Making a statement, the Fizik R3 Donna is nothing short of a fine Italian slipper with all the fit and function of a high end cycling shoe. Let’s just say that if Prada made cycling wear, this might be it. This shoe is truly set apart from what most of the industry is currently offering.
With a nod to tradition, Fizik adds smooth, durable kangaroo leather accents to a microfiber upper. All the materials are lightweight and durable. I’ve been riding in these shoes for a few months and they still look brand new. Surviving more than one soaking rain and lots of road grit, they are easy to clean and aren’t showing signs of stretching or tearing. For added breathability, the tongue has a removable pad, leaving just the mesh and lots of ventilation. This also provides more interior room for thicker feet.
Preventing sole flex around the pedal, the R3 Donna offers a very stiff sole. This is optimal for long days on the bike with less foot fatigue and hot spots. The majority of the sole is made of Toray’s T700 carbon, often used in building bicycle frames. The heel however, is made of a slightly softer composite and is a bit more flexible.
The R3 is fastened on with two velcro straps and one ratchet strap made of sail cloth. Adding style and functionality, sail cloth is light, strong and flexible. The ratchet is made of aluminum and offers several positions for dialing in the fit and ease of adjustability on the bike.
The fit is a bit wider than my previous road shoes but not sloppy. The R3 Donna is good for average sized feet. The insole is simple, like most cycling shoes. Manufacturers anticipate that athletes usually choose an upgraded, custom insert. However, I would love to try the heat moldable insole available in the men’s R1. While this would understandably add to the cost and weight of the shoe, this girl is all about comfort!
Fizik is offering the R3 Donna for $300. While this is no pocket change, you should get many, many more miles out them than a pair of high prices stilettos. Besides, looking and feeling good on the bike will help you live a longer, happier life, right?
GBL Last Word: Without sacrificing comfort and fit, Fizik has managed a fashionable, lightweight, breathable road shoe.