Updated Project 24.2 Review: Vittoria’s made-to-order Supra MTB shoes

See all of our Project 24.2 reviews here!

Made in Italy.  That little phrase- though increasingly hard to find- is almost magical in the cycling world.  Not only does it signify a high-end product, but those three words evoke a land where food is enjoyed, style is effortless, and cycling is a part of culture.  Founded by an accomplished racer and in business for over 35 years, Vittoria make each and every pair of their shoes- from under $100 to over $400- at their factory in Italy.

Vittoria’s manufacturing flexibility is a big part of their current story.  While the company produces 81 stock model/color combinations in 27 sizes, three non-standard widths are available in addition to their standard width at no charge.  Even different-sized pairs are available for a nominal fee.  Want mountain uppers on road soles?  No problem.  Want carbon-soled, mountain-treaded shoes with uppers from the company’s stylish 1976 line?  You bet.  Vittoria USA can make any of this happen in 2-3 weeks from your order to when they land in your local bike shop.

With their $300 sticker coming well under high end Asian-made (not that there’s anything wrong with that) shoes from bigger brands, how have Vittoria’s Supra MTBs treated my feet?  Pretty darn well.  Click through for the details…

As noted in my Initial Impressions, I chose Vittoria’s “low volume” fit for my first ever pair of made-for-me shoes.  The racy white uppers seemed fittingly Italian (black is also available), and the MTB Carbon Heart sole is intended to blend pedaling stiffness with off-bike walkability.  Order-to-delivery time was, as promised, just under three weeks.

Despite being low-volume shoes, I did bottom out the ratchet in its central position (of three) and so went to move it to its lowest spot.  It turns out that Michael and I were talking about different kinds of low-volume feet.  While my feet are very low across the top of their arches, I didn’t make that clear to Vittoria- who built my samples with low volume toe boxes.  If you’re in any way hard to fit, it pays to double-check before materials are cut.   Unfortunately, Vittoria has had a handful of un-threaded anchors slip past final inspection- and two of them in to our sample shoes.  Happily, they were easy to rearrange and Vittoria has replacements to send out, along with their apologies.  With Micro Closure in the lowest position and some aftermarket insoles in place , I was looking good and ready to ride.

Though they’re noticeably heavier than the Specialized S-Works Evo shoes with which they’ve been sharing a shelf, it’s more in a ‘these are built to last’ rather than a ‘these are heavy‘ kind of way.  And the construction does seem sturdy in ways other than weight.  The Microfibra Tech uppers seem more than able to handle encounters with rough Albuquerque granite and the old school plastic heel cup sure isn’t going anywhere.  The aluminum CRS ratchet has been solid and is much easier to enter or exit than trendy cable closures- though the red release button doesn’t want to let go unless tension is relieved.

The MTB Carbon Heart sole has been perfect for my riding- stiff enough for single speeding on Eggbeaters but still comfortable when off the bike.  The aren’t as soft as some in my current collection- but they’re far from slippery on rocks.  The sole (get it?) disappointment has been the undersized toe tread, which is showing some premature wear.  Optional toe studs should keep ‘crossers and muddy mountain bikers happy.

The perforated uppers and tongue are lightly padded and do a great job at keeping hot spots away.  The provided insoles aren’t terribly supportive- Specialized’s BG++ insoles and cants work for me here as well as with all of my other shoes.  The positionable ratchet strap pad is a bit funky looking- but as comfy as they come.

As winter turns to summer and lightweight socks make their way to the top of the drawer, I’m realizing that my miscommunication with Vittoria about my “low volume” feet meant a shoe that is just a bit on the loose side:  In summer socks, I’m always looking for one or two more last ratchet clicks.  It kills me, to have to put them away, but it’s looking like the Supras are destined to be a fall-winter-spring shoe.

Despite being somewhat overshadowed in terms of technology, stiffness, and weight by other shoes in my closet, from October until March I kept turning to the Supras for their all-day comfort.  In fact, despite the running out of ratchet strap, with thicker socks the Vittorias are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ridden.  If we’d communicated a bit better when I placed my order, the Supras could honestly be my only shoes.

marc

www.vittoria-shoes.com

Comments

uhalevi - 05/01/12 - 9:13am

What does the top strap connection look like on the crank side of the shoe? Is the top strap replaceable?

Ettore B. - 05/01/12 - 11:43am

Just bought Vittoria Hora Road Shoes. Excellent pair of shoes and I am glad I bought them. I still use my Sidis Dragon for Mt biking though.

Phil - 05/01/12 - 12:53pm

So the only problem is that you bought the wrong size?

Gillis - 05/01/12 - 3:21pm

I’m sorry, but for me white mtb shoes are a fail.

Marc - 05/01/12 - 7:33pm

Uhalevi,
The strap is permanently attached at the inside of the shoe- and is covered by the shoes’ lifetime warranty. The ratchet is replaceable.

Phil,
Not quite- the size is correct, it’s just that the small volume fit is still a bit bigger than some brands’ regular fit. Length and width are perfect.

Gillis,
Black is also available if you’d prefer. I’ve had plenty of compliments on the white (and like it myself)- it’s good to have options…

marc

Michael-Vittoria Shoes - 05/02/12 - 11:39am

Marc,

Thanks for the write up. And I am glad you were able to share things you noticed about the shoes. It allows us to make a better shoe.

