Louis Garneau T-Flex LS -100 Men's Shoes - $212.45

Being entirely frank, it's rare that a road-focused manufacturer successfully makes headway in the mountain market. Note that we said 'rare' and not never. Not surprisingly, Louis Garneau is among the elite few that designs equally across disciplines, as is reflected with its new T-Flex LS-100 Shoes. Starting at the outsole, Garneau sought to achieve the perfect balance between strength, rigidity, and weight. Are you thinking carbon fiber' So were we. However, the T-Flex utilizes Garneau's Carbon T-Flex Power Blade -- a carbon-reinforced nylon with a removable carbon plat under the arch of the foot. Why have a removable carbon blade' Well, it increases stiffness, but when the temperature rises, its removal exposes a staggered four-vent port that cools the foot. This means that you gain both the stiff benefits of carbon fiber, the controlled flex of a nylon matrix, and optional cooling at the hottest part of the foot. But in terms of rigidity, what does this really amount to' Well, coupled with the LS-100's low stack height, the T-Flex's composition and rigidity equate to a direct transfer of power to the pedals. Just like in frame design, the outsole has a stiffness-to-weight ratio that positively promotes an efficient carry of power with limited energy dispersion. So, in simpler terms, these outsoles make your hard efforts count in relation to speed. In terms of the aforementioned flexibility, you've surely felt berated by overly stiff outsoles at some point in your riding. The nylon matrix of the Ergo Air IIs amounts to a calculated percentage of 'give' under load. Essentially, this is minute enough that you won't notice it on climbs or hard drives, however, after a few hours on the trail, your feet certainly will. Comfort without the penalty of weight is the design philosophy at work here. And speaking of weight, the LS-100 tips the scales at a lower weight than many other manufacturer's top offerings -- 320g per shoe. - $212.45