Eurobike 2016: Bont Heat Moldable MTB Shoes

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Whilst wandering the halls of Eurobike, we came across a tonne of different flat-pedal shoes. Although 5.10 has largely dominated the flat-pedal shoe scene in recent years, this year’s Eurobike highlighted a whole bunch of new entrants into the market, with a large percentage of those brands targeting the emerging ebike market and the new riders being attracted to the sport as a result. But in amongst the mountains of flat-pedal shoes, we did come across some snazzy SPD shoes for those riders who like to be locked into their pedals.

Hailing from Sydney in Australia, Bont Cycling specialises in producing high-end clipless shoes for mountain biking and road racing. The company originally came about as a custom manufacturer of ice skating boots, but has also been producing custom cycling shoes for just as long. They still offer a custom cycling shoe service, where you can send in the exact measurements of your feet, and they’ll build a new pair of shoes around them. But the bulk of Bont’s volume is in their stock range of shoes, and at Eurobike, they had a few new options on show.

bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
Bont offer several different cycling shoe options for both road and XC mountain biking. Each shoe can be had in a full range of sizes, and you can get half sizes too. In some of the models, you can also specify one of three different widths: narrow, standard and wide. We can’t imagine how many different moulds and how much manufacturing time that must involve, but it’s one of the most comprehensive shoe sizing ranges we’ve ever seen.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
The Riot MTB is Bont’s all-round mountain bike shoe, and it sits underneath the high-end Vaypor XC racing shoe. Bont has redesigned this Riot prototype, which now features a BOA dial and a lovely microfibre upper.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
While the Riot shoe on display at Eurobike featured a BOA dial, Bont informed us that the production version may use a ratchet buckle instead.
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The Riot gets a Microfibre upper that is reinforced in key areas to ward off the general abrasions and scuffs that mountain bikers normally encounter. Note how the retention straps are anchored all the way around the shoe to the inside of the arch.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
The Bont Riot shoes are expected to retail for around €179, though we’re still waiting to confirm UK pricing. They’re not really that entry-level, but they’re nearly half the price of the top-end Vaypor XC shoes. What’s impressive about the Riot MTB shoe is the fact that it’s heat moldable, so you can customise the fit with your own oven at home. Also of note in the above photo is how the sole extends up around the heel cup to help anchor your feet securely inside the shoe.
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Rubber tread blocks are used on the sole, and they’re technically replaceable. That said, Bont do glue them to the sole, so be prepared to spend some time removing each section before replacing it with a freshy.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
The sole itself is made of a composite material that is reinforced with layers of carbon. It’s cheaper than the full carbon construction used on the Vapour XC shoe, but offers similar stiffness with a little more weight. Still, the Riot MTB shoe is claimed to weigh in under 400 grams for the pair, which is still very light for a mountain bike shoe.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
And also available in this lovely white/red colourway. A bit like tap-dancing shoes no? You may notice the wide and square toe box profile in this photo, which is a distinctive feature of Bont shoes. Bont claims that most other cycling shoes follow the same aesthetic of pointy dress shoes, and as a result, have the effect of ‘pinching’ your little tootsies inside the shoe. Whilst Bont admits that it doesn’t look quite as sleek, the square toe box on their shoes is designed to allow your toes to spread out more comfortably.
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Note the single offset lower Velcro strap that helps to increase surface area without having to resort to two straps.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
Bont had another prototype shoe on display at Eurobike. While it’s labelled as the Vaypor S (that’s the name of their current top-end road shoe), the shoe in the above photo is actually built with a mountain bike sole, and could possibly end up being called the ‘Vaypor G’, as it’s more of a cyclocross and gravel type shoe. It features none of the armouring or reinforcing that you’ll find on a typical mountain bike shoe, with more a stripped back design that draws from Bont’s flagship Vaypor S road racing shoe.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
It also features replaceable rubber tread blocks like the Vaypor XC and the Riot MTB, though it’s built with a super-stiff full carbon fibre sole.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
Bont builds its shoes with composite soles that curl up around the edges to help cradle your feet. This is particularly noticeable around the heel cup and across the forefoot of the shoe. Bont claims this improves stability for your feet, but it is also part of the reason why they offer multiple widths in their range. If you’re not sure about your feet width, Bont have a clever sizing tool on their website.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
All the carbon fibre.
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Another prototype! This is the existing Vaypor XC shoe that Bont have been playing around with by adding on a BOA dial. The current model features a ratchet buckle, but the BOA dial does offer quite a neat look.
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Another shot of that extended carbon fibre heel cup on the Vaypor XC shoe.
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
What the new Vaypor XC could look like.
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So this isn’t a mountain bike shoe at all, but we had to take a photo of it. As mentioned above, Bont offers a fully custom service with their high-end shoes such as the Vaypor series, which is particularly useful if your feet aren’t exactly the same size. So you could get your left shoe in a 44.5, and your right shoe in a 44. The other bonus of their custom service is that you can get nearly ANY colour combination you want, and you can even have YOUR NAME on the shoes!
bont spd clipless cycling shoes mountain bike heat moldable
Ewan got his own shoes made for him by Bont. And when you’ve got flashy kicks like that, why wouldn’t you want your name on them?

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