- Full Carbon outsole, lightweight and stiff
- BOA closures provide accurate fit with micro adjustments
- Shoe upper uses wrap closure design to accommodate a variety of foot widths within a single shoe size
- Comfortable and breathable
- Full range of sizes for a unisex shoe
- Fits true to size
- Easy cleat placement and adjustability
- Replaceable heal bumpers
- Stiff closure restricts flexibility and movement at the front of your ankle.
- Harder to slip shoe covers/booties over the dual Boas
- No reflective elements
Price: $300 MSRP
How obtained: Company sample
Available: Online or Retail
RBR advertiser: No
Weight: 243 grams (size 42.5)
Colors: White/Black, Black, Black/Red, Black/Pink Fluo/Yellow Fluo, Navy/White, Black/Yellow Fluo
Closures: Double BOA IP1-B Dials
Materials: Microtex Laser Perforated
Outsole: UD Carbon Fiber
Tested: Indoors on a trainer
Comfort, Style and Adjustability
Fizik introduced the Aria R3 road shoe last year along with several other models. They all share a similar design with varying differences in closures and materials which is reflected in the different price points.
Out of the box, the Aria R3 is a sleek well-crafted shoe with an upper made from perforated Microtex, a synthetic leather. The perforations help with ventilation and breathability in warm weather or indoors. With that said, the Aria R3 is more of a warm weather shoe unless you are using shoe covers. With 2 side boas it is difficult to pull on shoe covers. As a note, due to the relentless Chicago winter, all my testing was conducted indoors on a trainer.
Fizik uses a wraparound design with no tongue for the upper shoe and a dual Boa closure for adjustability. The tongueless and wraparound design eliminates seams across the top of the foot which in turn, reduces pressure and eliminates rubbing. The upper Boa dial is used for dynamic arch support, while the lower Boa is for volume control and holding the forefoot in place. Because of its volume control design, the Aria R3 accommodates a variety of foot widths within the same shoe size.
The sizes range from 36-48 which provides for a unisex shoe accommodating narrow and wide feet. I wear a 45 and have a narrow foot and was able to reduce the volume to secure my forefoot. Combining the numerous sizing options with Fizik’s range of color options, the Aria R3 appeals to both men and women.
The two Boas are the IP1-B dials giving you micro adjustments when tightening and single click increments in reverse to loosen the cable tensioning. A pull on the dial releases the cable for quick shoe removal.
A roomy toe box added to the shoe comfort. However, the top of the stiff closure at the front of my ankle restricted flexibility and movement. Other brands of cycling shoes have a notched tongue or soft flexible material where it hits the top of the ankle to avoid this type of issue. Even the Fizik Tempo Strap R5 I reviewed has a notched tongue. To see if it was just my foot, I asked two male friends to try on the shoes. While one didn’t have an issue, the other person did. Thus, fit will vary, and I wonder if it has to do with flat feet vs high arches.
What’s on the Bottom
The Aria R3’s unidirectional carbon fiber sole is stiff to provide maximum power transfer. For added cooling, there are ventilation openings at the toe and heal.
When worn out, the heal bumper is easily replaced with two screws, however the toe guard is not replaceable. The shoe accommodates a 3 bolt cleat and I found cleat placement and adjustability easy.
The Fizik Aria R3 is a beautiful sleek looking road shoe. The wraparound closure provides comfort and fit for virtually any width foot. The volume control, coupled with the wide range of sizes and a variety of colors appeal to both men and women. The fit may not work for everyone, as I had an issue with it hitting the front of my ankle, while others did not. The sole is made from stiff unidirectional Carbon Fiber to give you maximum power transfer. It’s a really nicely made shoe and the price tag reflects its high-end design and materials.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio.