The new Liv Macha Pro was released earlier this year alongside Giant’s new Surge Pro. The sole has been significantly refined from the model I tested a few years ago, but the shoe remains light and stiff. The performance pedigree of both is unquestioned: Simon Yates won the final stage of Paris-Nice in Giant Surge Pros, and Rachele Barbieri achieved multiple UCI podium finishes and a track title in Macha Pros this year. They really are some of the best road shoes on the market, although their £300 price tag means they need to fit perfectly to justify the investment.
Hands down, these are the stiffest shoes I’ve ever tried. The ExoBeam sole, “a double-beam plate made from ultralight 100% carbon fiber,” as Liv puts it, offers a zero-flex platform. When you run or get out of the saddle while standing, you really feel the superior performance; It’s easy to see why professional sprinters have raved about them.
> Buy now: Liv Macha Pro for €299.99 at Liv Cycling
The sole of the previous model was uniquely shaped and effectively lacked a solid platform under the arch of the foot. Negative feedback on this design resulted in a more conventional shape with a very durable (but still sticky) heel pad and toe box.
Not only is the sole stiff, but the wraparound upper is noticeably stiffer than many road shoes I’ve tried, including the latest Giro’s Regime. However, it has not given rise to any complaints; Rather, it wraps around the foot and contributes to that superior performance feel by anchoring the foot well.
Unusually, the two micro-adjustable Boa Li2 dials work with what Liv calls an “ExoWrap” in the shoe to wrap around the foot and push it up inside the shoe, rather than down like most cycling shoes do. The ExoWrap is basically a tongue that sits on the arch side of the shoe and into which the Boa laces are integrated. So when you tighten the dials, the tongue is pulled up and around the arch of the foot.
The heel cup has enough padding to prevent pinching and the sharkskin lining prevents slipping; The foot is anchored and secure when you start to walk aggressively.
The upper is covered in polyurethane, with welded seams at the front for a clean, streamlined finish and laser-cut micro-perforations for good breathability. I have never noticed my foot overheating, though I have only tested in temperatures around 22C. In contrast, on cool mornings with almost 5°C, I didn’t feel the need for an extra layer.
As with previous Macha Pros, there are two levels of arch inserts, high and low, which adhere to the sockliner (“Insole”), which also features a TransTextura Plus antimicrobial coating.
close of operations
Li2 Boa dials are paired here with Dyneema laces, a fiber that boasts an impressive list of claimed properties: “ultra-high strength-to-weight (15 times stronger than steel, weight-to-weight)”; “high resistance to UV rays”; and “highly flexible” to name just a few. It is exceptionally flexible, similar to embroidery thread. There’s a lot to dial in here, too: letting go of the boa lets out a decent length that tends to wrap around the dial.
Liv’s rationale for the excessive length is: “We received feedback from testers that a longer length would allow them to open the shoe up more for ventilation between rides and easier foot insertion.” Liv even gave him trouble sending full instructions on how to shorten the Dyneema after asking if this was possible.
The Li2 dials are unobtrusive, flat, and exceptionally easy to use, even with shoe covers. And they fit both ways. Bont’s Vaypors use the same model and in reviewing it Mat said they are as good as the dials.
Every boa comes with a lifetime guarantee and the service these guys provide is second to none.
fit and shape
While I completely fell in love with the performance of these shoes, they are not perfect for me, as the toe box is too slanted for my foot, as you can see in the photo below (next to the Giro Regimes). What’s unusual is that it doesn’t pinch at the widest part of my foot, and my big toes are exactly where I want them: it’s the third and fourth toes of my right foot that touch the top.
While this may seem rather pedantic and I can’t say it’s ever hurt, it’s not something I’d wish I’d spent £300 on. So as with all shoes, try them on before you buy because what fits (or doesn’t) it may not necessarily be for you.
