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  • Andy B

    I bought a pair of Vaypor+ not long ago but am struggling to get used to them, I keep finding my foot goes almost numb due to the stiffness/firmness (mainly in the upper) and they have only been good for short rides

    I revert back to my S Works shoes and they feel much more comfortable, I purchased the Bonts due to the wider variety in sizing where with the S works I had to order shoes that were a touch too long to get the width I needed leaving me to have a bit of movement in them which feels like it effects power output
    Changing to the Bonts in a wide fit the shoes fit well initially but maybe from the review above I’ve gone with a shoe that is a little too small (following the wizard) as they don’t really give any room for movement/swelling
    I guess i’m curious if the shoes wear in at all? and if its worth toughing it out

    • I don’t think you can “wear in” a pair of Bonts. As you say, they are incredibly stiff. They also say on their website that they retain their shape. You could always try to mould the shoes again, but otherwise go up a size or a size and a half.
      I love my Bonts, and can’t wear my old shoes now, despite how much better they were than my old-old shoes. It’s hopefully just a case of finding the right size for you.

    • The anti-stretch layer that forms the upper means the shoe won’t change much, if at all. I doubt you’ll have much luck improving the fit of the shoes by wearing them.

    • Matt DeMaere

      It is fairly easy to get numbness from wearing Bonts too tight.

      It was my experience with the original Vaypor, pressing the buckle strap down with my finger was all that was required for a secure fit. Actually applying leverage with the buckle fastener itself was too much. When it comes to the Vaypor+, it is more forgiving since the cable closure more effectively spreads out the pressure, but they’ll still cut off blood flow if you tighten them excessively.

      I would suggest wearing the shoes looser. Tighten the cable closure until the slack is _just_ removed, or even leave a tiny bit.

      I’ve only worn Bonts for the 3-4 years. Any ride length, never gone sore feet. I use e-Sole insoles, not the veritable bits of paper Bont supplies.

    • Livi Lucha

      i found this also. after 14 times heat moulding, and a lot of playing aound with the cleat position i can happily say i love these shoes, they’re awesome :)
      I recommend sticking it out, until you get them right.

    • Paul Wield

      Your feet may be going numb because of your saddle height. If you haven’t adjusted your saddle height to account for the change in thickness of the soles, then your seat is likely too high. Measure the delta between the S-Works and the Bonts and adjust accordingly. Also, if you did your bike fit with the S-Works that were too long, you might also need to look at the fore-aft position of the saddle because your foot would be placed over the axle of the pedal differently.

  • Steve G

    How did you manage with your orthotics?
    Mine were made for my foot (duh) to fit in the SIDI’s I have (too small, too expensive to replace).
    Did they not slip around?

    • My orthotics (Cobra9) worked perfectly.

      • Steve G

        Sold then!

      • Steve G

        Hey Matt,
        Did your heels lift in the shoe when you were off the bike at all?
        I have a pair at the moment in the proper size that I’m trying on for fit, but am not allowed to use them on the bike; my heel lifts in the shoe but I’m wondering if it would be fine on the bike?

  • justanotheropinion

    You forgot to put the price down as a point in Bad stuff.

    • Still cheaper than many other top-end shoes from other brands though…

    • Fair point. As I’ve noted in the review, all of Bont’s shoes provide the same fit, so cheaper models such as the Blitz and Riot may have more appeal for you. I’ll be looking at both of these shoes in a couple of months. At face value, the Blitz looks to offer the best value.

  • Pedro

    Decent shoes. Made in China. Dude that runs it is an absolute doosh.

    • Steven Nemeth

      Would you like to expand on that to the “doosh”. Who do you actually even think runs it?

      • david__g

        He probably thinks you run it?

  • Cameron O’Neill

    How is the arch on the new Vapor S shoes? I bought a pair of the original Vapors and loved the fit of the toe box, bath tub sole, and the customizable aspect of the shoes but I have a very low arch (and by low I mean non-existent). With the arch being built in I would always have cramps in my mid foot during longer rides. I always wished that they offered a zero arch shoe that did need to be “custom” and with it add a $400 premium to the bottom line.

    • Having a high arch, it’s too difficult for me to judge, but there is some rise in the midfoot area.

    • Saisan

      Spend the cash, your feet are the link from power to crank. I did the custom fit due to my wide low arch foot. Suffering for many years with shoe fitting problems that lead to leg and back pain not to mention cramps and numb feet. After, my Vapor shoes feel like I’m cheating, the power difference is huge I can use my whole foot to push and pull from any crank angle and never have foot or leg issues. It has been 2.5 years in the vapours and the only change with them is the smell (possibly due to me).

