Mavic bills its mid-height Scree shoe as a 'cross-mountain' design, which does little to describe a clear mission for an exceptional off-road cycling shoe that defies such categorization. I asked for a pair because I was searching for a winter shoe that had lots of grip for digging, pushing and hiking, and one that would accept SPD cleats. The mid-ankle Scree has an aggressively lugged sole with a good rocker for walking, yet it does not sacrifice pedaling action. At its heart is a stiff S-curved sole which is the hallmark of all high-performance cycling shoes. Mavic's Scree is protected from the elements by a Gore-Tex membrane, and rubber-reinforced at the toe and heel against rock strikes. Our size-nine shoes (42.5) weighed 920 grams and the MSRP is $189.95 USD. Sizing runs from 5.5 to 13, in half-size increments.
BY Richard Cunningham
PHOTOS Lucas Aguilera
A two-view of Mavic's Scree shoes shows the deeply lugged soles and well-reinforced uppers. If you ride clipped in and session steeps, these may be perfect footwear for the job.
Mavic's Scree has a mid-ankle fit to keep the inside dry when slogging through puddles and the uppers feature a Gore-Tex membrane that allows the inside of the shoe to breathe without getting soggy. There is a thin layer of padding at the instep and around the ankle, and the entire inside of the Scree is lined with a slippery material designed to reduce hot spots and save your socks from wear. Two tacky materials are used on the outsoles to keep them grippy. The oversized lugged sole is molded from Mavic's 'Terra Grip' material, while the exposed areas of the sole's hard-plastic stiffener is coated with its 'Conta Grip' plastic to ensure that a miss-cue on the pedals will not result in a slip.
Mavic's Ortholite insole is a major factor when it comes to the efficiency of the Scree shoes under power. A look at the toe and heel reveals the stiff reinforcements there.
Retention is via simple hook-and-loop straps - three at the instep of the foot and one over the top to secure the shoe's upper section against the elements. The toe box is wide so it won't cramp your feet and the outside is reinforced with a stiff, molded-rubber bash guard. A removable molded 'Ergo Fit OrthoLite' insert is used to cushion the foot from vibration and to also provide for more efficient pedaling action by preventing unwanted movement inside the shoe. Mavic anticipated that some pedals may interfere with the Scree's deep sole design, so it provides a stack of steel shims in the box so users can custom tune the release pressure of their pedal/shoe interfaces. Using standard Shimano SPD cleats and XT Trail pedals did not require any shims, but the the buzz is that Crankbrothers pedals may need a shim or two for perfect actuation. Either way, they are there if you should need them.Scree Trail Report
Initially, I used the Mavic's Screes for downhill runs with good results. The padding around the ankles was a lifesaver when I banged my feet against the bike after getting a little too rowdy in some corners, and the lugged soles were helpful for slogging my bike up steep hike-a-bike sections. Mavic's Terra Grip material is quite sticky on rock surfaces as well, and there was rarely a situation where I slipped a pedal or floundered around trying to click into the XT pedals. I did have a brief, worry-free stint on flat pedals and while there is no arguing that flat-bottoms are best, I could survive a day at the bike park riding flats on the Mavic Screes.
Additional weight (Screes are hardly meant for racers, at 920-grams a pair)
, and the fact that the mid-top design felt way too comfortable for me to imagine that they could possibly be a performance shoe, had me doubting that the new Mavics would work out on long trail rides with significant climbs. The answer was both no and yes. 'No' - if you don't take the time to adjust the Scree from top to bottom so it will cradle your foot perfectly, it will feel positively mushy compared to a true XC shoe. "Yes' - if you dial them in with just the right amount of tension on all four straps, Screes will deliver surprisingly efficient pedaling performance. There is no escaping the extra weight, although to Mavic's credit, the Scree is competitive with most all-mountain and gravity-specific shoes out there.
Scree soles have a deep tunnel for the cleat area - about the maximum that Shimano specs for SPD operation. Shims are included for non-conforming pedals. While the big lugs molded into the sole may appear to impede entry into the pedal mechanism, that did not prove to be an issue.
Discussing the possible up and downsides of Mavic's cross-mountain shoes in a technical sense reveals few design flaws. Until the soles had some break-in time, the release pressure of the Shimano Trail pedals would feel sticky. After a couple of rides, however, all was set right and the problem never returned. Gore-Tex does its job well, keeping the inside of the shoes dry and water out. While winter weather in San Diego is hardly comparable to Scotland, record lows (30 F)
and actual rainstorms (1.5 inches)
, however pathetic, were useful enough to declare that the Screes were comfortable in the wet - and it was warm enough in between the storms to claim that Scree shoes will probably be too hot for temperate summer riding. The only potentially bothersome aspect that I discovered was that the top of the Scree's padded ankles act like a small shelf which can trap mud and pointy brush. While wet and crud do not enter the shoe, they do get into your socks - and the pointy bits can peck through there and become annoying.Pinkbike's take:
|I have become quite fond of my Scree shoes this winter. While Mavic placed the Scree in a sort of no-man's-land, somewhere between a dedicated cycling shoe and a hiking boot - it works. Screes are built tough enough to hike and work in, and they still manage to pedal well as all-day-riders. I intended to use them to ride to section of trail, where I would then trade my bike for a shovel, but Mavic built so much performance into the Screes that I now use them for everything. Well constructed and tough as tree roots, I would recommend Mavic's 'Cross-Mountain' shoes for anyone who rides clipped in and needs a true cycling shoe with dependable backcountry attributes. When summer comes, I'll have to trade them in for a cooler shoe, but for now, Mavic's Screes are my go-to's - RC|