HomeReviews & TechAll-Round Style and Functionality - fizik Tempo R5 Overcurve Road Cycling Shoes...

All-Round Style and Functionality – fizik Tempo R5 Overcurve Road Cycling Shoes in Review

The white coloured fizik Tempo’s simultaneously attract and repel. I am drawn to the elegance and beauty, European designed cycling shoes tend to feature clean lines and forms that ooze that pro-factor. On the flip-side, you know they are going to get dirty and will begin to look scrappy if you don’t clean them. There are six colour styles to choose from in the Tempo R5 Overcurve series so it’s easy to avoid the “white cycling shoes” problem, but for this review, I had to consider the weather conditions for each bike ride before slipping them on.

The Tempo R5 Overcurve’s sit at the affordable end of the fizik range of road shoes at ca. AUD $230. Only the Tempo Powerstrap R5 and Transiro Powerstrap R4 cycling shoes (each AUD $195) undercut. You may be asking “is $240 really the benchmark for an affordable pair of cycling shoes?”. In context, the top level fizik Infinito R1 performance road shoes are priced at AUD $625 and the Italian brand don’t really serve budget and entry level segments. So for fizik, the R5’s sit towards the lower-priced end in their range of cycling shoes. In comparison to many other cycling shoe brands, the Tempo Overcurve R5’s are priced as mid-range shoes with the quality and performance you expect.

fizik r5 review
stylish cycling shoes

Specs and Highlights

In a number of ways, these shoes are similar to the fizik R5B’s which we reviewed on Bicycles Network Australia a few years ago. The sole, boa and velcro lacing and even the punctured holes are quite familiar, but the Overcurve R5’s are styled differently and could be described as more elegant and contemporary.

nylon carbon fiber composite

The R5 Overcurves are positioned as all-rounder road cycling shoe with the ‘Overcurve’ describing the construction that ergonomically conforms to the foot. This includes the “Staggered collar that wraps around ankle”. The heel is indeed designed with more padding around the ankle (along with silicon gripper dots) and gives you a super-comfortable fit but without slippage or excessive movement.

silicon gripper shoes

Each shoe has a single Boa dial and a velcro strap, the design of the tongue and Boa lacing on the R5’s is asymmetrical. Rather than a more traditional design where the laces draw the outside and inside sides together, on the Tempo’s it is offset. This is accentuated with a curved design that looks sleek, set against the black / white colour contrasts.

fizik cycling boa laces
fizik cycling shoes velcro

Microtex, with the appearance of leather, is the material used for the upper and the perforated dot pattern looks stunning and also helps breathability. The precision placement of the dots, neat stitching and debossed fizik logo give the R5’s the feel of a handcrafted shoe. Only a couple of untidy threads break the illusion, though this is really nitpicking. A disadvantage of Microtex however is that it scuffs and wrinkles more easily than other synthetic materials.

italian cycling design
fizik shoe construction

The sole of the shoe is carbon reinforced nylon. Sometimes a composite sole is a sandwich design with carbon fiber moulded in-between nylon. fizik confirmed that for this sole, carbon fibers are infused within the nylon compound and make up about 15% of composition.

cycling shoes cleat set up

I did the twist-test to see whether I could bend or distort the sole and found very little flex which is a good sign. Sometimes a stiff sole can affect comfort for the rider however I use a custom insole so can get comfort and performance.

The raised heel pad and toe pad (skid plates) on the sole are in-moulded so can’t be replaced easy if they are worn. From my own experience, I have never yet needed to replace these on any of my cycling shoes as I keep my walking excursions with cycling shoes to a minimum.

heel pad skid guard cycling shoes
Older fizik R5B’s (left) and the fizik Tempo R5 Overcurve (right(

It is also worth noting that the top model Infinito R1 with the full carbon sole has lots of air vents and comes with a replaceable skid plate on the heel. Inside the R5’s I found that my feet do get warm although this also influenced by the fairly thick custom insoles which I use. If you require more breathability, consider the fizik Tempo R4 Overcurve which has air vents in the sole and a mesh-like Polyurethane (PU) material for the upper rather than the Microtex.