  • Rodrigo Diaz

    I’ve owned 3 pairs of Bont shoes in different modalities (now Vaypor+, Old 1’s and 2’s). I have narrow feet and had some issues with pulled feet out of pedals. SIDIs worked great but I broke the rear adjuster in 6’s a few years ago (I’m not particularly talented, but I can push hard on the pedals for short periods of time) and was looking for something different that allowed for good sprinting transfer.

    I love these shoes. Their main drawbacks are price (very premium) and the included insole. I have “easy” feet, no burning, hot foot, etc. but the included minimal insole was a bit too little for me. I got a relatively inexpensive heat-moulded and they’ve proven great.

  • ShayneV

    I have a pair of Vaypor +. They are great shoes, very comfortable, but the Atop dials keep failing on me. I have sent them back to GKA sports for repair 4 times now. They keep failing after a few months (I can only ride generally 1-2 weeks in every 5 due to work) which is very annoying! I have emailed Bont and have been ignored. Let’s hope the Boa dials work better

    • Steven Nemeth

      Thanks for the feedback on this and considering the problem has continued, please contact GKA, quote your name and mine please. Thanks.

      • ShayneV

        Thanks Steven, I will be sure to talk to GKA early next week.

      • ShayneV

        G’day Steven. Thanks for organising a replacement pair with the boa dials in conjunction with GKA. Although I haven’t had a chance to use them much, they seem to be better. Thanks once again.

  • Adam Z

    Did you heat mold them as part of this review?

  • Tim

    I wish I had this article to reference when I bought my Vapour plus a year ago. I sized them like my Sidi’s. Now realize they are too small.

  • CC

    Matt, fantastics review / introduction to Bont. I’ve been a Shimano custom fit man for a while, and always wondered about Bont…. thanks :)

  • Ken Hillier

    Shane v
    Me too
    3 pairs of bonts
    2x vaypors and riots
    Clips and ratchets supplied by Bont just don’t work for me ,
    Had to cannibalise other shoes fastening systems to ride em
    Shoes themselves brilliant but fasteners just don’t work.
    Been whizzed around and promised things by Steven Nemeth for last pair since February still no actual result !
    Hope the boas work better for newer models
    But I won’t be buying them

    • Steven Nemeth

      Ken, firstly the shoes you purchased through a store in the US. Warranty claims are supposed to be done through point of purchase, this is pretty normal for most companies. We do not stock parts in office as our local distributors look after the warranty claims for us. I am sure you can understand that asking the local distributor to assist with this would be somewhat interesting considering you choose not to support local dealers, but purchased from overseas instead. Still we agreed to get spare parts in from overseas with our next shipment and they will be dispatched as soon as they arrive. Had the product been purchased through the AU network, it could have been fixed within day. Thank you for your patience.

      • Davide Rebellin

        Imagine if shoes from an Australian company weren’t more expensive to buy in Australia…

        • CC

          I’m glad you bring this up, cause I’m struggling to understand this old-school approach. It simply doesn’t link up with the way we consume. Assos has this worked out, ditto Rapha. I’m not terribly enthused by Steven’s response to Ken, suggests they are inwardly focused. Bugger, was keen on trying them out –

          • Winky

            Yeah, slightly odd attitude. I’d be asking the local distributors (and retailers) why they are forced to price the products such that people are incentivised to purchase from overseas. Is it tax? For small companies where reputation is so important to sales, I’m surprised that they aren’t more supportive of the customers, rather than the “middlemen”.

        • Steven Nemeth

          The Vaypor S has an MSRP (RRP equivalent in US) of $429.00 not including local taxes. US$429.00 on current exchange rate equates to around AUD$543.00. The shoes in AU have an RRP of $479.00. My maths tells me that is in fact cheaper in AU then US….

      • Aaron Heaysman

        The links in this article don’t work, are there new links? Especially to purchase as there are no stockists in Tasmania.

        • Steve G

          Contact GKA; they sent down a pair to try on.
          Unless you know how they’re supposed to fit though, it may be pointless


          • Aaron Heaysman

            Thamks Steve, I brought them a few months ago using the sizing wizard. Felt good when I put them on, a bit small once I started riding but still the most comfortable shoes I have had, and that is without molding.

    • Saisan

      Curious to know if you owned the Vapor with the glass fiber upper? I have had the silver bullets for a couple years now with no issues. ( never needed th chuck them in the oven) maybe this is the issue with the the fasteners. Perhaps Bont never tested the suppliers resistance to heat over a period of time.

