- Stiff sole for good power transfer
- Comfortable and breathable
- Powerstrap Velcro closures keep foot snug and secure
- Velcro provides quick and easy on/off
- Excellent foot-retention (Powerstrap closure & silicon gripper heal)
- Light weight
- Great price point
- No micro adjustment like with Boa-type closures
- Difficult to tighten or loosen while riding
Price: $119.99 MSRP
Colors: Black/Black, White/Black, Navy/Black, Coral/Black
Source: Online or retail store
How obtained: Sample from company
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 50+ miles on indoor trainer
Weight (pair): 500g (size 42)
Stack Height: 9.7mm
Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
A Shoe That Truly Envelops Your Foot
I am new to testing Fizik products, so when I read about their new Tempo Powerstrap R5 road shoe describing the foot-wrapping Velcro closure design and the “enveloping fit,” I was eager to try a pair. Yep, from the first time I slipped it on I can honestly say that’s exactly how it feels… enveloping.
Fizik uses two Velcro closures, but not in the traditional sense where two sides of the shoe’s upper are pulled together. Instead the Powerstrap uses a ribbon configuration wrapping around the foot, which is both supportive and secure. I was very impressed how secure and comfortable my foot felt in this shoe. In the past, when I used typical Velcro straps, they had to be pulled hard to make the shoes snug and tight.
I have narrow, yet large (size 45) feet, which forces me into a men’s shoe. Many brands are too wide or require that I ratchet down as much as possible to keep my foot from sliding around. The Powerstrap design enabled me to easily tighten the straps to a comfortable, secure fit. One other key point, the ribbon configuration distributes the tension across the whole foot, eliminating pressure points.
The one downside to the Velcro Powerstraps is there’s no way to make micro adjustments like you can with a Boa-type closure. Also, I found it impossible to adjust while moving on the bike. A more agile cyclist might have a different experience.
The R5 Quality Construction
The new Tempo Powerstrap uses Fizik’s proven R5 outsole which is made with carbon reinforced nylon. This provides stiffness to the shoe and efficiency of power with every pedal stroke. The materials keep the shoe fairly light weight at 500g for a size 42 pair.
A 9.7mm stack height may require some people to adjust their saddle height. I was able to leave mine alone.
The shoe upper provides a comfortable close fit, but I never felt cramped. With perforations on both sides of the shoe for breathability, my feet stayed cool. Since all my test rides were done on a trainer, I was pleasantly surprised my feet felt fine.
Fizik uses silicon gripper dots on the back of the heel to prevent slipping during each pedal stroke.
The Tempo Powerstrap R5 runs true to size. As I said earlier, I wear a 45 in most every brand and this shoe fit perfectly. I did replace the insoles that came in the shoes with a Bontrager / Superfeet insole with arch index 1. Having flat feet, I’ve found that a quality insole or custom orthotics adds to the comfort. I’ll review the Bontrager / Superfeet insole separately in the future.
Fizik’s new Tempo Powerstrap R5 road shoe provides style, comfort and stiffness all at a very affordable price. The Powerstrap Velcro design envelopes your foot and keeps it secure without pressure points or hot spots. If you are in the market for a new road shoe, this one is definitely worth looking in to.
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 or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.