Review: Mavic's XA Pro H20 GTX is a Burly Waterproof Cycling Shoe

Nov 14, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  

Cooler temps and increased precipitation are synonymous with the end of riding season for many, but fortunately there are plenty of pieces of gear that can keep you out on the bike and overall pretty comfortable if you're willing to brave the cold and your local trails hold up to riding in the wet.

Mavic are well known for their wheels and helmets, and their softgoods line is quite stout as well. In addition to standard "fair weather" gear, Mavic have a few options for more inclement conditions, including shoes. The XA Pro H2O GTX shoe is a mid-top insulated Gore-Tex shoe that I would consider more of a boot. It's designed for clipless pedal use and has a rugged sole on the bottom with copious amounts of tread and increased ankle support up top.

XA Pro H2O GTX Details
• Riding/Hiking SPD shoe
• Sizes: USM 6-13.5
• Gore-Tex upper
• Contagrip sole
• Ortholite insole
• Lace closure with velcro support strap
• Ankle support
• MSRP: $200 USD

The boot has a lace closure with a velcro strap to both hold the laces down and out of the way and also increase the support of the boot. It comes in a very wide range of sizes and sells for $200 USD.

Lots of tread for traction in varied conditions.


The XA Pro H2O GTX is designed with a robust Contagrip tread mated to what Mavic calls their Energy Grip Terra outsole. The tread gives traction while the outsole is designed to help power go to the pedals. If Contagrip sounds familiar, it could be because Salomon uses it in several of their shoe models - with the same parent company, both brands can enjoy sharing technology.

The upper part of the shoe is an insulated Gore-Tex. It's designed to keep your feet dry from incoming moisture and it's breathable so your feet ideally won't sweat themselves cold. There's a lace closure and then a support strap to cinch everything down. The strap also covers the laces and can help tuck them out of the way and prevent them from inadvertently coming untied.

The shoe is built slightly wide in order to provide room for thicker winter socks and has an Ortholine insole, another carry-over from the Salomon brand, for support and comfort. The shoes also come with a two-year warranty.

Cool and wet season hell raisers. These things have more traction than just about any bike tire and make you feel like you can walk up a muddy wall.


I'm going into my second season of wearing the XA Pro H2O GTX and they've become one of my staples for cool and wet days where I may be off the bike doing a little bit of hiking in addition to riding.

The outsole provides more than an ample amount of grip in most conditions. If my tires are sliding and I can't get traction to get up wet or muddy terrain, I can jump off of the bike with plenty of confidence that I'm not going to end up face down in the mud from slipping on foot as well. The rubber grips wet rocks well, confidence inspiring for me when hopping across creeks in near-freezing temps.

In addition to providing a plenty of grip, the boots are comfortable, easy to walk in, and provide a lot of ankle support. With a narrower foot and collapsed arches, they the XA Pros worked really well for me right out of the box, and I don't have the discomfort issues that many other shoes bring me.

The boots are also good at getting the power down to the pedals, that is, after all, their primary purpose. While they're in no way an XC race shoe with uber-stiff carbon sole, they don't noticeably flex when you're getting on the pedals which I find is a common theme in a lot of footwear designed for a dual purpose.


I don't have any complaints with this boot, which is rare with footwear for me. One thing that some riders may want to beware of is how tight the interface between pedals and the boot is. I notice with pedals that have a platform, such as Shimano's XTR Trail, the tread on the sole will rest firmly on the body of the pedal which makes getting into the pedals a little more of a push. I personally don't mind this, however, some people may need to either run a shim or file some of the tread down around that interface area. Neither of these are a big deal, just something to be conscious of before getting frustrated that you can't clip in.

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesMavic's XA Pro H20 GTX shoe is as much of a hiking boot as it is a shoe for clipless pedals. The level of comfort and support is excellent, and the amount of traction that it delivers off of the bike is hard to match. For anyone looking to get out and do some exploring when conditions are cool and wet, these are worth considering.Daniel Sapp


  • 68 2
 My wife likes her pair and she complains about everything
  • 55 0
 Are we married to the same woman?
  • 7 5
Only if she's a trophy wife bro
  • 3 0
 @stinkbikelies: haha, I guess not.
  • 8 1
 The review talks about 'cool and wet' but gives no idea of temperatures involved with that.

