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Fizik’s road shoes have long been many things: Beautiful, nicely made, feature-packed, and oozing with style. But they’ve also long been quintessentially Italian in terms of their narrow and highly tapered fit, and that just doesn’t work for everyone.
The company started experimenting with a wider last in mid-2020 with the introduction of the Tempo Overcurve R4 Wide, a mid-range shoe with a carbon-reinforced nylon plate and single-Boa upper. Apparently that went over quite well, as Fizik now offers three models in that new shape, including the premium Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide being reviewed here.
Granted, it’s not exactly groundbreaking news for a company to offer a wide version of a popular shoe. In fact, I used to run Sidi’s “Mega” version more than a dozen years ago. However, Fizik’s approach is a little more unusual — and more thorough.
Oftentimes, brands have been satisfied with only using a wider and/or higher-volume upper with no other changes. It gets the job done in terms of providing more room for your otherwise-cramped piggies, but without the benefit of a similarly wider foundation, it also doesn’t provide the same level of support as the standard-fit versions since the edges of your feet end up hanging over the sides of the plate.
Fizik thankfully hasn’t gone that route.
“When we introduced our first wide fit shoe, the Tempo Overcurve R4, and later with the Vento Infinito Carbon 2, our goal was to provide a shoe with the very same benefits and features of the standard-fit shoe,” Fizik product manager Alex Locatelli told me. “To achieve our goal, with the help of bike fitters and physios, we concluded that the only option was to engineer a dedicated outsole.
“Many competitors, when they approach the wide fit, simply use the same standard outsole with a wider last. That’s an alternative that we excluded, mainly because a combination of standard outsole and wide last wouldn’t have the same performance of having an outsole specifically created to support a wide last. Both the Tempo Overcurve R4 wide and the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide, then, are equipped with a dedicated outsole that reflects the performance of their standard fit counterpart.”
As for the upper itself, Fizik has taken a smart approach there, too, since most riders that need a wider fit don’t need that extra room everywhere. Fizik has added about 6-7 mm of additional width at the ball of the foot, and that difference tapers as you move rearward; the heel area is the same as the standard version. Total volume is also increased a bit, and the toe box is notably more squared-off relative to Fizik’s standard fit.
Don’t fix what isn’t broken
Although the dimensions of the upper and plate are different, the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide is otherwise the same as the standard version.
The perforated Microtex upper is more of a synthetic leather than the TPU-infused mesh materials that have gotten more popular recently, and the asymmetrical wraparound pattern is secured with two Boa Li2 dial closures per shoe.
The opening of the upper is sort of Z-shaped, and Fizik says the way the flap wraps around the forefoot is better able to accommodate a broad range of rider foot volumes without creating uncomfortable wrinkles or folds. Further up, the main Boa cable is attached to a separate Microtex flap that’s anchored at the base of the arch to supposedly offer more support, especially when everything is cinched down tight.
Down below is Fizik’s R2 Carbon plate, made with true long-fiber carbon fiber composite construction for low weight and high stiffness, venting under the forefoot to provide airflow, and a replaceable heel tread. The forefoot tread isn’t replaceable (which is common practice, unfortunately), though it does wrap around the edge of the shoe a little to protect against tire rub. The three-bolt cleat holes are neutrally located, and have 12 mm of fore-aft adjustability.
In terms of rigid arch support, Fizik appears to be taking the middle ground. Whereas some brands rely almost exclusively on the insole to provide arch support while others are more aggressive about integrating it directly into the plate, the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide incorporates just a little bit of shaping in the carbon fiber foundation.
Fizik offers the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide in the same full range of sizes as the standard version, from 36 to 48, and half sizes from 37 to 47. But while the regular Vento Infinito Carbon 2 is available in three colors, the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide is sold in just a single white-and-black option. Retail price is the same, too, at US$360 / AU$480 / £330 / €380.
Actual weight for my size 42.5 samples was 535 g with insoles. Despite the extra width (and, presumably, extra material), that’s somehow nearly identical to the standard version.