Also, we can reduce the arch/instep volume also. Which would correct the issue you are having. I’m sorry to say I do not remember what your foot looks like since Interbike. But we can in fact modify the upper portion to fix the volume issue.

Many people when they ask for a lower volume, they are asking for the toe box specifically. Which again, I am sorry for not remembering your foot to figure out if that was all you needed/wanted. But we can definately fix this issue.

As for the white shoes, I have the same ones. Wore them all day everyday in Vegas and I couldn’t have been happier with the comfort. But for those who don’t like white, we do offer a black with some red highlights.

To the question of whether you ordered the wrong size, Absolutely not. Marc just has a lower instep/arch area which requires a smaller, lower volume instep upper. Something we can absolutely take care of.

The strap comment, the upper strap is sewn into the upper. The strap was designed specifically not break. But if it happens, we will absolutely replace the strap at no cost. We have a great Italian Cobbler right around the corner from the office here and they take care of things right away for us. From what we have had returned over the last two years–ONE Strap– That’s all. Just one strap and we did have one that was eaten by a dog. But in terms of a warranty issue, just one. And yes, we did replace the one from the dog under warranty.

The family that owns Vittoria is very serious about customer service. We have been making shoes for 6 generations. We even have shoes from the 1920′s in the office and even a pair of Formula One driving shoes we made for Michael Schumacher. Yep, we made shoes for the great race car driver ever! All we make is shoes and we make them all in our factory in Northwest Italy. All of the items we use to assemble the shoes ae all made in our factory in Italy. We do not outsource ANYTHING!!! Even our carbon soles are made by us in our factory. In fact, the tv show “How It’s Made” recently filmed our factory for the upcoming season 20 series. They chose us do to being able to film all in one location.

So yeah, it was a bit of a sales pitch there. But I wanted to make people/Marc were aware what we do and can do for them.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks again for a great write up.

Marc - 05/02/12 - 8:30pm

Based on my discussion with Michael, I’ve updated the review (changes in italics). Enjoy!

marc

Joshua Murdock - 05/03/12 - 12:06am

Seeing a company employee/rep pay such careful attention to comments like this makes me even more inclined to buy their product. If they pay attention to comments from the general public on a product review, imagine how much attention they will give to the needs of a paying customer! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the shoes look really good, too. I love the sounds of made to order shoes, as well. Sounds like a great buy!

Rob - 05/03/12 - 6:38am

Nice shoes. I’ve owned one pair of Vittoria and loved them. However, they have been very hard to get in Australia for many years.

Brad - 05/03/12 - 7:44pm

It seems like only reviewers are able to order Vittoria shoes, as I’ve never been able to find a source in the US.

Michael-Vittoria Shoes - 05/04/12 - 1:17pm

Brad,

Please email at the following:

info@vittoria-shoes.com

We have dealers all across the US and opening more daily. If you let me know your location, I am more than happy to help find one near you.

Michael

Jason - 05/07/12 - 9:42pm

Are vittoria shoes available in Australia?

John - 05/08/12 - 12:22am

Do you have a dealer in the San Jose California area who can help out with custom shoes? I did notice that all of the shoes I looked at stop at size 48 (website information). In your competitor’s shoes I wear a 49 (well known Italian bicycling and motorcycle shoe company) and would be surprised if a 48 fit.

Michael-Vittoria Shoes - 05/10/12 - 1:49pm

Sorry for the delay in getting this email out. But to answer some questions, here we go…

Jason-Yes, we have two importers in Australia. You would have to contact them to find out the dealers, but here is the Importer info:

PANDA IMPORTS
585, STIRLING HIGHWAY – 6011 COTTESLOE AUSTRALIA
tel.+61892843819 – FAX +61892843427
PANDAIMPORTS@BIGPOND.CO

EXCELPRO
PRINCES 3/595-61 – 2044 TEMPE NSW AUSTRALIA
tel.0061-2-95599000 – FAX 0061-2-95599088

Give them a ring and ask away.

To John-Yes, we have quite a few dealers in the SJ, SF area. Here is a list of some:

A Bicycle Odyssey-Sausalito
Bike Station Aptos-Aptos
Palo Alto Bicycles-Palo Alto
Cycle Path San Mateo-San Mateo
Village Peddlar-Larkspur
Red Lantern-Menlo Park
Push Bikes-San Francisco
Cupertino Bike Shop-Cupertino

These shops are either stocking or have ordered from us in the past. One that is a larger stocking dealer would be A Bicycle Odyssey. I know for a fact that have a pretty good selection of shoes in stock.

With regards to the sizing question, we do make shoes up to a 50. It is not something we normally stock in the US Warehouse, but we do make them. Our sizing is verry similar to Shimano in terms of the length. But our width is wider standard. Of course as Marc has, we can make a shoe with a lower volume or a narrow or what ever you really need. The sizing of the “well known Italian Bicycling and motorcycle shoe company”, they have their own sizing and it does not correspond to any one elses. Some are close, but I would not use theirs as a basis. Ours are more of a McFit(McDonalds fit as one US Shop guy called us).

Let me know if you have any other questions I can answer. Always happy to help!

Michael
Vittoria USA

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