Super comfortable from the very first ride
Stiff carbon sole for greater power transfer
X-Comfort Zone technology accommodates B-D+ widths
Plenty of venting keeps feet cool
Low stack height
Two Boa closures for dialed in fit and avoids pressure on sensitive tissue
Includes 3 types of arch supports for custom fit
Tested bright yellow version, toe guard shows scuffs easily
Price: $369.99 MSRP
Colors: Black, White, Bright Yellow, Orange Fluo
How obtained: Sample from company
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 40+ hours
Weight: 7.8 oz/222 g (size 42)
Sizes: 38 – 48
Amazing Comfort From the First Ride
At Interbike, Garneau announced the new Course Air Light II road shoe for the 2018 season. I received mine in December and when I slipped them on they felt great from the first ride. Stylish, comfortable and stiff carbon sole combine to make this one of my favorite shoes. Over the last couple of years, I’ve tested a lot of Garneau clothing but this was my first pair of shoes by the Canadian company. I must say, I’m hooked.
Garneau won the prestigious Eurobike award for the X-Comfort Zone technology featured in this shoe. This patented and innovative design allows the shoe to stretch (up to 5mm) to accommodate B to D+ foot widths (North American sizing) thanks to a ventilated elastomer-spandex insert. The X-Comfort Zone creates a dynamic, non-constrictive fit for the foot’s natural toe splay, which improves power, reduces injuries, and enables a comfortable pedal stroke.
The X-Comfort Zone is also available in Garneau’s men’s Platinum II and women’s Ruby II road shoes and their mountain bike Granite II model for both men and women. Check out Garneau’s video explaining the X-Comfort Zone here.
Stiff Sole Equals Power
The Course Air Light II is a stiffer version from the previous model. The new stiff Power Zone system covers the central part of the shoe, which wraps the foot to eliminate any movement when pulling up on the pedals. For additional comfort, included in the box is the 3D insole that lets you choose the level of arch support (3 adjustable arches included) that works best for your feet.
Garneau uses their patented Carbon Air Lite ventilated outsole. It is the stiffest carbon outsole in their line. Titanium inserts fit all major road pedal cleats. Add the ability to dial in the fit using two BOA IP1-S two-way micro adjustment closures and you have an incredibly comfortable high performing shoe.
Having the two BOA closures I could tighten the shoe for a perfect fit. I wear a men’s 45 in most road shoes and have a narrow foot, which causes many issues in finding a shoe that I don’t slide around in. I was extremely comfortable on all my rides and did not experience any hot spots or rubbing.
This shoe also features a new lacing system, the Boa® TX. Unlike other Boa-equipped shoes, the Boa TX lacing system routes its cable internally, thereby reducing pressure points. Its hidden profile is more aerodynamic and is protected from dust and dirt for a clean performance.
The combination of the X-Comfort Zone, a low stack height, and choice of several arch supports translated to more power to the pedal.
Keeping Them Looking Sharp
I tested the Bright Yellow version both indoors on the trainer and on my trip to Tucson in March. Indoor my shoes stayed nice a clean. But outdoors, they quickly became scuffed and showed dirt. I asked my contact at Garneau about cleaning tips. They recommended to spray it with Fantastic or Mirage 2000 and wipe it dry with a cloth. I had some 409 and it worked perfectly to remove the scuffs on most of the shoe, but the toe guard was a little harder to get clean and it did shows scuffs.
If you do a lot of walking around in your road shoes, the heal pads are replaceable should you wear them down.
Garneau’s new Course Air Lite II road shoe with X-Comfort Zone technology is a winner in my book. Out of the box they were extremely comfortable and quickly became one of my favorite shoes. After hours on the trainer, I took them on a trip to Tucson. The stiff Power Zone carbon sole provided superior power transfer which I noticed especially when climbing. I tested the bright yellow model and liked the added visibility it provided. These shoes might be a little pricy, but the comfort and stiffness are well worth it.
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.