Depending on where you live, 'cool' could be anywhere from +15C to -5C!

Saying something like "good for the 0C-5C or 5C-10C range with regular winter socks", for example, would be more useful?
  • 2 0
 Just get the Shimano GTX they are Canuck rated.....wear 'em year round in Vancouver Island
  • 5 0
 The tight interface between the sole end the pedal might be a good thing. I have the opposite problem with my Shimano shoes and DX pedals. The shoes are lasting so long, that maybe maybe 1-2mm of the sole rubber is now gone and the cleat is now exposed. So the shoes don't touch the pedals anywhere else than the cleat and the whole point of the platform is gone. ...probably time for new (Shimano) shoes.
  • 11 17
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 14, 2018 at 1:30) (Below Threshold)
 Just go for Mallets DH, you can adjust platform height. On another note it is a good thing as you say. One can always shim it out. Shallow shoe is a bad thing. What is the point of having a platform around the cleat mechanism when your shoe is not resting on it?
  • 5 0
 or go to a shoe repair place so they put back those 2mm of rubber. Cost effective.
  • 5 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 14, 2018 at 3:34) (Below Threshold)
 @ismasan: it would be more cost effective to be inposition to cut 2mm of rubber or put a shim under the cleat...
  • 5 0
 Instead of spending 200 bucks on shoes, now I prefer having waterproof socks like sealkins does, since my shoes never last more than one year...
  • 3 0
 I think thats a good idea if you´re wearing the same shoes all year round. I rotate a pair of these with the Mavic CrossMax in Summer. The soles are tough and have Spiderman levels of grip. They´ve lasted 3 summers now, but i admit i dont live on the bike like i used to as a kid.

I cant recommend these (and the CrossMax) enough.
  • 1 0
 I still can’t get the waterproof socks to work for me. My feet just end up sweating and feeling clammy anyway.
  • 2 0
 I have had more problems with macic shoes than any other. I love the comfort and performance but regularly the sole cracks where cleats attach, anything but the simplest tensioning system seems to fail. I contacted them and it took 4 months for a response. They sent me a new tensioning system that failed within a month. I literally have 3 single mavic shoes due to sole failure. Im on the hunt for a new trail shoe, any suggestions? Flats are great if anyone can recommend a tacky pair that will fit a narrow foot
  • 1 0
 Shimano my dude. Say goodbye to reliability issues. Wouldn't recommend them for flat pedals, but for clipless it's my favorites.
  • 2 0
 MAVIC Deemax Pro flat.
  • 1 0
 I've broken 3 lair at the clear and mavic sucks for warranty
  • 5 0
  • 2 1
 I've always got cold feet. Clipless I need shoe covers at 40 degrees F, below freezing and I need Lake mxz303 or similar. With the same socks and fiveten freeriders I can go to 25 degrees F with snow on the ground. Probably half the winter riders I know just do race face chesters and decent waterproof hiking boots.
  • 3 1
 Y'all are doing it wrong. Good socks with winter cycling shoes is far better than hiking boots.
  • 2 7
flag yzedf (Nov 14, 2018 at 8:40) (Below Threshold)
 @LOLWTF: I'll be sure to tell them the boots they use for hiking when it's too snowy to ride, hunting, fishing etc are no good for winter biking in terrible conditions. I'm sure they'll appreciate your input versus their experience of what works for them.
  • 7 0
 @yzedf: all these flavors and you choose to be salty?
  • 5 0
 good socks and proper shoes. better yet, a snowboard or a set of skis.
  • 1 5
flag yzedf (Nov 14, 2018 at 10:37) (Below Threshold)
 @LOLWTF: yup
  • 1 0
 Spec Defrosters are the best cool/wet weather shoes I've owned, and I've tried quite a few. Not the warmest but great down to freezing. Perfect fit. Super durable. Relatively light. Great if you need to walk. Waterproof. I've got an older model that just won't die even after quite a few years of riding.
  • 1 0
 Have these and let's be straight I love them for big rocky days where there a good chance to hike a bike... But they aren't that water resistant, and I would be wearing then once it drops below freezing, they ain't that warm..great boots but..... Great when it's a bit damp out, but when it's proper Manchestering it down outside the Lake mx303s get worn
  • 5 1
 Exposed laces covered in frozen mud = no thank you...
  • 2 0
 as per the review, they look pretty much like the Mavic Alpine, excellent shoes, long lasting and comfortable for long rides.
  • 1 1
 Surprised to read about how grippy they are. My experience with Contagrip rubber (from Salomon hiking boots) is that the material is terrible on wet rocks and roots, or even sidewalks. Contaslide would have been far more accurate, at least on my sample. Although I have to admit that it lasts and does not get easily damaged by sharp rocks etc.

