Northwave Hammer CX Shoes
Northwave Hammer CX Shoes
Words by Paul Horta-Hopkins
Cyclo-cross specific shoes from Northwave
We’ve taken delivery of a pair of Northwave Hammer CX Shoes, the second such set of cyclocross specific shoes we’ve had in this winter. It seems that manufacturers are cottoning on to the fact that cyclo-cross does have specific needs that are a little different from your average mtb shoe; mainly how to keep all that mud and water out.
Since bringing out their first shoe in 1993, the Integral mtb shoe which came as one red and one yellow shoe, Northwave have never been afraid of innovation, whether that be through the use of colour or technology; readers of a certain vintage may remember Northwave’s advertising campaigns from the mid-90’s featuring a certain Paola Pezzo and her décolletage… They were the first to bring out soles with multiple fixings for different cleats and the first to produce a Gore-tex cycling shoe.
Consequently, I was keen to try out the Hammer CX shoe and was only a little upset when it came in conservative black and not the red-white-green Italia version; I don’t think I have the fashion cojones to pull that one off! Straight out of the box and the Hammer CX has a rubbery feel, with minimal openings or stitching, and no vents in the sole. This combined with a full neoprene sock that comes to just above the ankle should hopefully keep most of the mud and muck out of your shoe. The amount of times I’ve been scrubbing dirt not only out of my socks, but my toes, has me hoping that the Hammer CX could be the answer to the mudfest that is British cyclocross.
The sole of the Hammer CX is made of fiberglass reinforced with nylon, and has rubber studs on the heel and front of the foot as well as a rubber insert along the middle of the foot. It’s a very different take on things compared to Lake’s MX331 Cross shoe with its minimalist sole. The sole of the Hammer CX looks like it can handle pretty much anything you would come across on or off road. Also included are some of the most impressive studs I’ve seen on an off road shoe that are guaranteed to have you banished from the house, should you attempt to walk across the wooden floor!
Three asymmetric velcro straps help to keep you strapped in and the Hammer CX uses Northwave’s integrated heel system to prevent any looseness at the back. All of Northwaves shoes are designed with BioMap technology, which aims to keep the foot in the right position while pedalling so that as much of the force goes to the pedals rather than being wasted flopping around in a badly fitted shoe.
So first impressions are good but I’ll be giving these shoes a good test over the next couple of weeks in a few ‘cross training rides and local races to see how they perform.
The first stock is expected in the UK soon and the RRP is £149.99.
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