High-performance gravel shoe that will appeal to performance-oriented roadies. Heat-moldable, 3.6mm stack height, 2-bolt cleat mounting, Dual boa closure, replaceable tread.
As simple as we can distill it, the Bont Vaypor G is a road shoe for gravel. Bont has taken their popular Vaypor road cycling shoe and added a light-weight replaceable tread and 2-bolt cleat mounting system. The result is a super-stiff and lightweight shoe that will appeal to gravel riders who want a shoe that fits and feels like a road shoe, but lets them ride a 2-bolt pedal system.
But that description totally misses what makes these shoes special.
Bont has two distinctions that set them apart from other footwear manufacturers.
When you get a brand new pair of Bonts, you can wear them right out of the box but you won't be getting the most out of the shoe. The carbon chassis of the shoe is made out of Epoxy Thermoset Resin. You bake your Bont's in an oven up to 160° which softens the resin, and then strap them tightly on your feet to create a perfect custom fit. If you have any hot spots or pain points, you can heat them up again and either re-mold them to your feet, or use a tool to shape the shoe.
Because their heat-molding technology wraps the shoe around your foot, the shoes are intended to fit more snugly than you are probably used to. Even so, the shoes do run a little small. Be sure to use Bont's shoe sizing tool on their website before ordering online. If you do wind up with a shoe that feels a little too small, or if you have a problem area on your foot, it is possible to change the fit quite a bit with a little work. One of our riders had shoes that were a little too small, and the Bont rep worked them with a special tool to stretch them to make them fit. Almost everyone in our test group needed a half-size larger than they usually wear.
The second distinctive feature of Bont shoes is that they don't just have a carbon sole like most shoes, they have a carbon “chassis.” The carbon wraps up around the sides, heel, and toe of your foot to create a cup, not a board. The cup shape of the carbon chassis means the shoe can be MUCH stiffer than another shoe, but with less material. Think of trying to bend a piece of cardboard vs. a cardboard box. The sides stiffen the footbed. This also allows them to make a shoe with an incredibly small 3.6mm stack height to get your foot closer to the pedal.
Bont's are light, but the Vaypor G is not the lightest gravel shoe you can buy. Bont does not publish weight for the shoe, but we were able to weigh a pair of size 46's at 700g, and a pair of 47's at 745g. A size 44 weighs about 650g and a size 42 is 620g. This is roughly in-line with similarly priced high-end gravel shoes from other manufacturers.
The shoes are SUPER stiff. Like, unbelievably stiff. They are for riding, not walking. That said, when we were off the bike we learned to loosen the BOA's a little and they were fine. We were impressed with how much grip the tread gave us.
The same stiffness that makes the Vaypor G a little hard to walk in makes them great to ride in. These are high-end performance shoes and everything about them has been engineered for performance. If power transfer is what you are after in a gravel shoe, these are for you.
Everything else about the Vaypor G is what you would expect from a quality cycling shoe. They look great. The uppers are high quality. They have speed dimples on the upper. They use the “good” boa that micro-adjusts both directions so you can reach down and tighten or loosen as you ride. We appreciated this since we like to lose our shoes a notch when off the bike walking, and snug them back up when we ride. The soles are replaceable which is a nice feature for extending the life of your custom shoe. The shoes are black and have minimal venting. This is great for keeping dirt and moisture out. You can read all about their other tech features on bontcycling.com.
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