  • Nick

    Good thing with the BOA dials is the support. BOA will send a replacement for free, but may take a couple weeks to arrive.
    Also if you have bigger feet you may need to get holes redrilled as you cannot move the cleats far enough forward. Had to do this to my Vaypor+

    • Disgruntledgoat

      COuld be worse mate. I snapped the lace on my DMT Prismas and ended up having to buy a new dial in it’s component pieces with instructions for assembley that (unless you have been tying fishing flies for 30 years) are just not possible to follow.
      By way of replacement, I got a pair of Bont Vaypors in a sale and thank my lucky stars. The only downer for me is the super stiffness grates a bit after about the 5th hour, but I think I could solve that with an insole or by re molding, if I wasn;t so lazy.

  • xponti

    Interested to know if they plan to do a Speedplay compatible model at all and if so which model/s

    • Steve Blankenship

      +1 on this. I have a set of A2’s with Speedplay soles that I’d like to upgrade with the new Vaypor S. But after numerous pairs of shoes with and without Speedplay-specific soles I will only go with the dedicated, four-hole versions. Greatly improves pedal contact and stability. Hope Bont will continue to supply their shoes with that sole version.

  • Frank

    I think the “slipper” appearance will take off soon. Just look at Adam Hansen’s shoes – minimalist and functional.

  • alfie

    I’ve had a love hate relationship with my Bont’s. Loved my two pairs of Vaypors and haven’t had much luck with the Vaypor plus. The last feels the same but in hot weather when my foot swells something goes amiss with the fit.

  • Samu Ilonen

    I have quite long time experience fron many Bont shoes, currently running on 5th pairs. As bike shop owner, it makes not much sence selling them here. We stock Specialised and Bont’s. We are running Bont stock down since they are super expensive for us , and profit is tiny, and as we need big stock, AND EVERY SPRING Bont releases new models just AFTER we have full stock. And customers see new models and ask to get those or get discount from our “old” models. And when fit is way different on Riots that Vaypors, it makes fitting difficult. SO! now we stock 3 shoe lines that fit differently, Riot’s, Vaypor’s and Specialised. Bont product R&D is too fast. It kills distributors, shop owners etc. Just release new models in Eurobike and stay for that for year least! Even quality is better that it used to be, I would like it to be bit slower and use more time test riding and collecting customer experience’s. Now it’s impossible to get fits, colors or even same models in summer that we bought 3 months before. NO way to do business! So we will go only with Specialized in future since customers happiness is better and that is factory that works more reasonable for all. No random models on stock, no quality issues, spare parts easy to get, not confused customers why we can’t get all fits, colors, and why they are so expensive here compared to UK etc. Sadly , Vaypor fit is best for me, and I really love my new black Zero+’s. Ok, they can’t handle track starts as those Boa’s are so weak but othervice they are my favorite.

    • Winky

      According to the article (which is great, by the way), there is a layer of the upper that is actually constructed/laminated into the sole. This should avoid any issues of structural detachment, but yes, I am always wary of glue-only construction.

      But still, Bonts tend to look home-made to me, with crooked stiching, unifnished edges and glue runs. Seems to have improved lately, but these still don’t look that great from the photos. With narrow, low-volume feet, regular Italian cycling shoes seem to work just fine for me. I doubt I’d consider these when my Sidi Wires are retired in another 5 years or so. I also find the styling of Bonts to be ugly, and even the name itself grates a bit. Shallow of me, I know.

  • Tricky Dicky

    I think Bonts are bit like vegemite – love ’em or hate ’em.
    I have the Vaypors (I chose them over the Vaypor + which I think had a dodgy ratchet system when I tried them in the shop and my heel just kept slipping out: a very different fit). They’re light and freaky stiff – there is no question in mind that I get more power transfer from them than other shoes I have owned (Lakes, Sidis & Shimanos). So, they’re awesome for racing. However, I do find them uncomfortable for all-day riding. The Lakes are more comfortable, they also have carbon moulding capability and in my opinion have a nicer foot-bed. However, they’re heavier and not as stiff as the Bonts (perhaps that’s why they’re a bit more comfy). Also, the extra toebox in the Bonts results me in me having a bit of toe overlap with the front wheel which came as a bit of a shock to the system! Another ‘downside’ is the amount of time you have to wait to get your hands on a pair if the shop does not have your exact size. I must have waited 6-8 weeks after paying my money but I guess they’re a small company that just doesn’t have warehouses of stock….

