Whether you're finalizing dates for your full 'cross race calendar or prefer to spend your rides roosting berms and charging through white-knuckle descents, Louis Garneau's Graphite Men's Cycling Shoe is equipped to let you get the most out of the power you're driving through your feet while keeping you comfortable throughout an aggressive riding and racing schedule. The Graphite occupies the upper tier of Garneau's mountain offerings, sitting just below its top-of-the-line T-Flex 2LS. It features the same carbon sole and many of the same fit details, but trades wire dials for three lightweight hook-and-loop straps.
Along the upper of the Graphite, Garneau forgoes all traditional seaming, choosing to thermobond the necessary seams for a more flexible, breathable upper that's less likely to chafe. Perforations throughout the upper promote air flow and ventilation, while the HRS-100 nylon heel piece maintains rigidity along the Achilles tendon to prevent heel slippage and lost power on climbs. Within the shoe, a Coolmax Hot Stuff insole comes with three separate arch pieces that allow you to customize the amount of support the shoes provide along the arch, depending on the shape of your foot.
The somewhat-contradictory Carbon T-FLEX moniker Garneau gives to the outsole of the Graphite refers to the toe piece's ability to flex under pressure, while the rest of the sole remains completely rigid. Garneau does this with its high-end models to make navigating tough sections of trail on foot easier and to prevent excessive heel pressure, so you get responsive power transfer, adapted to the demands of the trails.