Northwave Scream 2 SRS are a mid-range, off-road shoe from the Italian firm. They feature a number of Northwave’s trademark technologies and are aimed at “multi-discipline” riders and those keep to take their riding to rougher roads.
The Northwave Scream 2 SRS are built around Triple-Density Speedlight 3D sole. The sole is made up of different layers, providing support and rigidity. Northwave have given the sole a stiffness index rating of 10.0. This is to maximise pedaling efficiency, transferring more power through the pedals without loss. The carbon reinforced sole is fused with hard rubber studs and a dimpled insert on the foot-arch. This is to improve traction when walking (or running) with the bike during a cyclocross race for example.
The cleat fitting sits in a recess in the sole. The cleat plate has two bolt positions, as well as a sliding position adjustment. This means you can get a near perfect cleat position.
The Northwave Scream 2 feature the Skin Overlap Unibody construction. Its a mouthful to say but simplistic in design. As the name suggest, the upper parts of the shoe overlap to effectively swaddle the foot. This is designed to distribute pressure better, over the top of the foot – yet maintain a ‘snug’ fit.
The Scream 2 SRS features Northwave’s SRS (Slim Ratchet System) closure. This is made up of a thin ‘micrometric’ ratchet strap and buckle. Then there are two asymmetrical Velcro straps across the lower part of the foot.
The upper has a soft-touch nubuck feel to it. There are strategically placed perforated holes to help improve ventilation when riding. Thermowelded sections reinforce the uppers in notorious ‘scuff’ areas around the toes and heel. The integrated heel system provides increased rigidity for better support.
The Northwave Scream 2 SRS are categoirised as a Spring/Summer shoe – I got my hands on them at the seasons changed to Autumn. The design comes in three colour options – Black/Grey/Fluro Yellow, Black/Lobster Orange, or the more understated Black option that I have been testing. The shoes feel robust and well put together, out of the box. The uppers are soft and have a plushness that you wouldn’t expect from a shoes designed to shred trails.
I have previously found Northwave shoes sizing to be quite accurate. My previous SRS road shoes have always been a 45 or UK 11. However, I found the size 45 in the Scream 2 to be incredibly snug. And that was before I’d even fastened them up. The 46 (UK 12) fit much better in length – although they did feel reasonably wider. This meant that I had to pull the Velcro fastenings tighter to counter the extra room. However, once in place, the Skin Overlap construction holds the foot comfortably in the shoe.
The SRS closure has its positives and negatives for me. The slim strap and buckle help keep the weight of the shoes down. Its a simplistic set up and allows you to make quick adjustments if you want to tighten the shoes when riding. However, it does have some drawbacks that I think this have always been as issue with ratchet systems. If I wanted to loosen the shoes, I needed to press the release button in the middle of the buckle. This completely loosen the strap, so you have to then re-tighten it to the required tension.
The integrated heel retention system is reasonably rigid, providing good support at the back of the shoes. It cups the heel and holds it in place well through pedal rotation. I found this especially noticeable when riding out of the saddle. A problem I sometimes find is that the heel doesn’t come up high enough. This isn’t a problem with the Northwave Scream 2 SRS.
I have tested the Northwave Scream 2 SRS on both road and off-road rides. I found that it was the best way to test the stiffness and traction of the sole. All rides we carried out on a gravel bike, using Shimano PD-M530 pedals. Riding on the road I found the soles to be impressively stiff. During short sprint bursts and climbing out of the saddle, there was very little flex. Due to the reduced thickness of the sole, some may find the sole a little too hard for generally riding, like commuting. But I think that changing the inner-sole would improve this if necessary. The studs give good traction on dry ground. If its wet and muddy underfoot, the lower profile studs don’t grip quite as well as I’d have liked. Although I managed to maintain footing, there was definitely more caution needed.
Northwave Scream 2 SRS Shoes Review Conclusion
For me – the Northwave Scream 2 SRS shoes tick a lot of the boxes when it comes to a good cycling shoe. With a retail price of £105, they are not particularly cheap for a ‘mid-range’ shoe. But they are a good value package. The Speedlight 3D sole provides a great level of stiffness, allowing good power transfer through the pedals. The upper is comfortable and the Skin Overlap design does a nice job of hugging the foot. The SRS fastening does feel a bit flimsy compared to some ratchet systems – but it works. The Northwave Scream 2 SRS may be an off-road cycling shoe, but they work well as an all-rounder. Ideal for multi-discipline riders looking to mix up their rides.