As everyone knows by now, there IS no such thing as an end point when it comes to upgrading our bikes or bike gear. From that new 2011 (*gasp*) model that Pinarello just launched, to the latest designer bike jersey in town, down to that new bike computer that tells you everything including your wife’s birthdate (you know, just so that you’ll spend money on something OTHER than your bike for once), there’s always something better or simply more beautiful to buy when it comes to bike and gear. Never do manufacturers make a product that’s the be-all and end-all. After all, as we all know, the money is in the comeback… Well, that WAS the sentiment that ran through our minds at GetSet… that is, until we found these handsome pair of shoes:
Meet the ST213. Exustar’s Triathlon shoe.
In terms of its technical specs, its a featherweight @ 532 g/pair, has a full carbon fiber air-vented sole, heel loop for ease of transition, as well as 2 Tri-hook straps (1 main strap, and 1 mini one for perfect fit). Its body is made of synthetic microfiber leather woven with sections of breathable mesh.
Technical specifications didn’t mean much to GetSet when it comes to reviews, so our team decided to take the E-ST213 out for a field test. And boy, were we amazed… 1st thing that came up as soon as we put on the shoes was its extreme stiffness. It was no joke. On or off the bike, our heaviest rider could not get the sole to flex at all (don’t just take our word for this one. Read what the Trifam forummers had to say about its stiffness too.). The 2nd most impressive feature was it’s level of comfort. One would expect an extremely stiff shoe to be extremely uncomfortable as well, but this was not so. GetSet tried it on a few people with different foot types (wide vs narrow, high vs low arch, etc) and they all reported glove-like fit and comfort. Closer inspection of the shoe revealed the secrets to achieving this: 1-the body of the shoe was constructed to have 3 main sections (heel, mid foot, and forefoot/toecaps) which interact seamlessly with each other while each section individually moulds itself to your feet. This means that the shoe top conforms itself to your feet while the extremely stiff sole transmits all your effort to your pedals. 2- The mini strap in the forefoot section. Yes, at this point all the hardcore triathletes will be screaming: “What’s an extra strap doing on a tri shoe? It’ll get in the way of transitions!!!” but in reality, the mini strap serves to keep the already glove-like fit even more snug. AND it doesn’t get in the way of transitions. Only the main strap needs to be undone for transitions. We tried. 3- The shoe has very good and firm arch support. It felt as though our feet were clad in a top-of-the-line, well made, well selected running shoe (with an extremely stiff sole of course. You get the picture..).
For those of us who are worried about straps getting caught in chains and cranks, not a worry. Exustar cleverly designed these babies with a strap notch that prevents things like that from occuring.
All the above meant 1 thing, when you’re done with riding, your feet are fresher, and your legs are less tired because your pedaling became more efficient. For triathletes, it means that at the end of your bike segment, you’re not so worn out, and you’ll still be fresh enough to face your last segment, plus you won’t Brick as hard..
After all those words and all that marketing, everything can be Summarized into 1 sentence: It’s like having your very own custom made shoe… There’s simply nothing else that could be better.