a Cross Country Rider
from Gdansk, Poland
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2010
Strengths: Comfortable, good fit, medial ankle protection. Cleats recessed, great for walking. Looks "not-too-sporty", good for everyday usage, commuting, sightseeing.
Weaknesses: Sole made of polyurethane covered with rubber. The PU layer decays over time even without usage, thus not supporting the rubber outsole, which then breaks when you walk. Cleats get exposed, subject to wear while walking. But the plastic holding the cleats remains OK.
Most probably the problem affects all Northwave shoes with soles made of PU encapsulated in rubber. I think when you get recently manufactured shoes, that may be OK. Buying them as "New old stock" will not be a good idea.
Northwave stuff falls apart instantly. Read over all the other reviews. Then, their warranty support is pi$$-poor...buyer beware. I wish i had done my research here beforehand.
I've tried contacting these people, no return email, no return phone calls.
I wouldn't wish this kind of shoddy, unreliable construction on anyone. You might as well cut the soles out of your old shoes and rivet them to the bottom of some vans old schools -- they 'd last longer than a NorthWave product, and i bet you can get someone at Vans to at least return your emails.
I won't even get into my experience with their gloves...trust me that is was bad, and i would have done better with pine cones taped to my fingers.
I would suggest that no one every buy products from this company again.
Similar Products Used: Diadora, Pearl Izumi, Louis Garneau
Bike Setup: huffy.
a Cross Country Rider
from Wappingers Falls,NY
Date Reviewed: September 11, 2002
Strengths: Comfortable, stylish, walking ease, clipping in and out ease.
Weaknesses: Terrible when they get wet. The price is high, Try contacting Northwave for customer service.
These shoes where great until I fell into a Creek. Since then the left show has shrunk and hurts my foot. I feel like a moutain bike shoe should be able to handle water. I am planning to contact nortwave, but they don't make their phone number readily avaiable! They probably won't do anything for me anyway, since the shoes are two years old.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 14, 2001
Strengths: Almost everything
Very nice shoes. It is not a race shoe, so if you are looking for very stiff shoes, look somvhere else. I have another pair of stiff "racing" shoes. I use them at work, and on holyday riding.
I have used them on longer bike trips, the best thing about them is that they are soft enough for walking. You really dont need more than one pair of shoes on your bike hollyday. It is not noisy to walk in them, Northwawe must have discover where they should put the cleats. I think they are the best "allround" shoes i have tried,
they smell bad after 14 days of biking in 30 celcius..... Five chillis from me!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Los Angeles, CA
Date Reviewed: September 7, 2001
Strengths: Great fit, inexpensive, great to walk in, actually look pretty decent
Weaknesses: laces get caught in chainring, cleats recessed too far for Shimano DH style pedals
These shoes are great. They flex enough for walking yet are stiff enough to pedal efficiently although not as stiff as my Nike Cairns. They're an awesome yet stylish bike and hike shoe.
The only two drawbacks are the laces sometimes get caught in my chainring (the little velcro cover for the laces could be larger) and the cleats are recessed to far to easily engage with my Shimano DH style pedals to allow the shoes to float freely. I think the soles will eventually wear down so this won't be an issue.
They definitely beat the pants off of my old Nike Cairns for comfort.
Similar Products Used: Nike Cairns, Alpinstar, Answer sneakers, barefoot
Bike Setup: Schwinn Homegrown totally stock
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 9, 2001
Strengths: Durable, comfortable, deep recesses for cleats, just the right amount of flex/stiffness, grippy, easy to clip in and out
Very nice pair of shoes. I use them for riding on tar and when there is a fair amount of walking. They are not race shoes, so have are very comfortable when walking and riding. The best features for me is the durability, since they are a quality construction, the comfort, the way only Italians know how, reasonably appropriate casual style and most importantly, the cleats do not grind on the pavement when you walk. Most shoes do not recess the cleats adequately so they make very annoying noises when you walk on concrete in particular. Doesn't do much for the cleat either. They have other nice features such as the snug lacing and tab to keep the laces out of the chain, although the tab does get in the way of lacing them up. Would be nice to have some reflective patches for safety.
One other thing that I take for granted is the ease of clipping in and out.
They are a little expensive, but they are the best shoes I know of for casual riding.
Similar Products Used: Cannondale (old models), Shimano sandals,
Bike Setup: Kona '98 Explosif, Shimano 747 pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from Herts, UK
Date Reviewed: December 9, 2000
Strengths: Comfort, both on and off the bike. Easy to walk in.
Weaknesses: mud and rain (use waterproof socks)! Dry quickly though
These are great shoes for the summer! Strongly recommend them for anyone who is a fair weather tourer as they double up nicely as a "walk around town" shoes as they're rigid where they need to be and flexible in the rest of places. The only things they don't like is heavy rain, although they drain easily and dry quickly after a soaking. And mud! Ugh! the really gloopy stuff is an absolute nightmare for these. So stick to relatively dry runs and you'll not regret buying a pair. They look pretty cool too!
Similar Products Used: None. These are my first bicycling shoes.
Bike Setup: Hardtail with suspension seatpost, 175mm Shimano cranks, Speedplay Frog pedals, Ritchey handlebar, Club Roost stem, Nokian tires
from seattle, wa
Date Reviewed: November 17, 2000
Strengths: Very comfortable.
Weaknesses: The laces.
These shoes are great! They are so comfortable, I have spent hours in them, both on the bike and hiking around. They are a definite must if you plan on getting off of your bike and walking around. I think they might be more comfortable then my tennis shoes! My only concern is the laces. I use these shoes off road and a big fear is gettingt he laces caught in the chain ring. I tuck them in to avoid this, but they do come out occasionally.
a cross-country rider
from Brooklyn, NY
Date Reviewed: November 9, 1998
Thought it would be a good idea to get a pair of shoes to avoid carrying street shoes, or have extra shoes scattered around town at the usual haunts: work, girlfriend’s place, etc.The Northwave Freerides are the best I'd tried. VERY comfortable, not unlike light hiking shoes (Asolo, Teknica, etc.). I have wide feet, so the fit is snug without crushing the old metatarsals. Even though the sole seems flexy when twisting it by hand, it actually has a solid platform. I have Time ATACs and clipping in is actually easier than my offroad shoes (!) because of the deep channel that the cleats are set into. This also means that the cleats DO NOT grind into pavement or make noise when walking!Clipping OUT is different. It requires a bit more twist & push to disconnect, so right now I would NOT use them off-road. (Maybe I need more practice?)Materials and construction are first-rate. The lacing system is SMOOTH and quick! There's even a small velco flap that covers the knotted laces at the top. The colors, black and grey with small yellow graphics, are nicely understated. A BIG difference from circus colored racing shoes.Get 'em! Five smouldering Chilis . .
Well, I got the DH bug this summer pretty bad. Spent some time at AF a few weeks ago, and itchin' to go back before the summer ends. I was thinking about Labor Day weekend for the Freeride Festival and the Bikes, Blues and Brews just to do something in addition to riding (drinking some beer is goo ... Read More »
I'll be in the Bend area next week for our yearly family reunion and between drinking local brews and hanging out with family I'd love to hit some new trails.
Here is a list of freeride-ish trails I've hit in the past:
Any others I should add to the list? Is ... Read More »
Anyone use both? I had the old freerides but didn't like them much due to the lack of stiffness in sole, and exposed toe box and flimsy construction. Apparently these were addressed in the macaskills?? I have the impact highs but would like to try something a little less burly without giving up too ... Read More »