Louis Garneau’s Course Airlite may not be the first name on the shopping list, but these are high-grade shoes worthy of your attention.
The Course Airlite’s carbon sole is very stiff and exceptionally well ventilated.
“Outsider blind-sides the big names; a brilliant shoe”
We expect that even Louis Garneau would admit that it’s not among the leading names in cycling shoes, so fierce is the arms race these days between huge brands such as Giro, Mavic and Specialized, with weights being shaved lower and new factors such as aerodynamics being introduced.
By contrast, LG has kept the Course Airlite straightforward, and that’s why we just didn’t see it coming. This shoe is brilliant.
The Course Airlite doesn’t try so hard to be techy that it compromises comfort, a trap that many shoes now fall into. The dual IP1 Boas provide micro-adjustment both ways for easy mid-ride tweaks, and you can pull them out for an instant full release, so they’re easy to get out of quickly. The shape is great and it fits like a sock, with the supple upper form-fitting rather than boxy, and the dual Boas giving a more precise fit than a single dial.
The heel hold is solid without being too aggressive and the venting is top notch. Thoughtfully, LG provides two sets of insoles, one perforated for hot weather and one more insulated for the winter. Freezing or overheating feet can ruin a ride and these insoles make a useful difference.
The sole is extremely stiff, only out-done by the freakily rigid bath-type carbon soles of Bonts and the Lake CX402. Personally, I prefer the feel of these. Unless you’re a track sprinter, I expect you will, too.
There’s good arch support, the heel pads are replaceable from the inside, the weight of 268g (size 45) is low and we found them to be comfortable for hours.