I’ve been using the Nimbl exceed shoes for about a week and have done just a little over 1000kms on them so I think this is about the right time to give them an early review.
For those that aren’t familiar with Nimbl, they are a new brand in the cycling shoe scene that specializes in high-end performance-oriented road shoes that are hand-made in Italy. If you pay special attention to the footwear in any professional race you’ll see more and more pros are switching to these shoes, most notably Greg van avermaet & Vincenzo Nibali.
The only problem with the shoes was if you wanted a pair, you had to buy them directly from Italy and I need to try on shoes before I buy them so that wasn’t an option.
Not only are these light, comfortable and stiff but they also have nice wide toe box. These are about 215g per shoe which coming from wearing Rapha pro team shoes for the past 2 years is definitely welcomed. I had an extra pair of Rapha Pro Team shoes that I was holding onto to replace my old ones but my biggest issue with them was the tongue, it kept moving to one side and I’d have to adjust it constantly to a point where I didn’t bother anymore. They were great shoes but that was a major downside. Keeping them white was pretty much impossible as well. If you get 4-5 pairs of these shoes for free every year they’re amazing.
I’ve owned a lot of pairs of shoes over the past 12+ years I’ve been riding (mostly s-works) which seem to be a favorite for many people. I didn’t want to get another pair of s-works shoes this year and wanted something special.
How are the shoes on the bike?
The first thing I noticed when I put them on was the short tongue, you don’t even know it’s there and it’s held by velcro so there is no movement at all. The shoe is built around an ultra-stiff carbon sole that nimbl says allows for optimal support of your entire foot. The toe box is wide which is always great but the heel didn’t seem to provide as much support as previous shoes that I’ve owned. For example, my s-works 6 had the most aggressive heel hold I’ve ever had on a pair of shoes, I found the 7s better but ultimately the Rapha pro team shoes had the most comfortable hold. I was concerned about it but the upper material rises at the rear of the shoe which provides more than enough stability.
The insoles are pretty minimalist. I gave them a go for around 400kms but I was given the option to put some custom retul insoles because they did not offer much arch support or cushioning. The retul insoles have been really nice providing a lot of support on seated climbs. '
Nimbl shoes feature a microfibre upper which you just wipe clean so no trouble there.
I followed Nimbl’s sizing and just like my Rapha & s-phyre shoes, they are true to size. I noticed they were a little roomier than I was used to as I like my shoes with no room at all but once I put the custom insoles in them they were perfect.
If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that are different than what you see out on the road I would highly recommend these. The roomy toe box helps on long rides, the soles are ultra stiff and the heel hold isn't too aggressive where it becomes uncomfortable.