Bont Vaypor S Cycling Shoe Review
Welcome to our Bont Vaypor S Cycling Shoe Review. In 2017 we were fortunate to attend Interbike and make a lot of cycling industry contacts, one of which was able to introduce us to Bont Cycling and their cycling shoe line.
My knowledge of Bont goes back to the late 80’s early 90’s when I for a period of time was an INLINE RACERerererer. Back then the most widely known inline skate company was called Rollerblade and their name became synonymous for inline skating and the sport was often referred to as Rollerblading. It was a funny time because many people had not seen people on inline skates. The term inline simple means wheels all in a row. It was rather fun getting weird looks and people asking what are those things.
After a few years of rollerblading I decided to enter an Inline race. Since the sport was relatively new, there weren’t a lot of races, but luckily I found one that was close by and entered. It was a 10k format and took place on a police test track course. The race was pretty uneventful and lets just say I got my ass handed to me. It was a fun experience, but it seemed all the fast inline racers weren’t using Rollerblades like I was, but instead had these cool leather/carbon skate boots made by Bont.
At some point I too started to race in Bont skates and for a year or two had a blast. After about two years my passion for inline racing faded and I started doing triathlons. I still have those Bont Inline skates and they bring back fond memories of inline racing.
Fast forward to 2017 and I got my second chance to wear Bonts and this time they’re called the Bont Vaypor S cycling shoes.
Bont Cycling History
Bont got it start in 1975 when Inze Bont, a recreational skater decided to fiberglass the back of his leather skates to gain extra support. A simple, yet innovative approach launched the company known for it’s carbon skates and cycling shoes.
The company evolved from working with materials such as fiberglass (1975) to Kevlar (1986) to Carbon (1989) and have continued the trend of making custom carbon shoes and boots ever since.
In 2007 the company expanding into cycling and by the 2008 Beiging Olympics had 8 Gold metals winners wearing their cycling shoes.
Bont Vaypor S Cycling Shoe Review
A month or so after Interbike we received our first Bont Cycling shoes to review. The shoes came in traditional black with a white stripe.
Unfortunately the Vaypor’s run about 1/2 size smaller than most and so as a result I had to returned them. Bont quickly sent out another pair in pearly white with blue stripes that were 1/2 larger. I typically wear a size 43.5 in cycling shoes and the new Bonts were size 44, which felt fit.
The Vaypor S is one step down from the newly released Bont Helix (Retail $399). Instead of a single BOA closure system, the Vaypor has 2.
One of the first things you will notice when trying on a pair of the Bont Vaypor S cycling shoes is the extra wide toe box that Bont refers to as their Ergoshell. The shoe’s fit sort of reminds me of the running shoe company called Altra, who also utilize a wide toe box similar in design. Heck if you like Birkenstocks, these will have a similar fit as far as toe spacing is concerned.
Bont’s Ergoshell design allows the foot to function in its most efficient and anatomically correct position. It also provides greater pedaling force because the toes are spread out naturally covering more surface area rather than squished. In other words you have the potential to create more power or watts. I didn’t notice any power change, trying these on verse other cycling shoes I have used, so maybe it’s marketing hype or requires some type of adaptation to occur first.
I did feel I had a lot of power when standing up, but I attribute that to the stiff carbon soles more than anything else.
The Bont Vaypor S employs BOA’s dual directional micro adjustable IP1 dials. When tightening the dials, the upper design wraps and pulls the foot rearwards without any excess pressure for a really snug fit.
You can really crank down the tension to get a super snug fit.
The bottoms of the Vaypor S are made using unidirectional carbon fibre. The use of carbon fiber creates a super stiff yet lightweight shoe. The shoes come with a Micro Grid at the front to help align cleat placement.
When wearing the shoes you definitely know you’re wearing carbon as the sole it’s extremely stiff. based on other shoes I have tested, the Vaypor’s are probably the stiffest of the bunch. There essentially is no flex when standing or during a sprint. The shoes are wicked stiff.
Bont added a rubber bumper at the front of the shoe and a heal guard to provide extra protection and improve grip when walking.
You can’t see it, but Bont added some anti stretch material that is sandwiched between the outer layer and the inner liner. The material is claimed to stop the cycling shoes from stretching over time.
I suppose this could be a good or bad depending on fit. I have noticed with certain cycling shoes they tend to get more comfortable over time as they stretch to adjust to the foot. Bont’s material is designed to prevent the shoes from stretching, which might mean they may never feel as good as they could.
Bont’s answer to shoe fit however is to allow the shoes to be custom molded using heat. In essence you simply put the shoes in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes (Temp 160 degrees), allowing them to heat up, take them out and while still warm you put them on to mold to your feet.
Bont Vaypor S Stack Height
The Vaypor S stack height (3.6 mm) is really low compared to many of the cycling shoes out there. So low in fact it is one of the only cycling shoes I have tested that is really noticeable and forces me to change my seat height when testing them. It can be sort of a pain if you have multiple brands of cycling shoes of various stack heights and have to move the saddle up or down.
Bont Vaypor S Ventilation
The Vapors have ventilation holes, screen mesh at the front and bottom vents on the bottom allowing air into the shoe, but I didn’t find them to be as well ventilated as the Pearl Izumi PRO Leader 4 or SIDIs. They are more on par with the Crono CR1 or Fi’zi:k R1B cycling shoes.
Final Observations | Bont Vaypor S Cycling Shoe Review
If you’re looking for a sick light set of cycling shoes (230 grams), the Bont Vaypor S is a fantastic choice. With BOA’s top of the line IP1 Dials, a custom moldable shoe and an extremely stiff carbon sole, the Vaypor is running on all cylanders.
It is a must try on cycling shoe and those who have tend to rave about the performance it delivers.
Check out the Bont Cycling shoe line and their accessories http://bontcycling.com/.