Looking for that luxury gift for the triathlete or cyclist in your life? We recommend checking out these to-die-for vintage throw backs from Bontrager. I first saw them on MTB rock star Emily Batty as she rode up to the pre-race events at an 8-hour mountain bike race at Hardwood Hills north of Toronto. Batty was sporting the stunning blue ones (they come in black too) paired with a cute pair of jeans and her signature pearls. She looked awesome and so did the shoes.
The new Classique model is Bontrager’s response to Giro’s Empire line. The lace-up look is not only flattering but because of the additional contact points, actually offers a more dialed-in fit than many Velcro-based closures. The snap closure on the tongue ensures the laces stay put and out of the way, giving them a sleek, clean look. The laces also come in multiple colour variations including black, blue, red and white so you can customize the shoes to accent your kit.
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The synthetic uppers are made from Bontrager’s Premium Clarino—the super supple material also used on the new XXX Road shoes. It’s Bontrager’s enhanced version of Kangaroo leather. Mesh at the toe and along the sides makes for excellent ventilation– ideal for cooling but also for preserving these kicks. Not unlike the Road XXX, the Classique feels like slippers they’re so comfortable. An anti-slip reinforced heel cup offer great padding, minimizing the need to break the shoes in.
Despite the emphasis on comfort, however, the Classique is stiff on the pedal thanks to a carbon-fiberglass composite sole. In fact, even though they’re styling, the Classique boasts a stiffness rating of 12 with 14 being Bontrager’s highest rating.