  • I’ve had the A1’s and currently have the Vaypour+ , without doubt they are the stiffest and best shoe I’ve ever had. The Vaypor+’s are super comfortable and I can’t see my self ever getting another brand again – much like the review says. Oh, and yes, buy local-you’ll need to try them on first

  • Chikashi

    Bont’s sizing wizard did not work for me. My Vaypor S are a tad too small. Bont are not being responsive to the issue at hand, so it seems I am stuck with shoes I cannot use…

    • waqid

      same issue but didnt contact bont about it. i guess i wont.

  • Paul O’Connell

    Wide, flat feet and they didn’t work at all for me. I’ve gone back to my Northwaves. While they are actually tighter around the toes, I no longer get the serious pain I got from the Bonts. I don’t know whether this was because the soles aren’t flat or because where they did hit the side of my foot, they REALLY hit the side of my foot. That boat sole means that when you do touch it, there’s no give at all – the side of your foot is pushing up against carbon fibre, not leather. I think I would need their custom made ones to deal with the width and flatness, and they’re insanely spendy.

  • Samaway

    I just bought a pair of Vapor+ but the tongue bunches up like crazy when I put them on. I’m actually too afraid to mount cleats on them because that seems like such an obvious source of discomfort for longer rides. I’m contemplating just sending them back for a refund without even riding in them… Anyone have this experience?

  • AllanBarr

    I was intending on getting a pair of Bonts after reading the review, but now that I’ve read the issues raised by people in the comments, primarily around the fastening issues and the delay in dealing with replacement parts and some apparent customer service issues I think I’ll stick to my Giro’s. Shame, I really did quite fancy them.

    • Steven Nemeth

      With the change to BOA there has been next to no issues, hence the reason we changed. BOA also supplies direct warranty. If warranty is dealt with through the systems that have been put in place for specific reasons, than there are generally no problems.

    • Saisan

      Only he who walks on the crocodiles back knows how bumpy it is. But with Bont the walk may take a few weeks. ;)

  • GT

    I have a pair of the 2014 Vaypor, the model with 1 velcro strap and 1 ratchet and after 18 months no problems with the shoes. I did heat mould them but only once. Shop did say these were the better of the shoes in the Bont range.
    Came off Specialized and knee issues, these solved my problems straight away, still using the original inner sole too.
    One point to note is sole is so thin, I had to source shorter bolts to attach Keo cleats as I could feel the ends through the soles.
    And yes you need to try them on, and in Melbourne, Bikepro in Burwood have demo shoes which you can borrow for a week or so, heat mould them and test them and their prices are very reasonable.

    Now if I could just stop my Look Keo Blade pedals from creaking I would be very happy!

    • David Hulsman

      Yo! I have Keo 2 Max pedals and had the creaking issue too. I’ve found taping insulation tape across the metal platform of the shoe to stop the creaking. The tape requires replacing every week or so depending on how often you ride (I commute daily) however it’s saved my sanity (I’d like to think). I also rub a bit of sex wax (surfboard wax) on my cleats and this also works… I know it sounds ridiculous to have to do but I’ve found others doing the same with peace of mind, quite literally!

  • alexroseinnes

    I sorta like my Bonts. I’ve owned a few pairs over the years, and currently have two pairs of Vaypor +. I ordered new Vaypor S and it looks like Bont are back to their old problems of size discrepancies. The 43 I ordered in the S is markedly smaller than the Vaypor+. Only worked this out after two weeks of riding and now can’t return them. Bont make great shoes but their log history of quality control problems real.

    • Tom Galbraith

      Are they one size smaller or more? Is width unchanged?

      • alexroseinnes

        one size smaller and narrower

  • harvey

    I had a pair of Vaypor+’s for ~9months, previously have used Sidi’s (multiple models) and Specialized. My experience is similar to others on here re the Atop ratchets not reliable, particularly the lower/smaller dial – both lost ratcheting ability and i needed to make several follow ups to GKA and Bont to get sent replacement dials. i also found the shoes uncomfortable, particularly in warmer weather, with a terrible pain spot on top on my left and right little toe bone, where it touched the upper of the shoe. I also found the shoes stiffness made my lower/front of foot very numb, again particularly in warmer weather. I tried heat molding many times, but didn’t resolve the discomfort so have now sold the shoes. I’m back on Sidi Wire, and they are soooo much more comfortable for me.

  • Keir

    I’ve had my Bonts for around a year now and love them. I bought a pair of Riots as they were at a pretty decent price and I like the idea of supporting Australian companies. I’m looking at upgrading to Vaypors in the next 12 months or so. I’m very impressed so far and have suffered with the feet swelling but reaching down and letting them click out a touch sorts that out.

