There's a reason why so many stock bicycles and custom built jobs include wheels from Mavic's Aksium line as the base model. It's not because they're made of pricey plastic and not because they feature on the 10,000 Euro pro machines. Rather, it's because they work. Really damn well. The men's Aksium Elite II Shoes import that stable reliability from the world of two wheels to that of two feet, eschewing the so called premium aspects of flashy race shoes in favor of solid, workman like construction and long mile comfort. Instead of the carbon found in the more expensive Ksyrium, Cosmic, and CXR shoes, the unassuming Aksium Elite features a sole of nylon reinforced with fiberglass. It's a little heavier, a little less stiff, and a lot more forgiving to feet that aren't accustomed to five hours of zone three hammering on carbon planks. It also allows some engineered flex while walking, and the inclusion of Contagrip rubber traction on the outsole makes for even more security while navigating bike, coffee, or sandwich shops all of which tend to have slick, unforgiving floors. The uppers consist of synthetic microfiber with ventilating mesh inserts, and they're secured with the traditional trio of a ratcheting buckle and two hook and loop straps. In conjunction, the uppers and enclosure system secure your foot to Mavic's OrthoLite insert, whose strategically layered padding, arch support, and breathability reduce hotspots and hot smells during long hours in the saddle.