The Northwave Tribute has exceeded any and all expectations I could throw at it. I'm pretty demanding on my shoes, maybe a bit finicky. The Tribute was a nice suprise.
Easy On-Off: The Tribute has a really snazzy top velco system that allows you to position it in a loose and receptive position that will stay. Even after the mad barefoot dash and leaping on the bike and pedaling a 1/4 mile or more I still find the shoe ready for my foot. The pull strap on the back is much better than other tri specific shoes I've used because of its angle, much easier to grab. Pops off in a jiffy. T1 just got easier. The top velcro also is big enough to really 'hug' my foot and allow maximum power transfer.
Stiff Sole: Fiber glass and carbon fiber composite. Super stiff and light.
Heel Cup: I really feel this external cupping. Creates stability for foot in a way that I believe aids in solid power transfer. It keeps my form effecient even as I'm powering with ragin cadence and biggest possible power.
Ventilation: Nothing could be worse than putting your wet feet into a shoe and having puddles soak your feet for 112 miles before a marathon. The ventelation system, which actually starts at the toe tip, keeps your foot in good shape.