Upon opening the box of the Louis Garneau Carbon Tri Hrs shoes for the first time, I am not embarrassed to say that the first thing that came out of my mouth was, “Ooooo, gorgeous!”. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, on with the real review.
One of the first things I noticed on the Tri HRS was the Exo-Jet carbon outsole. Looking at it I was reminded of the massive air intake on the underside of an F 16 fighter jet. the purpose of the sole shape, aside from stiffness, is to maximize air flow not only on the front of the shoe but throughout the entire length. On top of the sole being shaped to maximize air flow, it also goes another step further by putting a durable mesh vent just under the arch of the shoe. All this happens while still keeping the bottom of the Tri HRS über aerodynamic and lightweight.
Being that the bottom of the shoe is SO vented, I was a bit concerned about actually getting too
Click the image to see the venting up close
cold when the temperature begins to take a dive. LG addresses this by including two different footbeds, one for hot weather and one for cold weather that blocks the cold air from wreaking havoc on feet. The upper is made of a micro-fiber leather which is also well vented and breathable.
The fit of the Tri HRS is something that LG has taken very seriously. The leather upper is 100% “thermo moldable”. Basically this means that you get the rare opportunity to toss your shoes in the oven! After the requisite amount of time, the shoes are them put on (with socks if you generally wear them) and after about twenty minutes, you’ve got shoes that are fit to YOUR feet (side note, you can even further customize the fit by using a heat moldable footbed like Sole’s custom footbeds )
The HRS in the Tri HRS stands for “heel retention system”. This system is made up of a 0.6 mm membrane that is designed to hold your heel in place during the power stroke. Also on the shoe are two, Kevlar reinforced straps. The lower of theses two can be adjusted and left alone, while the upper and larger of the straps gives plenty of room and ease of use for a quick transition. All these features come in at a measly 310 grams (11 ounces)!
When riding, the first thing that stood out to be with these shoes was their stiffness. Now, I’m sure that at least some people are wondering why stiffness is so important. Well, it’s like this; your leg is exerting all the pressure it can muster onto that one little point where your body meets the drive train, the pedal. If you’re exerting all this power and you have a sole that flexes and gives you’ll be losing that power you’ve built because the sole of the shoe you’re wearing is absorbing it. A stiff sole, means more power and in turn a more efficient and less fatiguing pedal stroke. These shoes are super, and I do mean super, stiff .
The overall fit, since it was largely determined by the exact shape of MY foot thanks to the heat molding, was fantastic. In fact, I am quite confident that even if I left the shoe completely un-strapped my foot would still be held comfortably in place.
The venting is truly epic. That being said, I can possibly foresee a problem riding in cold weather with these shoes. I do plan on wearing booties over them to keep my feet warm once is it necessary.
Though I do plan on updating this review once I’ve worn these shoes in a race setting, I already consider myself a big fan. Check them out at the links below!
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://gearist.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/ibmonogram.png[/author_image] [author_info] Review by IronBrandon [/author_info] [/author]