Three Straps Pro


It might surprise you that with ratchet systems, Boa and a bunch of other mechanical systems that offer a precise fit, that the humble Velcro strap system is incredibly popular with the Professional Cyclist.

The most obvious reason is weight. They are the lightest adjustment system around, and offer a great fit. The less obvious reasons are twofold. Firstly in the advent of a crash the Velcro will remain functional, which sometimes isn’t the case with mechanical systems. Many of these are replaceable so the shoe can function post repair.

Secondly, and probably less talked about, is that the three velcro option is more aerodynamic. The sleekness of the design allows the air to flow in a cleaner fashion.

I have a pair of three strap Northwave shoes, and its only after riding in them for 15-20 minutes that you remember how easily adjustable they are. But what it does expose, compared to mechanical systems, is that you really need a solid gripping heal cup (thankfully the Northwave’s have one).

So next time you’re looking for a new pair of shoes take time to consider a pair of three strap shoes, but avoid a two strap shoe, you just won’t get the best fit.




Peter made a comment about the shoes (see comments section) so I thought I’d add a few images from other riders who have opted for a three strap shoe at some point in their career. 


6 thoughts on “Three Straps Pro

  1. Amazing! I used to cycle in trainers and got sore feet. So i bought a pair of cycling shoes..laces and one strip of velcro to keep laces out of the way of the chain wheels. It never occurred to me that there was anything TO consider :-(0 Now I have bought some cleats, to go with my new bike and soon I will need some new shoes. Perhaps there IS a reason why the prices cover such an enormous range. More research needed by me before I go shopping!

  2. PeterShoes are one of my favourite pieces of technical clothing and probably nothing makes more difference to riding comfort than getting a great pair of shoes. Comfort above all is the key, I tend to avoid the stiffest shoes as for me they aren’t really needed. Although I do have some crazy stiff shoes, they are not the one’s I’d grab first these days as I have a pair which has been like finding the Holy Grail and seem just about perfect. But everyone is different, hence so much on the market, so everyone can find the right shoe at the right price.

  3. Is it just me or do all the riders pictured appear to be sponsored by Northwave…..could it be that the Northwave SBS system is Pants and thats the reason, riders sponsored by them opt for Velcro….just a thought

  4. I used the images from the Northwave page as seeing those images prompted my thoughts. In regards to the retention system on the ratchet Northwave’s it’s completely solid and bombproof. I’ve both from NW, so I’m in a reasonable place to comment on both closure systems.Nike have made lots of three velcro straps for their sponsored riders. DMT are another company who are able to deliver a quality shoe in the three strap model and many of the small custom manufacturers use this system.

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