The Best Cleats of 2013
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Sidi Drako Carbon SRS Cleats
BEST FOR: Cross-Country Racers
They’re as user-friendly as they are brash, with ratchets that never slip, and a push-button release for quick on and off. Sidi also redesigned the heel-retention system for a more precise, no-slip fit, and best of all, there’s a replaceable wear plate, so you needn’t worry about trashing the carbon soles with metal cleats.
Specialized Rime MTB Cleats
BEST FOR: Hike-a-Bike
The Rimes are stiff enough to keep your feet fresh on all-day rides, but still flexible enough for walking. And plenty grippy: low-profile lugged rubber soles are tough enough for trails and even rock scrambling. Lightweight mesh in the toe box aids breathability, while the burly synthetic on the side shrugs off scree and errant branches.
Shimano SH-R170 Cleats
BEST FOR: Long Hauls
They’re not quite as comfy or as stiff as the Grand Tours, but they’re pretty darn close on both counts. The thin, supple uppers and single-buckle design are the same as you’ll find on the company’s higher-end shoes, the venting is great, the heel cups fit nice and snug, and the styling is classy without being flashy.
Rapha Grand Tour Cleats
BEST FOR: Ultimate Comfort
A collaboration with Giro, the Grand Tours are among most comfortable road shoes we’ve ever tested. The thin profile of the carbon outsoles make for the lowest stack height we’ve seen, and the adjustable arch system helps fine-tune the fit. The real sell, however, is the perforated, slipper-plush Yak-leather uppers.