I have been racing with shimano r-315's (custom molded) for 2 years now. When I received the northwave shoes i was blown away. First of all it comes in a leather box that looks like its carrying the queens crown jewels. The shoes look great. The construction is refined and sturdy like Shimano but much more fancy and Cipo-esque. The comfort and fit is unbelievable!!!! Size down from shimano im 43.5 reg/ 43wide shimano and northwave fit me perfectly at 42.5!!!!