On the other hand, the vibram soles on my Giro shoes are very grippy, but have chunks taken off from hike-a-biking on ugly terrain.

Maybe they updated the rubber so it actually works as intended.
  • 1 0
 It's more about how the thread grips in mud than wet rocks. These are very effective while many other shoes put the grip meter to 0 on mud!
  • 3 0
 This being a hike-bike-shoe, do they slip on the heel during extended hike-a-bikes like their summer brethren?
  • 1 0
 They don't for me but fit is different for everyone.
  • 1 0
 How high up does the goretex lining go? Interested in these for wet weather commuting, but when the gtx lining on an boot/mid-height shoe doesn't go high enough, they might as well be non-gtx.
  • 4 1
 Mavic product names are terrible
  • 3 0
 Looks like Ken Griffey Jr. cleats
  • 1 0
 I wonder if they make wide widths to fit adult male feet. It is brutally hard to find a good off road spd shoes that has a wide toe box option.
  • 1 0
 Try Northwave.
  • 1 0
 @DrPete: Thanks Doc, I will look into the fits. I do have an older pair of their winter shoes that “almost” fit right, with some mods they have been workable. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @jgottya1: I generally like a bigger toe box and their Enduro Mid was one of the best shoes I’ve had—while I could find them.
  • 2 0
 It was between these and the 45NRTH Ragnarok... the Boa won me over on the Ragnarok.
  • 2 0
 BOA is awesome, I tried snowboarding boots with it, and was like, "WHY ISN'T THIS ON EVERYTHING!?"
  • 2 0
 Would instantly replace anything with laces, with BOA given the choice.
  • 1 0
 @Kramz: and 45NRTH’s Viking names are way cooler than “XA Pro H2O GTX.” Haha
  • 1 0
 They're $200 because Mavic has to make their profits without proprietary components this time
  • 2 0
 Laces! Laces! Get TF outtahere!
  • 1 0
 Shimano everything. That's my new rule.
  • 2 0
 Mavic's XA Pro H20 GTX....could it get more complicated ?? :/
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Good to see my observation skills are sharp as soup. Thank you for the link.
  • 18 21
 200$ for a waterproof shoe?! I go to Hornbach and buy a pair of wellies for 20. The undersole works great with My DMR Vaults and I get shin protection in the price. Negprop me all you want #flats4life #advertorial #infomercial #awakeasfuk
  • 9 2
 I don't get why you even open this review if in your opinion: #flats4life
  • 11 0
 damn you're so amazing, can we hang out?
  • 10 11
 @IluvRIDING: so all you got of this cosmic scale nonsense was flats4life?
  • 7 3
 @IluvRIDING: I think WAKI's sarcasm was lost in translation. Look up a picture of Wellington Boots (wellies) and read his post again. Not sure where all the hate is coming from.
  • 3 5
 @kubikeman: I know perfectly well what wellingtons are. And I just didn't find it funny.
  • 4 6
 @kubikeman: hate ? This a*shole dominates every thread, annoying AF!
  • 3 1
 @Beez177: fake news
  • 2 0
 if it ain't a wellie, you're just jelly.
  • 5 1
 @underhawk: Wellies are best shoes for shagging sheep. You put their legs into your wellies (while wearing them) and they cannot run away. Mheee mheee, oooh I love when you are talking dirty!
  • 1 0
 What about Gwins new shoe from Giro?
  • 1 0
 That was featured in our Summer Gear Guide - the Giro Chamber II:

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