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Independent Wind Tunnel Test of Cycling Shoes

Independent Wind Tunnel Test of Cycling Shoes

Professional Triathlete Antony Costes (11th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2023) went to the wind tunnel at Silverstone to test some shoes. We did not commission the test and Antony had no incentives at all to favor one shoe over the other, so we think this is a great unbiased result to share. I will copy his writeup of the test word-for-word below.


I was recently in Silverstone with my partner @aerocoachuk 💨

The main reason for this session was to compare a selection of (fast) shoes in order to optimize this often neglected part of the rider + bicycle system. A simple protocol was used: a 30 » run with one pair of shoes at 0° of yaw angle and 45km/h (12.5m/s), then a second run with the same pair of shoes changing the yaw angle to 5° measurement (non-drive side).

Shoe models tested:

- DMT KR SL (the ones I was using, considered my baseline) ;
- Specialized S-Works Exos
- Giro Prolight Techlace (with velcro part removed)
- Velovetta Monarch

Like I said, a selection of what I consider « fast shoes » as they are all with laces and/or centered/hidden Boa.

Cycling Shoe Wind Tunnel Results

I was happy to see a performance improvement with the Velovetta Monarch, especially because I followed Ed’s work from the beginning. His first CFD studies now became a real-world very fast shoe after what I saw as a lot of effort and time involved. I am a pro triathlete but a lesser known part of my life is that I also am a R&D Innovator in a french company @alten_group in which I am involved in mechanical design and fluid mechanics studies. I therefore know for a fact that creating a digitally aerodynamic object is one thing, but being able to replicate gains in the real world is one order of magnitude harder.

Kudos to @velovetta for that! To be fair I don’t think that wind tunnel trials give proper justice to these shoes because of where the rear supports of the bike are and the fact that Velovetta’s strong suit is their trailing edge.

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