What is it
Bont, Sydney, Australia’s moldable shoe pioneers, offer up a shoe designed specifically for gravel riders and racers. Bont’s Vaypor G is built on the wildly successful Vaypor platform and boasts one of the stiffest soles in cycling. Equipped with replaceable tread, a BOA lace system, and remarkable fit, Bont’s Vaypor G is beyond just gravel use, it’s a cross country super shoe.
- Heat moldable
- Excellent fit
- Replaceable tread
- Super stiff sole
- Low stack height
Bont has produced boots and performance driven footwear since 1974, and they are currently the world’s No. 1 producer of custom cycling shoes. Known for stiff, light carbon offerings, Bont is a brand that many seek out for performance and biomechanical advantage.
Bont’s newest shoe, the Vaypor G, is billed as a gravel shoe, and is not just a repurposed cross country shoe. Bont’s website explains: “The Vaypor G brings to gravel riding Bont Cycling’s industry-leading carbon technology and biomechanical efficiency. Our latest flagship shoe sets new standards for those with a passion for dirt.”
Constructed from Bont’s proprietary unidirectional monocoque carbon framework, the Vaypor G is an impressive sight. Duralite encapsulates the outer, while a faux suede adds a soft, comfy interior. Bont uses the BOA system on the Vaypor G and a unique cut to supply a secure fit.
Bont recommends you use their sizing guideline and tool before selecting your size. This is fairly easy: Go to the site, choose the shoe want, use the size wizard, and then follow the instructions. I ordered a size 42.5, which is close to what I wear in Mavic among others.
Initially I thought I ordered a size too big. But after pushing my heel to the back of the shoe and cinching the BOA dials, the fit was great. I could feel the added arch support that Bont adds, something I got used to. But it did feel a bit off at the beginning.
Walking in the Bonts is different as well. The soles are very stiff and built for on-bike use, not shuffling around your living room.
Performance wise, Bont has created a monster of an off-road shoe. Power transfer is instant, and fit is glove like. Riding gravel roads for miles and miles in the Vaypor G’s is like riding your favorite road shoes, only you can unclip easier and dab when needed.
Bont designs their shoes with a very low stack height (3.6mm in this case), so make sure to check your saddle height when switching shoes. I spent most of my Vaypor G test time in the woods on my cross country bike. After heat molding the shoes, my feet were in love and riding singletrack with a pedaling platform that stiff was a real pleasure. Arch support can be felt while climbing and feeling my foot push flat on the platform in effort was something new. I replaced the stock insoles with custom ones and opted for toe spikes after my initial rides.
The Duralite outer never ripped or popped a thread, plus the material is easy to wash after a muddy cyclocross race.
After endless abuse riding gravel, racing cyclocross, and ripping singletrack, Bont’s Vaypor G is still going strong. I would suggest these shoes to anyone looking for a performance oriented off-road shoe. Bont’s Vaypor G has become my go-to “everything but road” shoe and changed my mindset on how cycling shoes should fit and feel. Bont may have designed this shoe for gravel but it’s capable of much more.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
More info: bontcycling.com