The Fizik Infinito R1 is a modern shoe with classic design cues, yet for the price, we'd expect more
Double Boa with light action feel
A perfect blend of classic and modern styling
Feels less stiff than the competition
Forward cleat position won't be for everyone
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Launched way back in 2017, the Fizik Infinito R1 shoe has become a staple part of the WorldTour kit list of many professionals, whether sponsored or otherwise. The shoe has been the personal choice of Geraint Thomas, Philippe Gilbert, and is the sponsored provision of Movistar Team.
It isn't a new shoe to market, so why are we looking at them now? Well, due to our collective previous experiences with the Infinito R1 shoe, they've earned a spot in our guide to the best cycling shoes. Now, we want to pit them against their peers to ensure they're really worthy of inclusion.
The Fizik Infinito R1 also comes in a knit version, aptly named the Infinito R1 Knit, which we've also got in for testing. We will be bringing them to you in the coming weeks and comparing the differences as time progresses.
Fizik, or Fi'zi:k, is an Italian brand that falls under the Selle San Marco SpA. It is a continually innovating company, as exhibited with its recent launch of the Fizik 3D-printed saddle.
There's no denying the Fizik Infinito R1 shoes are premium. The shoes retail at £349.99 / $400.00 / €350.00 / AU$599.00, and for your money, there are no extra sweet treats in the box, unlike the free overshoes included with the Bontrager Ballista Knit, or the modular arch support supplied with the Rapha Pro Team Powerweave shoes.
The Infinito R1 shoes feature a wraparound design, rather than the traditional central tongue, and are fitted with two Boa IP-1 dials. The upper is routed via a single plastic guide and back, which means it tightens up quickly and efficiently, offering a secure hold with a quick flick of the dial. The lower dial is routed via four textile guides at specific points at the forefoot. The feel of the tightening is equally light-action, and due to the extra routing path and 'Volume Control' each click represents a smaller step in adjustment, and therefore, more finite adjustment and improved control.
Design and aesthetics
There are four standard colours available, consisting of black, white, black/red, or red/black, and there are currently two additional limited-edition colourways; 'Movistar', which unsurprisingly white and blue, or '1919' which is completely reflective. We opted for white to give us the best idea of how easy they are to keep clean.
Design and style are entirely subjective, of course, so we shan't dwell on our opinions too much, but we will say that we like them a lot.
There's no denying Fizik have successfully blended modern and retro into the Infinito R1 shoes. The upper's design has a probably-unintentional lightning bolt design to it, while the heels have a retro classic feel that reminds us of our dads' old leather football boots.
The upper itself is made from 1.2mm thick, laser-perforated Microtex, which is suitably breathable.
The cleat nuts sit within a channel that offers approximately 5mm of adjustment, but even with this in mind, the cleat hole positions available on the Fizik shoes is as forward as any shoe I've used. As a result, getting the correct position (which I consider to be average in the fore-aft department) required the cleats to be slammed as far rearward as they could go.
For riders who consider their cleat position to be quite rearward, the Fizik Infinito R1 shoes probably won't be suitable. It's safe to say they're not a shoe for Adam Hansen.
The Infinito R1 shoes have what Fizik calls 'Dynamic Arch Support' built into the entire construction of the shoe. There is a distinctive arch built in that can be felt as soon as the shoes are fitted, yet it's not intrusive and doesn't feel as though it will become uncomfortable.
If you're in need of adjustable arch support, or simply anything other than what you get, you'll need to factor this into the cost. Many brands (Shimano, Rapha to name two) offer insoles with inbuilt modular arch support, however, while the Fizik shoes offer arch support built into the shoe, and the insole is shaped as such, there is no adjustability besides replacing your insoles altogether. For the price, we'd expect a modicum of adjustment.
There's no stiffness index rating provided besides Fizik's claim of 'superior stiffness', yet the simple test of 'can we bend the sole by hand' results in a resounding yes - albeit not by much. This isn't something that can be said for many of Fizik's competitors.
Fizik claims the weight to be 246 grams for a size EU42. Our scales put them at 307g for a EU46. Surprisingly, this is 13g lighter than the Infinito R1 Knit. It's also 51g heavier than the Giro Empire SLX.
Sizing is in line with what we expect, and the EU46 (converted as a UK11 1/4 and US12 1/4) fits my feet as it should. There's even a millimetre measurement of 297mm.
Overall, having used the Fizik Infinito R1 shoes for around a month now, I've been plenty happy with how they've performed so far, however for the price tag, I hoped to be bowled over, which sadly hasn't quite happened.
In comparison to average, the cleat position is very toward the front, so while I was able to match my preferred position, I had to slam the cleat to the most rearward position to get there.
Opting for the white shoes to test ease-of-cleaning, and while the typical wear marks have begun to show, the white has remained as bright as day one, and any dust or grime that comes from outdoor kilometres has been easy to remove with a simple wet wipe clean.
Over many different ride durations and intensities, both indoors and out, the shoes have provided a secure, yet comfortable fit, however, the leading edge of the wraparound tongue is rather stiff and sharp, so dropping your heel into the pedal stroke causes it to dig into your forefoot. It's yet to cause any serious issues such as soreness or rubbing, but when compared to others (riding two pairs back-to-back, or riding with odd shoes), it's noticeable. The S-Works 7 shoes do a similar thing because of the stiff materials used, while the Rapha Powerweave and Bontrager Ballista Knit are better in this regard.
The toe box is relatively roomy, and as such are probably suitable for riders with standard-to-wide feet. My narrow feet were far from lost-in-space, but even with the Volume Control adjustment, there was always a bit of wiggle room.
As mentioned above, the Infinito R1 shoes are suitably breathable. Following a bit of warm weather outdoor riding and a number of indoor cycling kilometres, these shoes have yielded little in the way of overheating, however, for those wanting a bit of extra aeration between the toes, don't overlook the Infinito R1 Knit.
Would I recommend the Fizik Infinito R1 shoes? Yes. On the whole, despite my few finicky criticisms, the shoes have performed commendably, so would be a worthwhile upgrade to many cyclists' shoe game.
Tech spec: Fizik Infinito R1
- Price: £349.99 / $400.00 / €350.00 / AU$599.00
- Weight without cleats: 307g (actual, size EU46)
- Outsole: UniDirectional Full Carbon
- Stiffness index: N/A
- Retention: Dual Boa IP-1 B
- Colours: Black, White, Red/Black, Black/Red, Movistar, 19 19
- Temperature range: Spring 5-20 degrees
- Test duration: One month
- Terrain: Road, Indoors
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