These shoes are still breaking in for me, but I'm very happy with the fit and stiffness. I'm coming off a pair of entry-level shoes that I actually cracked the sole on both cleats. These Northwave's are much much stiffer and overall fit is great. In my case, they ran a little small and I had to send the first pair back for a larger size, but realcyclist made the exchange easy. Again, these are stiff, comfortable and the closure straps/ratchet keep everything nice and snug. I even went with the blue color and love the looks of the shoe.