At the recent London Bike Show we came across some new shoes from French online brand EKOI. The EKOI R4 is their latest road shoe and has an ultra-light and ultra-thin 3K carbon sole.
The new shoes have a perforated synthetic upper, helping to keep you cool, which looks quite retro. Two colourways are available, all black or white with a black tongue and inner. Two ATOP dials deal with closure and a laced version may be coming later this year.
That Spandex inner is for comfort and has a ‘cats tongue’ feel to it around the heel. This is to help reduce heel slip. The heel cup is hidden inside the shoe, which helps with the minimalist look. More importantly it also stabilises the heel, but looking good is important too?
The 3K carbon sole is 4.8mm thick, reducing the distance between pedal and foot for greater efficiency. The sole is drilled for Look style cleats and has front and rear ventilation. A replaceable heel counter protects the sole from wear, important when dealing with such a thin sole. Claimed weight is 250g for a size 40. The R4 is only available from Ekoi and will lighten your wallet by £245. The R4s come packaged in their own leather bag, no performance advantage, but stylish!
I have been using Ekoi’s R2 shoe for a couple of years now, for racing and general sunny weather riding. I really like the fit, obviously this varies from rider to rider, but for me they were just right. So news that there has been a change to the shape means I will have to try out the new Ekoi R4. While I expect the quality will be as high as usual, that shape change could be crucial, watch out for a preview soon.