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Fizik Infinito R1 Knit road shoes review

Offering a super-stiff sole and maximum breathability, the Fizik Infinito R1 Knit is a great warm weather or indoor shoe option

Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoe
(Image: © Laura Fletcher)

Our Verdict

For any cyclist looking for a high-end road shoe with superior breathability and power transfer, the Fizik Infinito R1 Knit is a great investment

For

  • - Breathability.
  • - Stiffness.
  • - Strong arch support.
  • - Great heel cup.

Against

  • - R1 Knit weighs more than comparable-size original Infinito R1.
  • - Although pricey, the Infinito R1 knit is standard amongst top-end shoes.
  • - Tongue caused small hotspot on the front of the ankle.

The Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoes borrow the same design DNA of the original Infinito R1, but replace the Microtex upper with a lightweight, breathable knit that claims to offer superior ventilation and enhanced comfort.

Made from a strong knit material, with comfort balanced with stiffness, the R1 knit is positioned to go head-to-head against the best cycling shoes, with a smart dynamic closure system and special attention to all the details. With that, they become an attractive shoe for any cyclist looking for breathability, versatility, or increased warm-weather (or indoor) comfort. 

So how do they stand up against the best cycling shoes, and the best indoor cycling shoes, in our testing?

Design and specifications

As the shoe of choice of Geraint Thomas, the Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoes won the Tour de France on the feet of the Ineos rider in 2018. Why? The carbon sole is one of the best on the market as far as stiffness and shape go, with the same power transfer as the traditional Infinito R1 shoes. It also eliminates hotspots, providing superior breathability and utilises a unique Boa closure system for what the company has dubbed Volume Control. 

Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoe

The Boa cable routing offers a unique angle of closure (Image credit: Laura Fletcher)

For those looking into knit shoes, this model has almost certainly come up, alongside the Giro Empire E70 knit model. Both shoes feature a similar knit and strong sole combination but the Giro option is lace-up, while the Fizik knit uses a dial closure system.

The double Boa system isn't unique to Fizik, but the brand's take on wire-routing gives a controlled angle to tighten the forefoot pressure, with the top Boa offering a secure hold on the upper foot. This is a great choice for anyone that finds a standard Boa system causes hot spots or discomfort.

The knit isn’t traditional but created with electronic machines that the company programs in for specific ventilation spots, and custom stitch patterns with targeted performance areas.

Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoe

The shoe's instep features Dynamic Arch Support, but not quite to the level of the Fizik Vento Stabilita shoes (Image credit: Laura Fletcher)

The sole features six ventilation points to keep airflow through the shoes, and the carbon sole is finished off internally with a dynamic arch support - a mould that should fit a wide range of feet without the need for a secondary insert.

Performance

Our tests started with an easy spin to break in the shoe - it had been noted to us that this model can take a few wears to bed in correctly - but even from our first ride we found them comfortable, minus a few minor details. The heel cup is known for being very rigid, and it held up, gripping snugly where it should, with correct padding and grippers to avoid any chafing points. 

Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoe

The heel cup is rigid but comfortably shaped and features grippers to further help hold the foot in place (Image credit: Laura Fletcher)

The knit, although not the lightest in overall weight, did provide great breathability in the middle of summer, paired with a thin pair of performance socks.

Over our rides we adjusted the two Boa dials in a few different ways, to get a full feel for their “Volume Control” system. The two independent closures target different areas of the shoe. The front one laces in a figure-of-eight shape drawing evenly from the front of the foot, while the second Boa focuses on the upper forefoot area, drawing in the tension from the inside of the foot, and actually creating more arch support as it goes. It took us a few different tries to work out what tensions were best, but as soon as we found our sweet spot, we were ready to roll.

The shoe felt equally powerful on long, fast flat drags as it did taking on the local hills of Catalunya, and, over the hours, there were no numb spots or sore areas, as can often be found especially in a newer set of shoes. 

Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoe

The wrap-over forefoot offers a secure hold, but the rubberised lip can cause hotspots (Image credit: Laura Fletcher)

Our only critique of the shoe is the plastic section at the front of the ankle: a clever bit of embossed branding in the area gives the model name, but the plastic was a bit too rigid for us - causing a small hotspot on the front of the ankle on the back half of our pedalling circle. 

Fizik shoes are known for their durability and we expect that this model would last a few seasons, especially with a regular cleaning regime made easy with the man-made material.

Although we are confident the shoes would last through multiple years, they may truly be a three-season shoe. In colder or wet weather riding the lack of waterproofing - which is a natural feature of leather shoes - could cause some discomfort, although the shoes are initially treated with a water repellent. The vents on the bottom double up as drainage though, making sure the shoe doesn’t get too waterlogged in wet weather. 

Verdict

A fantastic high-end shoe for any cyclist living in dry and mild climates, looking for maximum power transfer and a soft and adjustable upper. The price tag might put some off, but for cyclists in need of maximum performance, the Fizik R1 Infinito Knit is a great option that should last a number of years.  

Tech Specs: Fizik Infinito R1 Knit shoes

  • RRP: £349 / $449.99 / €380
  • Retention: Double Boa 
  • Material: Carbon R1 Sole, Knit Upper
  • Stack height: 8.77mm
  • Weight: 248g (per shoe)
  • Rivals: Giro Empire E70 Knit
  • Sizes: 37-48 EU in Half Size Increments
  • Colours: Black, Grey, Blue and Purple
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