Bontrager Velocis Road Shoes

The Bontrager Velocis shoes won't break the bank, but they've got enough performance features to help you break away.


470 grams/pair





Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

The Velocis shoes aren’t shy. The bright orange screams, teetering between hi-viz dorkery and only-the-fast-need-apply flashiness. So expect the conversation to start with the aesthetics. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of good things to say about these kicks once the color is out of the way.

First, for $200, you’re getting a whole lot of high-end features, like a carbon/fiberglass sole that’s stiffer than we’d expect for this price range. The upper is dotted with perforations to offer plenty of breathability. They’re not the breeziest shoes we’ve worn, but they offered enough cooling on hot days that we didn’t think much about them when temperatures climbed.

A single Boa dial closure is complemented by a Velcro strap over the toe box. It’s a comfortable combination: Quick adjustments on the fly are handled by the Boa, while the Velcro strap provides stability at the forefoot that you’re not likely to adjust during the ride. A second Boa in lieu of the Velcro strap would be nice, but it would also be more expensive. This is a fine compromise.

The toe box itself offers plenty of wiggle room. Your foot certainly won’t get lost in it, but it’s clear Bontrager has kept the wide-footed in mind here. Even if your forefoot isn’t really all that wide, you’ll benefit from the extra room as your foot swells during a ride. We didn’t experience any undue pressure on the outside of the foot, which can lead to numbness and tingling. It’s nice to see shoe brands moving away from super-narrow lasts that seem to only fit gaunt pros and infants.

The heel cup held fast during sprints and hard climbs. There was a slight break-in period to get rid of some stiffness around the ankle, but otherwise, these shoes were exceptionally comfortable straight out of the box.

And despite the mid-range price, the Velocis shoes are light enough to compete with shoe weights at twice the cost. That’s generally the theme of these shoes: high-end performance at a mid-range price. It’s the tagline every brand wants from their mid-range shoes, but Bontrager has actually pulled it off.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.