At Eurobike, we saw the high end of Northwave’s 2014 road and mountain bike shoes, including what they’re claiming as the lightest mountain bike shoe on the market, plus a slick new Hammer CX cyclocross shoe. But they saved some of the mid/upper level stuff for Interbike.

The new Galaxy (white) and Torpedo Plus (black) road shoes slot into the lineup just under the top-of-the-line Extreme Tech Plus. Both get the same new low profile dials that use a dual function release lever. Push it in and it’ll open all the way, or pull it slightly to release one notch at a time for micro adjustments.

The Torpedo Plus is a fully thermowelded upper like the Extreme Tech Plus model but downgrades to a single dial with a toe strap. In fact, it’s very similar overall to the top dog. The Galaxy, however, gets a fairly unique build…


The Galaxy uses a very well vented sock-like tongue and lots of mesh to help keep your feet cool. It’s a totally different construction than their other shoes. The inner sock completely covers the top of the foot with a wide upper strap that’s closed down via their SLW2 dial.


The Galaxy’s sole has a three layer carbon construction, but just ignore that “Wood Midsole” graphic…these were preproduction and will not have that feature. Retail is $259.

The Torpedo Plus also keeps the ventilated all-carbon sole. A small intake at the front of the toe tread directs air into the shoe. Retail is $219.


Over on the mountain bike side, the Nirvana uses a thermowelded upper with rubber toe cover and structured rubber heel support. Mesh panels throughout keep it both light and airy.



The protective rubber heel cup exterior builds in mesh vents all the way ’round. There’s a lot of influence from road to mountain in the Northwave lineup.


Tread lugs are natural rubber with a sleek design in between them to help mud shed quickly. It’s a bit wider than the race shoe, but it’s still wicked light. Even though it doesn’t look as sleek as the Hammer below, it outranks it. Retail is $219


The Hammer takes a very similar upper as the race shoe but switches to a nylon sole and adds a few closure options.


It can be had with the buckle on the top (adjustable) strap. The other MTB option is just with three straps, and the third is the Hammer CX with a taller neoprene cuff that we covered at Eurobike. Overall quality looks really good, with plenty of small details like thermowelding even on the straps.


Retail is $159 with the buckle and $139 with just straps.



  1. I’ve had the conversation about mesh on mtb/cx shoes with numerous bikegeeks over the years and all of us agree that we’ve never had a ride ruined with hot feet but have had a few ruined with wet & cold feet! So why do shoe manufacturers insist on mesh–especially on cx shoes?!

  2. Wondering the same thing here. It’s not very warm in MN come fall! I sort of want the opposite–a sealed shoe would be great. Ditch the carbon sole BS and give me a plastic one with some give for run ups or dare I say walking. Also, I’m wondering why there’s virtually no
    rubber between the heel and cleat area. Not much margin for error when you’re scrambling to remount. They had something special with the wood midsole. A funky, but nice feature that no other brand offered.

  3. That is an excellent point. I can’t remember being bummed on my hot feet even when dying of too much heat and sweat on a hot day in the woods. Definitely remember cold and wet foot days though and never forget booties after a few bad ones.

  4. Here in sunny CA, I’ve had many hot rides made unpleasant by poorly vented shoes. I’m stoked to see more manufacturers with highly vented offerings.

  5. Less vents on shoes for sure. I tape over those dumb vents in the soles on all my shoes. I don’t need more air, water, grime, etc getting in there. I’ve never been so hot that I thought to myself “man I wish I had holes in the soles of my shoes.”

  6. Same as most of you. Bonts have a vent under the arch that is apparently perfectly positioned to dump water off the front wheel into the shoe.

  7. Somebody needs to let Northwave know that a huge portion of us MTBers have ditched the “road shoe with a few lugs” style shoes for something we can actually walk in.

  8. @groghunter – Maybe we should just let you know that Northwave makes quite a variety of different shoes. Check out their website.

  9. Hey Groghunter, This only a few in their lineup. They make about every level of shoe including touring and adventure shoes that you could also wear as a daily shoe. The “non-racing off-road shoes have a more flexible toe-box and lugs just where you need them on a trail. Actual walking soles weigh down your feet and are not desirable to those that only have to get off occasionally to hike a bike, just as stiff minimal race shoes are not desirable to those looking for a more casual off-road shoe. And like bikes, some times people need more than one shoe depending on the scope of their riding.

  10. I want the Nirvana’s and am in need of new shoes now. Is there any idea when these will be available? Northwave’s webpage was no help.

What do you think?