This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
What goes around comes around, they say. So after Velcro, BOA, other dials, ratchets and straps, a number of high-end road cycling shoes are returning to the oldest of old-school retention system: laces. And Specialized's Sub 6s and Giro's Empire have now been joined by the newer, more niche company Quoc Pham, with its first performance footwear the Quoc Pham Night.
At 528g per pair the Nights are a bit heavier than the Sub 6s and Empires, but if you can tell the difference while you're riding you're a better judge than us. They're still decently light and the carbon fibre soles are stiff, though with quite minimal toe and heel bumpers you'll need to take care to stop them getting scratched.
- Highs: Stiff, efficient carbon sole and comfortable microfibre upper
- Lows: Hard to keep clean, limited sole protection
- Buy if: You want a shoe with a good balance of stiffness, comfort and clean lines and have a few extra seconds to spare
Toe vents and vents at the front of the sole (or 'thermodynamic ventilation' in Quocspeak) keep them reasonably airy, but where these score highly is in their balance of stiffness and comfort. There are no hot spots and no pinching, though the laces mean these take a fraction longer to do up and take off than some straps or dial systems — but we're talking a few seconds here. And the laces shouldn't get caught in your chain either, as the Nights feature an elasticated strap across the eyelets under which you fasten the ends of the laces.
The combination of the microfibre upper, breathable microfibre lining and laces is a comfortable one. The microfibre is supportive and the laces allow you a high degree of adjustability, which means these are suitable for a wide variety of foot shapes (Quoc Pham also offers a 14-day return policy so you can try them on at home).
If white isn't your thing, fear not: Quoc Pham's Night shoes are also available in black, pink and — for a small extra charge — black 'bovine' leather.
Want to cut a stylish swathe through the peloton or on a club run? Then lace up the Nights and ride…