I first learned the Scott name because of those aero bars Dave Scott was using back when shoulder pads were in style. I had no idea they did anything other than crazy bars. Then I moved to New England and I encountered Scott skis, ski poles, and ski boots. Then mountain bikes. Then road bikes. Did I mention running shoes? There aren’t many sporting goods companies that offer as broad a product range while still offering cutting-edge, high quality products.
Scott introduced the Road Premium Shoes last year, their entry into top-of-the-line road shoes. What Scott did was to design a shoe that aggregates the best features found in some of the most popular shoes at the top of the market. You want a microfiber upper that looks good and is easy to clean? Got that. How about a lightweight carbon fiber sole? Yep. What about a double Boa? An adjustable arch in the footbed? And a metatarsal button to help prevent the foot from feeling crowded? Got all of those.
They managed to avoid the traditional problem that comes with a shoe manufacturer offering a Boa-equipped shoe. Boa is, as you probably know, the dial adjuster that employs a high-strength filament to close the shoe. Most manufacturers, the first time out, use a single Boa, and very few people I know achieve a hot-spot-free fit. The challenge with the Boa is that tension equalizes across the top of the foot, which may or may not work for you. Going to two Boas made a big difference for me.
I have a short, wide, high-volume, high-instep foot. It’s like a cartoon character with big feet kicked a wall and squished their feet into the shape of bricks. That they are short isn’t much of an issue, but because they are as wide as a surfboard and as thick as the walls of a German castle, some of what works for me isn’t necessarily what will work for you. What I can tell you is this: This shoe works pretty well for people with a high-volume foot, like me. If you have an exceptionally flat, low-volume foot, it is possible you may struggle to get the shoes snug enough on your feet.
I can also report that these shoes run a little long. At least a quarter size, but maybe a bit more. The Road Premium weighed in at 602 grams for the pair. That’s not particularly light, and at $350 retail, they aren’t the cheapest carbon-soled shoe either, but what I like about these is that they offer terrific comfort and don’t look like I lost a bet. With a simple palette of white with red and black accents and a carbon fiber sole stiff enough to be comparable to other top-shelf road shoes I’ve ridden. Within Scott’s line, they consider this to have their stiffest sole, 10 on a 10 scale. They do offer a second color scheme, Scott green with black.
The carbon fiber soles include two other features I really like. The first are a number of markings to help establish cleat position and make fore-aft positioning consistent from left to right. The plate the cleats mount to isn’t fixed in the sole; the sole is drilled with oval-shaped holes that allow the plates to slide side-to-side, increasing the position range for the cleats. It seems a small feature, but for anyone who has struggled with cleat position due to a high degree of pronation, these shoes increase the chance of achieving a good fit. And nothing is more critical to your comfort than your bike fit.
Amazingly, these shoes are offered in 16 sizes for men and 13 sizes for women. They make from a 38.5 to 47.5 in mens (with a few holes at 41.5, 43.5 and 46.5), and from 35.5 to 43 in women’s (with holes at 37, 39.5 and 41.5). The holes in the sizing run seem a little bizarre to me.
On the road, I’ve found these to be excellent performers, well-ventilated and comfortable for long rides. My only contention against these kicks is their bland monicker—Road Premium. I could see them getting called that in the design process, but at some point you turn this over to the marketing team, yes? Of all the faults a shoe could have, a lousy name will result in the least blood loss. Nothing fatal here. I’m amazed I don’t see more of these in use.