Fizik is a company which has long been associated with Italian panache and style – the brand’s shoes rarely miss the mark when it comes to looking sharp. The Vento Infinito Carbon shoes are Fizik’s premium road shoes, made for high-performance and with a focus on stiffness for optimum power transfer.
Two years ago, the Vento shoe was refined to create an overall lighter and more stripped-back model which aimed to add comfort while also retaining the signature sole stiffness which made the shoe so good for racing. Since then, Fizik shoes have become even more popular among professional and amateur riders alike, often seen on the feet of the best of the best in the WorldTour peloton.
As is customary with Fizik shoes, the Vento Infinito shoes look stylish and sleek. The Fizik logos are small and they aren’t overbearing, just a subtle hint at the brand’s signature look. The shoes come in three colour options: black and white, all black, or grey and red. The black and white colourway I had was easy to wipe clean and the use of black material within the shoe, rather than white, means that they don’t stain with sweat or dirt and look fresher for longer. The forefront tread at the front of the shoe also protects against tyre rub. Personally, I’d love to see Fizik release an all-white option for a slightly cleaner look.
Likely my favourite feature of the Fizik Vento Infinito Carbon shoes feature a Z-like cable routing system that keeps them incredibly secure when the two Boa Li2 dials are closed tightly. Not only does this structure eliminate any bunching or tight spots, it also means that the shoes cater for a wide range of foot widths and sizes. Having two Boas also allows for different levels of tightness in different areas of the foot, too, depending on your comfort and preference. The Boas are easy to loosen or tighten on the move if you need to make any micro-adjustments which is an asset on climbs when body temperature begins to increase. I went for my usual size in the Vento shoes, but I did find them to be a little roomier than shoes of the same size from other brands – I’d probably size down half a size if I was to reorder them.
The perforated Microtex upper of the shoes and venting on the front of the carbon soles means they have been breathable enough so far – I have never felt any burning sensation in my feet when wearing these shoes like I have in others. However, I am yet to try them in hot summer temperatures and the Microtex upper does look thicker than the material used in other shoes, such as the Giro Imperial Road shoes which use a mesh fabric. The black, thicker Microtex flap at the top of the shoe is another safety layer holding things in place, making sure my foot stayed snug inside the shoes even when I was out of the saddle on climbs or sprinting.
I switched to the Fizik Vento shoes after a couple of months of wearing the Specialized S-Works Torch shoes and one of the notable differences between each pair was the amount of additional arch support the Fizik Vento shoes offer. You can really feel how the bottom of the shoe is moulded to the shape of the foot and this adds a huge amount of additional comfort when out of the saddle on climbs and when sprinting. I also found it helped keep my foot flat, hence improving pedalling efficiency. This arch shape actually comes from Fizik’s R2 Carbon plate which you can see from looking at the bottom of the shoe is subtly moulded in the centre; Fizik names this its Dynamic Arch Support 2.0, tailored to the fit of the plantar arch. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Fizik does offer a ‘wide’ option of the Ventos if that’s something you need.
The R2 Carbon outsole of the Vento Infinito shoes is said to be the stiffest and lightest in the Fizik range. I was impressed by the stiffness and responsiveness of the shoe, it really felt like power was being transferred directly to my pedals with great efficiency. However, compared to other shoes I’ve ridden, such as the S-Works Torch or Sidi Wire 2, the stiffness of the Fizik Vento’s isn’t as great and is very slightly less than I’d expect for a high-end road shoe. Whether or not this is an issue for you depends on what you plan to use the shoes for, if it’s high-performance racing, then maybe it’s something to consider, but if it’s for a mix of training, long rides and racing, this may be better from a comfort perspective.
The Ventos allows for 12mm of fore-aft adjustment of cleats on the shoes which gives plenty of options to help find the perfect position. Fizik is a brand which has previously been criticised for placing cleat holes too far forward, but this has been rectified on the Ventos, which leads to less risk of injury and better pedalling efficiency. I found it was especially well-suited to my more aggressive, aerodynamic riding position which means I sit further forward on the saddle.
Retailing for £349.99, there’s no denying that the Fizik Vento Infinito shoes are an expensive piece of equipment. However, when compared to the S-Works Torch shoes which retail at £385 or the Sidi Shot 2 with an RRP of £410, they are in the ballpark of what you’d expect to say for a premium road shoe. The Fizik Vento Infinito shoes really hold their own in terms of comfort and fit optimisation when compared to their competitors, and while they fall down very slightly in terms of stiffness, this does mean they are easier to get used to and are perhaps more appropriate for everyday riding.