Carbon outsole offers superb stiffness and power transfer
Among lightest in group
3 Interchangeable arch supports included
Highly supple exterior and plush interior
Could use a large ventilation cutout on upper
Buckle lacks micro adjustments
Heel slip during intense efforts
The softest, most supple feeling shoe in the group, the Trans is also a very solid performer, and by no means simply a comfort shoe. The Easton E70 carbon-composite outsole is among the stiffest in our test group offering impressive power transfer. But like with many high performance shoes at a lower pricepoint, the buckle is sub-par and the heel cup seemed unable to lock some testers heels in tightly.
Stiffness/Power transfer This is one of those rare situations where stiffness and power transfer don’t go completely hand-in-hand. Though this is among the lightest overall shoes in the group, with among the stiffest outsoles in the group – which means more energy transfers from foot to pedal (less lost in flex of the shoe) – the loose heal cup allows some of that energy to escape. This is definitely noticeable during out-of-the-saddle efforts and sprints. And the voluminous overall fit does not help here either. This was not an issue on steady climbs, and for this type of consumer, that is more critical, as full-gas sprints are probably rare.
Fit/Comfort Supple. That’s the best word to describe the feel of the Trans. The microfiber upper is the softest in the group, and conforms gently to the contours in your foot (if you can crank it down enough). And the well-padded heel and soft, smooth interior offer a level of luxuriousness of a running shoe. This was welcomed on longer rides and especially when walking around the coffee shop post-ride! It’s an especially well-fitting shoe if you have very wide forefoot and wider ankles, and the interior is quite roomy overall – but those with narrower feet or lower insteps may have a problem cranking down enough.
Closure System Shoes in this price range often skimp on buckles/closures, and this is a classic example. The ratchet buckle is as basic as it gets, with no micro loosening and only double-click closure (higher end shoes have triple-click versions for much faster tightening), and it tended to stick when using two clicks. Considering this is a roomy shoe, many riders will be cranking down quite a bit. The lack of micro-loosening is especially problematic because one click too far and you’ve got to release the whole system and crank down again – a bit tricky on-the-fly. The buckle is replaceable, but it’s not moveable, which would help with the volume issue. But once cranked we noticed no loosening or stretching over time of the two Velcro and one ratchet straps, and the hold was generally sufficient and evenly-spread.
Construction The interior of this shoe is impeccably put together, with smooth surface throughout and minimal seams or contours. And the outsole is made by Easton, a company renowned for their durable, high-quality carbon products. So the combination should make for a long-lasting shoe that can handle the elements well. The upper exterior held up well during out testing, remaining quite clean with only minimal scuffs. Plus, it has no large cutout vents which impedes cooling, but will increase durability, thanks to fewer weak spots. The buckle is low-end but seemed durable enough, with no noticeable play or looseness over time. The buckle is replaceable and the other straps are large and feel plenty strong.
Breathability/Drainage The upper is very well perforated, with fairly large holes for excellent breathability – even around the heel area, which is rare. But the toe area could use more, perhaps some mesh venting. While there’s a small cutout in the outsole under the toe, the opening could be a bit larger for better drainage and underfoot cooling.