Northwave may be best known for their flashy cross-country race shoes, but they've recently begun to broaden their focus to include the rapidly growing enduro racing side of the sport. Last year's signing of Cedric Gracia made it clear they were serious about expanding their lineup, and it wasn't long before the French wildman began offering his input on what the ideal enduro race shoe would look like. The Enduro Mid is the result, an SPD compatible shoe that's designed to be stiff and supportive, but with flex built into the toe area to make walking less awkward.
Footwear aimed at enduro racing and all-mountain riding needs to offer more protection than what's typically found in an XC shoe, and to that end the Enduro Mid's toe box is reinforced to keep those little piggies safe, while the inner cuff is cut high enough to cover the anklebone to help protect rider's ankles from smashing or rubbing on their cranks.
Rather than using laces, the Enduro Mid features Northwave's Speed Lace Winch 2 (SLW2) system, where a dial can be turned to either increase or decrease the amount of tension provided by the cable lace. There's also a velcro closure at the top of the shoe to further fine tune the fit.
Traction for those off-bike excursions is provided by a dual compound rubber from Michelin that uses a tread pattern inspired by the company's mountain bike tires. The area around the cleat is relatively flat in order to make it as easy as possible to clip in and out, as well as providing a wide platform to rest on the pedal even if the cleat isn't completely engaged. Extra cushioning has been built into the heel area of the shoe to provide shock absorption in the event of an emergency landing.
The Enduro Mid is expected to be available in March 2016, with a retail price of $160 Euro. There will also be a more basic model without the ankle protection for $149 Euro.www.northwave.com