In a sport that so often controls exactly how and what pros ride in, shoes (and sometimes eyewear…) are often the last frontier for individuality. Sure, some teams enforce the use of a specific brand, but the majority let their riders walk their own path in finding a shoe that fits their feet and desired style.
Here we wrap up the best kicks of the 2019 Tour de France, mostly as worn by race favourites and big names. Some riders are treated with a pair of fresh custom shoes for the big event, while others stick with old faithful. Regardless of the brand used, there is one common theme: dials are very much in vogue.
The winner of stage four, Elia Viviani, is using a custom bedazelled pair of DMT KR1 knit shoes from his home nation.
Last year’s yellow jersey winner, Geraint Thomas, has started the 2019 Tour in a stock pair of Fizik Infinito R1 Knits. No doubt his goal is to wear a pair of shoes that colour-match his cleats.
Team Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen is wearing an older version of Shimano’s S-Phyre RC9 shoe.
Most of the Deceuninck-QuickStep team wears Specialized shoes.
Julian Alaphilippe wears a well-used pair of S-Works 7 shoes. Those yellow socks were well earned.
This year’s Tour of Flanders winner, Alberto Bettiol, is showing some matchy-matchy style with these cool custom fade Sidi Wire 2 Carbon Airs.
Yep, Alejandro Valverde (like the rest of the Movistar team) wraps his feet in shoes from Fizik. Obviously only Valverde gets such a custom pair of the Infinto R1 shoes.
There’s no hiding what Valverde won last year, but it’s rather tastefully done.
Toms Skujins of Trek-Segafredo has what appears to be a prototype pair of Bontrager XXX shoes. The new twin-Boa footwear offers an increasingly common feature where the one-piece upper wraps over the foot from the inner side.
Richie Porte has the same prototype Bontrager shoes. They appear to be well ventilated.
It’s pretty common for riders to stick with the same shoes and saddle for as long as possible. The S-Works 7s of Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Max Richeze have clearly seen better days, but they’re still perfectly functional.
Paul Ourselin of Total Direct Énergie wears a stock pair of Giro’s Factor Techlace.
It’s ok, even some of the pros suffer from crank heel rub.
Gold can only mean one thing: you’re looking at the feet of Olympic road race champion Greg van Avermaet. And as cycling royalty, he wears a ground-up custom shoe from Colorado-based Rocket7. This isn’t his first pair — in fact, we covered the making of his Rocket7s back in 2016.
Greg Van Avermaet supposedly has some oddly shaped feet. So much so that he was ending races in all sorts of pain and ended up cutting the backs out of his previous shoes. He really is the perfect fit for a custom shoe brand.
Egan Bernal just cruising around with his Sidi Shot shoes loosely done up. Those dial levers are flipped down for go-time.
Custom Mavic Comete Ultimates for Dan Martin. The lucky shamrock design hides the initials of his wife and twin girls.
Mads Wurtz Schmidt wears a pair of Katusha-Alpecin team-issue Sidi Shots.
More Sidi Shot shoes, this time from Rigoberto Uran.
As worn by Uran, this simple colourway is more subtle than Sidi’s retail options.
George Bennett is almost always found wearing custom painted shoes, and this latest version done by his partner Caitlin Fielder is a “refined version of the the original  Tour de France pair that started the business.”
Much like that original pair (and a few pairs since), the artwork is of a New Zealand Koru theme.
Bennett clearly has an unusual protrusion on his foot that calls for some stretching of the S-Phyre RC9’s material.
Mike Teunissen doesn’t have yellow anymore but he got to keep the Boas.
Tejay van Garderen is wearing a regular black pair of Giro’s Factor Techlace.
Gaerne shoes are a common sight in the WorldTour, especially given they sponsor the Lotto-Soudal team. EF Education First rider Simon Clarke is another in Gaerne shoes, and wears the G.Stilo model.
American Chad Haga wears completely stock standard Shimano S-Phyre RC901 shoes.
Matteo Trentin has a custom pair of Sidi Shots to celebrate his European Championship title.
The national champion of Norway, Vegard Stake Laengen, wears a pair of custom Bont Helixs. These feature a single Boa dial that wraps through the sole. Others we haven’t yet spotted ourselves…
We haven’t yet been able to photograph the shoes of Andre Greipel, but according to Gaerne, the German sprinter has some special shoes.
Caitlin Fielder’s work is becoming an increasingly common sight. Here is Michael Matthews’ custom pair of S-Phyre RC901s. According to Caley Fretz, Matthews was not wearing these at the start of Stage 5, and we’re unsure if he’s worn them at all so far.
Similar to Dan Martin, Romain Bardet is also wearing a custom pair of Mavic Comete Ultimates. It is one of the more premium shoes in the peloton and offers a unique two-piece construction that effectively combines a carbon shell with a soft material liner. A non-custom pair will set you back €700 (~AU$1,130 / ~US$790).