At A Glance
The O’Neal Torque SPD shoes are styled to look like skate shoes and carry with them all the cool looks that go with that. Sleek lines and a with a choice of red, green and black colours there should be something for everyone. They feature a durable and lightweight rubber sole with a large cut out to insert your cleats. There is also a high cut side to protect your ankle from the pedals and a top Velcro strap to ensure a decent closure.Buy Shoes on
Putting them on in the living room the fit around the width of my feet was quite snug, but the sizing in terms of length was spot on. One point to mention, we were sent a sample pair of shoes and had to remove the rubber sole for the cleats ourselves, if you can get the local bike shop to do this for you when you buy them, then we would highly recommend it - that way you can spend more time wearing them and less time hacking away with a Stanley knife!
On The Trail
There is plenty of cushioning inside the Torque shoes so you’ll feel quite snug inside them at first. As that padding softens up and moulds to the shape of your feet the comfort factor will increase and soon enough they will feel like an old friend!
The padding on and around the sole is plentiful which should keep you safe from rock strikes when the going gets tough. The high ankle protection also inspired confidence and the sturdy nature of the shoe should keep your feet well protected if you crash.
When you are riding they offer a firm platform, but also quite good feedback from the pedals. The cleat box is nice and wide allowing easy clipping in and out and also a decent amount of float if your pedals permit. Off the bike there is a decent amount of grip on dry days, however when the going gets muddy, wet and slippery they lack some of the grip offered by the less skate orientated shoes.
Great protection for your feet, if you ride rocky and aggressive trails then you will feel safe from harm in these, and comfortable at the same time. We liked the wide cleat box, which made clipping in and out easy; we were less fond of getting the rubber sole off to expose it though!Buy Shoes on
This review was in Issue 32 of IMB.For more information visit O’Neal
By Chloe GriggsChloe Griggs is a ridiculously talented rider who puts the boys to shame when the going gets steep. She loves to spend the summers riding as many alpine trails as possible but is equally happy to be spinning the pedals on her local trails near home. She adds a touch of feminine class to the test team but that strictly depends on how many glasses of white wine she has had…