Bont are well known for their high-end, thoroughbred race shoes, which are worn by some of the fastest bike riders on earth. But what you may now know is that they also make the fastest commuter shoes on Earth - the Commuter Two.
Ok, so maybe that's an oxymoron, I guess no shoe is gonna get you to work on time if you sleep late or get stuck at a few red lights - so we'll skip to the meat. First and foremost - from our point that is; forget the name "Commuter". Our commute is from the bedroom to the office, so it's hardly applicable to us. We got hold of a pair of these shoes because we'd stumbled across them on the Bont website, and they looked like a great high-end and multi-purpose riding shoe, that you can also walk a little in without sounding like a tap dancer.
The shoes are based Bont's "canoe" style monocoque carbon fiber sole, which literally moulds and cradles around the bottom of your feet, making sure they are fully harnessed, and there is no slopping around that could cause rubbing, and that there is no loss of power to pedal, a method used right through their range and which is unique to Bont. This is the main reason that the race shoes are so popular with purist racers - performance, it's delivered without the slack.
This moulding also translates to comfort; not only are the shoes made with Bont's heat moldable resin (which you can tweak at home, several times - to get the fit perfect), they are also available as a custom option - and we have to say our super big extra wide version are a perfect and snug fit - straight out of the box with no after treatment required, which is a rarity for someone with wider feet.
The soles are Bont's familiar "low stack' ultra rigid carbon fiber (meaning you may want to drop your saddle 2-3mm), and come with inserts for SPD stye cleats, and a roughened surface to let the plates grip (we have had issues with polished carbon and twisting plates in the past - but not here). There are several MTB style rubber treads on the soles, which are screwed on and replaceable - or even removable should you wish. The uppers are stylish and robust, and have three pull over straps - although the top strap is more of a flap than pull set up. Inside the shoes are neatly padded, and have Bont's memory foam insoles, which are very comfortable; all in all a great build quality.
What about the ride? I use SPD's no several of my bikes - including my touring/cross bike, and that's where these shoes were pitched from my point. Normally I use MTB shoes on this bike, so am used to a little "sloppy" feeling around my feet. Slip into these shoes and that feeling is gone, they deliver close on precision performance which is clearly derived from their pure race shoes - they are rigid, there's no slop or flex, no loss of power. It took a very short time to get used to this, as now I can feel the slop in the cleats and pedals too. These are precise shoes, which really would not be out of place in a road race - but with the added sole rubber you can walk short distances in them without slipping and clunking, and without damaging cleats.
The bottom line - These are great quality performance shoes, no bones there. They're ultra light, comfortable, durable and versatile. We'd position them as an ideal club/weekend or sportive shoe, where performance is welcomed, but you also need that laid back ability to walk through the cafe without looking like Bambi. For us these are ideal road-trip shoes, the MTB shoes are now permanently confined to real off-road!
NB - they have SPD style cleat fittings only
RRP US$179 - Check out www.bont.com