< Having cycled for a number of years and been a physiotherapist for many more, I feel I can offer you a valued opinion of the Bont Riot road shoe. It was introduced to the market in June 2013 and Bont stated it was the worlds first carbon composite heat moldable entry level cycling shoe. The shoe retails at around £100. I have worn several pairs of shoes and these were one of the cheapest.
Bont are known for there research into functional biomechanics and correct anatomical support, they believe they put more effort into this than any other cycling shoe brand, there motto in terms of cycling shoe fit is 'We make shoes for cycling not walking' . It is this that I was interested in, could the Riot offer what the more expensive models could in terms of support etc
There are obvious differences between the Riot and the more expensive Vaypor + model (more than twice the price). The Riot has a tub/bath construction and not the full monocoque which offers increased stiffness and reduced weight, it has straps instead of dials on the upper etc but the biomechanical support and shaping is the same and therefore should be offering the same support to the foot. Personally I have suffered with hot spots, numb toes and arch pain when riding, also after if its a long ride. I have recently considered orthotics in my shoes but held off until I had tried the Riots.
So the heat molding system is unique in that its the whole chasis that can be molded and not just select locations, so they should be a real custom fit. I heated mine up twice, just to even out the odd bump, they can be molded as many times as you like although I'm not sure about dirty shoes in the oven! I had heard that the heels can be a bit hard and I did find this for the first 3-4 rides. I used a plaster over my achilles and it was fine. Now they are like slippers. (As will all new shoes, materials can be stiff when new, working this area with your fingers can also speed up the process)
The most obvious thing about the Bont shoe is how wide they are, they kind of look spoon shaped which in fact is foot shaped. This allows the foot to function in its normal way, the metatarsals are not constricted and nerves not compressed, this is the common cause of 'hot foot" sensation. Because the foot is in its correct anatomical position ie not getting squashed, it means the pedalling force can be spread across the largest surface area. Initially it felt strange for the shoe to feel spacious but I soon got used to that, especially when I realised I had no numbness in my little toe!
Common knee problems and low back pain can be as a result of over pronation of feet. There is a structural medial longitudinal arch support in place to stop that and this can help keep knees tracking correctly by preventing excessive rotation of the tibia and femur. I could feel the support under my arch and as a result have had no arch pain in my feet either. It felt like a very solid platform to be pushing down on.
There is also lateral forefoot support in place and an anatomical heel cup, all contributing to the most supportive shoe I have worn.
I have worn the Riots for 3 months now and find them incredibly comfortable. I noticed on a 100 mile ride the other day that my feet didn't hurt at all and I was not desperate to get out of my shoes at the end. I can feel I have better power transfer though them than previous shoes, especially when climbing. I have been feeling my right gluteus medius (important glut muscle) post riding as I'm sure it's working more. My right foot pronates excessively which would inhibit the glut med from firing very well, for me the shoe corrects this and allows the muscle to be more active.
Personally I am sold, no orthotics required for me, the only thing is that I am now stuck in Bont shoes! I have grown to love the spoon shape because of the comfort that it gives. So if you suffer with any foot problems the Riots may help, every foot and leg is different and they may not be the answer for everyone but I reckon its a great place to start. If you don't have any problems I would say they are you less likely to develop any with Bont. With the Riot costing £100 they are a bargain compared to similar brands at that price and are unique, I think they look pretty damn cool too. Now when is the winter boot coming out?
Ali Mills Chartered Physiotherapist Bsc (Hons)
Carbon composite sole Durable Microfibre Upper Comfort liner Side and upper air vents Fully heat moldable Comfort innersole Replaceable sole guards Cleat mounting-3 hole Look Configuration Closing option-Z form Velcro Strap+Buckle (replaceable) Weigh-276g (approx weight based size 42)