These Bike Shoes Keep Your Feet Frosty with Sugar

Illustration for article titled These Bike Shoes Keep Your Feet Frosty with Sugar

Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute that's been around since the '60s. You can find it in products like chewing gum, sweeteners—even sinus nasal sprays. But the most incredible use so far has to be its integration into the Louis Garneau Carbon Pro Team shoes.

Xylitol is derived from a number of organic sources—berries, oats, mushrooms, corn husks, sugar cane bagasse, and birch, surprisingly enough. It's a alcohol-based sugar with endothermic properties. That's why after chomping down on a piece of Xylitol-spiked gum, you get that cooling feeling—it's your saliva evaporating.

Now, Ventex, a clothing firm in South Korea, has figured out how to weave Xylitol into fabrics, allowing the same cooling sensation for your sweaty feet as it does for the interior of your mouth. The fabric—sold under the Ice-Fil brand—reacts to moisture and behaves as a refrigerant, converting it into cool air. That helps keep your feet cooler and drier during your ride. The fabric even has some UVA- and UVB- blocking abilities.


You can find this technology in the new Louis Garneau Carbon Pro Team shoes that are coming to market in January. This tech isn't cheap, mind you. The shoes will retail for $330. [Gizmag - Wikipedia]

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A comparison with another shoe without this tech might be useful. Sidi Ergo 3 full carbon road shoes retail for $499. The tech that goes into cycling shoes is already very expensive, the xylitol in the fabric doesn't add much.