Test: Northwave Rebel 2 MTB Shoes
Footwear is one of the fundamental accessories when it comes to having a good experience and also good performance on our bikes. In that sense, we have had the opportunity to try out some shoes that, in our opinion, can be very interesting for those who are looking for high performance and, why not… design, for their feet. We’re talking about the Rebel 2, a model in the medium-high range and we could consider them the most representative of the prestigious Italian manufacturer Northwave
High level shoes
Although not the top-of-the-line model, the Rebel 2 is in the most advanced shoe range in Northwave’s catalogue for the XC discipline. A shoe, therefore, that has its fair share of the best technologies used by the more superior models.
The Rebel shoes have a carbon sole, one of the almost indispensable features in high performance shoes. A sole that in this case has a stiffness index of 12 points (the most rigid models on the market are at 14). They also incorporate the BOA fitting system, one of the most effective, proven and widespread in their segment. Furthermore, in the case of the Rebel 2, Northwave implements an exclusive version of the adjustement system from the Italians which consists of what they call the SLW3, a dial that allows the immediate release of the deal when tightened.
Other remarkable aspects are the use of a one-piece instep (a technology called BioMap). A very unique solution that Northwave uses with the aim of achieving greater comfort and at the same time, better transfer of energy by promoting greater connection between the foot and the shoe.
We also liked the generous reinforcement in the toe of these shoes, which helps to extend their life. The toe cap protects the shoe from the typical rubbing and impacts against roots, stones or rough surfaces.
When we touch the inside of the heel pad surface and try to slide it up, you can feel that it is lined with a rough fabric. In other words, its use is designed so that when walking or pedalling, the natural upward movement of the foot is neutralised by the fabric, which keeps the foot in place, thanks to the “adhesive” properties of the inside of the heel pad. This is a solution that shoes which are traditionally more expensive than the Rebel 2 have used and that we can now see in this model, which by all accounts, offer a very high level of performance.
Since its beginnings, Northwave has stood out for applying a very personal design and aesthetic to all its products. Regardless of personal taste, this makes any of the shoes of this brand really different from the rest. They have that touch of exclusivity that allows us to identify a Northwave shoe at first sight.
In this model, this differentiation and distinguished aesthetics can be seen in the use of a single-piece instep and, of course, the famous brand logo used on the side and front of the instep.
These are also really elegant shoes that can be combined with any type of clothing.
On the go.
The Northwave Rebel 2 have a fairly neutral last. meaning they’re neither too narrow nor too wide. As they do not have the option of choosing between several lasts, something that only happens in very high-end models, we can say that these shoes will fit the feet of a large number of users.
The cleanliness of their instep, let’s remember, made in one piece, makes that in fact, there is no seam or union in that area susceptible to generate friction or tension with our foot. This makes the shoe extremely comfortable in the instep and toe region.
The feel of the sole is really stiff. The feeling of force transfer is excellent. When you pedal with force and especially when standing, you notice how the shoe stays as solid as a board and transmits your energy efficiently over the pedals.
The fit, thanks to the dial system, is perfect, as it allows the shoe to be closed, point by point, step by step, thus adapting to any type and thickness of foot. The release with the SLW3 button is fast and practical and did not give us any problems during the days of use, only some loss of smoothness on muddy days, as is usual, in general, in all BOA closures.
The inner heel with grip thanks to the rugged fabric gives a flawless fit to the foot that feels perfect when pedalling.
A shoe for users who aspire for maximum performance at a very affordable price. Cyclists looking for practical, easy-to-adjust and very rigid shoes for efficient pedalling.
Stiffness of the sole
Easy adjustment and release of the dial
Feeling of comfort and energy transfer
Poor ventilation in summer use
TECHNICAL DATA SHEET
Specific shoe for XC with high stiffness carbon fibre sole and synthetic leather cover. It has a reinforced toe, as well as anti-slip fabric on the inside of the shoe. that provide great comfort.
Double BOA with button SLW3
Carbon sole area, with stiffness factor 12. Rubber inserts for better grip, even on conventional terrain.
– Synthetic leather
From 38 to 48
Black base with several complementary colours grey base, white and camouflage.
725g (the pair in size 43)