From the jerseys on our backs to the shoes on our feet, what we wear directly impacts how we interact with a bike and nobody knows this better than Q36.5. For years, they’ve been striving to produce the most technologically advanced cycle wear on the planet, with an emphasis on how the body operates as a whole. Today they bring forth their latest entry on pushing that vision forward—the Q36.5 Unique Shoes.
Three Points of Contact
The Unique shoes complete the circle of incorporating the three main points of contact between a rider and their machine. Joining the Unique bib shorts and Unique gloves, the new shoes now unify Q36.5’s Unique collection in improving comfort and performance at the saddle, the bars, and now the pedals. Very few footwear brands take this kind of holistic approach, especially to the level of perfection that Q36.5 does. Collectively, it makes riding fully geared up in Q gear a truly unique experience (pun intended? Maybe.)
Maintaining optimal body temperature (36.5*c) is the namesake of Q36.5, so it comes as no surprise that breathability was at the core of their design process. In the case of the Unique Shoe, Q36.5 developed a microfiber upper material. It’s a thin, 1mm thick material that provides a breathability and support that traditional polyurethane uppers cannot match. The unique shoe also forgoes a traditional tongue, and instead incorporates one piece mesh microfiber material that wraps around the shoe opening and down the top of the foot. The material has a similar look to their base layers, with a delightfully soft touch that provides a sock like comfort and maximal ventilation.
While ventilation is at the forefront if the Unique Shoe’s design, fit, comfort, and performance are of equal importance. Hidden beneath the microfiber uppers, a thin thermoplastic layer wraps around the midfoot adding structure to the shoe while also aiding in power transfer throughout the pedal stroke.
Like all high end shoes, the outsole is carbon, but Q36.5 uses what they call a biomimetic design. This unique technology achieves optimal stiffness with minimal mass to keep the weight down, while also providing an enhanced damping effect through the sole. Also similar to other shoes, the ubiquitous Boa closure system in employed for a precise and secure foot.
Finally, a look to the footbed reveals more familiar design queues. If you’ve ever ridden a Q36.5 bib, you know just how special their chamois technology is. That knowledge is translated to footbed resulting in a piece that adapts to the rider's foot for superior comfort while both absorbing road vibrations and wicking moisture at a high rate.
Road and Adventure
The Unique shoes are available in two models, Road and Adventure, which as you’d imagine are separated by their sole tread (or lack thereof) and cleat interface. The road shoes weigh in at 250g for a size 42 while the extra material of the all terrain outsole bumps them up to ~330g for a similar size. Not the lightest on the market, but still impressive given the overall performance of the shoe. Both models are categorized as a “C” width, putting them right in the middle of the scale to provide ideal comfort to a broad range of foot shapes, and will be available in sizes 37-48 in ½ size increments. Both versions will be available in white, black, and mango colors.
For a comparison in how they compare size wise to other shoes on the market, you can check out the chart here.
The Unique shoes are a natural and logical next step for the brand. We’ve been working with Luigi Bergamo, Q36.5’s founder and head of R&D, for quite some time now and we knew it was only a matter of time for a shoe to be added to their portfolio of performance gear. It should go without saying we’re thrilled to see them finally come to life and to get them out on the road. From our initial ride experiences, they certainly live up to their top level standards and are an impressive first release.
Rest assured we’ve been putting ample time into testing both the road and adventure models and we’ll be following up soon with a more detailed report, so check back soon for that! The Unique shoes in white will be available come mid April, while the black and mango will follow a few weeks later. To ensure a pair of your own, you can pre-order them here today!