FIZIK VENTO INFINITO CARBON KNIT 2 — CYCLING SHOE TEST

Fizik Vento Infinito Knit Carbon 2

Fizik was founded as an in-house boutique saddle brand in 1996 for parent company Selle Royal, who was one of Italy’s largest mainstream saddle makers. Headquartered at the base of the Dolomites, the Italian brand has always focused on the high-performance market, and they’ve maintained a successful role in the pro peloton since their inception. 

Following their success as a saddle brand, like many other companies, Fizik decided to expand their product line, and in 2011 they introduced their shoes at the Eurobike show. The first-run shoes had many innovative features, like the use of sail cloth for straps, and have continued to evolve over time. Drawing from the latest in knit-shoe technology, Fizik created the Infinito Knit line. 

As the name implies, the upper material combines a knit fabric with “advanced knitted construction technique” that blends a heat-fused TPU yarn in targeted knitted areas. The benefit of the design is the seamlessly integrated ventilation, which saves weight without compromising fit and performance. The Vento is highlighted by a new arch-strap design that wraps around the plantar arch to provide improved foot support. The tighter the Boa dial is applied, the more support the foot receives.   

 

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Alongside the improved upper is the latest R2 carbon sole. Fizik claims it is lighter and stiffer than the R1 that was previously used on their racing shoes. The sole has a vented channel between the cleat interface and the insole to improve airflow. Most important, Fizik adopted a wider range of cleat adjustability (nearly a centimeter) to account for the more aggressive, aerodynamic positions riders use on modern road bikes. Cleats can be positioned further aft on the sole to accommodate proper position for riders that prefer a further-forward position in the saddle. 

THE RIDE 

The Vento Knits had a wider fit than we expected from the Italian brand. The heel cup uses a similar anti-slip design, while the toe box and middle of the shoe were roomy; our size 43.5 felt more like a 44. Unlike the more supportive, stiffer and thicker microfiber used on the Shimano RC9, the knit material of the Fizik is thin and slipper-like in the toe box. The saving grace of the Infinito Knit’s fit is the arch support band that helps secure the foot in place. Riders with wider feet may prefer the wiggle room in the toe box, but there was a bit too much space for our narrower-footed test riders.

It took a couple of tries to line up the cleats. Minimal markings and the increased cleat positions on the sole left us searching for the proper cleat alignment. Like the RC9, the Infinito Knit has a protective guard on the toe that prevents scuffing on the carbon sole, but there’s no protection on the upper material, which may lead to some expedited wear, though we haven’t noticed anything notable yet. 

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On the road, the Infinito Knit was reported to be comfortable by all of our test riders. The supple knit upper hugs the heel and top of the foot without creating hot spots. Ventilation across the tongue paired with the knit upper allowed for superior ventilation, as well as heat retention on cold days. Interestingly, the Infinito Knit stayed surprisingly dry for longer on rainy rides. As water seeped through the vent holes across the RC9, the rain rolled off the knitted material of the Infinito; although, by the end of the ride, both feet were drenched. 

Released alongside the Infinito Knit was the $350 Vento Infinito Carbon, which features the same sole and arch support design but uses a Microtex upper. Fizik offers both shoes to WorldTour riders like Geraint Thomas and Alejandro Valverde.

FIZIK PUNCH LINES

Supple, breathable knit upper

High arch support

More color choices, please

STATS

Price: $380

Weight: 518 grams

Sizes: 36–48 (43.5 tested)

www.fizik.com

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