, 2014
Comfort on the bike, comfort off the bike
Walk today, ride tomorrow. There’s something to the saying, often heard from those with riding careers spanning three decades. While there may be temporary glory in ‘sending it’ there’s much to be said for knowing one’s limits – and being around for the next ride – or taking a quick hike to the top for the view’s sake.
And Northwave apparently agree. The Italian cobblers want you to be comfortable with both riding and walking. Celebrating “passion in a number of shades [as in varieties, not colours],” the Matrix shoe is designed for those who want performance both in the saddle and on foot. Though targeted at recreational cyclists, Northwave’s latest provides much of what many of us look for in a riding shoe: pedaling stiffness mixed with off-bike traction and forefoot flexibility. (They could almost be called enduro shoes- but in deference to the first enduro-free press release in ages we won’t do that.) In a nod to British weather, the Matrixes even ship with separate water- and mud-proof shoe covers.
Thanks to its long-time experience in technical shoewear, Northwave managed to conceive a real multi-use shoe, versatile and reliable on and off the saddle, with an anti-slip natural rubber tread sole to provide stability and grip for any kind of excursion.
Northwave also exploited its winter sports experience, choosing to employ on Matrix the new X-Crossbow sole, and making it the first All-Mountain shoe with the innovative double-crossbow construction, providing superior foot support and outstanding heel shock absorbing.
Inside the sole, built with the extralight EVA structure, a progressive-molding insert provides efficient stiffness when riding as well as ideal comfort in walking stretches. In the upper, the new multi-layer construction matches extra-light PU and large thermowelded mesh vents inserts, resulting in superior comfort and reduced weight while maintaining the same thickness of traditional monolayers.
The Matrix retails for £85 and -mercifully- is also available in black with red highlights.