New road shoes from GIRO at Interbike in Los Vegas. Since we’re already living in the future, it’s no surprise that these neon/black bumble bee like color trends are all but inevitable now. At the bicycle industries September mega-show it was as if there’s been a giant sale of clear acrylic display stands in neon…. Because that’s what we saw everywhere.

Diadora’s black & neon yellow road shoes for 2013..

The most photographed shoes of the show, Giro’s case of new road shoes featuring bright laces and classic styling in mega-bright colors.

Pearl Izumi’s hot new shoes for women.

Pearl Izumi’s line up for men in 2013

NorthWave Shoes for 2013

In truth the best thing that anyone could wish for going into a big show isn’t just to spot the next mega-trend or must have color way, but to discover something that is new, better or more nuanced that anything you’ve ever seen before. Surprise me! And… fizik did just that. The brand best known for their elite saddles came out with an absolutely gorgeous offering of men’s and women’s shoes. Made in Italy with materials that are either space age stuff or buttery handmade leather, they’re gorgeous and… super comfortable. Road, mountain and time trial models, though the high end road shoe was THE TALK of interbike 2012. WANT!

For most people, the show stops there. Sure the BMX guys will be super miffed that the five ten shoes weren’t reviewed (I’m a girl – not into BMX- sorry). But in the last few years there’s been an ever growing category of “lifestyle” shoes on offer. This year even cross over brands that usually only accidentally captured the urban/lifestyle market were actively out pitching their wares to local bike dealers. Bike specific shoe companies from CHROME to DZR were there, showing well and many others: Teva, Vibram and KEEN were also out representing the general “outdoor” category. Of which, Teva was a surprise winner.

The thing with bicycling getting to be a bigger, more complicated (and welcoming?) thing to a larger and more diverse range of people is that the products made for them can have a strange lifecycle; as companies try to interpret trends, resonate with enthusiastic buyers or just respond to what other companies are doing. Sometimes you look at a neon colored plastic shoe and wonder what happened that lead civilization to creating these. Or why the poop-brown meme of the “lifestyle” cyclist/commuter persists. It’s almost as if for all our growth and urbanization, cycling is still a bunch of guys in tropical fish technical gear or middle aged men slowly ridding around in comfortable open toed leather sandals and clothing the color of decaying foliage.

So I’m always incredibly pleased to see new things coming from DZR, CHROME and Cadence. Even Vittoria keeps it real, though sadly I didn’t see Cadence or Vittoria shoes at interbike this last September. DZR came out with two models that were brazenly more fashionable than anything else.

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