Maybe it’s because i’m half Italian, but it seems like I have a penchant for Italian products. Whether we are talking about cars, fashion or food, Italians know a little something about style and flavor. Although not too Italian sounding, Northwave is a prime example of a high quality and oh so stylish Italian company.

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Most people do not fret too much over the purchase of bike shoes, worrying more about the key components of their bikes instead. However, just like ski boots that connect the skier to the ski, bike shoes connect the biker to the bike so the purchase of shoes shouldn’t be taken too lightly. Although fellow Italian company Sidi seems to dominate the bike shoe world, I have chosen another, smaller Italian company to obsess about.

My obsession started back in the mid 90s when I was an aspiring young mountain bike racer. Back then the competitive side of mountain biking was very small, making it easy to rub elbows with the pros. One pro in particular, Paolo Pezzo caught my attention and after she signed my race number at the NORBA championships at Mt. Snow in 1995; I was smitten. A year later she took home the Gold medal in the first ever mountain bike event at the Atlanta summer olympics. She did so in controversial style, taking heat from officials and the public alike for unzipping her jersey a little too much. As you can see in the picture below, her outfit and unzipping of the jersey are very tasteful in my opinion. Many young men had baywatch posters on their walls in the mid 90s but I had Paola with her unzipped jersey in all her Gold medal glory.

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Other than her great outfit that day, I noticed her bold red, white and green shoes and knew I had to have them. It took awhile to track them down stateside and I had to settle on orange, but I was soon rocking some Northwaves just like Paola.

Flash forward12 years and what do you know, I still had the same orange Northwaves and they were still in one piece. Over those 12 years they had seen a lot of use and held up remarkably well. Even though they still worked, they looked a little worn and sad so they needed to be replaced. As a replacement I went right back to Northwave and went with their top of the line Aerlite S.B.S. shoes.

After a couple months in my new Northwaves, I am happy. Although I don’t remember what my first pair felt like when they were new, i’m pretty sure the latest generation of Northwaves maintain the same quality. The latest model boasts some fancy new features such as the rachet closure system that creates a nice snug fit. Although not everyone has a foot that will fit perfectly in a Northwave, I urge you to look at them as a replacement for your Sidis or other mass produced bike shoe. You will appreciate their Italian style and quality and who knows, your next pair might just last 12 years like mine did.

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For more info about Northwave visit: http://www.northwave.com/

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