Verdict: The R3 Aria has sumptuous looks and performance to match, as long as they suit your feet
Pros: Sleek looks, effective adjustment, performance
Cons: They’re the best fit for narrower feet
More sculpture than practical cycling footwear, Fizik’s new R3 Aria has a wrapover upper made of Microtex, which is the same material it covers its saddles with.
Known for being highly durable, easy to clean and resilient to poor weather, it makes for a very supple shoe, and the gloss finish panel adds character.
Tiny laser cut perforations cover both flanks and provide a constant cooling effect to supplement the air that’s channelled through the sole’s toe vents and insole.
Raised silicone dots prevent heel slippage and work with the twin BOA IP1-B dials to maximise foot security. The front BOA adjusts forefoot volume, and the glossy finish helps the outer overlapping flap to slide easily across its opposing layer. The rear BOA dial tightens the contrasting colour band, which also acts on the heel surround, snugging it all together for perfect retention.
When adjusted, your foot is clamped in to the ideal position along its length, while your toes still have ample wiggle room, and incremental adjustments in either direction are simply carried out on the move.
The firm insole feels supportive and the shoe’s ventilation is more effective than it might look. While the heel bumper is replaceable, the plastic one at the toe is moulded in place and doesn’t protect the edge of the upper.
Pedalling performance is excellent, with impressive sole stiffness transferring every watt to the pedals. The shoes offer great long-ride comfort, although Fizik’s last shape still favours narrower feet.
Fizik R3 Aria specifications
- Materials: Microtex Laser Perforated
- Outer Sole: UD Carbon Fiber
- Inner Sole: Fizik cycling insole
- Closure: Twin BOA IP1-B dials
- Weight (pair): 596g
- Size tested: 45.5
- Sizes available: 37–48
- Price: £265 / $300