  • Mr Bike

    Wanted to like Bonts. Went through two pairs of Vaypor+ and couldn’t get them to work. Very uncomfortable shoe, especially since you can’t ride them to find out before hand. Went with R321s and they are perfect after ride 1, and with now thousands of km on them. Not a fan of Bont or their stubbornness in the slightest when I had communications with them.

    • Saisan

      Did you ever have communications with other brands? Just curious to know how Shimano or other big brands respond to one un-happy customer. FYI I’m not pro Bont. Just had zero luck with Sram, no response from many complaints regarding Red.

  • Nyall

    Seems like a paid for review. I’m starting to smell a rat with all your reviews CT. Maybe just stick to racing, at least that’s an objective read.

  • velo

    I am on my third pair of Bonts – A3; Riot and now Vaypor+
    All pairs were really great, after molding they fitted perfect and also no problems on longer rides. The only issue i had was to fit cleats in same position for both legs. This is because holes for cleats aren’t drilled identicaly and so the markings on shoes mismatch.
    I hope this is issue is now solved for Vaypor S

  • Steve G

    Has anyone actually tried to order a pair of these or managed to contact GKA?
    I need a 42.5 wide, but haven’t been able to contact GKA at all.

  • Andy

    Hi Matt,
    As someone who’s had success with the shoe, I’m hoping you can help me. You mentioned that you are normally a size 44 cycling shoe. Did you measure your foot according to the size wizard at all? I’m asking because I’m having difficulty nailing the fit. I’d be very interested to know your size wizard foot measurement in comparison to the 46 you are wearing, and how much extra room you have at the front of the shoe. In thin socks, the 46 Wide I’m trying have about 8mm out front, but I could still do with them being wider. Even with the heel cup test, is it your understanding that you try increasing sizes until you find a pair which doesn’t retain your heel, and then step back one size?

  • cr110

    Toe room Is that bigger!?
    It is thing bigger is given to good, but I was hate at VAYPOR +.
    VAYPOR + is also a larger toe room, but the foot is not settled at the time of the sprint and attack.
    It is good if only wide sideways but, BONT had made larger vertically! I think this is no good!
    I will buy the VAYPOR of the old model that has been developed in collaboration with professional cyclist!

  • I recently bought a pair of Vaypor (from a local dealer in switzerland). I find the shoe really ugly. BUT… it fits UNBELIEVABLE GOOD. Once I’m in the shoe I don’t want to get out. Great that they (BONT) stick to “Function dictates form”. Love ’em.

  • Saisan

    Great review, definitely Bont shoes need time to have the “fall in love ” effect. If you wear them once or for a couple of rides you will hate them and regard them as crap. As for me, I have a wide foot and a low arch so any shoe on the market eventually gives me grief after a few rides. The opposite happened with Bont Vapor. They gave me uncomfort in the arch then after feeling the shoe with a long ride I began to change my power stroke. Then they were perfect and natural. In fact it feels like you cheat, you can use your whole foot as a power transfer with almost no loss. With traditional shoes my foot arch flex is absorbed by the shoe, not the pedal. Do a standing barbel curl with something under your arch, you will feel the pressure of your bodies weight under your archons it naturally flattens touching the ground. Imagine if you could apply that weight to the pedals…. With Bont shoes you can. Traditional shoes are designed like a runners sprint shoe. All upper and no platform. A cyclist needs a platform like a weightlifter. Strong and supportive for the whole foot platform. When people say they feel uncomfortable in the arch of a Bont shoe. For me it means they need to embrace and feel the power they can produce with this added stiffness.
    Bont need to do tests on how many watts you save up a 30%+ gradient. For sure climbing in Bont shoes increases your power to the pedal. Also the shoe is incredibly stiff when you pull back with your heel and try to rip your foot out of the pedal. ( I can only talk about the Vapor with glass fiber upper and Velcro + ratchet ) after a couple crashes and many monsoon down pours the shoes have been great. I notice the new vapours have a revised front walk bumper. Good because the original made it almost impossible to clip into Shimano pedals. In summary if you want to apply power to your pedals like a ballerina and have the same kinda toe space don’t buy a Bont. Put power down like a power lifter, and wiggle your toes I the process. Buy a Bont.

  • Southernhoax

    I had to heat mould my Vaypor plus 4 times. Because i had custom i stuck with it even though i was close to putting them on buy/sell. I am glad i stuck with them, i now have 3 pairs and only wear Bonts unless some sentimentalness has me pulling out an old pair of favourites.

  • Nicolas Masbourian

    I have a new pair of Vaypor S. Shoes are amazingly comfortable but i have persisting knee pain (left only). Didn’t change my bike fit at all, and place the cleat same as my old specialized. Some of you has this king of issue?


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