To infinity and beyond
First things first: As always, shoes are highly personal items whose performance is highly dependent on how well they fit your feet. So with that said, I’ll do my best here to characterize what the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide is like without declaring blanket missives on how well I think they’ll work for you.
To provide some background, my feet are definitely on the wider side, but I have a very low instep, very minimal arch, and a narrow heel. Basically, they’re duck flippers. But that said, my feet have also proven to be highly adaptable, and they work with a surprisingly broad range of last shapes.
Historically, Fizik shoes have been a mixed bag for me. I’ve found them very well made and positively lovely, but they’ve also been narrower overall and more tapered up front than I’d prefer. They work ok for me, just not as well as I’d like.
But these Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wides? Sign. Me. Up.
That extra 6-7 mm may not sound like much on paper, but it’s a dramatic difference as far as your feet are concerned, and it turns the traditional Fizik narrow-and-tapered toe box area into one that more closely resembles what Specialized is doing, or even a previous-generation Shimano S-Phyre. For me, that not only meant more room for my entire forefoot area, but also a less restrictive feel in general.
The increase in total volume isn’t dramatic, which I believe is a good thing for most people. There’s more room through the midsection, but not so much that it makes the entire shoe feel sloppy. Even with my low instep, I had no problems getting the tightness where I wanted it.
Further back, it’s the same heel cup as usual: not too wide, not super narrow. It might feel a little loose if Specialized’s ultra-secure PadLock heel design works for you, but otherwise, my guess is most people will find it agreeable.
In terms of general comfort, I’d say the overall feel sits on the more luxurious end of things. The inside is nice and soft with no irritating exposed seams, and the fabric wire guides and leather-like upper do a good job of eliminating pressure points. There’s just the right amount of give in that Microtex material to accommodate minor foot anomalies, too.
Given my flatter feet, I generally prefer shoes with at least a moderate amount of arch support. Although the shaping in the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide’s carbon plate is modest, the separate upper panel connected to the main Boa cable seems to work as Fizik claims, helping to stabilize the medial side of your foot to prevent the arch from collapsing too much under load. I did still end up swapping the stock insoles for more supportive ones, but it wasn’t as much of a necessity as I often find with other shoes that don’t have much arch shaping built into the plate.
Speaking of the plate, it’s as stiff as you’d expect for a high-end road shoe — not quite to the level of Bont’s bathtub-style carbon chassis, but in line with other premium competition of similar construction. Fizik has been steadily fixing its past issues with cleat position, too. While the company was long criticized for placing the cleat holes way too far forward, the ones on the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide are more neutrally situated, virtually identical to what Shimano is doing with the current generation of S-Phyres, but 1-2 mm further forward relative to Specialized. That 12 mm of fore-aft adjustment is particularly generous, though, so regardless of your preferences, there’s plenty of room to accommodate.
As for breathability and ventilation, it’s a little hard to say since it’s winter here in Colorado so I can’t speak to what these feel like under blazing mid-afternoon, high-altitude sunlight with heat radiating off of the blacktop. That said, the Microtex upper is on the thicker side as compared to shoes with more cutting-edge materials, and there’s no mesh to further boost airflow.
Vigorous indoor workouts suggest these to be about average in that respect, at best.
One last note in terms of sizing: I’ve always found Fizik shoes to run about a half-size big, and these are no different. Whereas I normally wear a 43 in most brands (sometimes a 43.5, or even occasionally a 44), Fizik’s 42.5 is just right for me.
A welcome option
If you’re looking for the cutting edge in terms of low weight, non-stretch materials, and breathability, the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide might not be the shoe for you as they’re a little more traditional. But that said, they also offer the more traditional feel a lot of people prefer, they’re now offered in a more accommodating last that should open up possibilities for riders who previously couldn’t comfortably wear Fizik shoes, and as always, they’re truly beautiful shoes in terms of aesthetics.
Don’t just take my word on any of this, though; make sure to try these on before fully committing. That said, if your biggest issue with Fizik shoes in the past has been the narrow shape and you’re in the market for some new high-end road shoes, your wish may finally have been granted.
More information can be found at www.fizik.com.