Northwave started out making snowboard boots and moved into cycling shoes in 1993. Since then it has emerged as one of the top innovators in the industry. The Northwave Striker SBS Mountain Bike Shoe is a perfect example of the how this Italian company is taking a different approach to design and setting new standards in the industry. Not only are we impressed with the quality and light weight of the Striker, but we were also struck by how much attention has gone into every aspect of the shoe.
The SBS (Step By Step) ratcheting system provides stable closure that won't come undone or loosen up while you ride. It allows you to dial in a precise fit so you can maximize pedaling efficiency without having to deal with hot spots and blisters. The ASR 2 (Ankle Strap Regulation 2) system is an adjustable EVA foam strap on a lightweight toothed band that can be centered on any ankle shape for greater comfort.
The carbon composite Speedlight 3D soleplate is much lighter than other, less costly sole materials. It also allows Northwave to reduce sole thickness for direct power transfer from your foot to the pedal. Northwave uses only natural rubber in its soles because natural rubber provides superior grip on wet or muddy terrain. The Striker also features Omega Heel, which designed to provide traction and protection and features rear vents that let hot air leave the shoe.
In fact, overheating is a dead issue with Northwave's advanced Aerator ventilation system. Large mesh vents on the toe and the sides of the shoe allow cool air to enter while hot air passes through the Omega heel. The ventilated Performance Pro footbed with lightweight anatomical arch support allows air to flow all around your foot during a ride, and the breathable microfiber upper lets your foot regulate its temperature naturally.
Northwave Striker SBS Shoes come in Red/black, Black/green, Black/grey, and White/black. They are available in whole sizes 37 to 47 and half sizes 39.5 to 45.5.
I recieved these as a warranty replacement from Northwave for my Aerlite SBS shoes that were coming apart . First impression was they are very ventilated. The mesh uppers breathe very well. The sole isn't carbon or carbon reenforced, so the sole is nowhere near as stiff. Having ridden a carbon soled shoe for the last six years, I am noticing the difference in sole stiffness, particularly on longer rides. The arches of my feet seem to fatigue over 50k, which is something I have never noticed. For winter riding I don't think the mesh upper will be very warm, but a decent set of shoe covers should fix that.
Quality so far is A+
Sizing is the same as my Aerlites so it is 1 size larger than my old Aerators.
I bought these shoes to replace an old set of specialized shoes. These shoes are nice and stiff and really comfortable. As is typical with Northwave, the toebox is a little more roomy than say a SIDI. I think it's nice because you can wear a set of woolies without getting to cramped. I normally wear a 46 in a SIDI and I ordered 45s and they were just the right fit.
Nice and stiff but still comfy. If get a size smaller--so if you wear a size 46 SIDI get a 45 in these. The toe box is nice and roomy but not so much that they feel sluggish.