The fizik Tempo’s are not my first pair of white cycling shoes but they moment they came into my hands, I knew that I would not be wearing them when the roads were wet, or when there was a hint of rain. I also knew I would be spending more time cleaning the shoes. Some roadies are happy to let their shoes, bike and drivetrain collect dirt and grim and you can get away with this for a while, especially when everything is darkly coloured.

dirty cycling shoes

Beyond weather conditions and cleaning duties, the white R5’s are smart, but so are the black/pink and the black/fluro versions which have strategically placed colour highlights. As a detail, even inside the punctured holes, the highlight colour subtly reaches through. There is also an all-black shoe as well as a shiny gun-metal coloured version.

fizik tempo r5 overcurve range
fizik Tempo R5 Overcurve colours

Fit and Comfort

My experience with fizik cycling shoes is that the brand has tends to follow a narrow Italian styling. Narrow shoes look superb but for riders with wider feet, like myself, it can be harder to get a comfortable fit. The microtex upper for the Tempo is neither too stiff nor too soft and I had a snug and comfortable fit. My feeling is that the shoes have become slightly wider as there was no pinching or pressure on the sides of my feet. I am a size 43 and the length, width and fit felt really natural.

fizik road cycling review

The inner sole is formed with more contours and arch support than a typical flat insole. It also has a few different parts and perforations and I think it represents an active step by fizik to improve fit and comfort for the rider. I tried these standard insoles for one ride but as expected, I got sore feet. I simply require more solid arch support and my custom insoles are simply better for me.

fizik insole inner sole
The underside of the innersole

With thinand medium thickness socks, the shoes felt plush around the heel. Not too tight for blisters or pinching, not too loose for heel slippage… just right and very comfortable. I am not sure whether the silicon dots inside the heel (to prevent slipping) are absolutely necessary… but they are nice to the touch.


The Tempo Overcurve R5’s use the 3-bolt cleat system only. In contrast to the fizik Infinito R1’s in which the 3-bolt screw offer a little bit of forward / back movement to get the right position, on the R5’s the bolt holes are fixed so you are limited to the range of adjustment from your cleats. As a tip, there are cleat adapters that can give you even more freedom and variation for cleat positioning if you need it.

installing cleats

I spent a lot of time setting up my cleat postion to get it exact. Cleat set-up tends to be a science and I was able to measure the angles and distances from my other cycling shoes and transfer them over. Unlike some other brands, there are not enough markings on the sole of the fizik to help, I would have appreciated some sort of grid. I started drawing on the sole with a black marker to provide better orientation and to cross-check between the left and right cleat position.

cycling shoes cleat position
Older model fizik R5B (left) and current fizik Tempo R5 Overcurve (right)

Pedalling and Performance

With a good and comfortable fit, the fizik Tempo’s were predestined to succeed. And they did, they remained snug but comfortable. For long rides I have a tendency to make minor adjustments to the fastening and the boa dial made it easy to losen the shoes on-the-fly a notch or two.

fizik tempo overcurve road cycling shoes review

With my own insoles I remained comfortable on long rides and didn’t give a second thought to my feet and shoes.

The fizik ‘official’ weight for size 42 is 253 grams. I have one size up, size 43 (UK 8 ¾) shoe and put these on the scales with the original insoles and recorded 284 grams. This puts it at the heavier end for performance road cycling shoes though for my riding it was perfectly fine.

In Summary

The fizik Tempo Overcurve R5 road cycling shoes combine style and functionality. The design is refined and the convenient boa dial lets you easily micro-adjust on the fly. For all-round riders, comfort is secured on short rides and maintained for long distances. Effective pedalling and power transfer is are inbuilt and they go a long way to serving all the needs of the regular road cyclist.

Breathability could be a issue for some riders and the Microtex upper material is not as resistant to scratches and scuffs as other synthetic materials.

fizik unboxing

For competitive club racing, I have no any concerns regarding the reliability though aspirational riders may tend towards a shoe with stiffer upper and a lighter full-carbon sole.

fizik cycling products are imported by Advance Traders and available from bike shops across Australia. Product details and specifications on fizik.com

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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Beautiful shoes that are both contemporary and vintage. The high quality construction comes at a price and all-rounders will appreciate the comfort, performance and good looks. All-Round Style and Functionality - fizik Tempo R5 Overcurve Road Cycling Shoes in Review