> How to choose the best cycling shoes for you
A big plus is how easy these shoes are to clean; All that is needed to remove dirt or grease is a damp cloth. Only the Boa dial tends to retain sand, which may require more than a cloth; a toothbrush is ideal here.
I can’t mention the bold style of this version of Macha Pro. If you like coordinating your gear, you might find this a little difficult, but if you like to turn heads, you’ll love them. Part of me just wanted to buy a new bike to go along with it! If you are not convinced, there is also a white version.
value and conclusion
Shoes can directly affect power delivery, and the Macha Pros are undoubtedly pure racing shoes that, when fitted correctly, will improve performance on the bike. To me that justifies the £300 cost as long as they fit well.
They even look like a bargain compared to others: Specialized’s S-Works headlights (Liam reviewed the men’s version) will set you back £385.
However, the Giro Regimes I tried last year were £229.99.
All in all, if these Macha Pros are right for your feet and you can afford them, you’ve got a great performance-oriented shoe.
Stylish, stiff and light… if they fit you well, you have an amazing shoe
If you’re thinking of buying this product with a cashback offer, why not use road.cc’s premium cashback site and receive the premium cashback while supporting your favorite independent cycling website?
Brand and model: Liv Macha Pro sneakers
Tell us what the product is for
From Liv’s website: The new Macha Pro helps you get the most out of every pedal stroke, whether you’re in training or a mid-race sprint.
Anchored by the power of technology, the Macha Pro puts the Movement Efficiency System to work for you. These performance-level racing shoes are lightweight and efficient, and the sleek design comes in two colorways.
Tell us more about the technical aspects of the product?
Liv lists these features:
ExoBeam plate made of 100% long-fiber carbon with a new double-beam design that offers secure contact in the midfoot for better power transmission
ExoBeam technology reduces stress on the knee and ankle joints.
New ultralight 360° wrap-around upper material with high-frequency welded seams offers optimal support
New direct-pull internal ExoWrap structural design and new custom Boa® Li2 dial create a 360° wrap around the foot for customizable fit and arch support
Laser-cut micro-perforations on the upper to improve ventilation
Cycling-specific lasts improve overall performance
Sharkskin heel lining
Removable insole with adjustable arch support and TransTextura Plus™ layer
Please rate the product by build quality:
Rate the product by performance:
Rate the product for its durability:
Excellent toe and heel. Although it feels less robust than traditional Boa wiring, Dyneema is known to be durable.
Rate the product for fit:
It wasn’t “perfect” for me. As with all shoes, this one will be very personal.
Rate the product by size:
Rate the product by weight:
Rate the product for its comfort:
I haven’t pinched a spot that many shoes have at the widest part of the foot, and I’ve never experienced hot spots on longer rides.
Rate the product by value:
How easy is it to care for the product? How did you react to the wash?
Particularly easy to clean.
Please let us know how the product performed overall when used for its intended purpose
Impressive power transfer from a stiff sole and upper with minor weight gains.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product.
I didn’t really feel like there was a performance loss at all; It’s a serious racing shoe that’s also stylish.
Let us know what you particularly did not like about the product.
The conical shape of the toe box is too aggressive for the shape of my foot.
How does the price compare to similar products on the market, including those recently tested on road.cc?
While these are pricey, there are pricier options – Specialized’s top-spec model is £385. We haven’t tested many premium women’s shoes, but there are definitely cheaper options – Giro’s Regimes (£229.99) or Fizik’s Tempo Overcurves (£229.99). 214.99), for example. The latter is available in a wide and standard version.
Did you like using the product? Yes
Would you buy the product? The fit wasn’t quite right for me to justify the expense.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this field to explain your overall score
The fit wasn’t perfect for me, but this is an excellent shoe all the way around.
Years: 42 Height: 173cm Weight: 64kg
I mainly drive: Street My best bike is: carbon road
I amount from: More than 20 years I ride: most days I would classify myself as: expert
I do the following types of driving regularly: Commuting, touring, club riding, general physical driving, also get familiar with off-road driving!